My Elective Rotation at a Poison Control Center

My Elective Rotation at a Poison Control Center

I just finished a two week elective at a poison control center and it was such a unique experience. I learned SO much – and not just medical management of common poisonings, but also some public health knowledge and that poison control is a fantastic (and underutilized) resource for medical professionals! I’m not sure how common this is as a rotation, but if your school offers it, I would recommend it. I’m lucky that one of the three poison control centers (PCC) in Florida is located on my medical school campus.

There are 55 PCC’s spread around the United States and they pick up the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to give FREE advice and management direction. And they all use a single national hotline number – 1 (800) 222-1222. The only thing to note is that currently, it will direct you to the PCC that is geographically closely to the area code you are calling from, so if you live in one state but have a cell phone area code from another state, this might be the one time to use a landline!

Before I started this rotation, I had two ideas in mind for when someone would call poison control – when their child drank bleach or if they got bit by a snake.

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Health Policy Happenings, 11.04.21

Health Policy Happenings, 11.04.21

I feel like a broken record on Groundhog’s Day, but like the past few weeks, there is still so much movement and fluidity to the spending package deal that it’s anyones guess how long this news will be accurate for…there were reports of vote whipping (a process undertaken to determine who will be voting in favor/opposition of a piece of legislation) for the Build Back Better plan, as the spending bill is known as but its unclear when a vote might actually take place. But while BBB is front and center, there’s still so much more going on!

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What Caught My Eye, Vol. 3

What Caught My Eye, Vol. 3

It’s finally cooled off in Florida (so, like, 70s) but boy is it welcome. Very excited to go on some longer walks and pretend it’s fall. I kicked off residency interview season with my favorite suit jacket, it got me through medical school interviews too. I’m a big proponent of adding a little dash of you to your power interview outfit and for me that’s a cream and navy tweed blazer. I’m about to finish up a rotation at the local poison control center and I’ve learned so much, will definitely be sharing more about when to call and how poison control fits into public health. In the meantime, here’s what caught my eye this week!

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Everything I Read in October 2021

Everything I Read in October 2021

Well this turned out to be a very good month of reading – I read 10 books! Compared to September, which was half consumed by The Overstory, I flew through a lot of these. While I loved The Overstory, it was dense and heavy so I needed to lighten things up a bit. This month was a good mix of steamy, emotional, and sweeping. I have linked each book to Bookshop.org, which supports local bookstores if you’re inclined to purchase them. But don’t forget about the library, I read 6 of these books on my Kindle app after borrowing from the library! The plan for November is to try and get through some of the books stacked around my apartment, but I’m heading back out to Portland (and thus Powells) so I’m sure that stack will only grow…oh well.

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It’s Open Enrollment Day!

It’s Open Enrollment Day!

Today is the official opening day of the open enrollment period for anyone needing health insurance in 2022. This open enrollment period on the Marketplace (aka the Exchange aka healthcare.gov) will end on January 15, 2022 so if you need health insurance, you’ve got two and a half months to enroll. However, if you need coverage by January 1, 2022, you’ll need to enroll by December 15, 2021 to make sure you’re all set for the New Year. [And of course, if you lose coverage, move, get married, have a baby, or adopt a child, you’ll qualify for a special enrollment period outside of open enrollment.] Before you go any further, make sure you brush up on all the health insurance terms you need to know!

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Health Policy Happenings, 10.29.21

Health Policy Happenings, 10.29.21

We made it to Friday…not so sure about the Build Back Better spending/reconciliation bill. I don’t know what is happening in Washington, D.C. but it is making me want to bang my head against a wall. Anyone else feeling that way!? I’m trying not to get my hopes up for literally anything being included until we see that final bill passed. There was some text released from the House yesterday but honestly, who knows what’s going to happen with it. So this HPH is going to be on the shorter side, since so much of what I was going to share is already outdated…I’ve still got some reconciliation updates, but just keep the ever evolving nature of it in mind.

