As future doctors, we must advocate for a more integrated nutrition and lifestyle medicine education, one that is based not just in healthy eating, but also in the reversal of this global chronic disease epidemic. Let healthy food be thy guide to a happy body and soul.
When Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach, was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse, few could foresee that he was about to hurt thousands of students, future physicians and aspiring scientists across the nation.
Her agitation was clearly apparent, plastered to her face like the smile she had worn moments ago. The phone was still clenched tightly in her hand as she paced the narrow hallway, muttering under her breath how travesties like this would not occur back in her native Ghana.
The elegant sport of tennis has evolved over numerous decades, from using wooden rackets to the graphite rackets of today. The historic grass-court stages of Wimbledon have also undergone changes as champions were crowned. Likewise, medical innovations have advanced greatly.
My daughter is a doctor. / If your parents were not eaten away by / failed ambitions and childhood dreams, / you would not be a doctor today.
When pre-med and medical students think about where to attend school or where to apply for residency opportunities, they also undoubtedly consider the hard work, dedication and sacrifices required along the way. But how often are they thinking about location in this process?
The future of American health care remains uncertain. It was only a few weeks ago that the Affordable Care Act narrowly evaded the congressional guillotine a mere seven years after its installation.
In medicine, there is a saying that the training is onerous but the rewards are many. More often than not, these rewards come coated in a myriad of shapes, including lucrative incentives, personal gratification, warm contentment and sated joy. For some physicians, a last wound-closure of the day, a smile on their patients’ faces, or warm, heartfelt regards from the people they care for carry immense significance. Yet, for many others, lucrative incentives seal their fate, becoming a bane to the integrity of the medical profession as a whole.
In December of 2014, one week after the non-indictment of Michael Brown, in-Training published an article entitled “A Lack of Care: Why Medical Students Should Focus on Ferguson.” In it, Jennifer Tsai argued that the systemic racism rampant in our law enforcement and criminal justice systems also permeates our health care system, affecting both access to care for black patients and the quality of care black patients receive. Lamenting that the medical community was largely absent from the Ferguson controversy, she cited startling statistics of disparities in health and health care as part of her call to action. In light of the events last week in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, it’s time to revisit this message.
A very simple but interesting phenomenon in health care is the concept of “white coat hypertension.” Initially, if you take a patient’s blood pressure, it may be abnormally high. This is simply because they’re nervous about the situation. If you just wait a few minutes and then take the patient’s blood pressure again, it has often decreased a fair amount. It’s a simple enough concept — the patient is worried that something is wrong and this makes their blood pressure increase. However, this leads me to the question: why do we make our patients so easily nervous? That is not our place in the health care equation.
There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness these days — its importance, its effectiveness, the benefits of meditation and even the structural changes in the brain that result from it. (Do you want a less reactive amygdala and increased neuronal density in the hippocampus? Meditate!) It’s one thing to read about the benefits of doing something, but as many know, it’s another thing to actually apply it and understand it. So how can medical students use stress reduction strategies “in the context of the high-stakes, high-stress and time-limited environment of medical school.”
I’m an ePatient blogger, academic, educator and breast cancer survivor. I write about my patient experience in hopes that medical professionals may achieve a better understanding of the patient’s perspective of the medical system. Like any profession, physicians are the experts of their field, but no doctor is the expert of all human pathophysiology. Because of this, the emerging interdisciplinary team of specialists has become a pragmatic step.