Author Archives: natalieidson

Last Blog Post #9

In blog post 1 of this semester, I reflected on the idea that everything in this life can somehow be explained by science. For this reason, my career path for the future was to focus in on the specific field of science, which interested me the most. With three years of college experience and after suffering through classes such as chemistry and physics, I noted that mathematical science wasn’t for me. However, in these three years I also learned how fascinated I was with life science classes such as anatomy and biology, which has lead me to pursue a career path in medicine.

Throughout this semester, I have had the opportunity to listen to other students in this class talk about why they are interested in the science of their choice. By conversing with them and getting the chance to read through their projects, I can attest to the level of enthusiasm they have for the career they are working towards. As a result of engaging with these other students, I began reflecting on the reasons why I am excited to learn more about medicine. Writing for this class has also allowed me the opportunity to research more scholarly articles. Some of these articles addressed areas in healthcare with room for improvement that I can hopefully contribute towards someday. Since the start of the year, I can say that I was becoming increasingly passionate about my career path and was beginning to feel more confident in narrowing my interests down to the medical field.

At one point in this semester I was required to have an interview with someone who was within the field that I could see myself participating in professionally. Needless to say, I chose to speak with my family doctor. One of the main reasons why I chose this individual was not just because she is a doctor, but it was also because she is a female. As I became more interested in the medical field, I also began to realize certain setbacks. For instance, one can say that pursing a science career is often more common in men then women. For that reason, I was curious as to how difficult balancing a future life of science as well as raising a family was for women. Speaking with a female medical professional that survived medical school and also successfully raised a family, however, helped me overcome this concern and has allowed me to continuing pursing the science of medicine in my future.

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Blog #8: Class Presentation

Popular Informative Science Presentation

What about the tone and organization of this article appeals to the general public?

The tone of this article is informative and encouraging as it goes into detail about the new and advance technology of 3D printing that will revolutionize the way we live. The organization reinforces this excitement as it first addresses how 3D printing can create small and interesting objects then it builds up to the idea that it could also print more important things such as human organs. This article also appeals to the general public by including people such as President Obama, whom everyone knows thus causing curiosity as to why he is concerned with the information presented here.

In what ways do popular-informative articles cite/reference the research that they use?

In this article, information was cited directly in it’s wording instead of in parenthesis. For instance, at one point in the article it said, “As Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired Magazine, writes in his book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, “You don’t need to know how the machines do their work, or how to optimize their toolpaths. Software figures all that out.” Instead of citing us APA or MLA, popular-informative articles reference the information they use by directly giving credit to the research in their paragraphs.

Inform and Inspire Presentation

How does the speaker engage the audience in a way that not only attempts to inform them on a certain topic but as well inspire them to take action?

The speaker in this Ted talk informs her audience to take action by addressing a topic that everyone can relate to. She educates her audience on how to be better prepared and confident by changing their body posture before or during important presentations and interviews. She also gives an antidote to her one life that is not only personal but is also relevant to her point, which further inspires those listening to her.

Do you think the presenter was effective in her rhetoric, attempt to connect with the audience, and her overall message? What elements do you think contributed to the success or failure of her message?

I believe the presenter was very effective in trying to connect with her audience. She is able to relate to them by explaining why we feel nervous or why we make ourselves appear smaller before we go into a nerve-racking situation. She was able to connect with the audience and then provide scientific research to ways that can help them overcome feelings of suppression in their lives. She also made a point to “fake it until you become it” in order to get her message across that we need to change how we feel in these stressful situations for the better.

Internet Presentation

What tone is conveyed by each article?

The tone of this article is informative and encouraging as it goes into detail about the new and advance technology of 3D printing that will revolutionize the way we live. The organization reinforces this excitement as it first addresses how 3D printing can create small and interesting objects then it builds up to the idea that it could also print more important things such as human organs. This article also appeals to the general public by including people such as President Obama, whom everyone knows thus causing curiosity as to why he is concerned with the information presented here.

In which article(s) do graphics play an important role? Why do you suppose this is the case?

I believe the graphics in the earth day article played an important role in grabbing the reader’s attention. Without the graphics, this reading would not have made the same kind of impact on how magnificent the earth really is. With the illustrations, however, readers are able to visually understand where the enthusiasm from the author’s tone is coming from.

