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Tag Archives: pre-med

While I attended the Summer Medical & Dental Education Program at UVA I wanted to do something to give the program more publicity. It is an excellent program for anyone hoping to enter med or dental school, but very few people know about it. Many of the applicants, including myself, only found out about it by searching the net. The program has more than high enough quality to be recommended by advisors and publicized through schools. I tried to get the local news channel to do a short piece about the program, but that fell through. I should have also tried the newspaper, but I didn’t get around to it. However, I recently realized that a blog entry might possibly reach as many people as any other method I had considered:

There is a committment to the medical field and a service to the health of people, in the present and in the future that constitutes duty beyond expectation. The Directors of the Summer Medical & Dental Education Program (SMDEP) at the University of Virginia have devoted many years, in some cases 2 decades, to the education of future doctors.  The attending undergraduate students have sacrificed six-weeks of the summer to gain knowledge for the benefit of others. They come from all around the country and all over the world to join for a shared cause. Every weekday a minimum of nine hours, and often more, are devoted for learning different subjects, preparing for medical school, experiencing different career opportunities, and focusing on serving people. But the story does not end there. Even though the students originate from aound the world, they were prepared to dedicate their time and energy to Charlottesville and the surrounding community. The feat performed by the students, the directors, the speakers, and other particpants deserve recognition.

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Research is a slow moving process. Dr. Robert B. Herberman has taken the initiative to voice concerns based on early research. His actions in making a warning about the use of cell phones is plausible and respectable considering their wide use and the true nature of their uncertain effects. The Electromagnetic fields created around cell phones have recently become a big concern, especially for children who tend to use cells more and more every year. What kind of long-term effects do electromagnetic fields actually have? Are their any other items or technologies, such as laptops, that could be of concern as well? There are many questions that fit within the issue, and almost no answers. If cell phones do cause problems, the problems may not be small issues. The brain uses electrical charges on a regular basis, and electromagnetic fields could alter the function of the brain resulting in tumors. Headaches will not be the concern here (citation: AP).

I made another sonic the hedgehog health tip video. This one has more information, and I took up my effort to the next level. I continue to try to maintain some humor and some lightheartedness, but the purpose of the video is clear; to educate. I tried to keep the main body, with the explanation, clear and concise. The transcript is as follows:

“Learning to deal with stress is one the best ways to stay healthy. The inability to resolve stress can result in chronic pain or sickness. The body system that controls reactions to stress, the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis is linked to the immune system and a number of other areas that can affect day-to-day well being. The Hypothalamus is located just above the brain stem…The Pituitary Gland is under the Hypothalamus…And the Adrenal Glands are on top of the kidneys. The processes of each organ rely on the others in a cycle. If one portion of the cycle has a problem, the entire cycle may have a problem. Insomnia, Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or other health problems can be the result. Stress management tactics can help avoid such issues.

I recommend expressing healthy anger. Battling Dr. Robotnik is certainly stressful so I often taunt him to make myself feel better. Experts list other ways to deal with stress as well:

 

1) Seeking out others with Similar Issues – My buddy Knux has had a few run-ins with eggman

2) Find a Hobby – Tails likes to work on his airplane, the tornado

3) Use a Mantra – I am the fastest thing alive…I am the fastest thing alive

4) Take a deep breath and count to ten – This works at the worst of times

5) Read a Book – I think a comic would do

6) Space out or use your imagination – (Hum)

7) Make Plans – One day I will defeat Eggman for good

 

Stress doesn’t have to last, Let it stay in the past.”

 

 

 

July 23 and 24 CNN will be showing its special about “black america.” I am tempted to watch, and may very well do so, but I get the feeling I would be disappointed by the way went about displaying a group of people. The main question I have is if they are going to focus on the negative or the positive. For example, it is true that young black men are often undevoted to their families, but when I volunteered in a hospital pediatric emergency room, I remember seeing numerous black fathers who were completely dedicated to their children. Another concern I have about the show is that it appears to lump all black people together. Amongst the black community there is immense diversity and individualism as amongst any culture. The timing of the show is very good with the recent uprising of racism, but will the show be powerful enough to make people think? Will the show be from a viewpoint that does not destroy established community, but brings multiple communities of people together? Maybe my expectations are too large or maybe I have a misconception of what the show is actually about, but with the publicity they are giving the special…I hope that it is truly deserving of the spotlight.

I recently put a youtube video up based on the short educational segments from the adventures of sonic the hedgehog. I wanted to do some type of informative series, but not boring or completely serious. I decided that I would do a Sonic Sez (says) series on health tips. Often, community service is viewed as something where you go out to a location and commit an onsite effort. However, if people watch the health tips videos, and learn from them, it too can be a form of community service, but at the same time it has the possibility of a far greater outreach. I plan to put forth hours of effort to these videos. The first one, about exercise, is a test, not the most informative and not the most work behind it, but I can see the concept might work. I plan on having some more significant tips in the future. Although I am using a video game character to output my message I certainly don’t think of this as a game. I welcome any comments and/or ideas, and please watch the videos too, the words of sonic the hedgehog have a way of lingering in the mind.  I have to fine tune the idea, but this seems to be an excellent way to reach out to other people and improve my own knowledge at the same time.

An especially special friend of mine spoke with me about the uselessness of primary care physicians. And almost had me, but something came to mind when I read an article in the July 2, 2008 edition of the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) by Dr. Michael Stillman. My friend presented me with the idea that general care physicians are not always very knowledgable about ailments or certain health problems that specialists would know. I had a personal experience that comes under this category. However, when the patient of a primary care physician is ill or injured, the primary care physician will know the patient well. One of the most important aspects of health care that is commonly overlooked is knowing the patient. Often such luxury is not possible with the busy schedule of doctors, or the lack of need to see certain doctors. Nonetheless, it can influence care dramatically. Dr. Stillman gave an example in his article where the medications of a patient had been changed to a more expensive regimen without his knowledge. The prescribing doctor would not have know that the patient could never afford those medications, but Dr. Stillman knew and prescribed the original, less-costly, and equally effective regimen.  A number of other issues come up as well when identifying the importance of primary care physicians. When making an important medical decision, trust between a patient and the doctor becomes essential. Patients, even if are under the care of a specialist may want to consult a phyiscian with whom they are familiar before making an important decision. Primary Care doctors may not necessarily save lifes, but they can certian help people maintain the highest quality of life possible. So with the greatest level of respect possible, I disagree with my friend [I will convince her I am right, and if she happens to read this before I try the art of persuasion…] (citation: JAMA July 2, 2008 p.21-22).

This summer I attended the Summer Medical & Dental Education Program at the University of Virginia. As an aspiring doctor, the six weeks were more than worth the time and effort. During the program numerous doctors came to speak to our group of about seventy students on varying topics; everything from plastic surgery, urology, and optimology, to cardiology, radiology, and endocrinology. One of the lecturers, Dr. Cato Laurencin has been acknowledged as one of the top researchers in the world. We were also allowed to enter the anatomy lab where we saw a cadaver and an unfortunate collection of fetuses. In the autopsy area, we handled organs that were normal and damaged, included a human brain, heart, and lung. In smaller groups we toured different areas of the hospital, including the futuristic radiology area. Also, we had a chance to interview people at an elderly care center near Charlottesville. The people running the program were by far some of the most dedicated, caring indivivuals I had ever meet, and the culturally diverse participants were kind and talented. The most important part of the program, even more so than any of the great things I learned, is the friends that I made.