Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Science of Healthy Living for Success


It is not astonishing that some of the brightest minds in our world's history have researched the human body to some extent. Complex beyond belief, mankind has been studied by millions who have compiled literature on healthy habits, proper body function and medicinal remedies to heal the broken body. This type of knowledge relates to the field of health science, which applies scientific study to improving healthcare and the treatment of the body.

Physical Exam
In preparation for matriculation, I had my physical exam this week. I was fascinated by the numerous 'tests' used to assess for optimal health. From head to toe, the body is put through rigorous strain which can be expressed by various ailments and yet history has discovered ways to unmask some those that may be hidden from first glance.

I have yet to hear of anyone who is excited about hernial, prostate, rectal, or other intrusive exams. Nonetheless, it is amazing that we have learned the bodies reactions to abnormalities and can thus identify problems through simple tests. Need an exam? My recommendation is to find someone you know well to conduct your physical exam. They are much more likely to use prudent judgment when it comes to the nitty-gritty.

The physician that performed my exam is a good friend that I work with on a regular basis. He reminisced about the days when he was in school learning the techniques himself. We laughed as he explained that neighboring classmates were used to practice techniques pertinent to the eye, ear, mouth and other exams. It was great until the dreaded time came to practice the more personal exams. All he could think was, "how will I ever face my classmates for the next three years after doing those?!" Fortunately, the school hired individuals to participate where the students probably should not. Despite the trepidation that may arise, it is exciting to know I too will one day have the skills needed to adequately assess physical health.

Immunizations
Can you remember when you received that shot for Hepatitis A? How about the measles? I certainly can not recall them with certitude. If we are going to heal the sick, we have a really good chance of contracting various illnesses if not properly protected. Medical schools, similar to entering high school or an undergraduate university, require vaccinations and their documentation. As I do not have a copy of all my immunizations, I had to rely on other sources to obtain the necessary information. Each of the suggestions listed below will send you a copy for a couple dollars if not for free.

  1. Contact your current and former county health departments. Use a search option to find 'local health department' or 'county health department' to find the contact information.
  2. Contact your high school.
  3. Contact your college or university.
  4. Some employers such as health providing institutions will offer immunizations. Be sure to contact them for applicable information.
Physical and Mental Health
Whatever it takes to keep your head on your shoulders is worth doing. Life is going to get crazy really fast in medical school. New terms, people, activities and routines are just the beginning. Maintaining healthy habits are crucial. Every aspect is vital to scholastic success; nutrition, exercise, and leisure are just as important as the long hours studying bio-molecular pathways. A healthy balance will invigorate the mind and keep your physical state up to speed with the demands on your mental state of being. Currently, I am on vacation as there is no homework, test or quiz in the immediate future. Does that mean I am in a vegetative state...perhaps, but I am convinced it is good for my physical and mental health.

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