Health and Medicine

Recent Alumni Magazine Write-up

The following is a write-up about me that was featured in the Shorter University Magazine, Summer 2014 Edition (on Page 22):

Shorter University Summer 2014 Magazine (Page 22)

Letter to the Editor in TNP

The following is a letter to the Editor published in the recent 20th anniversary edition of The New Physician, a national peer-reviewed magazine by AMSA:

The Necessity of Culturally Competent Physicians

More cultural competency is needed amongst our physicians. As a first-year African-American medical student with limited knowledge, I still observe this deficit in our medical education. True, we are taught that certain predispositions exist within certain population groups; however, we are not educated about such causes in a way that produces true empathy and understanding.

Certainly, without training, we cannot truthfully expect a Caucasian male from a high socioeconomic background, hypothetically speaking. to identify with a Latin-American female who lives on government assistance or an Arabian woman who insists on her husband being her mouthpiece. Furthermore, some ethnic patients may believe that cancer can be contracted from contact with contaminated blood, among other misconceptions.[1] Many physicians are unfamiliar with this educational gap that exists between different cultures.[2],[3]

How can we bridge this disparity? We must teach physicians that it is their personal duty to take initiative and incorporate cultural competency into their practice.[4] African-American male physicians comprise less than three percent of the workforce.[5] Statistically, a young black male with personal issues will most likely see a Caucasian male physician. This young man may give vague answers to the physician to save embarrassment, but that will cost the culturally incompetent physician unnecessary time investigating the non-specific clues he was given. If, however, the physician is culturally competent, then rapport may be established, and the young man may give honest and direct answers. Cultural competency affords better medical practice.

 

Medical Students Study Page

The following are Fantastic Osteo-sites =)

 

Learn the Brachial Plexus in Five Minutes or Less – Thanks AMA!

brachial

Best way to remember arm muscle innervations…hands down!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDXUwErttJA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qomVodg-5SM

Best histology sites I have found – bar none!

Blue Histo

http://www.lab.anhb.uwa.edu.au/mb140/

Histo World

http://www.histology-world.com/testbank/testbank.htm

 

ANATOMY – You’ll love me for giving you these sites for anatomy. I like my  sugar with coffee and cream…just like the Beastie Boys do #intergalactica =)

All You Need to Know Regarding Insertion/Attachment Points:

http://www.meddean.luc.edu/lumen/meded/grossanatomy/dissector/mml

        University of Michigan    

        http://www.med.umich.edu/lrc/coursepages/m1/anatomy2010/html/

Quizzes

http://www.med.umich.edu/lrc/coursepages/m1/anatomy2010/html/courseinfo/mich_quiz_index.html

Anatomy Guy

http://www.anatomyguy.com/

Whole Brain Atlas

www.med.harvard.edu/AANLIB/home.html

Digital Anatomist Interactive Atlases

-          http://www9.biostr.washington.edu/da.html

Radiography Study

www.radiopaedia.org

 

Great Pathology Sites

The pathology guy                                                                                          

http://www.pathguy.com/

Web Path

http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/

Top Ten Interview Questions

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW: The Most Common Interview Questions

So, you’re applying to/for _________ (insert intimidating event here). What is it for you? Medical school, a graduate program, nursing school, an undergraduate school, a competitive scholarship, or your first job? Regardless of which one of these situations applies to you, there are a few questions you should be ready to answer. Before presenting these common questions to you, I will give you a little background on why I chose to write this article.

Many of you have taken me up on my mock interviews so far. I have thoroughly enjoyed doing these with you, and given the feedback, so have you. For those of you who have not yet had a mock interview with me, I ask a series of the ten most common questions I have either asked or been asked in interviews. I was fortunate enough to have served on several different committees in my past jobs and colleges where I assisted with interviewing people for jobs, scholarships, and/or admission.

I have had several interviews that included my being “grilled” by anywhere from 3 – 13 people staring intensely at me as if they were going to press some button that would make the floor drop from under me if I answered something incorrectly. I have also had one-on-one casual interviews that were much more conversational in nature than expected. I must say, I have come to absolutely love what is called the interview experience now.

      Each one is like a patient – it presents with its own distinctive qualities, so you cannot generalize them all as the same. Yet, they do share some commonalities among them, so you can prepare for them enough to feel somewhat comfortable with them at a base level – a groundwork from which to begin working.

      Without going in too much detail about facial expressions and body language (that’s what the ebook is for!), I will say this – you should know when the interview is done whether or not you have a chance in heck of getting in/hired/making it to the next stage in the process. But, make no mistake about it – these questions I am about to present are asked often, and they will trip you up if you are not prepared for them! Furthermore, you should be aware that your answers to these questions possess the power to make or break the whole interview! Without further ado, I now present to you my top 10 list.

