Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mini Blockie Reunion!

With an awesome picnic and walk in Edgewood Park!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Quote of the Day: Believe

"Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you're young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don't let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself." 

John Bingham

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Earth Day

In an attempt to enjoy the outdoors on earth day, I drove to the beach. It's 80 degrees, picture perfect at Stanford today, but once arrived at said beach, it was cold, howling winds, no sun in sight. That's northern california beaches for you. I'll never be fooled again!

A quote from John Muir, the consummate naturalist, to honor Earth Day 2012:

"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools"

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Harvard Red Book

I received my copy of the Harvard Red Book in the mail this week. It's my 5th year reunion this May, and for every reunion, Harvard asks alumni to update their contact information, and if you want, indulge your fellow classmates with what you've been up to since graduating.

As soon as I opened the book, I couldn't put it down, so interesting to read personal accounts of my friends and classmates. I'm sorry I didn't update more than where I'm currently living and doing. Reading the entries made me smile, I truly am so fortunate to have attended Harvard. I have made so many wonderful friendships with interesting, creative people who are all driven in their own, unique way.

I feel uplifted, and reminded that no matter what I do, as long as I continue to follow my gut, I can do whatever I want, and absolutely love it. Now that is a privilege.

Tweet Tweet!

Resolved to use Twitter more, and have had a blast doing so this last week! Updated a link to my twitter feed on this blog (look right), my twitter handle is @juliapederson

Wonderful 5 mile run today. Every day I'm thankful that it stays light past 8pm.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quote of the day

While I was doing a neurologic exam on a cute 4th grade boy, I asked him to smile, he smiled cutely. Then I asked him to make a mean face.

Response: "But I don't like to make mean faces!"

You can't get more adorable and lovable then that!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Hunger Games

I was compelled to go see The Hunger Games on the big screen during it's opening weekend. Not because I read the books, more because I was intrigued that such a popular movie had a female as its lead. Not too often that happens when the female is both the lead character and portrayed as a strong character audiences want to root for.

I liked it the movie, mostly because I really liked Katniss as a character. I liked that she stuck up for her younger sister, I liked that she had stellar bow and arrow skills, and I liked that she didn't give in to the killing mentality of the Games. Between the big sister mentality, my javelin skills and my general aversion to violence, I think I identified with Katniss.

With that said, I'll definitely be rooting for her again when the 2nd movie comes out.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Coyote sighting!

Awesome 3 mile trail run at Arastradero this evening. 7 deer and a coyote = one happy Julia! Terrific way to start the weekend. If only my iphone hadn't died this week, I would have a nice photo to post. My coyote wasn't as cute as this little guy:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cute Barbie sightings

Little girl in the neurologist office using a reflex hammer on Barbie.

Little girl in the hospital for several months has built a shrine to Barbie and Justin Bieber. "Barbie's better" she instantly responds when asked which is her favorite.

Lessons learned:
1. Barbie = timeless.
2. Little girls = adorable addition to my day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

6 Best Shows on TV

Or at least the most addicting...No matter how tough my medical school schedule may be, I never miss my favorite shows! Thank goodness for Hulu.

In no particular order:

  • Castle
  • Grimm
  • The Middle
  • Modern Family
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Fringe

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How would your sister describe you in a sentence?

My 13 year old sister's one liner...

"A running-machine is Julia, wants to be a Dr. and a home decorator, watches a lot of HGTV."


Affordable Care Act

Quite a few folks have asked my opinion on the Affordable Care Act. My bottom line on health care: providing health care for citizens is a fundamental component of a fair and just society. On a daily basis I am horrified at the disparities in care and outcomes I witness.

The details of how we provide universal health care for citizens of the United States are just that, details.  I agree 100% with Ted Kennedy's philosophy:

"...Quality care shouldn’t depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to." 

Ted Kennedy

The most difficult specialty in medicine

Family Medicine.

Are you surprised at my answer? Here are my 5 top reasons, see if you disagree by the end.

1. Breadth of knowledge. 
General practitioners like to say they care for patients from "womb to tomb". It's impressive. Knowing pediatrics, preventive medicine, all specialties, geriatrics, end of life care. On any given day in the clinic I would see cases that spanned the entire first two years of medical school.

2. Early infancy of disease processes.
It's easy for the specialist to look back and say, how did the PCP miss this? The tough part of primary care is that you see disease in it's early phases, often before the easy hallmarks become apparent. It's really difficult to diagnose some diseases in their early phases.

3. Behavior change.
We all know how to stay healthy: diet, exercise, sleep, joy in our life, avoid stress, good relationships, no evils like smoking, alcohol or drugs. Easy eh? These are the things that GPs deal with every day, they are in the trenches trying to improve health care in the U.S.

4. Keeping pace with changes across medicine.
How many studies and policy changes occur every year? How do you decide which ones to follow, to change your management of patient care? Keeping up with the NY Times controversies, from cancer screening to statin side effects to HPV vaccines and contraception -a frontline doc needs to stay on top of the headlines and have a critical take to inform their patients.

5. Current structure of healthcare delivery.
GPs bare the brunt of the disaster that is currently known as American health care delivery. They're also going to be the area of medicine most transformed in my life time, no doubt about it. Change is hard.

PS. Family medicine, general practitioner, primary care provider, pediatrician, general internist are all generalists, first line doctors who help keep America healthy.


Here's a sampling of the surgeries I had the privilege of scrubbing in on during my surgical rotation this winter:

Open Heart Surgery (CABG)
Mitral valve replacement
Kidney transplant
Arteriovenous fistula
Below the knee amputation (BKA)
Gallbladder removal (Cholecystectomy)
Colon cancer removal (Sigmoid colectomy, hemicolectomy, colostomy)
Lung cancer removal (VATS thoracotomy)
Stomach cancer removal (Partial gastrectomy)
Umbilical hernia repair
Inguinal hernia repair

I hope everyone has recovered and is doing well!

Children have strokes?


I met several children who have suffered from strokes recently, which was shocking to me. Here is a good NY Times article that goes over one such a case: Children Don't Have Strokes? Just Ask Jared

Fortunately, with arduous rehabilitation, many of the kids can make strong recoveries.