Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We Can't Stop

Amber's birthday surprise!
Another birthday was celebrated at VSA today! This time, it was a good friend of mine from my proctor group, Amber! To celebrate, our proctor group swung by CVS Pharmacy during a SOFT night prior to preparing last night. Not only did we buy a ton of chocolate and balloons, but we bought poster paper to make a gigantic card. You can never go wrong with chocolate and a card. The balloons were an extra touch. Acting as a group, I realized how much my proctor group means to me. I absolutely love them with every fiber of my being. I can't stress this enough. Compared to most proctor groups, we're as close as can be. We have no obligation to be together nor be friends, but we do and we are. And in a span of two and a half weeks, my proctor group has become my VSA family. 

As one of our last classes, Dr. Williams came today and talked about the obesity epidemic and the role of bariatric surgery. According to to the AMA, obesity is a disease and an epidemic. The further we got into his slides, the more I agreed with the AMA. Just a couple weeks ago, I remember having to decide whether or not obesity was a condition or a disease. Initially calling it a condition, I'd label obesity otherwise. Medical therapy, diet, and exercise alone generally don't work for the overall population. If it did, obesity wouldn't be as problematic as it is today. In fact, individuals who had a 10% weight loss and maintained their weight for five years is considerably low. Under Weight Watchers, only a reported 18.8% were able to do so while 25% managed to do so using any method. With that being said, dieting alone won't help. The benefits of surgery outweigh its downsides. Ideally, having surgery would save a lifetime of health complications and costs an individual suffering from obesity can incur. Pulling a few strings to be here, I enjoyed Dr. Williams' surgical standpoint and work. By the end of his presentation, we noticed a significant transformation in several of his patients. With one patient's story put into a video, it couldn't be anymore real and touching. 

For the next two hours of class, we had our last Team Based Learning activity. According to our readings, there's a correlation between socioeconomic status and obesity. Food choices are made based on taste, cost, convenience and possible healthfulness and variety. For disadvantaged groups, they're more suited towards lost-cost foods. But with a low-cost diet, they tend to be energy dense and nutrient poor. With that being said, the more affluent the neighborhood, the less there is to worry about becoming obese. But for those who aren't as fortunate, their situation tends to be different. Reading the direct correlation between socioeconomic status and obesity, I felt and did a lot better than last time. As Jon's group, we doubled our score since our last TBL. We've come a very long way since our last TBL, I'll say. 

After enjoying a couple fajitas for lunch, we all returned to class to Nephrologist Dr. Dwyer front and center. He spoke on behalf of kidneys and obesity. While medical students can have 200 slides of information within a 50 minute period, Dr. Dwyer went easy on us and had a 70 slide powerpoint ready. Out of all the lectures, his is highly ranked on my list. Taking a different learning approach, I couldn't help but stay awake after having lunch. He was everything I like in teachers. He was easy to understand, engaging, and kept our class on our toes. With each slide, there wasn't much I needed clarification because of his teaching techniques. 

Dr. Schlundt did the honors of being our last guest speaker. How could we come down to our last guest speaker? Then, he spoke on behalf of food deserts, not food desserts.  A food desert is an area with a significant lack of access to healthy foods, concentrated poverty, and lack of access to affordable transportation. The closer one is to major metropolitan areas, the more likely there is for healthier food opportunities. Using maps of Tennessee, Dr. Schlundt covered the correlation between food deserts and obesity. In one of his studies involving a travel tracker, he hopes to learn how a person interacts with their environment and understand their resources in order to anticipate problems. He plans on expanding his three person scale on a grander level using urban and rural areas for further studies. Obesity is caused by all kinds of factors and affects an individual in all kinds of ways. It's more complex than one would think, that's for sure. For the last bit of class, Jon went over his research on soil transmitted Helminthiasis in adults in Lwala, Kenya. Although completely unrelated to obesity, I was excited to see Jon's work. With several years of work, I'm happy his work is finally being published. 

Some amazing acts at the talent show!
Our proctor group wasn't done celebrating Amber's birthday by any means. For the talent show, we all went up and sang her happy birthday in front of everyone. As awkward as she felt, I knew she'd appreciate the gesture. Everyone deserves to feel acknowledged on their birthday, it's a must! Even Kaila went out of her way in buying an ice cream cake for all of us to share during our proctor group meeting. With several birthdays during our time at VSA, I don't know any proctor group who would do what we did. I'd say we're one of the best proctor groups by far. 

Bringing out the cake!
With the birthday girl, Amber!
Although time is constant, it feels like one of the fasted three weeks of my life. I can't believe tomorrow is our last day at VSA. As my friends and I were saying during breakfast, none of us want to leave. We agreed to coming back home for weekend, but coming straight back to VSA afterwards. Sadly, once we leave VSA, most of our chances at coming back after the weekend is highly unlikely. Since I live on the other side of the country, my chances are non-existent. Although I love everyone back home, I've grown attached to my VSA family. But like Josh said at the talent show, "Make the most out of your last day tomorrow." And I plan on doing just that. 

No comments:

Post a Comment