       – Tell me about yourself

       – Why do you want to _________ (work here/become a doctor/become a nurse/etc.)

       – What are your strengths?

       – What are your weaknesses?

       – What would you do if you caught your friend cheating on a test?

      – Why should we choose you out of all the other applications?

       – Where do you see yourself in five – ten years?

       – What do you think this job/occupation/program entails?

       – Who has been an inspiration to you and why?

      – What questions do you have for us? (variant way of asking: Do you have any questions for us?)

Please be aware that ALL of these questions come with pitfalls and ways to absolutely knock them out of the park! However, that’s for another conversation. Good luck and happy hunting!=)

For Medical Students Only: Scholarships!!!

MEDICAL SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS!!!

Here is the short list of scholarships for medical students that I use. As mentioned in the nursing students blog, email me for the longer list. Good luck! This was compiled from the same scholarship list that I use. Happy applying, and as always….Remember that our proof-reading services are also available=)

Marvin and Kathleen G Teget Leadership Scholarship (for DO students)

ACOFP Scholarships (for DO students)

Commitment to Diversity SOMA  (for DO students)

AMA Minority Scholars Award

SAAOCFP Scholarship (for DO students)

Piscano Scholars Leadership Program 

Indian Health Services Scholarships

AMA Excellence in Medicine Award

Steury Medical Missions Scholarship

Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Scholarship(for DO students)

AMA Physician of Tomorrow Scholarship

Proofreading scholarship

National Medical Fellowship General Scholarships

SOMA New Member Scholarship(for DO students)

Primary Care Leadership Program (for the economically disadvantaged)

AMA Foundation Leadership Award

ACOFP Writing Award Scholarship(for DO students)

For Nurses Only: Scholarships!!!

SCHOLARSHIPS ALERT!!!!

You asked for it, so here it is! A brief listing of nursing scholarships…the very one that my wife used during her undergraduate career. As many of you know, my wife and I would not be where we are today without having been awarded MANY MANY MANY scholarships! Jessica went through nursing school on a full-tuition scholarship and was also awarded several thousand-dollars worth of other scholarships.

The following is the “Short” list of nursing scholarships she used during her nursing school career. She is now in nurse practitioner school and uses a different list of scholarships. The “long” list of undergraduate nursing scholarships is available upon request. Please email me to inquire. Thanks!

Try luck, prayer, and a lot of ibuprofen (to help with the cramps from writing all of the required essays). That’s the formula she used to win so many. Good Luck, and keep us informed of your progress!

P.S. Don’t forget that our proof-reading services are always available as well=)

New Careers in Nursing for the economically disadvantaged 

NSNA Scholarships

AAOHN scholarships

Promise of Nursing Scholarship 

March of Dimes Scholarship

New Nurses Essay Contest 

Hurst Review Scholarship

Back to Nurisng Scholarship 

Certified background scholarship 

HRSA Nursing loan repayment program 

Nurses’ Educational Funds Scholarship

HRSA Nursing Scholarship 

Nurses Week Scholarship

Nursing Economics Scholarship

Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship

Nurse I am Scholarship  

Memory: The Shortcut to Intelligence?

How does one define that which makes one person smarter than another? That which makes one person more intelligent? For instance, some of my peers consider me a fairly smart guy; however, I am by no means “smarter” than many of my peers. Compared to some of my peers, I am just,well, mediocre…when it comes to getting the academic grades anyway. But, what about when it comes to spatial intelligence or webpage design? Well, heck, I can hang with the best of them. So, what if I combine my designing intelligence with my mediocre-grade knowledge of medicine and come up with an awesome, massive telemedicine company? Then, what if my telemedicine company, and the software I design to use with it, blows up and I become a multi-millionaire? Now, people would probably consider me smarter than all of my peers together with which I graduated.

This above scenario proves several things about the way we perceive intelligence. There are several fallacies in the above scenario that usually go unnoticed. Let’s explore these fallacies first before we begin speaking about the benefits of memory:

Fallacy #1:We mistake academic intelligence to be the only indicator of “smartness”

Academic intelligence is, in a nutshell, what we test for at school. Now, there are two types of memory like this – recall and recognition. Recall memory is the hardest of the two, for it requires the student (in keeping with the scenario in this example) to “recall” the answer from memory. Think “fill-in-the-blank” type tests for this example.  Recognition academic memory, on the other hand, would be more akin to multiple choice-type questions. In this case, one is merely selecting the right answer out of a slew of possible choices. Both of these types of academic intelligences, however, are merely tests of one’s memory!

