Thursday, April 30, 2009

Excellent wisdom

Best quote: "I loved everything, life was a firehydrant"

2 questions that will paralyze you and drive you crazy :
1. What is THE passion?
2. What's the ultimate thing that you're going to do with you life, what mark are you going to make, what's the horizon?

Look at your values, your opportunities and work with the passions you have today. This makes it into an issue of just choosing between all right answers.

Love it. Watch the full 4-minute video by Randy Komisar on Academic Earth

A Birthday Request

My 24th birthday is a little more than a month away, June 5th, and I have a small request from all of you, my friends and family:

Please send me at least 5 of your favorite songs.

Songs that inspire you, make you think, that you just love the rhythm and beat of, that energize and lift your spirits, or that just bring a smile to your face...By no means limit yourself to 5, I"ll take as many as you're willing to send!

A few years back, one of my Heps buddies made a CD for me of songs that get her in her running groove and I absolutely loved it, still listen to it to this day. I am desperately in need of new music and I know I'll be studying a ton and working out in gyms for the next 4 years, so I thought, what better gift then music that all of you love for my birthday?

In advance -THANK YOU! You can email them to me or send me a CD in the mail, my mailing address is on Facebook. I can't wait to receive your favorite music!!!

Quote of the Day

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

DailyCandy Keeps You in the Know

"Seems pretty cool to me. "
Like to eat, buy, and do stuff? You’ll love DailyCandy, a free e-mail about the latest in fashion, food, fun, and more. We offer daily editions in eleven U.S. cities and London; a national Everywhere edition; and weekly Kids, Deals, and Travel.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Got my financial aid packet from Loyola today. Wow it's expensive to train a doctor. It's becoming more real to me. If you have any helpful suggestions for housing in the Chicago-area let me know!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Time to think

We all need more time to think, to ponder, to dwell, to sleep on it. It seems to me that so many of us spend our daily lives in the grind of doing, doing, doing, that we never take a moment. Don't have the time or energy to take a step back, reflect upon our course of action, make a thoughtful decision on whether it's the right course, whether we've veered off of our main goals or priorities (or even come up with what our goals are!). Whether we're thinking about the problem in the right way, with the right philosophy, frame, context, and knowledge.

Taking the time to put things together is what sets the truly great aside from the rest of us. To be brilliant, to be profound, you have to do some serious thinking, checking your assumptions, doing thought experiences of what else could be. You have to do some serious doubting of reality, your self, and everything you've been taught.

I've been tossing around this idea in my head for a while now with respect to cancer. Each day I am more impressed with the ingenuity, determination, and hard work that goes into treating women with breast cancer, basic research into development cancer, clinical trials that improve (somewhat) outcomes for people's lives. We still know SO little about cancer, how it metastasizes, and how to actually treat people so cancer doesn't come back EVER.

It seems that all our hard, earnest work is MISSING THE BIG POINT. We are incrementally improving outcomes, but there's a limit. We need a breakthrough, maybe it takes all this work to get a breakthrough, but I'm not sure people have their eyes open wide enough to be able to think of the potential cure. I sure hope so. I wish we had more sit down discussions about our opinions on how cancer works, holistically, compared to specific conversations on one type of mechanism. So much times is spent justifying and pinpointing one protein or improving a subset of 1 type of caner. I wish we could have a thinking retreat and discuss thought experiments about how cancer could be prevented and cured.

As for myself, I am going to try to set aside more time for synthesizing, thinking, reflecting, and experimenting with different concepts in my mind. This will be my attempt to understand the big picture, how the puzzle fits together, and why the puzzle is fitting together a certain way currently.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quote of the day

"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

-Michael Jordan

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stunning Video

Here is an absolutely stunning video on cancer growth, angiogenesis and targets for therapies. The short clips are all made by Amgen.

Even if you think you're not interested in cellular biology or cancer treatments, the simplicity and beauty of this video will wow you. It's amazing how technology and design can help with conceptual modeling and understanding of other topics.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Heat Wave

San Francisco set a new record: 92 degrees in April!

