Med Talks

Student Organization Fair 2012

Med Talks

By Johnny Ahn, MS2 (Class of 2015)

While manning the table for MedTalks, I felt the mixture of excitement and anxiety from the incoming class – exactly how I felt during the fair last summer.

I could see how the class above felt when we walked into orientation last year. In comparing the disparity between how I had wished my first year had gone and how it actually went, I thought about what it actually took for me to keep myself in good working condition throughout the year. If I had to choose one thing I did [...]

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From Sweeney, with Love

Med Talks

By David Tassin, MS2 (Class of 2015)

It was 4 a.m., and this snoring seven-year-old in a top bunk needed an insulin shot. I had already spent hours testing campers, doling out juice and milk to droopy-eyed boys who fell asleep even as I held their shoulders to sit them up in bed.

And still I had dozens of campers left to check. Giving a shot so early on the 4 a.m. rounds did not bode well for the rest of the night.

After preparing his shot, I retrieved his sweaty arm from under his body, [...]

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ACLS: A Medical Harmony

Med Talks

My team in the simulation room.

by Meghana Kashyap, MS2 (Class of 2015)

When my Colleges mentor offered his tickets to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO), I could not pass up the chance to listen to live classical music for the first time since I started medical school. I was so excited to lock my left-brain in a dark corner of my apartment, and take my right brain out for a fun night in Dallas. Unfortunately, or fortunately, little Lefty broke loose and found me.

You see, the week before the concert MS2s had a recorded [...]

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To France and Back - A Certain Je ne Sais Quoi

Med Talks

By Hannah Lust, MS2 (Class of 2015)

I did a lot of research the summer after finishing my first year of med school.

It wasn’t in a lab, though. I didn’t see any patients, or do any chart reviews. This was a different kind of research—it involved pastries and maps of Paris. Yes, in France.

This seems out of place, and it may take some explaining. As I peered out from the midst of a whirlwind second semester of medical school, the summer that stretched between first and second year seemed like a blank canvas. It [...]

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History in Medicine: Hard to Stomach - The History of Gastrointestinal Physiology

Med Talks

An engraving from Beaumont’s 1833 book “Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion,” depicting St. Martin’s wound in his left upper abdomen.

Recently in Medical Physiology we learned about the gastrointestinal (GI) system, a seemingly simple yet complex organ system.

The GI system is essentially a continuous tube, with food entering in and eventually exiting out after traveling along a continuous tract. But it is what occurs along that tract—the interplay of chemicals, hormones, churning, grinding, and pumping—that makes the GI system a powerful digester and absorber of nutrients. Even [...]

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Lessons from Shadowing at UT Southwestern - You'll Always Remember Your First

Med Talks

by Sunny Varshney, MS2

I’ve had the opportunity to shadow a wide variety of specialists during my time at UTSW. In this series I’ll highlight some experiences that stand out and lessons I learned from them.

#1 You’ll Always Remember Your First…

Time: 6:30 a.m., June 2007

Place: Operating Room, Parkland Simmons Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC)

I remember this day vividly—the first time I ever…scrubbed in.

I was a research fellow in the world-renowned UTSW Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. My mentor’s assistant had emailed me his schedule and told me to be where he was whenever I [...]

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History in Medicine: (In)famous Clara Cells

Med Talks

by Amanda Strickland, MS1

Cell Biology class is like an extension of Anatomy because of all those names we must learn—except most of these structures are only visible through a microscope. In the Respiratory System lab, we recently learned about a set of cells in the respiratory bronchioles that make an oily fluid called surfactant. Thanks to surfactant, Clara cells help ease respiration by making lung structures more slippery and less sticky, preventing the small air-filled sacs called alveoli from collapsing.

I smiled when I first heard of these cells, thinking about the girl’s name, [...]

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Angle of Louis - More Than Meets the Eye

Med Talks

by Nicole and Amanda Strickland, MS1

The Angle of Louis (Sternal Angle)

As we first-year medical students first learned in anatomy lab and then experienced in our Colleges sessions, clinicians use many anatomical landmarks to guide their physical exam of a patient. One such landmark is the sternal angle, a junction between the manubrium and body of the sternum (or “breastbone”).