What if you could remember EVERYTHING your teacher ever told you, and EVERYTHING you ever read from the beginning of the semester until the end? By golly, then you would be considered the “smartest” person in the class! All you would have to do is either “fill in” the correct answers, write the correct keywords, phrases and contexts in the essays, or select the correct answers. Therefore, academic intelligences of this type that we test for in school systems rely heavily and mainly on memorization skills. Therefore, if one increases his or her memory, then one increases his or her academic intelligence. Sort of… you see, there are exceptions to this. Classes like mathematics, literature interpretation, etc. test other types of academic intelligences.

Fallacy #2:We mistake success with intelligence

Often we think of successful people as being intelligent. This is a horrible correlation to make! Some people become successful by luck, some one-time “stroke” of genuity for an idea, or by marriage, inheritance, windfall, etc. None of these has to do with a single once of intelligence. To make things much worse, sometimes a person like Steve Jobs excels in life by combining talents – in his case, his artistic ability of calligraphy along with his computer knowledge (or that of Steve Woznik’s) to create an enormous idea. Was he very smart? You betcha! He networked two ideas, was a sales-pitch artist, and utilized unbelievable business skills that most of us could never dream of having. But, was he academically intelligent? Not compared to a typical MBA graduate of Harvard. Heck, Steve Jobs never finished college; therefore, we would be comparing apples to oranges. He was simply smart in the area of applied computer knowledge that he needed to know, and he was smart in other areas. Now, this is not to say that he was DEFINITELY not smart in literature or science, but it was not proven by academic tests. Therefore, we could not say at all that he was smarter academically than a Harvard MBA graduate.

Fallacy #3: We forget that multiple types of intelligence exist

Howard Gardner, prominent twentieth century developmental psychologist, came up with an original list of 8 intelligences that he later expanded to a possible nine. The nine are: 1. musical – rhythmic 2. visual – spatial 3. verbal – linguistic 4. logical – mathematical 5. bodily – kinesthetic 6. interpersonal 7. intrapersonal 8. naturalistic 9. existential/moral intelligence

A sports player would have bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, but a musician would portray musical-rhythmic intelligence. What do we get from all of this in this blog? I hope that you are now able to make the following connections:

1. Many types of intelligence exist (i.e. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory)

2. In school, we typically test for recall or recognition academic intelligence

3. Recall and recognition intelligence is merely memory retention

4. If one improves his or her memory, then one improves his or her recall and recognition tests performance(s)

5. We typically (albeit wrongly) base a person’s “smartness” or intelligence upon his/her academic test performance

6. Thus, if one improves his/her memory, one improves his/her test scores, and one thereby improves how smart he/she is perceived to be

7. So, here is the kicker…the BIG PICTURE:

Instead of working for hours on end studying by reading and re-reading the same page or listening over and over to that one lecture…simply improve your memory skills. This is the shortcut that I have found that has boosted my grades and slashed by studying time exponentially. Take some time to work on improving your memory every day and you will then study less but have better test results, and ultimately…better TEST GRADES!!! Contact me for more info. Thanks!

 

 

Choline…The Memory Supplement

Supplemental Highlight Series

Featured  Supplement: Choline

Of course, we all want improved memory. But, is there any way to access this? Can we override genetics, teratogenic effects, and perhaps many other environmental effects that have occurred to us over time? I believe we can.

As many of you know, I teach memory workshops. I believe that improving memory increases academic intelligence in immeasurable amounts (please read my memory article for more about this). The importance of memory cannot be understated in my opinion. And, today I will highlight one important supplement that has helped me, or at least I honestly believe that it has. I would never endorse or write about something that I did not believe in whole-heartedly.

Choline is needed for normal brain development (Pubmed article on this). And, in a study by University of Grenada in Spain, choline has been shown to increase long-term memory in offspring…at least in rats so far. In short, increased prenatal consumption of choline tends to assist in long-term memory retention for the adult offspring.

According to Reuters: “People who get plenty of choline in their diets may perform better on memory tests, and be less likely to show brain changes associated with dementia, a new study suggests.”

And, Men’s Health touts choline as the “Nutrient That Improves Your Memory” Furthermore, according to Oregon State University, choline deficiency has been linked to Alzhemier’s disease (dementia), cancers, and a host of other negative problems.

I could go into a lot more  detail about its effects and necessity for Acetylcholine (Ach) formation, but unless you are a person in the health field of some sort, it may be boring to you to say anymore than this: Ach is the currency of the body. Without it, most of our body’s processes will not function. If you are interested in learning more about Ach, this Wikipedia page should do the trick: Ach article.

