Sunday, February 22, 2009

Things That Might Kill You

Exams are over and the weekend was great...for doing taxes. On the positive side, in addition to an expected great tax return, our anatomy course is complete and I think I still have a passing grade in all my classes. Spring break is really starting to look exciting though, when does it get here?

In the wake of my so called break from the books, I found this great book that every hypochondriac or medical student should add to their library, even if just for laughs.

If I remember correctly, last week I had Marfan Syndrome, I kid you not! Fortunately it probably wouldn't kill me. Taxes almost did and exams left me hanging by a thread, yet I staved them off.

Clinical Corner

Marfan Syndrome

This genetically inherited group of symptoms is often characterized by individuals who are tall and have thin, long fingers or arachnodactyly. They may have disorders of the heart, lungs, eyes or other systems. It was the pectus excavatum that convinced me I had it, but fortunately this is not definitive. Despite not having a cure, life expectancy is growing and can be supported by regular check ups for specific complications.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Exam Week Four

Stress Reduction Kit

1. Print the image shown
2. Affix printout on FIRM surface
3. Follow directions in the circle
4. Repeat step 3 as necessary or until unconscious
5. If unconscious, cease stress reduction activity


It's test time again. This time seems a little different as I am learning to get the hang of these exams. The professors are therefore testing on more material and often it is of a more complex nature.

I want to do really well...duh, who doesn't. This week will include the first of our neuroscience exams and the last of our anatomy exams. It is hard to believe we have come this far, six months to be exact. They keep us so busy that time has flown by. That is likely why the stress is mounting as it is really difficult to keep up. I have come to the conclusion that it is only a week long, and when it is over, it's over. I can only give it my best, and in all honesty, reviewing notes that equal a ream of paper is going to take some time and a lot of brain power. I am going to find a nice textbook to keep me company until the flashcards call my name. Wish me well!

Clinical Corner


Please don't use the stress relief kit above, I would hate to be responsible for your headache in the morning. Instead, invite some eustress (good stress) into your life.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Brain

Did you get all that? I'm still working on it myself. Neuroscience is one of the dreaded courses in medical school for good reason. We are only beginning to scratch the surface.


The brain is complex, period. Pinky and the Brain make it look so easy, but keeping all the information in my head is another story. For what it is worth, they are certainly keeping us busy memorizing structures and knowing how they function.

It is amazing to think that for most of us, during our developmental stages, all the nerve fibers make it to the right location to perform their proper functions. There are so many connections, tracts, and pathways that the brain is not completely understood.

Clinical Corner

Healthy Brain Development

Unfortunately, proper brain development is not always the case and severe deformities or neurological deficits may occur. Many factors contribute to poor fetal development such as maternal nutrition, infection, trauma, and genetics. One of the easiest ways to avoid these deficits is for women of child bearing age to maintain a healthy diet. Maternal nutrition often dictates the development of her unborn child and cannot be compensated for after birth in all cases.

The Mayo Clinic lists some foods that pregnant women should avoid while the government sponsored Department of Health and Human Services provides a great resource for nutritional recommendations. As for the rest of us, here are 7 tips for increasing your brain power. For more information on nutrition check out these books.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tax Time

Just when things start to mellow out, I can feel Uncle Sam reaching deep into my already emptied pockets. It's that time of year again when W-2 forms show up in the mailbox, numbers get crunched, and taxes get paid.


Considering all the things that taxes are used for I guess they aren't too terrible, but they certainly don't help my situation financially as a student in plenty of debt. Once all the government documents arrive and get filed we get to file even more as students.

It wouldn't be possible to pay for school without a little help from the government. Therefore, completing the FAFSA and other scholarship opportunities permits my education to continue. Considering some of the tax breaks, the process a little more bearable (thank you new house). I certainly don't mind being able to file taxes for free.


As the numbers become quite important, I thought a running total of expenses for Touro University Nevada's College of Osteopathic Medicine would be appropriate.

Obviously these will vary from year to year and student to student, but it is in the right ballpark. Moving, housing and food expenses have not been included. With Valentine's Day around the corner, you can help curb some of these costs and get some fantastic deals, consider some of these great gift ideas.

Clinical Corner

Epistaxis (Nose bleed)

Research says that about 90% of nose bleeds occur as a result of damage to Kiesselbach's area. It is found in the front part of the nose and has a rich blood supply. The predominant reoccurring trauma is caused by fingers that are doing too much scratching. A smaller percentage comes from the back of the nose that cannot be reached by fingers which often requires medical help. Stopping a nose bleed may take time, and is good knowledge to have if you ever need it.

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