It Starts With Prevention

Jeff, Fourth Year Medical StudentThis month I am doing my Preventive and Community Medicine rotation. It is a required rotation for 4th years here at LLU. Simply put, it is nothing like what I had anticipated. Prior to beginning the rotation or hearing anything about it from classmates, I thought I would be spending my days in clinic, seeing patients along with the Prev. Med residents.

It turns out, though, that this is not the case. The Preventive & Community Medicine month is a very diverse month in which students’ preferences are considered in creating their schedules for the month. There are many things to choose from and rank based on our interests. For example, as I have an interest in Martial Arts, one of the things I ranked high was to participate in 3 Tai Chi classes during the month. Massage aficionados can also choose to go get a Deep Tendon or Swedish Massage to meet one of our requirements.

One of the lectures that I have enjoyed thus far was a 3 hour lecture on Wellness given by Dr. Olivia Moses who received her doctorate in Public Health. One finding she quoted was from a study done at the Harvard School of Public Health that stated:

Over half of all serious disease in the U.S. could be prevented with healthier lifestyles.

That is just a staggering statistic and one that should be kept in mind especially by those in a position to effect change in our country’s healthcare system. But we as future physicians also need to keep this in mind. Because if we want to make a lasting impact on the health of our nation, it will begin before the disease takes a firm hold of our patients.

At the time of this writing, I’ve finished 1 of the 4 weeks of this rotation. As a student planning on going into primary care, I am eager to see what I will be able to learn and apply to my future practice during this month. And along the way, hopefully I’ll have some fun too. I’ll try to follow up this post with highlights from the month.

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About Jeff

I was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. I attended Walla Walla College (now Walla Walla University) in Washington State where I received a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering and a minor in Mathematics. After a short 4 years away, I am now back in Southern California. I am often asked what kind of doctor I would like to be. I used to say that I would like to be a good one. Mostly this was because I was not really sure what specialty I wanted to go into. But now I've decided on internal medicine. So there's progress, at least. When I am not busy doing something related with school, I enjoy photography, reading, working on my computer, basketball, ping pong, and martial arts. I also write here, on my personal blog at JeffreyMD.com, and as a contributing medical student at Medscape's The Differential.