On the first day of my summer fellowship, I almost stepped on a used needle. The road was littered with needles and syringes, a byproduct of widespread intravenous drug usage and a physical embodiment of a much larger problem. The United States is in the midst of an epidemic that takes over 115 lives per day.
There are patients who leave lasting impressions on us in one way or another throughout our training. I had never expected an angry, alcoholic patient who left against medical advice to be one of those patients for me.
Asian-Americans are often seen as model minorities. We are expected to excel in all areas regardless of our backgrounds creating a high-stress environment with a relative lack of support.
And so, I reincarnate the Biblical jeremiad for our purposes and admonishment: Beware of practitioners of pseudo-medicine. They come to you in physicians’ white coats but in actuality are mere salespeople.
I am writing to share my concern regarding a series of unusual and troubling cases affecting medical professionals across the country. It manifests as a selective form of hemineglect in otherwise neurologically intact individuals.
My mind kept returning to the patient I had encountered earlier that day. I experienced this subtle feeling that something important had happened. I became curious about the man and his story, but above all, I wondered what the most important part of that appointment had been.
The practice of humanism must be at the core of medicine, and this different model, entitled the biopsychosocial (BPS) model, permits and exemplifies this practice.
Ayahuasca and DMT may help us find the uncover cures to medical issues. Because DMT is produced by the human brain and released during the sleep cycle, exogenous administration of ayahuasca could lead to new approaches to studying normal and abnormal brain functions.
During and after this spooky holiday, let us, as current and future health care providers, make a joint effort to prevent our youth from becoming nicotine-addicted zombies by warning them of the tobacco industry’s marketing tricks and encouraging them to stay in e-cigarette-free environments.
We, as future health care providers, must recognize that patients affected by mental illnesses will need our support and advocacy. We must also understand that some patients might not have the time or financial stability to seek treatment or therapy. Regardless, we should explore other long-term treatment options and strive to make mental health care easily accessible nationally.
We as medical students and doctors see suffering, moaning and pain on a daily basis. We need to recall that life contains more than joy and the vague term of happiness. Unpleasant emotions are natural parts of life. In order to live a good life, we need not enjoy every moment.
Thomas Jefferson has said his piece and this time I won’t attempt to say anything back. This time I won’t stay silent either. This time, I’ll write.