Dosing: So, how much Ach should one take? I would begin with about 500mg daily and then go from there until I reached about 2500mg max for adults only)! This accounts for the fact that the average daily adult dietary consumption yields roughly 200 – 600mg. According to WebMD, here are some general guidelines for choline consumption: “Daily Upper Intake Levels (UL, the highest level of intake that is not likely to cause harm) for choline are: 1 gram daily for children 1-8 years, 2 grams for children 9-13 years, 3 grams for children 14-18 years, and 3.5 grams for adults over 18 years of age.”

During exam weeks, I take about 1,500mg daily and on days of just normal studying, I only take 500mg about 30mins. before I study. Let me know how it works for you, and let me know if you have some “wonder supplement” that works for your memory! I am always into learning about new ways to improve memory. I will research it, try it out myself (as long as it’s legal! lol), and then post about my objective findings and subjective feelings on the matter. Thank You for reading this blog!

Energy Drinks and Caffeine

Energy Drinks and Caffeine

*Foreword – I do NOT endorse, condone, or condemn caffeine usage; this article is for informative and educational purposes ONLY*

Do you know how much caffeine you take in per day? Do you know how much is too much? Do you know how many cups of coffee it takes to equal a Red Bull? The answers to these may be shocking. Energy drinks get a bad rap now-a-days, mainly because the media mostly publishes stories about young children having heart attacks and other defective problems that are presumably a result of the horrible energy drinks consumed daily. Now, don’t get me wrong, UGA kids funneling Red Bulls is an inconceivably irresponsible act (sorry all my friends who participated), but for the normal one-a-dayers, you may not have to worry as much…or should you?

I am neither advocating nor condemning energy drinks. Instead, my aim is to give a straight-forward, unbiased presentation in this blog. For instance, is it better for a student to drink 4 cups of green tea per day or one can of Red Bull (in terms of caffeine content only)? Surprisingly, child A would get less caffeine by drinking one can of Red Bull per day (80mg/serving in an 8.4oz. can) vs. Child B drinking four cups of green tea per day (25mg caffeine per day)!

Sometimes people will occasionally catch me sipping on a Red Bull energy drink and scold me; however, I see them drinking 3 or more sodas per day! They have just consumed anywhere between 100 – 120mg vs my little 80mg. If they drink a cup of coffee (typically 80mg of caffeine) or two glasses of sweet tea (roughly 60mg) at any point during the day with their three cans of cola, they have just surpassed my one Red Bull caffeine amount by more than double!

I hope this blog is getting you interested in investigating your daily caffeine amount, for this is my intent. Here is a nice article written by David Schmidt, equipped with a nice caffeine chart on the last page of the report: Caffeine Amounts in Energy Drinks, Tea, and Coffee

So, whenever you drink that “coke” next time (which could refer to ANY carbonated beverage here in the South – y’all southerners know exactly what I mean), maybe you will think to start calculating you daily consumption. Try to keep it at least under 150mg per day if possible; however, some studies have shown that athletes are safe to stay within the 200-300mg daily consumption range. If you are pregnant, or just want more reading on this subject, please check out this great article from Americanpregnancy.org: Caffiene Amount or Limit During Pregnancy

And, here is an alternate view of consuming caffeine while pregnant (Published by ACOG on PubMed):  Caffeine Consumption During Pregnancy Safe or Not?

If you are a body-builder, Muscle & Fitness advocates 200mg as being a good threshold. See here: http://www.muscleandfitness.com/supplements/build-muscle/5-fat-burners-build-mass


So, What’s the Bottom Line?

Check out this research from the University of Arizona and decide for yourself:

University of Arizona Study on Caffeine

Now, of course, there are alternate views that consider just about any amount too much. For instance, see this article published on WebMD:

Caffeine and Your Heart…Is it Safe?

Some things to keep in mind about caffeine:

It is considered to be a drug.

It is widely considered in the sports world to be an ergogenic drug, or performance enhancer, at certain levels. See here at Pubmed: Is Caffeine a Drug?

At about 350mg, some athletes come close to flunking drug tests. See here: Caffeine and Sports Performance for Athletes

It will dehydrate you because of its diuretic properties.

It is a vasoconstrictor, and therefore certain health issues should be taken into consideration.

It is beneficial for certain types of headaches (i.e. migraines).

It is good for focus, mental alertness, and concentration in certain amounts.

Caffeine effects typically peak at about 30minutes and last for only an hour in total.

