I love Monday’s – time to make a new weekly to-do list and the possibilities for what I can accomplish during the week seem endless. (Although I don’t love Monday mornings with an exam as much as Monday’s without exams). Over on Instagram, I’ve been sharing about public health and health policy on Monday’s. I’m trying to make #MPHMonday happen! And I thought it was finally time to migrate some of that fun over to the blog!
I typically listen to podcasts for news or current affairs analysis but I also love them as an opportunity to learn about new topics or fun trends.
Fun fact about me: I actually used to edit two podcasts as part of my job in graduate school! One focused on innovations in emergency medicine and the other centered on improving the quality and value of health care.
I wanted to share some of my public health, health policy, and medicine favorites!
Well, it’s been much longer than I anticipated since my last post! I’m still here, just decided to take some time off to enjoy my summer and then once school started again I felt like I’ve barely had a moment to breathe. And truth be told, I should be thinking about starting to study right now but here I am, about to give you a huge life update instead – and tons of pictures that will probably convince you to take a trip out West. Keep reading to see what I’ve been up to since May!
I still cannot believe that my first year of medical school is over already! It really is true what they say – the days are long but the years are short. And that’s true thus far into second year as well. Once I finished up with my last neurology exam in May, I had to do my clinical competency assessment to ensure that I’ve learned how to take a full history and physical this year. It was a lot – you never realize how much doctors think about until you’re the one trying to think like a doctor!
I’ve been sitting on this post for a few months now and wasn’t sure I wanted to publish it. If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen me talk about Beautycounter and my side hustle as a consultant. I was unsure about posting it here because I try to keep this space focused on health policy and medical school. But then I realized that those parts of my life are exactly WHY I joined Beautycounter in the first place. So today, I’m going to let you in on why I really became a Beautycounter consultant and why I love it!
In all honestly, I never gave much thought to my skincare or makeup — I didn’t learn how to wear makeup until college and my idea of skincare until recently was taking off my makeup with a remover wipe at night. But as I’m approaching the big 3-0 this year, I decided it was time to be more proactive and take care of my, admittedly, pretty great skin (#thanksgenetics). I want it to look this good years down the road!
I had no idea what products I needed and I’ve always felt overwhelmed by the department store counters and Sephora. I start sneezing thanks to the perfume and then have no idea if something is good quality or worth the cost. So when a blogger I’d been reading for years mentioned that she was a Beautycounter consultant, I was intrigued. She shared a lot of concerning facts about the personal care product industry that spoke to my public health and almost-a-medical-student heart.
The Alarming Truth about the Personal Care Product Industry
I wanted to write this post last week, but I had to play some serious catch-up with school work instead. I shared a little bit about the conference I attended in D.C. and the amazing celebs I met (!!) but I wanted to let you in about why I attended in the first place and why I think more medical students should be engaged in advocacy.
Prior to medical school, I worked at a policy non-profit in D.C. for three years. Part of my job included meeting with Congressional staff and legislators and running workshops to give high schoolers and adults the skills to be an advocate at the local, state, and federal level. I loved teaching about the basics of government, a little bit about a policy issue, and giving some tips for effective advocacy. [I’ll be back soon with my tips for effective advocacy!]
I loved sending a weekly roundup of health policy and public health news to one of my student interest groups in graduate school, so I thought it would be a great way to share the interesting articles, research papers, podcasts, and more that I come across each week with all of you! I hope you find something interesting and engaging!
“The U.S. government claimed that turning American medical charts into electronic records would make health care better, safer, and cheaper. Ten years and $36 billion later, the system is an unholy mess. Inside a digital revolution that took a bad turn.”
This past week has been a whirlwind — it started with an exam and ended with my official induction into the medical profession at my medical school pinning ceremony. It’s been wonderful to have my whole family in town to celebrate and it’s kept me from staring at a screen all weekend. It has been a very welcome break from technology.
I’ll be back later this week to share about the pinning ceremony, but I wanted to make sure you had some podcast recommendations for your morning and evening commutes this week!
When I was in graduate school, I used to listen to at least two podcasts episodes a day — I walked the nearly 45 minutes from my apartment to work/school each morning and evening to get fresh air, but also it was faster than any public transportation option. Honestly, I actually really miss that walking commute. It was so good for my mental health to be outside each day, rain or shine. To say my podcast habits have shifted would be an understatement; if I get through two podcast episodes in one week, it’s a success. But, I still have some great recommendations for you!
We are in a time when physicians are increasingly speaking the language of health policy and public health — “value-based care,” “co-payment,” “social determinants of health,” “accountable care organization” — and are increasingly asked by patients to ensure that a particular treatment or procedure is covered by their insurance before moving forward. This dizzying list of health policy terms (and the responsibility of a physician to understand the lingo) just keeps growing. And there is no better time to introduce students to this world than in medical school, when they are primed for learning and not yet overwhelmed with patient care.