Talk about a sweaty run in the GGP....I LOVE this weather!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pizza pizza!

I made my own pizza! The dough from Arizmendi's is great!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm high on life

I'm high on life. My mind is racing, connecting, recognizing, wondering, seeing, believing, doing. I'm learning about monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, gene therapy...invention, creativity, scientific method, beauty, mystery, intrigue, hope, faith, and chance. I'm understanding the importance of relationships, managers, visionaries, worker bees, critics, sympathizers, go-getters, happy folks, sad folks, crazy folks, inspiring folks, simple folks. I love doing, running, hiking, reading, talking, communicating, biking, story telling, listening, understanding. I want to learn, about computers, software, IQ, neuroscience, AI, history, photography, linguistics, language, culture, diversity, evolution. I see the importance of values, ethics, shared values, religion, no religion, community. I want to think, and think and think until I understand how it all really fits together. The big picture, why we're all here, what is this all about?

I am so happy and energized about life. The rhythms of my day are very patterned, but every day are new thoughts, new insights, new learning, new growing, new recognizing, new awareness.

How amazing is that? Surely, this is what being high on life really means.


Had an interesting conversation today about the nature of intelligence...the more I think about it, the more I equate intelligence with the ability to learn. Pattern recognition, comprehending new subject areas expediently, and evaluating relationships are several abstract examples of what I consider to be intelligence, and all these things come down to having the ability to learn.

We sometimes like to equate speed and quickness of thought with intelligence, but isn't this just recognizing patterns more quickly? Or perhaps finding the language to articulate your thoughts faster?

Will be posting more on this...I am inclined to think that intelligence is shaped by genetics to a certain extent, but also extensively shaped by development throughout your lifetime and interaction by playing, education, environment and will. I think it is possible to train someone to be more intelligent. Whether or not we have good ways of conducting this type of training currently is another issue. I strongly believe in the plasticity of the brain and potential for development of intelligence. I also think that intelligence is inextricably linked to knowledge. But, now that I'm intrigued in the subject, I'm going to do some digging and think about it some more...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yummy Yum Yum

Sweet potatoes are, by far, my favorite vegetable. Besides being tasty, wikipedia, tells me they are downright excellent for you too!!! Yummy yum yum!!!!!

Besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene (a vitamin A equivalent nutrient), vitamin C, and vitamin B6.

In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next on the list, the common potato.(NCSPC)

Sweet potato varieties with dark orange flesh have more beta carotene than those with light colored flesh and their increased cultivation is being encouraged in Africa where Vitamin A deficiency is a serious health problem. Despite the name "sweet", it may be a beneficial food for diabetics, as preliminary studies on animals have revealed that it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and to lower insulin resistance.[7] Some Americans, including television personality Oprah Winfrey, are advocating increased consumption of sweet potatoes both for their health benefits and because of their importance in traditional Southern cuisine.

Quote of the Day

“Success can be attained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible.”


Friday, April 10, 2009

Future Surgeon?

I shadowed a surgery in the OR yesterday...and I loved it. I loved everything about it, from meeting the patient before hand, the anesthesiologist talking to her while she went to sleep, the careful prep needed to ensure the comfort of the patient, the team dynamic of different doctors and nurses working together, the constant double-checking for safety and sterile purposes, the teaching of residents, the knowledge of anatomy, the physical skill need to do the actual surgery, the leadership of the surgeon, talking with the patient and her family afterward and making sure she was doing well and answering her questions.

I LOVED IT. Really, honestly, loved it. All day I was excited and going over the details of everything again and again in my head. What an awesome job.

Wish I could be seeing another one today....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Beautiful day at the beach!

Ran to the beach and back, felt great, nice soft running trails, sunny, not too windy. My head is clear, heart is pumping, and love the feeling that permeates my body and soul after a good strong run in the Golden Gate Park...Reading Outliers right now. Incredibly interesting view that success has as much to do with the ecology of a person's life as it does with the intelligence and hard work of that person....