Some energy drinks contain more than 200mg in one can!

Many energy drinks contain an unbelievable amount of sugar in them along with the caffeine. This makes this doubly atrocious.

If you are going to drink an energy drink anyway, here are my two top picks: Red Bull (Red Bull Caffeine Content) and Rockstar Recovery (Rockstar Caffeine Content )

Clicking on the links above takes you to their reviews by www.energyfiend.com , a good website for personal information concerning caffeine amounts in various products.

Why I like Rockstar Recovery:

Although they contain 160mg of caffeine per can, they taste great. Also, they only contain 6g of sugar in the whole can! But, given the high caffeine content, sip on one throughout the day rather than consuming it all in one sitting. Also, they contain items like milk thistle (a good herb that cleans the liver), and panax ginseng (good for memory). Now, whether they contain a significant enough amount of milk thistle and panax ginseng is up for debate. That typical “let-down” that is so common to energy drinks is not experienced here, because the sugar is so low.

Why I like Red Bull:

They contain the same amount of caffeine as one average 8oz. cup of coffee (Starbucks drinkers, your cups contain more than double a Red Bull  at a whopping 200mg!). Also, there is no let-down experienced here either because of Red Bull’s low sugar content (27mg) and sugar composition of sucrose (which is a disaccharide comprised of glucose  + fructose). Therefore, the breakdown is longer than usual and creates a longer-lasting effect from the energy drink.

So, there you have it. That’s my two cents – for what it’s worth.

A Manifesto for Fiber: “Is Everything Coming Out OK?”

A Manifesto for Fiber : “Is Everything Coming Out OK?”

“Is everything coming out ok?” I yell through the bathroom door to my relative who always steals my stuff.

“It’s NOT funny!” My cousin screams back.

She then comes out of the bathroom, still buckling her britches, and displaying a seemingly permanent scowled countenance.

She knows that I know what happened, but all the same, she is still angry at me for poking fun at her. See, my wife recently bought this new box of fantastic Breyer’s CarbSmart vanilla ice cream – it contains 4g of fiber per serving! We told my cousin not to go sneaking into our ice cream, as she has had a tendency to do in the past whenever she gets up for a late night snack. Sometimes we catch her, but sometimes we do not. And, even though she knows we will inevitably find out, she is usually long gone by the time we do.

Anyway, to make a long story short: This relative always eats our food and asks for anything we have. I don’t mind giving her stuff, but it had gotten to the point of ridiculousness. This was her last time spending the night with us, and I told her not to eat my ice cream because it was part of my diet – one of the few late night snacks I could eat. I adhere to a high-fiber, high-water, low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet.  I don’t know if she didn’t believe me or what, but when my wife and I came back from our evening out, we found the empty ice cream box in the sink, full of water.

I kept my cool and went to bed. However, I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of thunder. Thor was not wielding his thunderous hammer, but my cousin was the source of the kabooms! Apparently, the ice cream did not agree with her stomach. See, whenever you start on a high-fiber diet, it’s always best to being little and work your way up (concerning the daily intake amount).

The daily recommended fibrous intake amount is about 24 grams according to Harvard, but this average adult only consumes roughly 15grams of fiber daily according to WebMD. However, this container of Breyer’s contained 48 grams! So, my cousin literally inhaled twice the amount of daily recommended fiber, and more than triple the amount of fiber that the average adult consumes in one 24-hour period within a few hours! Unintentional payback is so sweet! Dul-ce!

In all seriousness though, few people understand the importance of adequate fiber in a daily diet. In short, fiber acts like an internal brush, sweeping away build-up of all sorts. There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is digested, then goes throughout your blood vessels, sweeping away cholesterol and other harmful build-ups that could cause dangerous conditions like atherosclerosis.

Insoluble fiber is not digested and goes throughout your colon, sweeping away fecal matter and other wastes to help prevent colon cancer, constipation, indigestion, hemorrhoids, and many other issues. By the way, colon cancer is the third most prevalent form of cancer among both sexes with 1.2 million new cases in 2008 according to the World Cancer Research Fund International. Many ways exist to easily increase your daily cancer intake. I recommend beginning with a nice cold glass of Metamucil three times a day to get both soluble and insoluble fiber. But, be sure to drink plenty of water with it! And, if you wake up in the middle of the night, have some Breyer’s CarbSmart vanilla handy…but, please don’t eat it all at one time!

Here are some nice pdf-files explaining more detail about colorectal cancer for you:

American Cancer Society Article on Colorectal Cancer

Great Document from Case Western Reserve Univ. on Colorectal Cancer