The sternal angle is easily felt as a small protuberance on the upper part of the chest, and it marks the location of the second rib. From this location, a doctor can count ribs, know [...]

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Gestational Diabetes – Not Just a Test Question

Med Talks

by Meghana Kashyap, MS1

As first year medical students, we learn the biochemistry of diabetes. For our exam, we learned that the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin in response to elevated levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Responding to the insulin, cells uptake the glucose and begin anabolic processes—such as building fat stores—in order to better utilize the glucose under conditions of starvation or depleted energy.

There are two classifications of diabetes—Type I is an autoimmune disorder that causes defective pancreas insulin production. Type II is a deficient response to insulin signaling due to many [...]

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Viva Tel Aviv!

Med Talks

By Micah Eades, MS2

The Sackler Health Sciences Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.

When I started considering how I was going to spend the summer after first year, the “last summer of my life”, my college mentor told me, “go to the place where you would most like to go, and have a blast.”

Well, that narrowed it down quite a bit because there has been one place that I’ve really wanted to visit – Israel! I quickly got to work finding cheap airfares on the internet and contacting my friend at Sackler Faculty of Medicine in [...]

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Rembrandt’s Anatomical Hiccup

Med Talks

by Amanda and Nicole Strickland, both MS1s

Gross anatomy is undoubtedly the most unique class in medical school. In no other way is a student able to become so intimately familiar with a person’s body, learning all of its variations, maladies, and quirks. On our first day of lecture and lab, the instructor showed our class the famous Rembrandt painting "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp" in an attempt to illustrate the history of anatomy. It seems like a tradition for medical schools to begin the first anatomy lesson with this piece of [...]

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Syllabus to Reality

Med Talks

One thing that excited me about medical school was being able to turn textbook (or syllabus) material into real, practical applications. Hypothetical scenarios in class are one thing, but being able to use the knowledge I gained in my first-year medical education at the Monday Clinic, UT Southwestern’s student-supported free clinic, was a refreshing reminder of how important our studies truly are.

I, along with other pre-clinical and clinical medical students, had the privilege of interviewing a young patient who had signs of hormone imbalances—she sometimes felt too hot or too cold and had [...]

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Iodine pills, Japan and Science

Med Talks

In the midst of the tragedy in Japan, experts are concerned with the possibility of multiple nuclear meltdowns which could exacerbate the situation tremendously. In particular theFukushima Daini plant has been a major concern due to the inability of its cooling system to keep fuel rods exposed. To prevent radiation sickness in the event of a meltdown, Japanese officials are preemptively distributing potassium-iodine pills to those in the immediate area. As a medical student interested in radiobiology, I was immediately curious why iodine was the pill of choice and not some other salt.

Turns [...]

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Graduations and Cycles

Med Talks

I’ve seen 16 medical school graduations during my years at UT Southwestern. It struck me this year that what I get to observe as an Associate Dean for Student Affairs is much like the cycle of life. I’ve known many of these graduating students for more than four years. I’ve met them as young undergraduates aspiring to become physicians. I’ve seen them ecstatic with their acceptance into medical school. I’ve seen them consumed by the overwhelming volume of knowledge they must master. I’ve seen them evolve into physicians. 

The evolution never occurs as they [...]

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Keeping It Real

Med Talks

I really enjoyed my first year at UTSW. Sometimes the work and schedule got intense, but there were always opportunities to hang out with friends and do things outside of medical school. For me, first year was really an exercise in learning how to approach medical school. Everyone is different, of course, but I thought I'd pass along a few of my personal lessons learned in case they may prove helpful to others. Let's just hope I can follow my own good advice next year! 

The most important thing I learned is that external [...]

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Welcome to Medical School

Med Talks

Hi, everyone!  Welcome to the new UTSW website and, especially, to the MedTalks journal! I just finished my first year of medical school, and I must say, it flew by way too fast! Here at UT Southwestern, I have the unique privilege of learning hands-on clinical skills from some of the best physicians in the world and the most up-to-date medical science from some of the best researchers in the world! There were far too many highlights from my first year to list here, so suffice it to say, that’s what I’ll be [...]

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