lifestyle

How Much Your Health Affects Your Wallet

Smoking, fast food, and lack of exercise can both affect your wellness and your money. Learn how much bad health affects your wallet.  Creating positive health changes in patients can be a difficult task. Once habits are ingrained, they become harder to break. Exposing more pain points for these habits can change a person’s viewpoint and lead them to change. Physical inactivity and poor diet choices continue to surge, and a new motive is needed to help people improve their health. Smoking has been one of the biggest health concerns for decades now, but did you know smoking can cost a person between $6,500 and $13,500 a year? The average cost of a cigarette averages out to be around 31 cents, which comes out to $1,358 a year. The hidden costs come in the form of higher insurance premiums and loss of insurance credits. The total cost of smoking with these factors adds up to a much greater financial sacrifice. The increase in fast food consumption has also made for a costlier lifestyle. Consumers spend an average of $1,200 a year on fast food which can lead up to an additional $5,500 a year in healthcare costs. The caloric increase not only leads to weight gain, but is generally coupled with an inactive lifestyle as well. Physical inactivity, according to the World Health Organization, is the 4th leading risk factor...

Chef Uy Presents: Blackberry Chia Parfait

Natalie Uy is a resident in Internal Medicine who loves to eat and doodle. Her food blog, Obsessive Cooking Disorder, is a collection of recipes she made during her study breaks and stories on my medical / life adventures. Here is her recipe on how to prepare Blackberry Chia Parfait. Hi everyone, I’m officially done with intern year! Yay! I finished off intern year with VA hospital nights which can be exhausting – if you’ve never been jolted awake from pages at 3am (or worse, hammer pages, which is non stop back to back paging), you’re not missing out on anything. Sometimes you’ll even get 2 or 3 pagers going off simultaneously (“Oh nice, they’re harmonizing” – my med school surgeon attending). While finishing intern year is always a cause for celebration (goodbye waking up earlier to pre-round on patients, endless note-writing, and answering constant pages), I can’t help but have mixed feelings about stepping up to second year, since now I’ll be in charge of the team when it comes to running the team, making decision and handling emergencies. I’m going to miss the ability of saying, “Wait, let me ask my senior…” Although I’m know I’ve learned so much intern year, I still feel like there’s so much I don’t know (I have no idea how doctors managed without internet -all of our medical resources are there, from looking up medication doses...

The Reasons Why Sleep Matters

My personal experience has taught me that consistently getting decent sleep is THE most important factor in my overall well-being—more than relationships, exercise, diet, money, or anything else. Let me list the reasons why sleep matters. Obviously I don’t currently, and likely never will (except maybe during research sabbatical), get 8 hours of sleep 7 days per week. But I always get as much sleep as possible. This means that sleep almost always comes before my husband, family, friends, studying, drinking, TV, and whatever else keeps me away from my bed.  (Of course there are exceptions.) A mentor once told me, “Whenever you say ‘yes’ to something, you’re saying ‘no’ to something else.” Sometimes saying ‘yes’ to sleep means my life appears pretty boring from the outside. For example, when I was a 4th year med student on my surgery sub-internship, I woke up at 4:00am every day and usually didn’t get home until 7pm or later. When I got home, I ate dinner while I talked to my husband, showered, and then got in bed around 8:00pm. This was also in July, so I was actually in bed before the sun set every night. This sounds like a really pathetic existence, but I swear I was happy. Giving up some time with my husband after work in favor of getting enough sleep was worth it because I wasn’t...

Book Review: The Devil You Know

Freida McFadden strikes again with her follow-up story to the life of Doctor Jane McGill, The Devil You Know. This book is a page turner with a romantic edge and relatable characters that make a fictional story seem real. This is the follow up book to McFadden’s The Devil Wears Scrubs; this sequel focuses more on Jane’s personal life, rather than her time doing long hours of residency in the hospital. First, I recommend this book to parents, more specifically, parents with older children. Jane has to deal with all the stresses, fun, and control issues that come with her young redheaded bossy daughter, all while her husband is adjusting to a new job working from home and dodging his parental duties here and there.  The small anecdotes throughout the novel between Jane and her husband are sidebars that every parent can relate too.  For example, McFadden uses a touch of realism to show how even something as small as picking up and dropping off your toddler at pre-school has so many elements to take care of and so many areas where things could go wrong.  I really enjoyed reading these anecdotes and seeing them unfold and go hand in hand with Jane’s marital problems.  She is constantly dealing with real life situations that come with kids like, battling over what to wear to school, or having to tell...

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Summer Before School Starts

It’s your last summer before college starts, and if you’re like me you do not want to put it to waste.  You have just wrapped up four years of hard work and now get to pack up and leave your hometown, say goodbye to friends and family and go to your new home in college.  But one day, in the beginning of summer, before the big move, you look down at the empty bag of potato chips and sodas at feet, eyes burning after your ninth episode of your binge show that day, and you start to think to yourself that you are not making the most of your summer.  For me, my last summer before college was all about becoming self dependent and learning new things. So to avoid becoming a couch potato all summer and rather becoming more self dependent, here are 3 tips to making the most of your last summer before college:  Find Time to Relax Let’s be real: it’s the summer and you want to be on the beach somewhere turning that pasty year long skin, into a golden bronze.  To me, vacation is the number one step in enjoying your summer, but don’t get confused by my beach analogy, there are many types of vacations and ways to relax. Personally, I love to be outside whether that be at a beach, the hiking...

Chef Uy Presents: Orange, Mint, and Blueberry Infused Water

Natalie Uy is a resident in Internal Medicine who loves to eat and doodle. Her food blog, Obsessive Cooking Disorder, is a collection of recipes she made during her study breaks and stories on my medical / life adventures. Here is her recipe on how to prepare Orange, Mint, and Blueberry Infused Water. Some exciting news – I’ve officially moved into my new apartment, and this is the first recipe from my new kitchen! My kitchen is disproportionately large (it’s literally the same size as my entire living room), but I can live with that. Moving was not easy – it was towards the end of my q4 28 hour call month (which means 28 hours straight in the hospital every 4 days), so I was already fatigued at baseline, but with the help of many wonderful friends and, of course B, we did it! B had a golden weekend thank goodness, so he could come up to Connecticut and move things while I was at work. Fortunately, I married a very tall, strong man to make up for my rather petite size (and also my equally, if not even more petite friends whom I had recruited, as B pointed out with a facepalm). B wanted to pay for packers/movers 100% but I’m more of a DIY person, especially since we’re moving my studio just a few blocks over, so we compromised with...

Why I Don’t Wear Scrubs

Some of the nurses at work were talking about a sale on scrubs.  I was listening in, because I only have one pair of scrubs that I wear on call and they’re awful.  The top is so big that it could be a dress on me. Nurse: “Actually, I’ve never seen you in scrubs, Dr. McFizz.  You never wear them!” They pointed out that a few of the other doctors do sometimes wear scrubs during 9-5 business hours, but some of us don’t.  Here’s why I don’t: When I was an intern, I worked at a county hospital, serving a very poor population.  Intern year is hard, and I wanted nothing more than to live my life in scrubs–basically, nonstop pajamas.  But our program director said to us, “You know, these patients may be very poor and not speak English, but they should be treated with respect. And that means they deserve a doctor who is well dressed.” Some of the other interns wore scrubs every day anyway, but I didn’t.  On non-call days, I wore “nice” clothes. Those words really stuck with me, even now, over ten years later.  I feel like it’s more respectful to dress in nice clothes when I see patients. You can find Dr. Fizzy’s newest book, The Devil You Know on Amazon. Read an excerpt here. She’s got a great job at a VA Hospital,...

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