Exploring Nepal’s Historic Pashupatinath Temple

Based in Oklahoma City, OK, William D. Jones, MD, is an occupational and preventive health practitioner who is active with the OK State Medical Association. Passionate about travel, William D. Jones, MD, has visited far-flung locations, including India and Nepal.

One of the key historic and spiritual centers in Nepal is the Pashupatinath temple. The original temple was built around 400 AD along the Bagmati River’s banks in Kathmandu. It grew over the years to include various ashrams and temples, as well as statuaries and inscriptions along the river.

The main temple was built as a pagoda-style structure in the 17th century. One of its central precepts, based on Hindu scripture, is that death should not be feared. This is the reason a ritual cremation ground lies in its vicinity. Its structure is designed to contain gold on the roof and tower, with a large bull statue residing in the center of the temple.

Pashupatinath is also noteworthy as one of a dozen Jyotirlinga complexes worldwide, which are said in Hindu mythology to be spots where Shiva pierced the earth by revealing himself as a massive pillar of light.

Three Simple Tips for Improved Public Health Communications

Based in Oklahoma City, OK, William D. Jones, MD, has specialized as an occupational and preventive medicine physician since completing his residency in 1994. Over the course of his medical career in Oklahoma City, OK, William D. Jones, MD, has gained experience with effective approaches to public health communication.

When it comes to developing a public health message, there are a number of key areas of focus. To start, messaging must be clear and concise. Public trust and transparency are key to successfully delivering public health communications. Misleading or unclear copy can result in the general public ignoring or even taking an adversarial stance to messaging.

Public health messages are also typically made with some call to action in mind. If the general public is not clear on exactly what they need to do during a public health emergency, the messaging has failed.

Next, public health communications should be developed with diversity and inclusivity in mind. As a basic example, consider senior citizens and the use of online communications. According to Pew Research Center, only 61 percent of Americans over the age of 65 use a smartphone, with just 45 percent maintaining a social media presence. Public health messaging that only uses online communications will struggle to reach this group.

Other issues of diversity and inclusivity are more complex. It is advisable for those releasing the message to collaborate with community health groups to ensure the message has reached as wide an audience as possible.

Finally, medical professionals cannot overlook the importance of the aesthetic design of a public health campaign. While public health crises are far more urgent than a new marketing campaign, the principles are similar. Posters, for example, should feature the most pressing information at the top. Individuals usually interpret information the same way they would while reading a book, meaning copy should flow from left to right and from top to bottom. Large sans serif fonts and accompanying graphics can also make for effective additions to a public health communication.

Three Simple Tips for Improved Public Health Communications

William D. Jones, MD, has worked as an occupational and preventive medicine professional in Oklahoma City, OK, since 1994. When he is not providing medical support to patients in and around the Oklahoma City, OK, area, William D. Jones, MD, engages with professional organizations such as the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Environmental medicine is a broad term encompassing a variety of medical specialties and procedures, all of which involve interactions between humans and the surrounding environment. More specifically, practitioners of environmental medicine train to address adverse reactions resulting from exposure to something in the environment.

Three key aspects of environmental medicine include individual susceptibility, adaptation, and the concept of “total load.” Individual susceptibility is a term used to describe a specific person’s response to an environmental excitant. There are a wide range of factors that may influence individual susceptibility, from genetic predisposition to nutritional standing.

Adaptation, meanwhile, describes the changes a person or organism goes through over time in response to environmental factors. In some cases, the body may respond positively and fight off a virus or infection. In cases of maladaptation, the adaptive mechanism breaks down and the body begins to suffer the ill effects of one or more excitants.

Finally, total load draws on both of these concepts. If a susceptible individual fails to adapt to environmental excitants over a period of time, they may hit their total load and experience a total breakdown of various homeostatic mechanisms.

More information about environmental medicine is available at the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine website, acoem.org.