Entries in UCLA (3)


David Geffen Donates $100 Million for UCLA Medical School Tuition

PRNewsFoto/The Recording Academy(LOS ANGELES) -- A lucky group of medical students at the University of California, Los Angeles will get a free ride, thanks to a $100 million donation by the billionaire entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen.

The money will be used to create a scholarship fund for aspiring doctors at UCLA’s medical school, which was renamed The David Geffen School of Medicine after its benefactor made an unrestricted gift of $200 million 10 years ago.

“The cost of a world-class medical education should not deter our future innovators, doctors and scientists from the path they hope to pursue,” Geffen said in a statement. “We need the students at this world-class institution to be driven by determination and the desire to do their best work and not by the fear of crushing debt. I hope in doing this that others will be inspired to do the same.”

Medical school debt load continues to grow, with 86 percent of med students racking up $170,000 or more in loans to get their degrees, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.  Tuition at UCLA is approximately $38,000 per year --  $67,000 when all other expenses are counted, according to the faculty.

As tuition and the cost of living continue to rise, the total cost for medical students beginning their studies in 2013 could be more than $300,000 over four years.

Geffen’s donation, the school said, will cover tuition, room and board, books, supplies, and other expenses for up to 33 students each year -- a fifth of the 163 med-school openings at UCLA. The scholarships will be merit-based and not consider financial need.

Admission to the medical school is already highly competitive, with over 7,500 applying each year for those 163 spots. This new scholarship program could increase the number of applications and entice accepted applicants to choose the school over others.

“With this game-changing gift, Mr. Geffen has invested in the medical education and training of some of the world’s brightest and most talented young people, influencing medical research and patient care for generations to come,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement.

Graduating medical students face career choices, and right now the highest-paying fields of medicine, such as radiology, are the most popular and competitive.  It may be partly because educational debt pushes young doctors to enter more lucrative fields.  Experts think this could be contributing to the lack of primary care physicians in the U.S.

Other notable donations to medical schools include Kennith Langone’s $100 million gift to the NYU Langone Medical Center in 2008, and Carl Ichan’s gift  of $200 million to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.  Geffen’s UCLA scholarship-specific fund is described by school officials as “unprecedented.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is The Oscar Ticket to Heart Attack, Stroke?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Hollywood's biggest stars take to the red carpet Feb. 27 for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. And while Oscar hopefuls may look the picture of health on the big night, they're no safer from heart disease and stroke -- two of the three leading causes of death in the United States -- than anyone else.

To promote heart attack and stroke awareness, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles used public records to examine the prevalence of stroke and heart attack among lead actors and actresses nominated for Oscars since the awards began in 1927.

"We thought, What better way to communicate the effects of stroke and heart attack than by focusing on movie stars?" said lead author Hannah Smith, a research associate at the UCLA Stroke Center. Smith is presenting her findings as a poster at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.

"Stroke and heart attacks have exacted an enormous toll on Hollywood actors as well as the American population in general," Smith said. "We're hoping the study results will help promote healthier, disease-avoiding lifestyles."

According to the study, 30 of 409 leading actors and actresses (7.3 percent) suffered a stroke -- a proportion that is "sure to be an underestimate," said senior author Dr. Jeffrey Saver, medical director of the UCLA Stroke Unit.

The lifetime risk of stroke in the United States is roughly 2.9 percent, according to a 2010 report from the American Heart Association.

Although the researchers were unable to reliably compare stroke risk among the stars with that in the general population, Saver has a hunch it's higher in Hollywood.

"I think we can say, because we found this high rate just by public records, the rate of these events in Hollywood has been substantial -- far more than it should have been," Saver said.

Famous nominees over the years who suffered from strokes include Mary Pickford, Bette Davis, James Cagney, Cary Grant, Kirk Douglas, Richard Burton, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Patricia Neal, Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, James Garner and Sharon Stone.

Thirty-nine Oscar nominees (9.5 percent) had heart attacks and 65 (15.9 percent) had either a heart attack or a stroke, the authors reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Can Coffee Consumption Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A new study suggests there may be a link between coffee consumption and diabetes.  Researchers have found that coffee raises the amount of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in the blood, which leads to a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

James D. Lane, an associate research professor at Duke University Medical Center who was not involved in the study, told MyHealthNewsDaily that these new findings are "impressive," but more research would be necessary to confirm the link. 

In the recent UCLA study, researchers observed the possibility that a molecular mechanism might be the reason for coffee's "protective effect," reports Medical News Today.  The UCLA trial found that women who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee each day showed higher levels of SHBG and were 56 percent less likely to develop Type 2.

According to The American Diabetes Association, Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of the disease accounting for more than 90 percent of diabetes cases.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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