Top Three Worst Diseases in the Fall Time and My Experiences with Each

The Fall is a time for pumpkin picking, apple picking, leaf picking, but most importantly; illness.  Here are the three worst diseases I have come encounter with this Fall. Pneumonia Recently my roommate contracted Pneumonia and was hospitalized for 4 days and returned back to New Jersey for a week.  Now for all you doctors and residency students you are probably thinking “yea of course pneumonia sucks,” but it is a completely different thing to have it in a dorm room.  Confined space is where disease thrives, and me walking back into a room smelling of puke, gastric acid and lysol was quite possibly the worst sick cocktail smell of all time.  He stared me in the face said “I have a fever of 103.8, I think something’s wrong.”  Luckily I grew up in a medical household and have contracted every disease you can think of, strep, mono, scarlet fever.  So I knew that he wasn’t doing to great.  After three hours in the ER they finally said I could leave him and I returned back to the dorm.  For the next three days I couldn’t bring myself to enter into the room with the smells and finally got some of the girls down the hall to do a cleansing.  My roommate returned healthy after a little more than a week, and the room now smells of sweet Lysol....

Fulbright-to-Fulbright: The End

All good things must come to an end. I will admit my “end” was bittersweet, open-ended, and odd. Guess what? That’s ok! Some of you may have ‘the next thing’ lined up all ready to go. Others may not. If you are in this latter category, not to worry, I’ve got you covered! And even if you do have ‘the next thing’ to go to, you may still find the advice relevant.   ONE: Warning: you may or may not finish your project. Another tough thing to deal with when you lean towards having a “Type-A personality” like myself, is dealing with the lack of closure. I tend to seek completeness or sense of conclusion. But you might not get the “typical” closure you expected or desired. You will soon realize you didn’t need it. You will evolve to recognize those small interactions, like engaging with strangers on the street, building relationships with new colleagues abroad, all add up to this larger experience called ‘The Fulbright’. What you gained from the experience is far more than one line on your CV.   TWO: Join the Alumni Association. Participate in the Fulbright Conference. Continue to grow your work, projects, and networks. Take initiative. This was the case before the Fulbright and it is the same case after the Fulbright. You will have to continue to take initiative, seek answers, and...

Fulbright-to-Fulbright: The Middle

The Fulbright scholarship is one of several United States Cultural Exchange Programs whose goal is to improve intercultural relations,  diplomacy, and competence between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. It is one of the most prestigious and competitive fellowship programs in the world. Yet, even after being competitively selected, sometimes when you are in country, you can’t see what impact you are having by being there or what you are truly gaining from the experience. It is only when you leave when you realize the impact of your time. But to get you through where you are right now, here are some notes to reassure you that you will be okay, you are doing enough, and you are growing so much even though it may not feel like it.   ONE: First 1-3 months allow yourself to observe. Don’t beat yourself up to try to get things done give yourself the time to observe. Scope the scene. Part of the experience is leaning into the discomfort you are feeling, you will eventually learn to find comfort in discomfort. By embracing these silent challenges, you will find your edges, and finding your edges makes you self-aware. Being self-aware is growth.   TWO: You will get frustrated. You will get resistance. The Fulbright is challenging. And for good reason. If it weren’t challenging, you wouldn’t...

Fulbright-to-Fulbright: The Beginning

You made it! You made it this far. And for what its worth, I am proud of you! After a year of working on the proposal and statement, attending interviews, anticipating the announcement of semi-finalists and then surviving the anxiety-ridden months until finalists are revealed, I remember the day I received the notification. And so will you. Forever. But what I also remember is the one-day of pure serenity, of not having to wait in anticipation or respond just yet. Just to be. That sweet brief silence you experience. Savor it. Because after the silence broke, in flooded the paperwork, the visa applications, the immunization records, the travel insurance, the *fill in your list here*, till I was on the flight and we were ready for take off. Here are my 2 cents to help at the beginning of your journey. Indulge yourself at the pre-departure orientation with all of the scholarly energy in the room. Ask all the questions you can think of and be curious!   ONE: Pack some nice clothes. I know you are trying to be minimalist and realistic at the same time, but a few pieces won’t harm anyone. I ended up buying some formal clothes when I got there for various spontaneous occasions, which is another way to go. At the Fulbright pre-departure orientation, I remember someone suggested bringing perfume or cologne. I...