What do you think the author is attempting to do in each article?

In the earth day article, I believe the author is trying to get his readers to be more appreciative and excited about how great our earth really is in order for us to better appreciate earth’s day. In the Godzilla article, the author’s point may be to inform his readers about the true origins of Godzilla in order to remind us of the detrimental affects Japan experienced from the radiation poisoning we exposed them to. Finally, the last article, regarding global warning, could have been written to inform readers about weather patterns and climate changes as a possible result of global warming.

Post #7: A Talk on Pharmacy School

Recently, I attended an Integrative Physiology presentation on the study of pharmaceutical medicine provided by Candido A. Chacon III, a current Director of Admissions for the Anschutz Medical Campus. When I walked in, I noticed that the presentation was held in a small classroom and the chairs were arranged around a circular table with the speaker at the front. Due to the fact that there were no more than twenty people who attended, the environment of the classroom had a personal feel to it, which allowed for more audience interaction.

Before Dr. Chacon began his speech, I noticed his attire was professional. He not only wore a suit but also included his badge, which established his authority in the medical care community. Once he finished introducing himself, he took a seat and began to talk through his presentation using a power point, displayed behind him. While the content of the presentation was slightly advanced for an audience of undergraduate students, Dr. Chacon made sure to avoid using confusing medical terminology and made several pauses in his discussion to allow for questions. I also noticed that he maintained eye contact with everyone in the room demonstrating his efforts to avoid losing our attention.

 My expectation of this presentation before arriving was that it’s only purpose was to excite and inform students about pharmacy school. However, Dr. Chacon’s speech ended up heading in a different, and in my opinion a much more interesting, direction. While he did mention for a few minutes about what it takes to succeed in a pharmaceutical program, the focus of his talk was primarily teaching us about drug resistance bacteria and the impacts it can have in the medical field. Each of his slides was titled with different bacteria and was accompanied with a graphic yet intriguing photo of an individual who had been infected by the disease. His overall presentation focused mainly on five different types of bacteria and how they have been able to evolved throughout the years in order to resist medications pharmacy professionals are providing. 

What I took away from Dr. Chacon’s talk was the fact that though his purpose was to inform and spark students interest in pharmacy school, he inadvertently succeeded in doing so without talking about additional school work we would eventually have to endure. Instead, he provided us with an idea of how exciting learning about drug resistant bacteria can be. I also appreciated the fact that he sat down with us instead of standing and addressed his audience as equals that share a similar interest in the medical field.

Interview with an MD

Like many college students, I am not entirely sure what I want to do with my future. Even when I come up with an idea it usually changes within a month or so. Even though my career goals have been varying, however, I do know for certain that I want to graduate from medical school. In these past couple of years working towards a pre medicine degree, I have learned that gaining acceptance into a medical school is notably challenging and often times stressful. For instance, the CU Medical School in Denver receives over four thousand applicants a year, yet only has enough space for two hundred students. For that reason, those that gain admission and go forward to become doctors are prestigious and hardworking candidates.

In order for me to grasp a better understanding of how to be a competitive applicant for med school, I have been shadowing and talking directly to doctors. One of these doctors is my family practitioner, Dr. Lindy Gilchrist at DTC Family Health. Three days ago, I interviewed her, asking questions regarding what she does specifically on a regular day as well as how she communicates with other doctors and certain challenges she is often times faced with regarding communication.

 In this interview, my first question for Dr. Gilchrist was regarding her job responsibilities. In her reply she told me, “I see patients everyday from two years of age up to 100. I see patients if they have a concern about something that has just come up, or see them for a physical or chronic care such as high blood pressure and diabetes”.  

One I had a clear understanding about her job description; I then ask Dr. Gilchrist questions regarding how she communicates with other doctors. What I learned from her response was of the importance of her capability to contact specialty doctors if her patients had specific illnesses she couldn’t address. Dr. Gilchrist informed me that often times, doctors of certain specialties were responsive about her patient’s conditions, however, at other times they can become too busy to reach through phone or email making her job even more challenging.

