Monday was the first day I took Med101 and the first day of my arete class, spoken word. I went into Med101 not knowing what to expect.. like always, I sat down in the front row of class and waited for the class to start.
Everything began with Dr. Amy E. Flimming, Dean of the Vanderbilt Medical School. She welcomed the class to the course and gave us words of encouragement. She told us that she had faith in us and that if we ever needed anything we could contact her. She is quite an amazing lady.
After she left, five instructors stood beyond the class and began to welcome us once more into VSA and into Med101. The instructors names are Alex Taylor, Jackie Morrison, Jennifer Huang, Roger Fan, and Laci Baker. They soon gave us the binders we were going to use for the next three weeks and and we looked at our schedule.
Immediately I was filled will excitement. We were told that we were actually going to shadow a few times in the clinic and lab. The most attention grabbing announcement was that we weer going to be in the operating room. How fun!!! I cannot wait to experience this. After that quick announcement, we were split into groups and were assigned group leaders. My group name is the "Ravens".. Go Ravens!! We briefly got to know each other. After, we did a quick icebreaker as a whole and were told to seat for a guest speaker.
Dr. Edward Vasilevskis presented about being a doctor and how to think like one. It was so interesting. He gave us medical scenarios that we had to solve and had a discussion about treating patients and how to minimize cost for patients by eliminating false positives and decreasing mortality rates by locating and taking care of false positives in emergency scenarios.
After Dr. Vasilevskis presentation, Jackie began our new unit on Diabetes and Obesity, We talked about the epidemic of these diseases and talked about the pathology and mortality rates compared to those of stable health. After the detailed and incredibly interesting presentation, the class was led into a debate on the origins of obesity and diabetes and what or whom is at fault, The options available were environmental factors, genetics, and lack of will power. It was really interesting listening to what the entire class had to say. A lot of people had brilliant remarks, but some argued that obesity has the momentum it has because people do not have motivation to lose weight and prefer not to choose healthier food options. It is completely understandable that having a lack of willpower plays a significant role in obesity and a path towards diabetes, but the most underlying cause is the lack of healthy options in low income communities and the financial circumstances people in low-income area face on a day to day basis. Studies have shown that their is a correlation between obesity and the quality and area of living. The reason for that is the lack of healthy food options. It is in communities like Richmond, where massive industries come in and make profit by making fast foods cheaper, and faster to obtain. I live in a low-income community and this is what I experience everyday. Food desserts are real and in places like these there are really no other options than food that may not be healthy for the body. In order to stop this epidemic, we must not just tell people to gain willpower, it is also by giving people the access to healthier alternatives. All I hear in my community is how people wish they had organic stores but don't have access to one. For one, there is a lack of fresh foods and a lack of recreational facilities and parks for people to remain active. There are so many factors that contribute to the cause of obesity, most of them involve Public Health It is in the health of the community that may have a huge impact on the daily consumption of individuals. I know that the health of individuals is reflective upon the physical state of the community. Until things improve in the community, this epidemic will only gain momentum as does that of local fast-food chains.
We ended class with the debate on diabetes and obesity and were given an hour for study hall before heading off for dinner and our arete class.
Skipping up to my arete class, Spoken word, we were instructed to write a poem on our assigned partners. I wrote my poem on a fellow named George from Kentucky.
Below I have the piece I wrote about him:
After arete class, we were taken on a scavenger hunt. It was quite running intensive and left all VSA members completely exhausted. We went to bed expecting to sleep wonderfully, until we all realized how tired we woke up the next morning to go off to our courses again.