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Resources I Used for Third Year Clinical Rotations

Resources I Used for Third Year Clinical Rotations

Be warned, this is a LONG post. During my third year of medical school, I completed six “core” rotations: internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics. While third year was exhausting and stressful, it was my favorite year of medical school because I was finally interacting with patients instead of just PowerPoints and textbooks. I have found that the way to succeed on any rotation is to be on time, be respectful, and be curious. But, of course, you also have to study.

In my mind, there are two different categories of resources for clinical rotations: those to help you succeed on the wards and those to help you study for end-of-rotation exams (also called “shelf” exams). There will be overlap in the material between the two categories, but keep in mind that there will be plenty of times where the most updated treatment guidelines used in the hospital will not match with the correct answer on an exam. And yes, some of the resources I have linked cost money BUT especially for the books, I would encourage you to first check your medical school library for online access or ask an upperclassman if they would sell/give you their copies. This was very common at my school and you certainly don’t need pristine, new copies of these resources for them to be helpful. This list is far from exhaustive, but it should get you started!

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What Caught My Eye, Vol. 2

What Caught My Eye, Vol. 2

After a weekend off that included a great time at the South Beach Seafood Festival, I started on a rotation at the Poison Control Center. This is a more unique rotation to my school because there is a PCC on campus, something that is not common to most medical schools. So far, it’s been very educational to hear the toxicology experts guide individuals and health care providers alike through the management of different exposures. I’ll probably write up a post when I’ve completed the rotation since it’s something I know so little about and think that’s probably true also for most medical students (and regular folks!). I’ve got all sorts of things to share today, including some fascinating reads and a few cold weather clothing items I have no business owning living in Florida, but here we are…Hope you have a great Wednesday!

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A Behind the Scenes Look at Being a Beautycounter Consultant

A Behind the Scenes Look at Being a Beautycounter Consultant

Today is my third anniversary as a Beautycounter consultant, so I thought I’d take you behind the scenes a bit and tell you all about how being a consultant works, and why I still love it 🙂

In my opinion, the advocacy work of Beautycounter is what sets them apart from so many other companies. Gregg Renfew, the founder and CEO, had a long business background that she turned towards safer beauty after learning about climate change through the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth and the intersection between the environment and the health impacts of chemical ingredients in products we use everyday. This podcast interview with Gregg is excellent for a deeper dive! She discovered that the regulation of the personal care product industry has been largely stagnant since the 1930s and that the government has given little to no authority to any agency to combat unethical, unsafe, or dangerous practices by personal care product companies.

It also has not encouraged its science and health-focused agencies to investigate the safety of the ingredients in personal care products. With that in mind, Gregg set out to found Beautycounter with advocacy as a core pillar to change the regulatory landscape of personal care products and consultants to help share how her company was different, something that would be unlikely to come across with a product simply sitting on a shelf in a store.

I was never a big makeup and skin care person but as I neared 30, I decided to start taking better care of my skin, so why not get my products from a company that also supported advocacy and health as part of their founding mission? I joined as a consultant about six months after my first purchase since I was already sharing about the company (and products) to anyone who would listen. Here are my answers to some of the most common questions I am asked about being a consultant and what I think sets Beautycounter apart!

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Health Policy Happenings, 10.22.21

Health Policy Happenings, 10.22.21

It’s Friday and we made it through another week! I’m currently finishing up an elective in the trauma intensive care unit and very much looking forward to this weekend off. On the health policy front, the reconciliation bill is still being discussed and altered and is taking it’s sweet time getting through Congress. It remains to be seen not only what will be included in the bill, but how much the package will end up costing. The longer something takes to get through Congress, the less it usually ends up spending (lots of infuriating nips and tucks happening). So let’s take a gander at what else is going on:

There has already been some good analysis of who remains unvaccinated and why, but this piece is a good reminder that a big barrier for many folks is a lack of a primary care provider due to a lack of insurance and a general lack of trust in the medical system.

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