It Might Be Worth Shrinking Your Coffee Habit

There’s no denying the fact that caffeine is an addictive drug. Maybe you’ve experienced that morning coffee craving right when your feet hit the ground, before your cortisol levels spike to give your morning that much-needed jumpstart. Caffeine, in most cases coffee, is the substance that fuels the go, go, go lifestyle and sleep-deprived culture in America. College and graduate students especially exploit the quick boost of energy provided by that cup of Joe or two or three—especially if an all-nighter is in the agenda. In fact, caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some form of caffeine is consumed by approximately 80 percent of American adults every day. There are a plethora of benefits that caffeine bestows; however, as with almost everything, moderation is crucial. Throughout my undergraduate premedical career, I noticed instances where I allowed myself to overindulge in coffee to keep up with the incessant workload. I know I’m not alone. Double and sometimes even triple exam weeks called for all day and occasionally all night (I only pulled one all-nighter which is an understated shock to most) cram sessions. I typically consumed 4-5 cups of coffee a day, trying to avoid that dreaded caffeine crash until I reached a comfortable stopping place in my studies. Yes, the stimulating effects of caffeine did increase...

Divine Comedy On The Road: Dante’s 9 Circles of Hell, Commuters Edition

For commuters, medical students, or both: I like having real talks with people, heart to hearts; so let’s go heart to heart on the fact that commuting is hell. According to one of my favorite writers Dante Alighieri, there are nine circles of hell, a person is placed in one of them based upon their sins.  Have you sinned on your commute? Let’s find out. Limbo You and all the other zombies on that train, you know them.  Or maybe when your in your car pumping out casual jazz music to relax before a long day of surgeries and you look over and see all the other cars stuck in traffic with you, doing the same exact thing. Limbo. Stuck in endless casual peril.  Nothing bad is happening, but there sure is nothing good going on. Let’s be real there’s only so much smooth jazz you can listen to. Lust Now while defined differently then Dante had intended it to be, commuter lust does exist.  Jazz pumping in your ear, you can almost hear the sound of all the babies crying in your pediatric office later that day. Glancing out the window you see an open lane that leads right to the exit off the highway and you could be home free within 30 minutes.  Take that route, and you’ll end up in the second circle of commuter hell. Gluttony...

University of Virginia Research Reveals What Determines Autism Risk

A mother’s microbiome, the collection of microscopic organisms that live inside us, determines the risk of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in her offspring, new research from the UVA School of Medicine shows. The microbiome can be manipulated by changing what we eat, by consuming beneficial bacteria known as probiotics or even by transplanting fecal material from one person to another. This suggests simple ways we might prevent the development of autism. The UVA researchers prevented the development of autism-like disorders in mice by blocking an inflammatory molecule produced by the immune system – a molecule already implicated in multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The discovery could also offer a way to detect autism early in pregnancy. CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., July 18, 2018 – The risk of developing autism-spectrum disorders is determined by the mother’s microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that naturally live inside us – during pregnancy, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests. The work raises the possibility that preventing forms of autism could be as simple as an expectant mom modifying her diet or taking custom probiotics. Further, the UVA scientists were able to use their discovery to prevent the development of autism-like neurodevelopmental disorders in lab mice. They found they could halt the development of such disorders by blocking a particular inflammatory molecule produced by the immune system. Targeting this molecule, interleukin-17a, offers another potential avenue...

The Best Cover Letter Template For Doctors

Doctors are highly educated and skilled professionals, but they still need to write a cover letter to get hired. Cover letters are a great way of getting the attention of a hiring manager and expanding on things you were only able to touch on in your resume. A good cover letter should convince the reader that you know exactly what they’re looking for and can provide it, and a sample cover letter template can get you there. The first thing to remember when you’re writing your cover letter is that you are not rehashing your resume. Use your letter to expand on details you weren’t able to fit in your resume. Start with a summary that is basically a showcase of your most impressive abilities and qualifications. When you talk about the responsibilities you had at a previous facility, use action verbs rather than writing “responsible for,” or “duties included.” Get specific and provide examples, and if possible provide hard numbers. Give them some stats to give your potential employer a clear idea of how effective you are. “You should customize each cover letter to the position you’re applying for. Start off with a template if you like, but ensure you modify it and tailor it to the medical facility you’re applying to,” recommends Michael Acuna, cover letter editor at Ukwritings. Canned cover letters get thrown in the trash....