Another significant aspect of communication, which is important to her career, is keeping contact with her patients. At DTC Family Health, they have a patient portal system where every patient had a personal pin number in order to access previous and upcoming appointments, lab results, current vitals, and messages from their physicians. After a patient submits a message to their doctor or has a test done, their doctors write back to them within two days. At this point in the interview, Dr. Gilchrist told me, “Writing takes up a large amount of my day for sure. It is an important part of my career as I also write many personal notes on the patients I see throughout the day.”

Normally when talking to doctors about their careers, they inform me about the types of patients they see or the treatments and medications they prescribe everyday. However, after this interview, I walked away with a deeper understanding of they types of communication within the medical field. As with many careers, good communication is important. However from what I learned about working in the medical field was that communication is a necessity. Every day, physicians write personal notes about their patients, read and write emails to other doctors and patients, and are obligated to keep up on latest findings by reading research documents and publications.  Most importantly, doctors are required to communicate efficiently with their patients in order to inform them about their health and what they can do to improve their well being. This implies taking complicated topics such as diabetes or high blood pressure and explaining it in a manner that is understandable to the general public. In my project, I plan to take this concept and apply it to a field of medicine I am interested in- sleep physiology. Like patients, many people want to know how to better their health, which includes how to fall asleep faster and longer. For my project, I will take the topic of sleep and write to the general public about the physiology behind it as well as how to overcome sleeping disorders in a manner that it understandable to those who may not be familiar with the science.  

-Natalie Eidson 

Mental Illnesses in Society

In today’s society, mental health experts claim that 6 percent of the American population is diagnosed with serious mental illnesses which accounts for approximately 1 in 17 people. The American Journal of Psychiatry, a well known and establish journal in the field of psychiatry, addresses over 42 different types of these mental illnesses in their articles. These articles, which consist of the experiments and findings conducted by many psychiatrists, are published every month in order to allow mental health experts to remain informed on new discoveries.

A particular article I became interested in addresses the continuity of these illnesses, which are first diagnosed in younger children. In the article, “Psychiatric Disorders in Preschoolers: Continuity From Ages 3 to 6”, psychiatrists conducted an experiment in order to determine the stability of these illnesses to test whether or not children are capable of overcoming them. From this experiment, physiatrists determined that children diagnosed at age 3 with a mental illness were 5 times more likely to be diagnoses again at age 6. In their discussion, they therefore arrived at the conclusion that their data supported the validity of preschool psychiatric diagnoses while underscoring the importance of early identification to prevent reoccurrence in the future. In doing so, these psychiatrists were able to publish their findings in order to inform other mental health experts of the significance in diagnosing children at a younger age, which may lead to avoiding disruptive behavior later in life.

The primary audience of this publication consists of developing as well as experienced psychiatrists who are interested in the diagnoses of children with mental illnesses. The purpose of this article is to publish new findings in order to better educate mental health experts so that they may apply this information to their own careers. Personally, articles such as these will help me to better understand the communication methods psychiatrists use with one another through their writing. From gaining an insight to professional writing in this field, I hope to then translate this information as well as my own experiences with people suffering from mental illnesses in order to educate the public on the importance of identifying these disorders in the population. In doing so, I also hope to improve my knowledge in the subject matter myself as well as gain a better understanding to a career in psychiatry.

-Natalie Eidson

Caffeine, the Miracle Drug

At the mention of the word caffeine, generally coffee and energy drinks are the first to come to mind.  Possible explanations for this reason could be due the amount of commercial ads directed towards both younger and older generations regarding products that provide easy, accessible, energizing liquid.  However, as people begin to drink more caffeine, the less informed they are of the negative effects it can cause.

Coffee is most commonly used as a means of waking up and getting through a day of work. Commercial ads advertising their coffee brands often times depict a man or woman waking up for work in the morning with the appearance of an irritable and crabby-like zombie. However, once they have had their coffee they suddenly become a much more lively and bearable person to be around. The result of coffee commercials such as these has thus created the public notion that it’s difficult to wake up without the aid of caffeine first thing in the morning.

