Friday, April 26, 2013

Paying it forward as M1's

The current 2nd years have been such an amazing help to all of us 1st years.  We walked into medical school completely unaware of what school had in store for us.  Our eyes were huge when we learned what our new curriculum would entail and even larger when we took our first Anatomy exams  (both written and the practical).  Nevertheless, the 2nd years seemed so confident and collected.  It was like watching an older sibling do something that amazed you.  With that they always offered helping hands and listening ears.  Even to this day they've been kind despite the fact that they are taking Respiratory (I'm so not looking forward to that).

So, now our turn is coming up.  In less than 2 weeks we will be 2nd yr medical students.  It's hard for me to believe that it has almost been a year since we began this journey.  On the other hand, it's been one heck of a year LOL.  I wonder will the new 1st years look at us how we looked at the 2015'ers.

Some of my classmates and I will be working as Blue Coats this summer for Anatomy lab.  That should be a lot of fun.  While being in lab was a very new experience for me I really enjoyed myself.  You get to learn so much and see all the different structures in the human body.  Furthermore, you gain a great appreciation for those that valued the effects of medicine so much that they donated themselves to science for educational benefits for students like myself.  Also, many of us have signed up to serve as Peer Mentors too.  I guess we will be getting to know the incoming students very well.  I'm really looking forward to meeting each of them.

That first summer semester will be crazy, yet fun.  You'll meet some amazing people and some not so amazing people (lol let's keep it real here folks).  Then there's getting to know your professors and admiring them for achieving some great accomplishments.  More than likely you'll want it to end because you're just not used to the intensity.  But adjustments will be made accordingly, and that's why we will be there to assist you.

I can't wait for the summer!    

Friday, April 5, 2013

Diabetes...Things Just Got Real

Diabetes is a disease that I believe a lot of people underestimate.  I believe this is because we often see people with the disease walking around appearing to be healthy on the exterior, meaning that we can't tell that someone has diabetes by simply looking at them.  However, contrary to this misconception, Diabetes can lead to extreme and debilitating outcomes.  For example, untreated diabetes can lead to hypertension, renal failure, neuropathy.   

Now, there are multiple types of Diabetes and each has its own effects.  For example, there's a Diabetes Incepitus and Diabetes Mellitus (Types I and II).  Type I Diabetes is sometimes classified as juvenile onset.  It is an auto-immune disease of which the Beta Cells in the pancreas are destroyed.  This just means that the body has decided to look at the pancreas as a foreign tissue and is trying to "protect" you from the immune system does its job and kills those cells.  This results in the body's inability to produce Insulin, a molecule that's synthesized by the Beta Cells to decrease blood glucose levels.  Without functional Beta Cells glucose will remain at increased levels in the blood, thus, contributing to increased blood pressure.

Type II Diabetes involves a different mechanism of action as the Insulin receptors that are on other cells (i.e. muscle cells and fat cells) are no longer responsive to the Insulin that was produced or more Insulin is required to have a desired effect.  This is a process known as desensitization.  Consequently,  these cells don't take up the glucose, thereby, raising blood pressure.  Now let me backtrack a little bit to say that this form of diabetes was formerly called adult onset diabetes.  However, this classification isn't used anymore as people are being diagnosed at a younger and younger age.  Not to sound like I'm preaching but this is a problem.  Could you imagine being a young adult needing treatment for a disease that is, for the most part, preventable?   

My point here is that Diabetes needs to be taken more seriously.  This will probably require a more honest and raw education process.  I don't think it it widely discussed outside of the warning that you shouldn't eat too much sugar or you may develop Diabetes.  We have to do something more than this because there are many Americans with a form of diabetes (Type II) that can be prevented.  Two ways that we can prevent Diabetes is by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis.

This post won't be too long because this was something that was just on my mind.  So I decided to share my thoughts.

What are some of the ways that you can educate people about the effects of Diabetes?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Female Repro On Deck

We are making our way through these classes quicker than the speed of light.  It's hard to believe that my fellow classmates and I are about to be....2ND YEARS!!!!! After we complete this semester we will be 2nd year medical students.  It seems like just yesterday I was trying to finish up my MPH and awaiting the long couple of weeks to get my white coat.  Oh our faces when the physician standing on the stage finally threw that beautiful white piece of cloth on our backs.  I'm sure you'll never see a happier face, unless your looking at a mom and dad see their brand new baby.  That's how important that moment was for many of us.

Fast forward 10 months, 15+ classes, and several long hours of studying later and I'm taking Female Reproduction System.  This is a class that I've long awaited.  Most people that know me know that I've been interested in Women's Health and Reproduction since undergrad.  I enjoyed the subject, and it's complexity, so much that Ob-Gyn is my #1 the moment.  I say at the moment because I want to remain somewhat open until we finish rotations.

Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to learning more about the anatomy of a woman, how the reproductive system is regulated by our nervous system,  hormones, and environmental factors, and ultimately how this all relates to the development of a fetus.  Oh how amazing the human body is.  We'll  have to see if my passion for Female Repro will withstand these next fee weeks.