lifestyle

Chef Uy Presents: How To Cook Tomato Basil Soup

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 Tomato Basil Soup. B does not like modern art. He’s not a fan of art museums, but he especially avoids any museum titled with the word “modern art.” He did take me to the SF MoMa when we started dating 6 years ago, but that has since stopped lol. Now that he lives in NYC, we are surrounded by amazing art museums. I did convince him (and my visiting brother) to try the Guggenheim to see the Agnes Martin exhibit, but that sort of minimalism didn’t go very well. B doesn’t like modern art because he always says, I could have done that. To which I say, but you didn’t. One piece that has always caught my eye was Andy Wahol’s Campbell Soup Cans pop art, which is conveniently located in the NYC MoMA. First exhibited in 1962, the 32 canvases, each featuring a different flavor, was grouped together like in the grocery, and rocked the art world. It reignited the age-old debate about art versus commercialism (which remains a fascinating discussion even now, as it came up during my Art History classes at Stanford). Fun...

The Worst Social Media Platform For Mental Health

While social media can be a great tool for storytelling, sharing information, and staying in touch with friends, colleagues, and family, there’s no denying that there are negative effects. A previous study by Igor Pantic, MD, PhD on The National Center for Biotechnology Information chronicled the relationship between Facebook and a teenager’s self-esteem and depression, due to user’s narcissistic tendencies. According to the study: One of the possible explanations regarding the negative relationship between Facebook and self-esteem is that all social networking platforms where self-presentation is the principal user activity cause or at least promote narcissistic behavior. A report by Mehdizadeh described the findings of a study in which 100 Facebook users at York University provided self-esteem and narcissistic personality self-reports. The results indicated that individuals with lower self-esteem are more active online in terms of having more self-promotional content on their SNS profiles. In other words, certain Facebook activities (such as “The Main Photo” feature) were negatively correlated with self-esteem measured with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. On the other hand, some authors have presented results indicating that Facebook use may actually enhance self-esteem. A study by Gonzales and Hancock included groups of student participants exposed to three different settings: exposure to a mirror, exposure to one’s own Facebook profile, and a control setting. The level of self-esteem in all participants was estimated using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The results showed the positive...

The Literal Price of Health Care

With all the dialogue on Obamacare, Trumpcare, the ACA, and the AHCA, Dr. Fizzy briefly reflects on the cost of health care.  Recently my daughter sprained her ankle. Because she’s a bit of a drama queen, I took her to urgent care after she refused to put weight on it for a day. The x-ray didn’t show a fracture and they gave her a crutch and an Aircast, which she used for exactly one day before she was better. A couple of months later, I got a bill for $150 for the crutch and Aircast that we barely used. Because of large deductibles and other reasons, we end up paying a lot of our outpatient healthcare expenses out of pocket. But the problem with that is that you have no idea what you’re going to pay until the bill actually arrives. If they had told me it was going to be $150 for that stuff, I never would’ve taken it. Think about how crazy it is. You would never go to a furniture store, buy a sofa, and just wait a few months until the bill comes to see how much you ended up paying for it. But that’s what I’m constantly doing with my healthcare bills. I can give multiple other examples. Recently, my own doctor ordered a lab test which I didn’t think was entirely necessary, but...

Could your energy drink or Starbucks kill you? Take the Caffeine Risk Calculator

As medical students and health professionals, it’s tempting to overdose on caffeine. Since we work and study for long and unorthodox hours, more often than not, it’s very easy to get ahead of ourselves while drinking our regular cup of coffee or tea. However, you might want to put a hold on the extra cup. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts reported yesterday that a 16-year old South Carolina high school student died from heart problems caused from caffeinated drinks. Watts says the teen drank a large Mountain Dew, a latte from McDonald’s, and an energy drink in just two hours, before collapsing on April 26th. Death by caffeine overdose is incredibly uncommon. However, this teen’s death begs the question: how much caffeine is too much? As we know, caffeine is highly addictive, and people who don’t consume it regularly shouldn’t consume too much at a time. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the recommended amount of caffeine consumed in the US is approximately 300 mg per person per day – the equivalent to between two and four cups of coffee. The Mayo Clinic reported that adolescent teens should never consume over 100 mg daily, and children should never consume it at all. Common symptoms of caffeine overdose include migraine headaches, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, frequent urination or inability to control urination, stomach upset, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors, all of which require medical attention. And this doesn’t include the...

