Improving medical students

Archive for August, 2007

Sleep Less, Stay Healthy

Posted by medliorator on August 30, 2007

Rule 1. It’s not just the quantity of sleep that counts, but also the quality.

  • Do not eat before going to bed (at least 2 hours before sleep time).
  • Sleep in dark, quiet room.
  • Sleep with fresh air (open windows or get air refresher).
  • Exercise during the day. If you don’t exercise, go for a 15 minutes walk before the sleep time.
  • Do not watch TV in the bed before going to sleep. Read a book, take a bath, do something relaxing.
  • Don’t drink coffee or other stimulants within 6 hours of bed time.
  • Don’t take long naps (more than 30 mins) during the day.

Sleep Less and Stay Healthy [Pick the Brain]

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Cheap Textbooks

Posted by medliorator on August 30, 2007

Although oodles of online stores and marketplaces — like, [,] and — have in the past five years built large inventories of both used and discounted new textbooks, there’s no single site where you can always get the best deal., an umbrella search site that sifts through the inventories of hundreds of thousands booksellers worldwide, started a simple, easy-to-use textbook search tool. The way it works: enter a title, I.S.B.N. or author’s name in Bookfinder’s textbooks search box to navigate a huge database of 125 million new and used books. You can compare prices, shipping costs and the availability of less expensive editions published overseas.

Knowledge Is Priceless but Textbooks Are Not [NY Times]

Posted in Finance | 2 Comments »

American Obesity Report

Posted by medliorator on August 28, 2007

Compiling data from 2004 to 2006, pages 5 and 6 summarize the report.

States with Highest Obesity Rates

1 Mississippi 30.6%

2 West Virginia 29.8%

3 Alabama 29.4%

4 Louisiana 28.2%

5 (tie) South Carolina 27.8%

5 (tie) Tennessee 27.8%

7 Kentucky 27.5%

8 Arkansas 27.0%

9 (tie) Indiana 26.8%

9 (tie) Michigan 26.8%

9 (tie) Oklahoma 26.8%

12 (tie) Missouri 26.3%

12 (tie) Texas 26.3%

14 Georgia 26.1%

15 Ohio 26.0%

F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2007 (PDF) [Trust for America’s Health]

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10 Ways to Fight Morning Grogginess

Posted by medliorator on August 28, 2007

  • Exercise
  • Taking a shower (cold)
  • Coffee
  • Cooking
  • Eating breakfast
  • Having an engaging conversation
  • Driving (with the windows open)
  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Reading the newspaper
  • Going to sleep early
  • Top 10 Ways to Shake the Morning Grogginess [Monster Blog]

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    Virtual Stethoscope

    Posted by medliorator on August 27, 2007

    Tutorials on the physical exam with emphasis on auscultation, pathophysiology review, a virtual stethoscope interface for auscultating, and quizzes. The McGill University Virtual Stethoscope explores both respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Use the column on the left side of the screen to navigate this resource.

    Posted in Tools | Comments Off on Virtual Stethoscope

    Make your Laundry Time Count

    Posted by medliorator on August 26, 2007

    Washing clothes that aren’t dirty means more time spent doing laundry. Here are some more tips that make your laundry time count:

    • Sort your clothes out into whites and darks; wash the darker clothes on cold, and your lighter clothes on warm.
    • Put water in first, the detergent in second, and your clothes in third. This will ensure that the detergent is nice and mixed in with the water.
    • There are all sorts of recipes on the web to create your own detergent, and when you do make your own detergent, you can save a ton of money on over-priced laundry detergent. Usually you’ll end up paying about 1/10th of what you normally would on a per-load basis when you make your own detergent.

    How to Save Money and Make Your Clothes Last Longer When Doing Laundry [Finance is Personal]

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    First Year Essentials

    Posted by medliorator on August 26, 2007


    • Do enjoy your last summer of freedom (for a while)
    • Do complete financial, transportation, and household decisions before school begins
    • Do manage your time (consult syllabi, schedule study time outside of regular coursework every week, organize study groups)
    • Do talk to your professors (use office hours, ask for additional recommended texts)
    • Do talk to your advisor (important to a successful academic career—change them if the first one does not work for you)
    • Do talk to your fellow classmates (the quiet one in the corner just may have the answer)
    • Do use supplementary study aids (board guides, computer programs, unassigned textbooks)
    • Do go to professional conferences when possible (network, network, network!)
    • Do try to relax! (Hit the gym, go for a drink, host a barbeque, etc.)


    • Don’t panic! (feeling overwhelmed at first is normal)

    • Don’t spend the summer prior studying (school will take care of that)

    • Don’t waste money (budget early on while learning how to live on financial aid)

    • Don’t immediately purchase textbooks (if older, cheaper editions work—great!)

