Columns

Ajay Koti Ajay Koti (14 Posts)

Columnist and in-Training Staff Member

Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida


Ajay is a Class of 2017 medical student in the SELECT program at the University of South Florida. He is passionate about delivering primary care to underserved populations—specifically, low-income and homeless patients in urban centers. Ajay is particularly interested in the potential of patient-centered medical homes for mental health and chronic disease management.

M.D. or Bust

Numerous studies have documented that medical students lose empathy during clinical years, becoming jaded and pessimistic. This has been linked not only to diminished enjoyment of our work, but also to worse patient outcomes. My goal is to sustain the humanistic values that drive so many of us to medicine, so that, instead of being quelled by cynicism, our idealism can be refined by wisdom.




Passion For The Process

Aside from the obvious anatomical and physiological implications that dictate sports, I am convinced that there are numerous principles that run parallel between medicine and sports. The aim of The Sport of Medicine is two-fold: to show that there is power in understanding the journey of others to help mold our own, and why I believe that medicine is a sport in its own, unique way.

Remembering Oliver Sacks: Review of “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat”

Last year, I was struck by the news that Dr. Oliver Sacks had died — I am not sure when I first heard about him and his writings, but I was familiar enough to feel a tinge of sadness at his passing. I’d read a short story or essay here and there, but I realized that I had not read any of his full-length books, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat had been sitting on my bookshelf for quite some time. The timing to begin reading it, it turns out, could not have been better: I started it during the last week of my Medical Neuroscience course, and continued it through my next course, The Mind.

The Patient | Physician Perspective: An Introduction

In this column, I hope to explore various qualities of a physician that we learn through medical school experiences — whether it be through class, shadowing, research, or even interacting with peers — but also to introduce a patient’s perspective in each case. Midway through my junior year of college, I was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, a rare endocrine disorder that affected every aspect of my life. Throughout the next year and a half, I lived as a patient of my disease, while simultaneously trying to hold onto my plans and aspirations of becoming a physician.

Adventure #3: Punching and Kicking is Good for the Mind

A very important topic is that of mental health in medical practitioners, notably medical students. According to a study in the Student British Medical Journal, 30% of medical students report having a mental health condition — with a majority of 80% stating the level of available support was poor or only moderately adequate. This column was born from these alarming statistics and aims to stimulate conversation on mental health in medical students, from providing suggestions on how to maintain one’s mental health to discussing the taboo and stigma surrounding conversations on mental health in practitioners and students, and how to eliminate it.

Too Much Exercise? A Closer Look At Modern Fitness Trends

Social media pages with titles like “Motivation For Fitness” and “Gym Looks” are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s hard not to notice the explosion of fitness popularity. But even as the diet industry dwindles and our newfound fascination with health hits its stride, it is important to consider the ramifications of these cultural changes. Has this new trend led to the rise of what has been called “excessive exercise” and how much exercise is too much? Here, we examine how the current rise in fitness culture may be affecting our bodies.

Adventure #2: Pottery Painting (No Art Skills Required!)

A very important topic is that of mental health in medical practitioners, notably medical students. According to a study in the Student British Medical Journal, 30% of medical students report having a mental health condition — with a majority of 80% stating the level of available support was poor or only moderately adequate. This column was born from these alarming statistics and aims to stimulate conversation on mental health in medical students, from providing suggestions on how to maintain one’s mental health to discussing the taboo and stigma surrounding conversations on mental health in practitioners and students, and how to eliminate it.

Training for Activism, Action and the Future of Medicine

During our many years of medical training, we study complex physiological processes running the gamut from acute sepsis to the equally devastating progression of chronic diseases. We spend countless hours in lectures and on the wards, attempting to gain exposure to proper medical management of bread-and-butter medical problems as well as more obscure diseases which may only affect a handful of patients annually. However, most medical schools neglect to teach one crucial area of expertise — training in advocacy skills to address social determinants of health.

Death

I recently finished reading Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains, which highlights one man’s journey from the genocide in Burundi and Rwanda to becoming a refugee in New York City. Some chapters are quite graphic in their descriptions of the slaughtering of Hutus and Tutsis — the pain, suffering and atrocities he witnessed. These deaths seemed nothing like being on a morphine drip in an ICU bed or falling into a final deep sleep as your family surrounds you with tears and prayers. Instead they seemed gruesome and inhumane.

Austin Wesevich Austin Wesevich (5 Posts)

Columnist

Washington University in St. Louis


Austin is an MD/MPH candidate at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) who is taking a year off of medical school to complete a Doris Duke research fellowship in Malawi through UNC - Chapel Hill. After spending the last eight years in St. Louis as a WashU undergrad (chemistry, music) and graduate student, Austin is loving the opportunity to experience a new culture and explore his interests in global health. His column seeks to illustrate a raw, human, vulnerable lens on the joys and struggles of working abroad.

Lessons in Lilongwe

Global health work can seem glamorous, exotic, and noble. Lessons in Lilongwe presents introspection and critical observations to illustrate what global health research and living in Africa are really like. Come join Austin on his year off of medical school for a research fellowship in Lilongwe, Malawi.