Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April 2017

April Hours:24
Habitat for Humanity:10
Power lifting Rehab: 4
Special Olympics: 10
Soil Collection:2
Semester Hours:34
Year Total:62

The year is OVER. It's been a whirl wind of a last couple of weeks. Every time I think my plate is getting empty, it fills right up again. I think trial by fire has made me very well accustomed to maximizing my days for productivity. I am even considering ordering premade meals and I LOVE to cook. Something this program has taught me is to set your goals and priorities then move to accomplish them with a vigorous passion. My intellectual curiosity will sometimes lead me down a rabbit hole of research or pursuit of a new skill. I have learned to manage this curiosity and apply it towards my goal.

This was my most productive and happiest month of volunteering. I love wood working so it was to no surprise that Habitat for Humanity builds were my favorite. We had a very small group the day I went, so I really enjoyed the one on one skill building they could provide. We even had the privilege to work with one of the families who would be receiving a home from habitat for humanity.  I also continued my annual tradition of working the Special Olympics with my Dad. The event is actually in May, but we are starting to plan right now. Every year the event grows and every year we seem to complete the event in record time. If you have never volunteered at the Special Olympics, It is worth a Saturday to make the trip down to Southeastern. Some of the athletes we work with move on to compete at the national and international levels and I would venture to say all of them show world class sportsmanship and camaraderie. This was the most meaningful year of school and volunteering that I have had. I am grateful for our committed professors and this wonderful year spent in New Orleans. I advocate this program to anyone looking to improve their knowledge of medicine and research while giving back to the community.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March 2017

The Shelf is OVER. If i could give any advice to next year's class when it comes to studying for the shelf exam it would be to make sure you know mechanisms of action and the characteristic side effects of each drug class. Knowing your drug classes and all the drugs from each classes individual mechanism of action was essential in differentiating answers on the shelf. It would seem like common knowledge , but i think it is definitely easy to gloss over the individual mechanism of action of a drug because you know what it treats. Knowing how drugs work is just as important as knowing what to use it for. We are on the home stretch for the program and the anticipation of graduation among my classmates is palpable. I think we all are coming out on the brighter side of things and i have only heard positive comments about the time we have spent in New Orleans and in this program. It is such an ease of mind that i actually possess practical medical skill set and have to tools to evaluate almost any medically oriented paper i pick up. Reading journals use to be a chore, now i enjoy delving into the details and conducting additional research to really let the message hit home.

This past month I was able to get some work in with my guys in Baton Rouge doing rehab work. They are really excelling ever since we were able to move the workouts from Baton Rouge Rehab to my families gym. We have been able to implement some explosive movement and tension training with rubber bands and chain work. The guys are training harder than ever for the upcoming Summer Endeavor games and i really look forward to seeing how they fair with another year of solid training under there belt.

Looking forward to our upcoming Crawfish boil in Audubon Park!

Service Hours: Power lifting Rehab work: 8

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February 2017

I can finally the see the finish line!

February was a whirl wind of a month that involved taking 7 tests in 5 weeks and giving 2 presentations to boot. We started with our Psychology exam in the beginning of February and learned about treating schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and classifying the drugs of abuse. Studying for this test was very similar to studying for my neurobiology classes in college. Understanding the interplay between neural firing and neurotransmitter regulation was essential in learning to manage and treat the different symptoms and pathologies associated with each disease. While we have many treatment options available for a wide spectrum of mental illnesses, it was highly emphasized that each treatment has a larger variance in effectiveness and side effects then other drugs classes. Patients are to be started on low doses and carefully increased in dosage until the most effective and safest level is reached.

We recently just finished up our section on endocrinology and reproduction. Endocrinology was a fairly straightforward chapter that focused on the treatment of diabetes and diseases of the hypothalamic pituitary axis. Learning about the different pathologies and treatments involved in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus was enlightening and helpful. I have multiple friends and family who are diabetic and having a better understanding of their disease really helps give me a different perspective on chronic diseases. The reproductive portion of the block included a PBL with Dr. Lindsey. She orchestrated a very informative discussion on the treatment of different patient types and their possible contraceptive treatments.

Our medical pharmacology course is finally coming to a close with the upcoming shelf exam. I have already started my preparation for the exam and look forward to the challenge that awaits.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

December 2016 - January 2017

It's been quite the busy last 2 months, but i'll do my best to be brief and just mention the highlights. The start of December and January was a battle of perseverance to say the least. I've been oscillating in and out of an upper respiratory infection most of this year and finally seem to be getting a reprieve now in late January (cross my fingers). I've never had to deal with illness and balancing commitments on the level I have this semester, but it’s been a great test of character that I’m proud to have gone through. Also, I'm very thankful to have such a supportive faculty in this program to help along the way.
The GI block in December and Neurology Block in January were two of my favorite blocks because of how interactive components integrated into the course work. The GI Block included a simulation where we prescribed opiates in an emergency room situation to a patient with varying comorbidities. The Neurology Block graced us with the presence of a local psychiatrist and her patient. It was an eye-opening experience to have such a candid conversation with a woman so keenly aware of her mental illness. I will remember the conversation she had with us for years to come and it gave me a much better perspective on mental illness. During the interview, the patient mentioned the importance of validating emotions when speaking with not just a patient with mental illness, but any person suffering an emotional episode. It seems like common sense, but I feel like this point is not emphasized enough in my experiences in healthcare.
We are currently on the psychopharmacology block and preparing for the upcoming exam next week. I think this program has really sparked my enthusiasm for learning and creating good study habits. There are points during the semester that I have felt over whelmed, but I’ve learned that working diligently every day makes the most impossible goals attainable.
I am looking forward to the coming weeks and experiencing what a New Orleans Mardi Gras has to offer!