Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

While I woke up to my alarm going off, my roommate Lindsey came back from her morning workout. She exercises when she can. I wish I could say the same. I can't possibly go throughout the day without enough sleep. But I applaud those who do workout, like Lindsey and Thomas. I'm not a big morning person, but I do manage to take a quick shower and have breakfast and I'm perfectly content with that. 

For the first half of class, we discussed an article we all were supposed to read the day before written by Richard Boyte. Casey's Legacy goes over the subject of doctors revealing the details of patients' deaths to their families. In conjunction with the short video from TED Talks, my group broke out into a deep conversation. What most people forget is that doctors are people, too. And given our nature, we as humans make mistakes. In a doctor's case, they can either overlook a case or exhaust all possible options. The moment doctors lose their patient however, that's when things become surreal almost. As parents, they expect their children to outlive them. In Casey's case, her parents came home without their child. In the end, Casey's doctor feeling burdened, revealed the complications of Casey's surgery. Whether doctors reveal why their patients die for their own sake or their patients' families sake, it's being done with a purpose. If I were either a doctor or a family member, knowing what really happened is better than never knowing. It's never a good thing to have information withheld from you. Coping with deaths in hospitals is hard for both doctors and a patient's family. Clearing the air is most important, especially for people in the medical field. There's no set code of conduct explaining how to deal with situations like these. It's hard to believe how deep into a topic we got right at the beginning of class. 

After, Dr. Heimburger went over the intersection between nutrition and HIV. Based on what his research, if a patient with HIV starts drug therapy with a healthy BMI, their chances at controlling their illness are higher. With an inadequate dietary intake, a patient's immune system is compromised, illness ensues, and their appetite lessens. This vicious cycle of malnutrition in developing worlds doesn't help anyone with HIV. It was interesting to see how malnutrition can play a role in HIV. I had no idea lower BMIs could be pose as big of a problem as higher BMIs could.

After lunch, Dr. Nadeau came and spoke to us about hypertension. Although he had a soft voice, he had the contents to keep us from dozing off. With about 30% of American adults with high blood pressure, hypertension is another risk factor that can lead to a painful life. Aside from hypertension, Dr. Nadeau mentioned great points that need to be stressed. As he said, doctors are the subject matter expert, but a patient's issue is a patient's issue. And to implement preventative measures, he stressed the need for primary care doctors. I realized that primary care doctors are just as crucial if not more to helping people. As such, they can address an individual's problem before it spreads. 

Later, we walked a couple feet to the other side of the hallway and met with Pathologist Dr. Atkinson. It was a real hands-on experience. All of us had the chance of holding different kinds of hearts donated to the school for learning purposes. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a heart as big as Vivian's face, and hearts with their left and right sides unproportional. Rather than freak out at holding human organs in the palms of my hands, I was in awe of the whole thing. It was unlike anything I've ever felt or seen in my life. Like Loan said, "That was awesome." 

Before heading off to the Dean's house.
Coming back to the other side of the hallway, Dr. Barrow talked to us about his specialty, strokes. As one of most prominent causes of death, strokes are no joke. The effects of obesity is what makes individuals more susceptible to strokes. Diabetes for example is a risk factor towards strokes. Finding out the what, where, when, who, and why of strokes gave me a better understand of the subject matter. I had no idea how common strokes were to the general public and how complex as well. With all kinds of effects, there's no telling how someone suffering from a stroke will react and recover. Like the heart, the brain is another part of the human body that's hard to read. Jon was right, today was going to be a great day. 

Dinner was unlike any dinner I've experienced at VSA. It wasn't the fact that we had dinner at the Dean's house. While eating, all of us could feel the heavy raindrops pouring on our plates of food. For a time there, I thought there was a chance of heavy rainfall. Luckily for us, the droplets of rain only lasted for a short while. With Vanderbilt catering, I took a break from dining commons food. Although the Commons' food is delicious, dining commons food starts to lose its taste after eating it all day, every day. 

After enjoying a wonderful meal, we took a short walk to the Wyatt Rotunda, where the mock admissions would be held. Separated into eight groups with one of Vanderbilt's admissions officers, VSA students were given a taste of what admissions officers go through on a regular basis. Making up the admissions committee, we were in charge of deciding which among the four applicants of "Red Brick University" would be accepted, waitlisted, or rejected. 

It was then that I realized just how difficult an admissions officer’s job is. Looking at thousands of applications a year, the job can become extremely tedious pretty fast. Like doctors, lives are at stake. And with a limited number of room for each upcoming class, it's no walk in the park. While collaborating on each applicant, everyone had different views. While some loved one applicant to death, others didn't. With butting heads, it was difficult to come to a general consensus. The whole process had me wondering how my college applications would be looked at. Every component is looked at with much consideration. It's hard to forget to look at why we should accept students, instead of why we shouldn't. After experiencing the process of admitting students into their respective universities, I commend the work admissions officers have to go through. 

1 comment:

  1. This class is so unlike any other class our ILCers have taken. You’re covering so much material and in such great depth.

    It was just two years ago where I had the first Vanderbilt cohort sell me on the ILC returning to Vanderbilt and now I see it as one of our bedrock programs. You all seem to be getting so much out of the whole experience.

    On another note, ask one of your newfound doctor pals to validate this but I’m betting he/she will: when you exercise on a regular basis you actually don;t require as much sleep. A well exercised body is actually more wide awake throughout the day and even the mind os more alert. That’s one of the many reasons PE used to be mandatory in our schools.