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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Editor's Note: This entry was updated October 2014.
When is flu season? Flu season varies from year to year – it can start as early as August and last into late spring.
What is the best way to prevent contracting the flu? For those who are eligible to receive it, vaccination is the number one prevention method. For those are not eligible to receive the vaccine – infants under 6 months old or those with certain allergies and medical conditions – it’s important for the other people in their household to get vaccinated.
What are the most common [...]
1. Hydrate for performance. When you are well-hydrated you perform better. Drink 2-3 cups of fluid two hours before you plan to workout and 1-2 cups about 30 minutes before. Being well-hydrated will help you feel more energized and alert.
Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, LD
2. Hydrate to prevent injury. Lack of fluid can leave you feeling tired, dizzy and clumsy, making you more likely to stumble and hurt yourself. Plan to drink eight gulps of fluid about every 15 minutes during a hard workout, especially if you are outdoors.
3. Choose the right drink at the right time. Before [...]
Ten years ago as part of standard preseason cognitive testing, a famous pro athlete tried to recite from memory the dozen words I had just read aloud.
At first, he gave me only four of the words. After two more repetitions, he got up to five.
Munro Cullum, PhD
I did not feel that he was giving me his best effort, so I told him he was performing like a patient who had either a severe head injury or was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. “Sorry, doc,” he said. “That’s all I’ve got.”
He was [...]
1. Get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days.
Lona Sandon, RD, LD
2. Mix up your workouts to include both cardiovascular and muscle training exercises for a whole body fitness improvement plan. Cardiovascular exercise helps keep your heart healthy while muscle training exercise can improve posture and strength.
3. Try interval training to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn up calories. Interval training requires you to alternate bouts of high intensity with lower intensity during your workout.
4. Lift heavy enough to make a difference to build muscle. When strength training, the weight should be heavy enough to [...]
The West Nile Virus is a seasonal illness transmitted to humans through infected mosquitoes that flares up between May and October. UT Southwestern infectious disease experts Jeffrey Kahn, M.D., Ph.D., and James Luby, M.D., discuss the disease that affects as many as 1,000 people across the country each year.
1. Who is most at risk to contract and become ill from West Nile Virus?Dr. Luby: Everyone can become infected, but elderly persons and those with a compromised immune system have an extra risk of becoming ill after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
2. Is [...]
Newest labeling could help stem sun’s skin damage
Buying a sunscreen that really offers protection against skin cancer was supposed to get easier this summer. Instead, it could get even more confusing for consumers looking to protect their skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
Gabriela M. Blanco, M.D.
New guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration to simplify over-the-counter sunscreen labeling were expected to go into effect in June. A six-month delay, however, means that not all product lines will be following the adjusted rules. Still, informed consumers should keep an eye out for sunscreens that [...]
Sixteen years ago, Phil Evans, MD, found himself in the unexpected role of patient. He was driving down the road when his cell phone rang. By the end of the conversation, he knew he would lose a kidney to cancer. What he didn’t know then was how his life would be forever changed.
W. Phil Evans, MD
Dr. Evans, Director of the Center for Breast Care and Professor of Radiology, doesn’t talk much about his diagnosis. It’s not a secret, it’s just that Dr. Evans, who is also the president of the
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 [...]
By James K.V. Willson, M.D.
Colon cancer is highly curable if caught early, and the best way to detect colon cancer is through a colonoscopy.
There are two main reasons why proper screening for colon cancer is so critical. First, if cancer is found, surgical intervention is most effective when it’s caught early. But even more important is that precancerous polyps—called adenomas—can be identified by colonoscopies and then removed, which prevents their progression to cancer.
A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine, appearing just in time for Colon Cancer Awareness Month (March), [...]
By Tasneem Ahmed, DO
During the first month of my intern year in residency, I met a young female college student who had to leave school due to her ongoing battle with ulcerative colitis. She was hospitalized for two weeks to control her symptoms and required aggressive immunosuppressive therapy. I witnessed, firsthand, how diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s can affect someone’s physical wellbeing but can also change people’s lives—especially the lives of young women! I became interested in these diseases as a result. Over the years, thankfully, there has been increasing [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
By Jennifer Wolfshohl, RD, CSO, LD
Good nutrition is important for everyone, but especially for those undergoing cancer treatments. Cancer itself, as well as its treatments, may affect a patient’s appetite. Treatments also may change your body’s ability to tolerate certain foods and use certain nutrients. Eating well while undergoing treatment can help you:
Tolerate side effects
Heal and recover more quickly
Keep up your strength and energy
Keep your immune system strong
Eating well means choosing a variety of foods that provide the nutrients you need to maintain your health while fighting cancer. These nutrients include [...]
My medical education has supplied more than its share of medical terminology mouthfuls, but I had to tackle this troublesome tongue-twister during an altogether different occasion. I am a singer and have been privileged to record for Walt Disney Records over the years. As that famous song from Mary Poppins proves, the lyrics are sometimes as difficult to master as the tune.
As a recently appointed Assistant Professor of Laryngology in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, it is thrilling for me to combine my musical interests with my passion for medicine [...]