lifestyle

How Do You Imagine Your Future Career As A Physician?

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it. Lying down in bed at night right before you’re about to go to sleep, imagining your life after 15 years when you are an independent, practicing physician. We all know what it’s going to take to get there – working your butt off, passion for the field, etcetera etcetera. However, given the people of science that we are, it might be worthwhile to look at it from a more objective lens. In other words, here’s the question that I want to try to answer – what are the factors that contribute to the decision you make when choosing a specialty? Inside the OR vs. Outside the OR vs. Somewhere in the Middle I would encourage you to reference an earlier article I wrote where I described the process that every first year medical student should consider going through, trying to shadow in as many specialties as possible in order to figure out between medicine and surgery. In my opinion, this is the most important decision that you need to make while you are still in infancy for the long road ahead. If you like being in the OR and nothing else, then you should do something in surgery. If you can live without the OR, but still want to do something procedural, then you should look into something along...

The Passover Seder’s 4 Questions Interpreted by a Med Student

Ah, Passover, that one time of year where being a Sephardic Jew seems like the most compelling thing in the world. If your in Jew-town like me, you are currently living a cold and empty life without bread, or all grains for that matter. Despite all of the archaic and seemingly pointless rituals of Passover, there is one that stands strong, the reciting of the four questions at the Seder. One person, traditionally the youngest child, recites one question, “Why does this night differ from all other nights?” followed by 4 answers. As an aspiring doc, I was never quite content with the answers given to these questions. They’re questionable either from the standpoint of a medical student or from a pure medical standpoint. Here’s why: 1. On all other nights we eat bread or matza, while on this night we eat only matza. I’m not sure about you, but my fam and I don’t sit around nomming on matza, “on all other nights.” Bread is our go-to. Also, last time I checked Passover is 8 days, meaning it’s not only that on this night we’re gonna choke on dry, disgusting matzah, but I will also have a whole 192 hours to risk my life eating the choking-inducing food. Thanks a lot, Pharoah. A closer look at those nutrition facts suggests that maybe we should switch over to matzah-instead-of-bread diet....

My Thoughts on Fluoride

We live in one of the freak towns that doesn’t have fluoride in the water. My kids have both already had cavities, so I want to make sure to follow our pediatrician/dentist recommendation to get them fluoride pills, but it hasn’t been so easy. So we don’t have to wait in line at the pharmacy every month, we had been getting our pills from Express Scripts, but we changed insurance, so now we can only use Walgreens online pharmacy. This has proved to be quite the challenge. Walgreens would not allow me to add the kids to my pharmacy account until I placed an order with physical pharmacy, so I did this first. The local pharmacy would not fill the medication because they covered only drops but not pills unless they got “extra info” from our pediatrician. After a week, this was not received. Our giant peds practice did not know somehow that this info was being requested. Finally, we just paid $11 each out of pocket for the month’s worth of pills. I was still unable to add the kids online to the pharmacy and had to call to do it. I then asked the pediatrician to call in the pills to Walgreens online. They assumed that was the same as Express Scripts and called it in there. I assure you, they are not the same. I called...

Five Ways To Keep Your Brain Alert In Medical School

Reading a Fast Company article this morning,  I was inspired to consider the ways I can keep my brain alert for the long haul. As a student, I do study most of the time so one could argue that my brain is constantly alert. It’s true that I do have to make a conscientious effort to relax my brain.  But, the suggestions in the article were very helpful. I’ve slightly modified the five daily habits that were recommended to the general public to be more school friendly. With a schedule as busy as ours, the following five suggestions may not be feasible to do on a daily basis. I think weekly is more manageable. Change your diet. I recently made changes to my own diet by drinking more water. If you’re anything like me, spending money and investing in a more expensive product such as the trendy Swell bottle could motivate you to drink more water. Or, adding fruit like berries, or lemon slices, or herbs like mint, help to change the flavor of plain water. Take inventory of what you could benefit from the most. For example, if you order Domino’s 3X a week, perhaps making home cooked meals would be an appropriate swap to incorporate more greens and vegetables to your diet. I have also found that switching the grocery store you shop for food adds some...

What Happens If You Overuse Antibiotics?

I went to med school in a place where Lyme disease was endemic. So when I was on my Medicine rotation and one of my co-students complained about feeling tired and achy for a few days, our attending immediately said to him, “Get tested for Lyme disease.” The student was reluctant. He didn’t have a rash. Our student health plan was crappy with a huge deductible, so he would have had to pay for the test out of pocket. Also, I pointed out (from a personal Lyme scare) that he could get a false negative this early on. “Well, if you don’t want to get the test,” the attending said, “I’ll write you a prescription for doxycycline and you can just treat it.” And then we saw another attending, who totally agreed with this. Even years later, I still find this offensive. The course of treatment for Lyme is 10-21 days of antibiotics. Would you really give someone up to THREE WEEKS of antibiotics because they were tired and achy a few days? I took doxycycline and it made me throw up… not something I’d personally be excited to take for weeks for no reason. And… hello, antibiotic resistance? I’d like to believe that the attendings were just over-treating because it was a colleague and not something they recommend to all their patients. Originally syndicated from Dr. Fizzy’s Blog...

Do Higher Obesity Levels Mean Higher Cancer Chances?

In a world where appearances matter, many people are concerned about their shape or sizes. However, the amount and distribution of body fat content are crucial to your health. According to ASCO Cancer.Net, over two-thirds of adults in America, were overweight; that is in the year 2016. What is obesity you may ask? It is a condition where an individual has unhealthy distribution or amount of fat in the body. Different factors can contribute towards becoming obese as is so in a convincing fellowship personal statement. The factors that contribute to the former include: • Hormones • Environment • Genes • Emotions, and • Cultural factors Individuals who are obese are at a higher risk of severe health conditions, e.g., heart disease, high-blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Obesity and Cancer The measurement often used, to measure one’s obesity level is the BMI, Body Mass Index. It is the ratio of one’s weight, and height and waist measurement. If you have a BMI of 30 and above, you are obese. Normal BMI ranges from, 18.5 to 24.9. It is also important to note that, people who have extensive waist measurements are at risk of contracting various diseases, e.g., heart disease. The regular waist measurement should be 40, 0r 35 inches, and below, for men and women, respectively. Several studies have been conducted to explore why obesity may increase the risk and...

The Perils of Being a Woman Doctor

As a woman doctor it seems like I can’t book an appointment with a doctor anymore without being asked if I’m okay with seeing a man. OK, they didn’t ask me when I booked an eye doctor appointment. But when I recently scheduled an urgent care visit for a stomach bug that was taking a long time to clear up, they asked me. And the OB/GYN office always asks. Personally, my first pap was done by a man, and I really liked him. My second regular ob/gyn was also a man and also great. Yes, I’m a little more uncomfortable being examined down there by a man, but honestly, it’s uncomfortable either way. It depends on the doctor more than it depends on the gender of the doctor. It’s only a recent thing that there are enough female doctors that patients can even get a choice. What bothers is me is that when they specifically ask me, it makes me feel like maybe I *should* request a woman. Why can’t they just mention the doctor’s name and see if I protest? Also, has a man *ever* been asked if he was okay with the gender of his doctor? At work, I have also been put in positions from time to time where I was pressured to see a patient for no other reason than they had “woman problems,” when...

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