Alexander Yang (1 Posts)
Wayne State University
Alexander Yang is a 6th year MD/PhD student at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI class of 2022. He graduated from the University of Michigan with Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience. In my free time he likes to cook, exercise, and play videogames. He is active on Twitter @MDPhDinProgress. After graduating medical school, he would like to pursue a career as a physician-scientist in hepatology.
After four years of adapting my schedule based on the results of my experiments, I once again look forward to having a guided regiment based on monthly shelf exams and the ever looming threat of standardized tests.
The definition of “getting old” has changed dramatically in recent years. Due to the remarkable advances in medical technologies and interventions, the average life expectancy in the United States has been rising exponentially over the past 50 years. But while our bodies are lasting longer, our brains are still susceptible to the cognitive decline associated with aging.
A little while ago I had the privilege of sitting around a table with several other physicians and researchers to discuss a potential collaboration involving my thesis project. About two hours into the meeting, I realized that I was the only person in this room without at least one doctoral degree. Yet these incredible scientists with decades of experience had been treating me — a second-year grad student — as an equal.
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.
With each new year, we are pressured to construct a “new self” guided by resolutions. We design a “new year, new me,” fueling the marketing of self-improvement products around December and January. The explosion of fitness equipment in stores during this time attests to the pervasiveness of an annual self-improvement routine in our culture. Importantly, this phenomenon of constructing resolutions to improve body image represents some of the elements of our potentially misaligned “beauty culture,” where popular culture could be involved in driving individuals to extreme measures to achieve weight loss.
As a newly-minted third-year medical student, I’m now reaching the point where I finally have to decide what I want to be “when I grow up.” (I use that term very loosely since I’m in my late 20s, have spent 23 years of my life in school, and already have one doctorate degree). Which areas of medicine should I pursue? Do I want my future practice to be clinically-oriented, research-oriented, academically-oriented or all of the above?
Anyone who has come face to face with a bear can attest to the fact that our bodies can respond physiologically to emotional stimuli in the environment. A racing heart rate, rapid breathing and pounding cardiac output are all physiological responses that may take place during such an encounter. But we do not necessarily need to run into a bear to dramatically affect our cardiovascular (CV) health.
While dancing on the line between church and state, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s decision to not fund contraceptives for its employees drew considerable media attention and controversy. Since the use of contraceptives opposes the religious beliefs of the company leaders, Hobby Lobby employees seeking access to contraceptives must pay for them out of pocket. To better understand the experience of faith that ultimately guided the Hobby Lobby company leaders and in order to “bridge the gap” between science and medicine on the topic of religion, it is important to explore the mechanisms by which widely used religious routines affect our brains.
Now that I have finished my PhD and moved on to the rest of my medical training, the last few months have been an interesting change of pace. Since I took first-year medical school classes piecemeal while spending the majority of my time working on my doctoral research, being a full-time medical student now is a new experience (and a culture shock in some ways) for me! I’ve had to reevaluate the utility of my …
When a Guinean woman was riding the bus in Italy, she was verbally harassed by a young Italian girl who was also a passenger on the bus. The girl was screaming and accusing the Guinean woman of having the Ebola virus. Then, the young girl’s relatives proceeded to assault and beat the woman. Although the victim was taken to the hospital, she sustained injuries from the attack. Race alone, rather than symptom presentation or travel …
During the respiration unit of my undergraduate anatomy class, one of my students asked about differences in lung volume, and the effects of “being a runner” versus someone who does not exercise as regularly. While it is widely accepted that regular exercise can improve inspiratory capacity, the diverse impact of exercise on hormone levels and neurogenesis is not discussed as frequently. Exercise science is currently being heavily researched, and an understanding of recent findings can …
As an MD/PhD student, I’ve always understood that the training process would be neither easy nor brief. After five years as a biochemistry graduate student, I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation and earned a PhD in July. In August, I’ll be a full-time medical student, with three more years of medical school to go. As I’ve wrapped up the graduate school era of my life, I’ve thought a fair deal about what I’ll miss, what I won’t …
Emilia Calvaresi (6 Posts)
University of Illinois College of Medicine
Emilia Calvaresi grew up in Chicago, IL, and in 2009 completed a BS in biochemistry and cell biology and a BA in English from Rice University in Houston, TX. Then, deciding to delay the onset of entering the "real world" indefinitely, she chose to pursue the MD/PhD career track, matriculating to the UIUC Medical Scholars Program (MSP) in 2009. She is currently pursuing both an MD and a PhD in biochemistry.
MD/PhD: Becoming a Doctor-Doctor
This column explores the MD/PhD career track from a current trainee’s perspective, including the benefits and challenges of pursuing two doctoral degrees simultaneously, time management and life balance, and post-graduation training and career opportunities.