    • Don’t expect straight A’s (realistic expectations will make life easier)

    • Don’t be afraid to be wrong or feel stupid (learning is a process)

    • Don’t spend all your time studying (rest and relaxation helps the body process new experience more effectively)

    • Don’t obsess about details beyond your first year (acclimating to the information and pace is what beginning is all about)

    • Don’t forget to use resources like SDN (mentoring, advice, camaraderie)

    Professional School – The First Year: What You Need to Know [Student Doctor Network]

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    Powerful Anatomy Web Tool

    Posted by medliorator on August 14, 2007

    Exercises: graphics, radiology, and trivia for each anatomical region.

    Electronic Dissector: objectives & vocabulary for 20 dissections followed by practice questions.

    Regional Index of Cases & Procedures: cases, clinical procedures, and related dissections for each anatomical region.

    Pathophysiology Module Index: cases, clinical procedures, and related dissections for each anatomical system.

    Anatomy Clinic [Yale School of Medicine]

    Posted in Tools | 1 Comment »

    Neuroprotective Effects of Caffeine

    Posted by medliorator on August 14, 2007

    From Neurology 2007;69:536-545

    Methods: Participants were 4,197 women and 2,820 men from a population-based cohort recruited from three French cities. Cognitive performance, clinical diagnosis of dementia, and caffeine consumption were evaluated at baseline and at 2 and 4 year follow-up.


    Results: Caffeine consumption is associated with a wide range of sociodemographic, lifestyle, and clinical variables which may also affect cognitive decline. Multivariate mixed models and multivariate adjusted logistic regression indicated that women with high rates of caffeine consumption (over three cups per day) showed less decline in verbal retrieval (OR = 0.67, CI = 0.53, 0.85), and to a lesser extent in visuospatial memory (OR = 0.82, CI = 0.65, 1.03) over 4 years than women consuming one cup or less. The protective effect of caffeine was observed to increase with age (OR = 0.73, CI = 0.53, 1.02 in the age range 65 to 74; OR = 0.3, CI = 0.14, 0.63 in the range 80+). No relation was found between caffeine intake and cognitive decline in men. Caffeine consumption did not reduce dementia risk over 4 years.


    Conclusions: The psychostimulant properties of caffeine appear to reduce cognitive decline in women without dementia, especially at higher ages. Although no impact is observed on dementia incidence, further studies are required to ascertain whether caffeine may nonetheless be of potential use in prolonging the period of mild cognitive impairment in women prior to a diagnosis of dementia.

    The neuroprotective effects of caffeine [Neurology]

    Posted in Productivity, Wellness & Health | 3 Comments »

    Coping with Loss – Treasure your Notes

    Posted by medliorator on August 10, 2007

    Kendra Campbell shares a valuable learning experience …

    As a medical student, what is the most precious thing you own? Is it your iPod? Perhaps your laptop? Well, for me it is my notes. I once tried to take my notes electronically, but found that it just wasn’t as nice as having printouts, with handwritten notes, that I could flip through at any second. So, I print out all my lectures and take my notes directly on them. I have acquired about a five-inch stack of notes during the first five weeks of this semester. I keep them nicely organized by subject, date and lecture in my trusty binders, which I carry around in my backpack.


    Last night I made a mistake that I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for. I went to a local tiki bar to have a few drinks. I just so happened to bring my backpack…


    Sometime during the evening, while I was busy enjoying myself, someone ran up to the bar and stole my backpack. I must admit that since I had a bunch of groceries and other items with me when I left the bar, I forgot that I had brought my backpack with me (because I usually don’t carry it when I go out).


    This morning, I woke up and immediately went looking for my backpack so I could resume my study marathon. When I realized that it was missing, I literally felt like I was going to lose my mind. To make a long and dreadful story short, I spent the entire morning questioning everyone, searching dumpsters, and walking down back alleys, desperately trying to find my backpack.


    My last resort (in retrospect, it should have been my first) was to contact campus security and report the theft to them. When the security guard replied, “Was it a pink backpack?” I almost collapsed on the spot. Apparently, they had found my backpack the night before in an alley. They handed it over to me, and I quickly searched it to find out what was missing. Someone had stolen my camera, cell phone, and about $200, but my notes were all still in the bag, perfectly intact.


    At this point, I couldn’t care less about the stolen items… I realized that my notes are definitely the most precious physical item that I own. I will never again let my backpack out of my sight. Unfortunately, I had to learn this valuable lesson the painful way.

    Digital Camera: $500; Med Student’s Notes: Priceless [The Differential]

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