Energy drink companies such as Nos, Red Bull and Monster, also contribute to the public’s perception of caffeine by creating the impression that their caffeinated products will enhance an individual’s athletic performance. For instance, Red Bull commercials often coin the phrase “Red Bull gives you wings” which is followed by athletes fearlessly participating in intensive sports such as bmx, parkour, surfing, and skydiving. Due to these commercial ads, caffeine is again glorified as a substance that has the ability of improving concentration and even strength.

In medicine, on the other hand, caffeine is defined as a chemical drug used in medications, which can treat illnesses such as headaches, pain relief, shortness of breath in newborns, asthma, and gall bladder disease. As in any drug, however, symptoms can also occur from consuming caffeine. Medical professionals warn that the side effects of this drug include restlessness, dizziness, anxiety, high blood pressure, weak bones, glaucoma, and heart conditions. People can also build a tolerance to caffeine causing them to require a larger does in order for the drug to be effective. As result, withdrawal from caffeine can lead to severity in these symptoms.

In general, commercial advertisements have influenced the public’s perception of caffeine by portraying it as beneficial substance that energizes people and helps them to accomplish their goals. While science has verified caffeine as stimulant, which helps improve mental alertness as well as certain illnesses, they have yet to successfully raise full awareness to the public regarding the side effects of this drug. Due to the fact that caffeine is an ingredient in several foods and drinks, many do not understand the harm that can result from consuming excessive amounts. If people are better educated about how caffeine can both help and harm them then dependency and withdrawal symptoms on the drug could possibly decrease.

-Natalie Eidson

References: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-979-CAFFEINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=979&activeIngredientName=CAFFEINE

Diversity of Science- Revised

When I was seven years old, my mother took me flying for the first time in a Cessna 172. I remember sitting on her lap, taking complete control of the airplane, and experiencing the utter amazement of flying. From that point on, I became an obsessively curious second grader, who wanted to know everything about the world around me. I drove my parents and teachers into insanity with questions such as; “How does water turn to steam?”, “Why don’t old people have teeth?” and my favorite “If you could hold lightening in you hand, how much would it weigh?”. As time went on and the list of questions grew, however, I began to notice a trend: every question I asked was tied back to an understanding of science and because of this the realm of science and opportunities within this realm were endless.

Ken Jenkins once said, “I think science has enjoyed an extraordinary success because it has such a limited and narrow realm in which to focus its efforts. Namely, the physical universe”.  Through a hint of sarcasm, Jenkins clearly addresses the fact that the study of science has no boundaries. Science can begin with studying something as small as an atom, to something as large and far away as a star in the sky. Careers in the subject alone compile an endless list that includes: astronauts, geologist, meteorologist, engineers, physics, chemists, mechanics, oceanographer and more. There are countless fields of science that when put together work to create an explanation for the entire universe, in which we live in.

Though flying with my mother did not lead me to become a pilot, this experience sparked a strong passion for me to explore other topics of science. While I soon learned that I despised chemistry and physics, I quickly realized how drawn I was to other classes such as physiology and anatomy. However, whether it’s calculating the speed of a 300,000 kg 777 aircraft with a breaking force of 445,000 N or determining what cells produce fibers that form the framework of lymphatic organs, the answers are ultimately derived from what Jenkins calls the study of the physical universe. There are no limits to the diversity of knowledge that can be obtained when one chooses to pursue an interest in science.

Diversity of Science

Starting college, I was certain I would follow in the footsteps of every member in my family and become a pilot. Well two and a half years later I am now over half way through a degree in medicine. Although it may appear to be a complete change in direction, the fact is that it was not. Aviation and medicine are just two out of the hundreds of topics that share a connection through a love for science.

 

In a quote by Ken Jenkins he states, “I think science has enjoyed an extraordinary success because it has such a limited and narrow realm in which to focus its efforts. Namely, the physical universe”.  Though Jenkins conveys a hint of sarcasm in his statement, he also clearly addresses the fact that the study of science has no boundaries. There are countless fields of science that when put together work to create an explanation for the entire universe in which we live in. Whether it is calculating the speed of a 300,000 kg 777 aircraft with a breaking force of 445,000 N or determining what cells produce fibers that form the framework of lymphatic organs, there are no limits to the diversity of knowledge that can be obtained when one chooses to pursue an interest in science.

-Natalie Eidson