Is Air Conditioning a Problem in the Workplace?

Almost half of people have experienced tension at work because of temperature Temperature is a big issue in the workplace. Half of those asked said that temperature affects their ability to work, with almost half experiencing tension at work because of temperature. Whether to keep the air conditioning on or off is a hot topic. This amount of workplace bickering sounds pretty dramatic and a study found that 2% of office hours in the UK are lost to temperature arguments. Being warm helps boost creativity A study at the Technical University of Denmark found that ‘creative thinking was […] significantly and negatively affected by noise, anxiety and hunger, and to be significantly and positively affected by moderately raised temperature in the absence of noise.’ A study at Cornell University also found that when temperatures rose from 68°F (20°C) to 77°F (25°C), typing errors fell by 44% and typing output rose by 150%. Almost half of men will change the temperature at work, with only a third of women doing the same Despite more women reporting they are negatively affected by being too hot or cold, it is men who are more likely to adjust the temperature at work without telling their colleagues. A quarter of women have had to take time off work because of the temperature Women are more likely to be affected by workplace temperature, with almost three quarters reporting their productivity is negatively...

5 Best Ways to Spend your Lunch Break

You’ve only got an hour; do you make the most of it, or are you a lazy breaker? Find out as we discuss  the 5 best ways to spend your lunch break. 1.The Cultural Experience Enrichment. This one is more determined based upon where you work, but a quick cultural break is both fun and informative.  One of my favorite spots to visit was the Carnegie Art Museum which was two blocks down from my office. Nothing like a sandwich and a little Dali to go with it.  I felt myself being more relaxed but also enjoyed learning about the art. Now in NYC I enjoy walking through the parks and stopping to listen to music along the way or any pop up galleries.  The point is, enrich yourself during your lunch break. Simple searches online can point you towards a good cultural connection in your area. Who knows you may even make some friends with the same interests in the meantime. I guarantee you’ll find yourself not only being re energized but also have a sense of accomplishment after the lunch break which can be a great transition into the afternoon.     2. The Heavy Workout GRIND.  Nothing like a strong workout to get the middle of the day going again.  I would especially recommend doing this on a slow day. It’s excellent stress relief and personal gain....

Is the Answer to Cancer an Immune Defense Enhancer?

Traditional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy are effective in obliterating tumor cells; however, their destruction is not selective. The death of normal, healthy tissue results in the adverse side effects we’re familiar with such as vomiting, hair loss, infection, and anemia. Radiation, on the other hand, is more localized but nearby normal cells are commonly affected. What if we could exclusively target cancerous cells, leaving the healthy surrounding tissue intact? Immunotherapy is a promising technique that is being analyzed both in laboratory and clinical settings to do just that. Particularly, researchers have been experimenting with cancer vaccines containing specific oncogenic antigens to train the immune system to attack its own tumor. Immune system evasion is one of the many hallmarks of cancer; therefore, activating the host’s effector cells through antigen exposure will result in enhanced tumor recognition and destruction. Similar to vaccines for the chicken pox or the flu, cancer vaccines boost the body’s natural defense mechanisms. However, instead of acting as a preventative measure, immunotherapy will treat the already acquired cancer at various stages. Breast cancer in particular has proven to be an effective target for vaccine therapy given the clear evidence of the immune system in breast cancer pathogenesis. There are several known self- and tumor-specific antigens associated with breast cancer including HER2, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and mucin-1 (MUC-1) that have been used to construct therapeutic vaccines....