studybreak

Your Next Box of Mac & Cheese Could Be Your Last

Most of us enjoyed mac and cheese from the box as children and we loved it! All the non-nutritious goodness that was filled inside that little box was what we wanted daily. Looking back on my mac and cheese filled childhood, I get a feeling of regret and that is because a new study has revealed that mac and cheese from the box has a toxic chemical called phthalate. Phthalates are chemicals of high concern. They are used in the plastics industry and are found in rubber coatings, adhesives, sealants, and printing ink, but they are not directly added into food. However, through the food packaging process, phthalates can find their way into food products indirectly when they leave from food contact materials. This is a serious problem. Phthalates are dangerous to pregnant women and children because many studies have linked prenatal exposure to phthalates with birth defects in children. They are hormone-disrupting chemicals that have been shown to threaten the health development of babies’ endocrine and reproductive systems. In order to protect people’s health, the EU has banned most phthalates for plastics in contact with fatty foods. However, the US has not taken this type of action yet. Per a new study by The Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, the average phthalate levels found in macaroni and cheese powder were more than four times higher than in...

This Is How To Take Time Off During Medical School

Here is a list of a few experiences I’m happy that I did to take time off during medical school my first two years.  Recently I was up late clicking through my old Facebook pictures reliving some of the more fun moments of the past few years. As I was doing this I realized that I have done SO MANY amazing and wonderful things since starting medical school. At the beginning of M1 year, everyone tells you (jokingly or not, I can never tell) to kiss your social life (or any kind of life outside of books and medicine) goodbye. I have not found this to be necessary AT ALL and I want to encourage you all to reject this mindset. While it’s true there were times I spent 14 hour days in the library or when I was so stressed about an upcoming lab practical that I couldn’t bear to do anything besides study, there were also many times when I put other things in my life first. I think this has helped me to be more balanced and allowed me to build up a reserve of emotional strength to draw from when it comes to the tough parts of medical school. By having things outside of medical school to plan and look forward to, I don’t let studying completely define who I am as a person, which...

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...

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...

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your Medical TV Shows?

Are you a fan of medical dramas on TV? Do you look forward to hospital based movies? Then let’s find out just how knowledgeable you are with our Medical TV Shows Quiz, courtesy of GapMedics! Your check-up is due! Fans of Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, ER, Children’s Hospital, and House encouraged to take the quiz! Medical shows give a sense of drama and realism for healthcare professionals. Yash Pandya writes his previous article on “Medical Shows to Remember“: I just had to start with this one. Grey’s Anatomy is one of the most well-known, long-running series on TV. Beyond the relationships and the medical talk, the one key facet that truly struck me and made me stay with the show is the physician-patient encounters. The creator, Shonda Rhimes, does a phenomenal job of bringing forth the many nuances of patient backgrounds, experiences, and impressions in order to make us question our preconceived notions. We start to think – perhaps it’s not as black and white as it may seem? But let’s remember: television is still fiction. Elizabeth writes on “The Danger in Hollywood’s Favorite Medical Myths“ Television has no shortage of doctor dramas. Whether you’re an avid House fan or dedicated to Grey’s Anatomy, you are familiar with the miraculous phenomena that occur every day in these hospitals. Contrary to popular belief, real hospitals are not the abundance of diagnostic mysteries...

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...

The Devil You Know: A Day In The Doctor’s Office

An excerpt from Dr. Fizzy’s new book: The Devil You Know, available now! “Jason Burnham?” I call out. A man in his late twenties rises reluctantly to his feet. Damn, he’s handsome—he’s got a soldier’s solid build with firm muscles lining his arms and visible under his T-shirt. I can tell by the look on Mr. Burnham’s face that he isn’t terribly thrilled that I’m the one who’s going to be examining his testicles. I’m sure he’d prefer a male doctor. Still, I think it’s melodramatic the way he acts like a man being led to the electric chair as I take him to the newly cleaned examining room. “Mr. Burnham,” I say to him. “My name is Dr. McGill. Would you please change into a gown for me?” Jason Burnham nods miserably. Examining testicles is not my forte. I’ve gotten better at it since my patient population has become primarily male, but I’m nowhere near as good at that as I am at, say, finding the cervical os. Testicles just seem so… delicate. Obviously. But I’m getting better. As far as I can tell, the key to doing a good testicular exam is not accidentally saying something dirty during the exam, which is extra challenging when your patient is so damn attractive. I’m going to work on that today. I return to Mr. Burnham, who is now sitting miserably...

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