Tap Dance Dreams & ACA Open Enrollment

Happy Monday!! I always enjoy the early morning sunshine after we “fall back” but boy do I hate the darkness at 6pm. I am usually an early morning studier but with an exam coming up on Wednesday, I was at it later than usual yesterday. As soon as I realized it was pitch black out, it felt like my brain turned off. So I watched the magnificent PBS broadcast of 42nd Street and did some light studying. I don’t know how I’ve never seen 42nd Street before but I AM OBSESSED.

I actually learned how to tap dance a few years ago and for one of our performances (yes, we had performances and no I won’t share the video!) we learned the opening to 42nd Street. But to see it done by professionals, holy smokes, the tapping in this show out of the stratosphere incredible! I was literally on the edge of my seat watching it. There’s a pretty good chance (like approaching 100%) that I will watch it again this week, but I’m going to do my *best* to wait until after my exam.

And since it is Monday, I think it’s time for a little MPH Monday lesson. It’s the perfect time to talk about open enrollment for 2020 ACA Marketplace health insurance, which began on Friday, November 1 and will end on Sunday, December 15th.

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Sunday Reading 11.3.19

I hope you enjoy the extra hour today thanks to the end of Daylight Savings (unless you have kids, in which case, enjoy that gallon of coffee!). Every year I look up why we have this weird time quirk – check out this great explainer from National Geographic.

My week was a blur of studying (#theusual) with a fun night shadowing labor & delivery sprinkled in, plus some great workouts, a sunset walk, and time with friends. But it left plenty of time to roam around and read the all the news, one of my favorite ways to procrastinate.

The NYC marathon is today, but there is so much more to running in the city that never sleeps.

Chelsea Clinton is exceptional – brilliant, driven, and teeming with passion.

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Day in the Life: Halloween & Babies Edition

Good morning from the couch! I’m taking it easy this morning and watching Grey’s Anatomy while I put this post together. I shadowed labor & delivery last night (omg babies!!) and didn’t get to bed until almost 1am. Wayyyyy past my bedtime, so I didn’t set an alarm and slept in until 8:30, so rare for me! I thought it would be fun to share a little day in the life from yesterday. It wasn’t an exceptionally exciting day aside from shadowing and lots of halloween candy, but it’s a pretty good representation of what MS2 has been like so far!

6:00am I stayed up late last night carving a pumpkin and watching Hocus Pocus with my friends in hopes I would sleep in, but no such luck. Going to need a coffee late to stay up for L&D.

6:15am COFFEE, read the news, and listen to my favorite classical NPR station

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This Week in Health Policy #9

This Week in Health Policy #9

This week has been a mixture of watching lectures, reviewing material for the 100th time, and having a few “ah-ha” moments, which are always oh so welcome! I’m a week into renal (allllll about the kidney) and it’s HARD. So much movement of salt and water and lots of other little molecules in such a balanced little dance. I also had another standardized patient this week focused on motivational interviewing (MI), a technique to assess and help patients regarding behavior changes like smoking cessation or weight loss. No matter what specialty I go into, I know it will come in handy! One area I hope to use MI in the future is persuading parents (and kids!) to have healthy eating habits, especially cutting down on soda and juice. What we eat and how policy impacts our food was a serious driver for my graduate work – and I love sharing ongoing work in this area!

The food industry is hooking kids on sugar through sweetened drinks.

A ban on sugary drinks in a California hospital led to health improvements for employees.

Instead of implementing Medicaid work requirements (which are onerous and don’t work!), Pennsylvania is connecting interested folks to employment training programs upon Medicaid enrollment. [States currently seeking to implement work requirements would require proof of employment to remain insured on Medicaid. It has not gone well in Arkansas.]

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Sunday Reading (on a Monday…) 10.27.19

Between some internet issues and a busy weekend, I never got around to publishing this week’s Sunday Reading post. Better late than never, right? I volunteered this weekend at a health fair performing well-woman exams and spent some time basking in the (too hot!) Miami sun at the South Beach Seafood Festival! It was the perfect balance of work and play, but it makes it so much harder to start working down the ol’ to-do list today. So what not start off the inevitable Monday morning procrastination than with some interesting reads?

I made this for dinner last night and it did not disappoint.

I’ve definitely looked through the viewers on my Instagram stories and wondered the same thing.

I got teary watching Meghan Markle try not to cry while talking about the emotional toll of the ruthless British press. She deserves so much better.

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How Medical Students Prepare for Real Patients

I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of October! It feels like just yesterday I came back from summer break. Time really does speed up when you’re cramming your brain full of knowledge. In addition to learning about a lot of disease pathology (we just started renal so it’s all kidneys all the time), this year has really been focused on taking what we’ve learned and translating it into clinical skills. This week was busy with opportunities to practice my skills. I had a standardized patient exercise, shadowed a physician in primary care clinic, and learned how to perform the male exam. Next week, I’ll be practicing my motivational interviewing skills, which come in handy for encouraging patients to make important behavior changes.

I thought I’d share a little bit more about standardized patients, which is one way medical students practice the skills we’ll need in clinic. I won’t divulge many details about the actual scenarios (they are often reused and I wouldn’t want compromise a younger student’s learning opportunity) but I do think it’s important for those interested in medical school to understand this specific way we practice skills prior to clinical rotations. Keep in mind that every school does this differently, so this is based on my own experience.

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This Week in Health Policy #8

This Week in Health Policy #8

There is nothing I love more than sitting in my bed with a steaming hot mug of coffee and reading the news. I usually put on some classical music from NPR’s WETA and lose track of time. It wasn’t in the cards for me this week to spend more than 30 minutes a day on the news (except for Sunday!) but I still think I’ve got a pretty diverse and interesting health policy round-up for you today!

The Annals of Internal Medicine published new guidelines indicating that there is not enough evidence to support cutting back on meat consumption, but there’s much more to the story.

Accountable care organizations (ACO’s) experience continued but slow growth after changes to the Medicare ACO program.

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