“People may doubt what you say, but they’ll believe what you do.”

WEEK 3: July 21-27, 2014

Honestly, I still feel a bit discombobulated concerning block 1 of medical school and am missing traditional lecture formats for scientific material. Nonetheless, I’m slowly beginning to find a rhythm here and the lectures are getting better. This week, we had our first “field experiences,” and we went out into Cleveland neighborhoods and learned about the medical/social serves provided there.

MONDAY: First IQ Case and Communication Workshop.

At 8 AM, IQ group #1 had it’s first case. It was about a 15 year old girl presenting with strange discharge from vagina…okay essentially a butt-load of STIs. As a group, we worked on breaking down the case and asked questions about whether doctors had to get parental consent to perform pelvic examinations on minors, the signs and symptoms of STIs, and the legality surrounding sex-ed in public schools. I learned that Ohio is an “abstinence only until marriage” state. Not too surprised. Although, I believe that abstinence is the smartest and simplest way to not get pregnant or get STIs, I think that the purpose of education is to be properly informed. So for sex-ed, that means teens should learn about all forms of contraceptives/family planning in parallel with abstinence. Some people in my group were annoyed with Ohio’s policy, and that it brainwashes teens into fearing sex. Our faculty facilitator brought up an interesting point that perhaps we live in a society where teens are already brainwashed into thinking that having sex early and often is the norm.  Two sides of a coin and food for thought…

That evening, I worked with a standard patient for the first time! My peers and I practiced how to collect the history of present illness. That standard patient was a great actress (oscar worthy)! I almost believed her! I did pretty well, but it was hard for me to balance being receptive to emotional statements like, “I’m worried about the blood in my urine” and being professionally distant/kind. A lot of people simply said, “I’m sorry to hear that.” But, I was like, “I can understand why you’re worried…I would also be concerned as well.” Perhaps…not distant enough. It is so hard to strike a balance, but this is what practice is for!

TUESDAY: Camp Ho Mita Koda & GORGEOUS Shaker Heights.

My first field experience was at Camp Ho Mita Koda, a Parent Trap reminiscent-like camp for kids with both type-1 and type-2 diabetes. The grounds were beautiful, and a team of residents from Rainbow Babies, nurses, and camp workers took care of the campers aged up to 15 years. The idea of this camp was amazing to me. I can imagine perfectly how it could be unsettling for a parent to let their kids go to a camp while having a chronic illness. This camp allows kids to be kids, but also to be accommodated for their specific needs. They also are so empowered to take charge of their health and were so self aware of their blood sugar and maintaining it at a healthy level. One of the residents there was a type-1 diabetic, and I hope that some of the kids were inspired to see her there with her insulin pump and doing great medicine.

I also got my blood sugar taken! This camp is a wonderful place, and I hope it stays open for years and years to come.

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On the way back to campus we drove through Shaker Heights, OH, the place I used to live a long time ago when my parents were doing their residencies at MetroHealth. I also saw my old school: Hathaway Brown! Shaker was gorgeous with old, extremely large, charming houses. Doesn’t this look like something out of a whimsical novel?

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WEDNESDAY: Minimal Sleep. Struggle.

I couldn’t do contacts this morning. It was a glasses day. 3 hours of sleep. IQ case…so much to research. It was a rough morning, but my IQ group had a good discussion of Monday’s case. There is nothing that a double shot espresso can’t fix.

THURSDAY: Cleveland Christian Home.

Second field experience of the week. We travelled out to Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood to take a look at Cleveland Christian Home. Before going, I read out of this really great book called, New to Cleveland. I would recommend if you wanted to learn about the area!

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When I read that Cleveland Christian Home was a “haven of hope” for youth dealing with mental illness, abuse and neglect, I was both intrigued and apprehensive. It began as an orphanage in 1900 but now the “residential treatment program” is targeted towards serving teenage boys who have struggled with severe emotional, legal, and behavioral issues. Some of the boys have been in gangs or “tried to be in them” or have been emotionally and/or sexually abused. Would this “home” be reminiscent of the one from the book, Holes—austere and unfriendly? When I arrived there with my peers I was taken by how beautiful the large home was and the how warm the staff were. There was even a movie “theater” room, swimming pool and their lunchroom was painted yellow with inspirational quotations on the wall.

Cleveland Christian Home is an excellent example integrated health care for young boys. They are staffed with social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and school teachers. By working together, they help to heal their “sick” guests from many angles. About ¾ of the boys (aged up to 18 years) are on psychotropic medication, and all attend a private school just for them right behind the home. They have very structured schedules from their 6 AM chores to their 9:30 PM curfew.  In my opinion, the best gift Cleveland Christian Home gives these kids is their attention because that is truly what they need—people to see them and care. Unfortunately today, we were not able to see any of the boys—probably on purpose, but I definitely learned a lot just from listening to Ms. Jackson (our tour guide and employee there of 14 years) and taking a look for myself.

I don’t think I was the only one inspired by the mission of CCH. Many players from the Cavaliers and their wives/girlfriends visit the home during holidays and the boys love it—especially if they can’t go home.

Learn more about CCH here. They have some touching testimonials: http://www.cchome.org/index/our-mission

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FRIDAY: EBIQ, Cooking

There is this thing at CASE called, “Evidenced-Based Inquiry” aka EBIQ and I was the leader this week. The girl in our STI case had her first period at age 9 which is a bit lower than the average so I decided to look into the factors that determine the age of menarche (first period). The paper was a study done in Iran in 2010. The average age of menarche there was 13 years, and they hypothesized that in more developed nations the age decreases. I didn’t completely buy their argument, though, because some nations like Germany did not fit (higher age of menarche), and they didn’t really get into the reasons for why that may be. An interesting find was that girls in the cities in Iran had lower ages of menarche than in rural areas. Overall, I think the presentation went alright.

At night, I cooked!! I can make some delicious curry salmon! That is certain! Nights like that give me hope…that I can cook. I have the ability, but to frank, I am a lazy cook. I don’t put in the time. I hope that I can be a much better/less lazy cook by the end of med school! Need…to find a metric for this…I’ll keep you posted.

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SATURDAY: Slept through Zumba :C & MELT

:C I missed Zumba with David the instructor! He actually gives a good work out!

That made me slightly guilty when I consumed this:

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Melt is a delicious grilled-cheese restaurant in Cleveland Heights! My IQ group and I went out after doing some gross anatomy studying and it was delicious!!!!!! I’m definitely going back. Pictured: chorizo and potato grilled with cheddar cheese.

SUNDAY: Cuyahoga Valley Church and Luna

I’m still looking for a church in the area, and love that  CMDA is taking first year students on a tour. CVC was nice, but very white and very middle aged, however. I’m looking for more diversity. I did appreciate the sermon, though. It was also taken from Genesis like last week at Gateway…and I’m reading from Genesis personally (go figure). Story: Abraham (like father Abraham had many sons. Many sons had father Abraham…). Main point: Don’t hold on to how you feel, but more onto what has been promised to you—-what you believe.

Wise words.

That and, ”People may doubt what you say but they will believe what you do.”

I went to Luna bakery afterwards with some friends. All I can say is don’t get the portobello mushroom crepe. It is 90% cold zuccinni. Stick with something with cheese and/or meat.

The end.

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