Monday, May 17, 2010

The amazing world you discover...

Rough test today, followed by a rougher 5 hours of continuous class, and it was rainy and cold... I was ready to be released from the cage...counting down the minutes to 5pm. And I'm out, quickly change and get moving. I start my usually route, around Lake Lagunita. I get somewhat annoyed by all the moths that seem to be around the ground, then as I look closer...and realize, that they aren't little moths, they are FROGS. BABY FROGS EVERYWHERE! I'm talking about hundreds and hundreds of baby frogs on the trail and in the surrounding meadow. So, of course I stop running, stoop down and enjoy the gleefully hopping frogs for a while, They hopped around so much, all my iphone photos are blurry. I walk lightly amongst the beautifully simple baby frogs for about a 1/4 mile...Amazing right? Where did they all come from? Why today? How wonderful, mysterious and beautiful. Nature always having a way of giving me a wake up call at the right moment...

Not all in life is perfect and beautiful though...As I continued to walk along the trail full of hopping froggies, I began seeing squashed frogs. My elation dampened. More dead frogs, all over the trail...People had been running them over all day.  People had been enjoying their run, unaware of the world around them, ignorant of the small beautiful creatures beneath their feet...It made me really sad. It was so terrible to see all of the tiny little lives, squished into oblivion.

After thinking about it, I think this occurrence represents something bigger for me. If you aren't cognizant and alert of your surroundings, you really won't be able to fathom the potential impact you and others may be having. I think this example shows what can negative results can occur because of this lack of perspective, but I think the flip side is also true, you can do a lot of good if you pay close enough attention. In my case, I managed to avoid stepping on frogs, and warned a few runners about them and they stopped their run and started walking too. Sometimes you don't even know what you're looking for, but keeping your eyes out, and your mind clear, you just might come across something amazing. In my case today, hundreds of tiny, hopping froggies.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New home!

Stanford Med is more awesome than ever. We have official access to our new home, the awesome LKSC 4th floor student space, including student lounge, workout center, beautiful view of the Stanford Hills, and great study spaces! I love it! Having a beautiful vista sure puts the hardcore studying into perspective...

Yet again I'm learning a new language...La lingua de corazon....
What is that I hear? A diastolic murmor? S2 split? S3 or S4? How about supraventricular tachycardia, or a right bundle branch block as seen in the V1 lead of the EKG? Or what about atherosclerosis, thromboemboli and Virkow's Triad? Any ST elevations or inverted P waves? Don't remind me of alpha vs beta, muscarinic vs nicotinic, Beta agonists, Beta blockers, nonselective, indirect, antiacetylcholinesterases, sympathomimetics, neostigmine, atropine, phenylephrine, or isoproterenol....

What does this mean for you? Exercise, eat your greens, get your sleep and stay away from insecticides. Organophosphate poisoning is bad news! Back to work, exam on Monday for me. Love this new med school home!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hetch Hetchy for Mother's Day!

The crew packed up and headed to Yosemite National Park this weekend in celebration of Mother's Day. Our destination: Hetch Hetchy, the Yosemite Valley that never was...Yup, in 1908 they damned up this beautiful valley against the activism of John Muir and naturalists around the country. That damn dam! After seeing it for myself, I can't believe it. A true travesty, because it is an absolutely amazing place. I'll be writing my representatives about this one...Even with the ugly dam, it's a remarkable place. We did an overnight backpacking trip, hiked up the valley, camped amongst the bears (no joke), and had an all around wonderful weekend. Happy Mother's Day Mom! Hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Riding my bike

For the past week I've been using a bike as my primary mode of transportation, I thought I would share my thoughts:
  • It takes me less time door-to-door to bike to class then to drive, park and walk to class. About 13 minutes on a bike, 20 by car. 
  • Cars smell bad, are too big, and are scary.
  • It's really hard to turn left as a biker, because of the smelly, big, scary cars I mentioned above. 
  • Biking is really enjoyable when your breaks don't squeak.
  • Biking prevents me from wearing skirts and dresses. Slightly annoying. 
  • You see a lot more animals and small wildflowers when you bike than when you drive. 
  • I used to hate locking up my bike, but it really only takes me the same time as starting a car. 
  • Helmets aren't that bad. 
  • I think more when I bike, I get annoyed at other drivers when I drive.
  • Still don't know what I'd do if it was pouring rain tomorrow. Will have to figure that out. 
  • I could easily bike to cool hikes if I had a better bike.
  • Biking makes it a lot more likely that I'll go to the Farmers Market on Sunday rather than loading up on giant bags of groceries at Safeway.
  • Biking doesn't require filling up a gas tank and spending money.
I like biking.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Really, 0/46?

This evening, after studying cardiac reflexes for a few hours, I decided to skim over all the lectures in my Cardiac Block. By the time I got to page 360 in the syllabus, I casually noted that there hadn't been a female professor yet. So I continued on, quickly turning  page after page, growing more dismayed...I made it to page 561, the last page, and was shocked to realize that I wouldn't have a single female lecturer in the Cardiac Block of HHD. I double checked the Table of Contents. Sure enough, it struck out, 0/46. Zero female professors.

I'm chagrined at this finding. I think its statistically highly improbable. I doubt that there are zero highly-qualified and capable female physician-educators at Stanford to teach the cardiovascular system to medical students. If there are zero, that's a whole other problem. I wonder how this could happen, how it could be unnoticed. I will make sure to raise this point with my peers, faculty mentors, and administration.

One of my favorite quotations is by Dr. Martin Luther King, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". I try my best to be alert and cognizant of the small, seemingly innocuous injustices that happen everyday around me. This is one that I'm speaking up about.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wilderness First Aid Training

After 16 hours of training, I'm now Wilderness First Aid certified! I can assess spinal cord injury, hypothermia, heat stroke. I can fix up your broken ankle, clean that dirty wound, and splint up your dislocated patella. I will be investing in many more additions to my first aid kit after realizing all the terrible things that can happen in the wilderness. What an awesome weekend with my SWEAT crew.