Tomorrow I'm going to shadow Dr. A in the OR doing a double mastectomy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Watch tonight on PBS: Doctor's Diaries

In 1987, NOVA's cameras began rolling to chronicle the lives of seven young, bright medical students embarking on the longest and most rigorous endeavor in higher education: the years-long journey to become a doctor. From their first days at Harvard Medical School to the present day, none of them could have predicted what it would take, personally and professionally.

In "Doctors' Diaries," a two-part special, NOVA returns to find out what sort of doctors—and people—the seven young students have become. The program is the latest installment in the longest-running U.S. documentary of its kind.

Here's the NYT article on the show
Tonight, April 7th at 8pm and the 2nd part is April 14th at 8pm on PBS, don't miss it!

It's raining

I'm going to have a lovely time running in the rain this evening! I actually really enjoy running in the rain once I get over the hump of getting outside.

A great invention would be an umbrella hat. I'm quite astonished that no one has invented one. I always find that when I have my umbrella I'm so handicapped like when I'm carrying groceries, library books, or other important things that shouldn't get wet!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quote of the day

"The point is that what I found at a very young age was that if you can only think about yourself -- 'How much money can I make? What can I buy? How nice is my house? What kind of fancy car do I have?' -- that over the long term, I think you get bored...I think if you're only thinking about yourself, your life becomes diminished, and the way to live a full life is to think about what can I do for others, how can I be a part of this larger project of making a better world"

-President Barack Obama 4/3/2009

TED: Ideas worth spreading
Inspired talks by the world's leading thinkers and doers

This website is amazing, I just watched the following 3 videos and all were original, powerful, and insightful. Let me know of other cool websites I should bookmark and be following regularly!

John Wooden on the difference between Winning and Success can be found here

Ken Robinson says Schools Kill Creativity can be found here

Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity can be found here

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sweets -only on the weekends

So I was planning on swearing off sweets for the month of April, and then I realize that would not be very feasible for someone with a sweet tooth like me. But now, saying it loud and proud: I will refuse sweets Monday-Friday for the month of April.

My definition of sweets:
chocolate, candy, cookies, brownies, butterscotch, brown sugar, marshmallows, ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, See's candy, Hot Tamales, bubble tea, peeps, sherbet, snickers etc etc etc.

If you want to join me in my fight against sweets consumption, let me know.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Making knowledge (with sidenote on healthy living)

I think one of the coolest, more interesting parts of medicine is that new knowledge is being created every day. Objective, evidence-based science has created amazing therapies and helped so many lives. I've also started to realize how much of what we know about medicine and therapies is so subjective. I think this will be one of the unexpected philosophical benefits of being a physician -engaging with the subjectivity of knowledge and clinical decision-making and evidence-based medicine. I will be continually confronted with the job of evaluating whether a study design was sufficient to say that the outcomes is true, what could have been designed better, and what limitations there are to our evidence-base.

I bring up this point because of a lecture I attended today by Donald Abrams, MD, an oncologist who works for the UCSF Integrative Medicine OSHER Institute. He quoted someone who said that "the degree of evidence should be directly proportional to the potential of harm". My response to that is -who gets to decide what the potential of harm actually is? When we're talking about soy, Vitamin D3, omega-3s and cancer treatment -I think we need actually rigorous studies, not just 6 month studies of 25 women to understand how these things interact with treatments before we say "yah go ahead and take vitamin D3 supplements during chemotherapy, can't hurt".

My last point (for if you want to enjoy your time now, later, and be a 95 year old sprite, sharp great grandma)...Everything in moderation. (Even McDonalds, ice cream, and BBQ ribs) If you're going to change anything about your lifestyle here are 2 fundamental rules of thumb:

1. BE LEAN. Perferably by making the outdoors a part of your life! Run, bike, walk, ski, swim, rollerblade, hike, kayak! You'll be trimmer and enjoy life more, I guarantee it!

2. EAT PLANTS. Unless you're a SF health nut, you and I both know neither of us are eating 5 servings of vegetables a day. Eat way more vegetables than you currently do. This will take years to get used to if its not typical for you, I know because I've been trying to do it for over a year! It's tough! It's a learned taste! But give it a shot!