Chef Uy Presents: How To Cook Avocado Toast with Pesto and Egg

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 Avocado Toast with Pesto and Egg. Pesto is one of my favorite sauces because it elevates anything into a “fancy” dish. Pesto comes from the Italian word, pestare (to grind, pound) and tehnically refers to anything that is pounded. Pesto has been around since the Roman times and medieval times, although although we traditionally think of Genoese pesto, where basil is the main ingredient, doesn’t come around until the mid 1800s. (source) Pesto is classically made with basil, garlic, cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts, but I’ve seen variations with every possible green leaf and every nut. One fun fact about pine nuts is that it can give you Pine Nut Syndrome or “pine mouth” – in which eating pine nuts can cause taste disturbances (a bitter metallic taste), lasting from days to weeks afterwards. In fact, there’s lots of science journals describing and documenting Pine Nut Syndrome, like Pine mouth (pine nut) syndrome: description of the toxidrome, preliminary case definition, and best evidence regarding an apparent etiology and “Pine mouth” syndrome: cacogeusia following ingestion of pine nuts (genus: pinus). An emerging problem?. Food science – that’s a pretty fun research...

From SXSW to SHM: Our Tour to Promote Value Conversations Between Doctors & Patients

At a movie premiere for the new Terrence Malick flick, “Song to Song”, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Rooney Mara walked the red carpet to flashing cameras and screaming fans in front of the famous Paramount Theatre in Austin. The next day, down the street, to a lot less fanfare, our Costs of Care team – Neel Shah and both of us – took the stage at the annual SXSW festival for own version of a premiere. We were about to step out of the normal medical conference crowd (i.e. no screaming fans but some with #pinksocks on) and see for the first time if videos we made depicting scenarios of doctors and patients confronting healthcare costs would translate to the real world. Would it work, or would the critics, like with the “Song to Song” premier, give us a rotten tomato? Luckily, we had a very positive response, and our session was dubbed one of the most interactive on Twitter and even garnered a tremendously generous “Best Picture” nod from the healthcare round-up by Medical Marketing & Media (not exactly the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, but we will take it!). In our first “public”-facing debut, it was clear that the public increasingly wants physicians to address costs of care with them – conversations that have been historically controversial. The patients in the room wanted to...

Why is this med student marrying her diploma?

Higher education is a demanding commitment, and graduating medical school is quite an achievement. While many medical student graduates go unto their medical track, business as usual, Angie Hamouie did something unique upon receiving of her diploma. Angie has a public website, showcasing the inspiration and details of her “Graduwedding”. She describes her idea in the home page: Imagine a graduation party that’s as EXTRA as a wedding. That’s a Graduwedding. It’s unlike any graduation party ever. A graduation is a person walking across a stage and accepting a really expensive piece of paper. But a ~Graduwedding~ is so much more– It’s the union of two souls, in this case Angie and her Medical Degree (MD).   The idea for the Graduwedding occurred after Angie discovered the results of her match into residency (read that story on the Enmatchment page!) She was so elated, she wanted to celebrate with literally anyone and everyone she’d ever met, and even people she hadn’t. This was such a big deal for her, because it was the culmination of 3 degrees and 9 years of higher education. Her match represented everything she had worked toward. Angie realized this graduation would only happen once in her life. She wondered, why is it that no one really celebrates their graduation? And if she threw a party, how could she convey that this party was a Big Deal?  ...