3 Tips for “Average” Pre-Meds to Stand Out in Their Medical School Admissions Essays

The dreaded “diversity question.”   Each year, as students fill out their secondary applications, they’re bombarded with essay prompts about their “diverse qualities,” “unique insights,” or “unusual life experiences.” Schools will usually ask how these qualities, insights, or experiences will contribute to their campus or environment.   Pre-meds are quick to label themselves as average, normal, or even boring. Every example or topic they can muster sounds lame. What was once a crisis of writing is now a crisis of identity, and they start calling their whole application (and life?) into question.   Does this sound like you? Never fear! We have three tips for helping self-proclaimed “average” students find something to say.     TIP #1 – THINK SMALL A student might profile herself and think, “I’m white, middle class, and suburban. I’ve played on the tennis team, volunteered clinically, and written for my school’s academic science journal. How the heck am I supposed to sound diverse?”   The problem here is that she’s thinking too broadly. But if she narrows her scope, let’s say to one summer or maybe even one afternoon, she has a better chance to find an interesting angle for her essay. She could also choose to focus on one small aspect of her “average” activities.   For example, let’s say she petitioned to change the format of her school’s academic journal to increase...

Specialty That is Right For You

Link from The University of Virginia School of Medicine, Material from book “How to Choose a Medical Specialty”, by Anita Taylor Flickr | steven…ng   Decisions…decisions…every medical student has enough on their plate to begin with so the added stress of trying to choose which specialty suits you best is an unnecessary burden. BUT have no fear; there is a fast, easy and effective test to help you make this decision. Click below to check it out!   Specialty Test   Website from University of Virginia School of Medicine.   This material was originally published in the book “How to Choose a Medical Specialty”, by Anita Taylor. Anita graduated from Bryn Mawr College with an B.A. in Sociology and from Wake Forest University with a master’s degree in education and counseling. She is an Associate Professor and serves as the director of Volunteer Faculty Outreach and co-advisor to the Family Medicine Interest Group for the Department of Family Medicine. The author of “How to Choose a Medical Specialty,”, 4th edition, she is the OHSU Director of Career Advising for the medical students. She also has a special interest in physician and medical family life planning as well as faculty development. She and her husband, Robert B. Taylor, M.D. have 2 children and 4...

Fighting Allergies Without Injections?

Where I live in Texas it’s cedar season, which means it’s allergy season. Texas is notorious for its large number of pollen-producing plants including ash, mountain cedar, ragweed, grass and oak… the list goes on and on. When pollination comes around each year, it seems like everyone is coughing, sneezing and congested, with an itchy throat and watery eyes.   Image: Source   To cope with allergies, I’ve heard some pretty creative (though NOT doctor recommended nor evidence-based) solutions including sleeping with a wet washcloth over the face, eating “local” honey to expose the body to pollens or drinking apple cider vinegar. With my friends going to such extremes to fight allergies, you can imagine how excited I was to see a new paper in JAMA reporting on a 3-year study of sublingual immunotherapy for grass pollen allergy sufferers.   Image: Source   Sublingual immunotherapy is being explored as an alternative to injection therapies (or subcutaneous immunotherapy), where small amounts of allergens are injected into patients over the course of months and years to build immunity and prevent the allergic reaction. Allergy shots have been used for nearly 100 years and evidence shows that they are highly effective, especially against many pollen species. It is also more cost-effective than simply treating allergic symptoms. With sublingual immunotherapy, instead of injections, the patient takes either a drop solution or tablet under...

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