Saturday, November 19, 2011

Forget Meds Much? Carry A Spare.

How many times have you forgotten your medication at home? Or forgotten to take it with you before you headed out for dinner or an outing? Or if you take your medication at home, how many times have you gotten home late, past the time you are supposed to take your meds?

For those who have to take their medication when they are not at home, forgetting to pack them seems to be a common problem.

That's why I tell patients to pack a spare. If you're on long term medication. It's best to keep two sets of your Rx in your bag/wallet just in case you happen to forget to pack your medication. This set should only be used 'in case of emergency' and you should still pack a set to use daily.

There are lots of ways to keep spare meds:
 Just remember to use your spare meds before the expiration date! This could be easily avoided by using them before moving on to a new bottle.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Affordable Healthy Eating - Tomato Okra Sautee

Since doing health education modules with community members on hypertension, I've become especially interested in feasible, actionable ways of encouraging everyone to eat healthier. The DASH-sodium diet seems especially successful in helping people of African descent improve their blood pressure by encouraging increased fruit and vegetable consumption and decreasing salt.

Though I know healthy eating guidelines and recipes are available all over the internet, not many cater the the community with which I presently work -- low-income, African-American/Caribbean-American individuals. I hope to present some healthier/affordable options to the meals commonly eaten in this community which can be enjoyed by all!

Today's meal: Tomato Okra Sautee
  • 2lbs okra diagonally sliced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/8 of an onion
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pepper
  • 1tbsp olive OR canola oil
  • italian seasoning (or dried oregano)
To skillet on medium heat, add olive oil, let it heat for 1-2 mins, add onions and tomoto. Sautee for about 3 mins. Add okra. Add pinch of salt, black pepper, dried seasoning. Stir. Remove from heat 2 mins later (or longer if you prefer softer okra).

This is done in less than 10 mins! and can be served with brown rice.

I usually just eat it by itself, because it's sooo good!

This dish is about 3 of the recommended 4-5 servings of vegetables required daily.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Healthy Eating Plate

I'm swooning over Harvard School of Public Health's direct challenge to USDA's MyPlate. I love...

  • that it is annotated -- I mean, shouldn't that be obvious, USDA?

  • that it stresses WHOLE grains and HEALTHY proteins.

  • that the glass is filled with water and not dairy
  • That it notes foods to avoid and limit
  • That it includes staying active!
Great job HSPH! I think I'll be adopting this for my health education spiels instead. 

Photo credit: Harvard Health Publications.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Twitter-thumb : Social media-induced DeQuervain's Syndrome

As I type, my extensor pollicis brevis tendon is screaming for mercy. I am forced to take several (unwanted) breaks to ease the uncomfortable mix of pain and weakness that is sometimes accompanied by the uncanny twitching of my thumb and fingers. I am suffering from a terrible case of twitter-thumb. Bilateral twitter-thumb.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Hidden Power of Health Fairs

There is nothing like a good community health fair (HF). Away from the formal, detached sterility of the office this is an opportunity to meet patients on their turf. No longer adorned with white coat, power outfit and accompanying entourage, physician meets patient as just another member of the community, an equal almost. With a backdrop of blaring music, sweltering heat and flavorful eats people young and old gather, eager to commune in the name of health. Meeting in this context fosters rapprochement between patient and doctor. The once hierarchical encounter is no more. In this habitat, doctor and patient are in fellowship.
I enjoy health  fairs because they provide the perfect merger of public health and medicine. At one instant I am advising a patient on her individual health needs; in another instant I am addressing a group  on health topic salient to the community. At health fairs doctors, nurses, community organizers, nutritionists, peer educators, farmers, pastors, teachers work in tandem for the community's improved health. At these events I see my work as integrally woven into the fabric of the community's identity and goals and there are few things more powerful than the feeling of contributing to a much larger whole.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The (FM) Revolution Will be Tweeted!

If you're in medicine and on twitter and haven't come across the #FMRevolution hashtag, you must be, like the Geico commercial says, living under a rock. Since March 2011, Family Medicine has been taking the twitterverse by storm. What first started as the "Family Medicine T-shirt Revolution" at a California Family Medicine summit in 2010 has now turned into a fulfledged campaign to debunk misconceptions about the specialty, dispel misgivings about pursuing the field and to advocate for primary care as a cost-effective specialty with proven results in improving health outcomes . The revolution has been rallying physicians, residents and students nationwide to the cause.

Friday, July 29, 2011

...and mentorship

Harvard MSIV, Nate Favini, did an excellent commentary on Dr. Pauline Chen’s NY Times article entitiled, “The Hidden Cost of Medical Student Debt”. Mr. Favini aptly added lack of economic diversity and personal motivation as key elements that affect medstudents’ desire to pursue primary care, in addition to debt. Both articles made strong cases and I suggest we add another to the list of factors contributing to med student interest in primary care -- mentorship.