studybreak

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...

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...

Managing Stress In The Fast-Paced Medical Field

The other day I cried in front of my attending in the little office we share at an adult outpatient practice. We had only worked together once so were still somewhat uncomfortable around each other – still learning about each other and feeling out our individual expectations. I started crying because I was a few minutes late which normally wouldn’t have stressed me out enough to begin weeping but I had been dealing with some pretty heavy personal stuff that had completely sapped all of my emotional energy. When I arrived at the office, worn out after staying up all night trying to deal with what was going on, I couldn’t handle the crushing guilt I felt over my tardiness. Managing stress, especially in health and medicine, is tough. It’s important to be honest here so I will also say I was considerably upset about my attending seeing me this way – emotional, not in control, allowing my personal life to affect my work. I apologized over and over as I blotted my tears with the Kleenex he held out to me with a sympathetic look on his face. “I’m not usually like this” I remember saying at least three times. He commiserated. He understood what I was going through. He normalized it for me and told me everything would be ok. He suggested I take the rest of...

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...

QUIZ: Brush Up Your Skills and Knowledge on First Aid!

Test your knowledge on how well you know first aid! You could save a life! First aid is one of the most important skills you can have. Just by performing some basic procedures or following best advice, you can save someone’s life. You may have learned some first aid at school, but is your knowledge up to date? Would you know what to do in an emergency? Yes, it can be very scary when a medical emergency happens in front of you, but if you know how to handle the situation and keep a person alive and calm until an ambulance arrives, then you could save a life or prevent more serious injuries from occurring. So many deaths and injuries can be prevented, so isn’t it worth brushing up those skills? Source:...

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?  ...

QUIZ: Medical Practices of the Past

How well do you know history’s important medical practices? Test your knowledge of how medical practices have evolved over time! Medical practices we use now have been reached by a wealth of knowledge gained over many years, tests and experiments and the study of data. Medicine in the 21st Century is based on scientific knowledge. So, when you realize what practices were used as little as 50 or 60 years ago, it seems amazing that we’ve come so far ever since! It also makes you thank God you weren’t alive in those times, for the treatment may have been worse than the illness. Try our quiz and see if you can guess which practices are fact and which are fiction. Source:...