Who said we can’t learn from Rocks?

Who needs college? That’s the title of the NPR talk that featured a young entrepreneur who dropped out of Princeton to pursue an idea through Peter Thiel’s fellowship and gained an experience that would not have been provided in college. During the time away from college, she found her inner calling of what she wanted to do and decides to go back to college.  Now she can take advantage of the opportunities and reap the true benefit of college.

How many of us know what we really, really want to do entering college? At first, I thought that’s why we go to college—to find our true calling of what we wanted to do. But aren’t kids in college much more confused on what to do after college? In this case, would it be wise to consider delaying college plans and venture in real-life experiences? Or maybe this is why those who pursue graduate degrees took time away to learn what they are really passionate about so by the time they enter their graduate studies–they can truly enjoy and take advantage of the resources that are readily available.

A philosophy that have always stuck with me is that resources and opportunities are not limited in the academic setting. Anybody, anywhere can learn from anybody, anywhere and anything. Everybody or even any animal or anything has their strengths and weakness so if we look around us–we are surrounded by gems and pearls that can enlighten us. The world is fascinating!  Now, I spy a gem, do you?

Thanks NPR for inspiring this reflection on my personal philosophy. Now back to the game-face–bring it on Finals!


Waking up to the Right Music

The moment that sets the mood for the day– waking up. I love it when my body wakes me up before my alarms. Unfortunately, like many others, I rely on my alarm clock to snap me back into life so I am ready for work and school. My music selection varies between jazzy tunes to some karaoke able songs. I feel like there’s a science behind waking up the right way with the right music. The music can be dissected into speed, quality, variety, mood and volume. The music quality cannot be too abrupt that shocks me to life but needs to gradually lift me up. Volume that is loud enough to wake me up but does not leave my ears ringing. It also has to be an upbeat song with or without lyrics. Once my mood and body is bouncing into rhythm then it sets the tone for the rest of the day–until 2PM…

Sleep is such an essential part of life. Though we do not know why we must sleep– it does help our body restore itself. Being asleep is when body is allowed to recharge without the interruptions from our emotional and conscious state. Those who have problem with sleeping—is it because their overactive thoughts? is it their biological rhythm? is it their imbalances within the body? I would assume all of them. As I’m trying to grasp a better understanding of sleep in both the West and East–it makes me realize that sleep disorder deals with much more than just the brain.. it’s the body physiology and how the systems are interacting. This is why the simple question of “how are you sleeping?” would reveal a lot about a person’s health condition. This is such a fascinating field to look into..

I know sometimes we feel like there’s not enough time in our hands thus we sacrifice sleep to do more important tasks. But it is as important to eat is to sleep–it’s part of refueling the body for the great tasks that lies ahead.

Technology and Health Care

I was very thrilled to see how, sticky paper are used to provide third-world countries some form of affordable, convenient lab diagnosis. I love it when technological advancements create tools in healthcare that would help make care more accurate diagnosis, and affordable treatments. There are now so many Ipad apps that help physician and health practitioners make more accurate diagnosis and treatment,  communicate with patients and more! New York Times had a recent article on how IPad Apps has been changing the way medicine is practice. It’s great that the practice of medicine is changing for the better but it is important to remind ourselves that we want to practice patient-centered care.

Let’s remind ourselves not to overemphasize on disease or be over-obsessed with technological diagnostic tools but focus on the patient. This is when I appreciate the practice of Chinese Medicine where we look at the body as a dynamic system (almost like a mini eco-system within) and give a person the tools to help them achieve optimal health.

Learning from Kids.

Learning is quite a phenomenal process.  As I browse through the artwork and assignments of a kindergartener, it made me realize how much every stroke and word can reveal about a kid’s personality. No wonder pediatric psychologists uses drawings to decipher a child’s psyche. This is probably why I really appreciate artwork and design from anybody. The process of constructing a masterpiece takes brain power and thought. How can a psychobiology major not love something that have so much innate mind and brain connection, thought, and creativity. It’s hard to describe the joy I get when I look at the one-of-a-kind coloring and drawings my little cousins hung on my wall. While studying for finals, those mini breaks observing those drawings makes me smile. 

Children and their sincerity and innocence are so adorable. I am learning so much from them. 



First world problems

It is weird that I did not realize this sooner but here are my thoughts. I did not realized how powerful an individual is in their community. Remember the cartoon that advocated doing a good deed for someone and having the person pass on three more good deeds? That’s an example on how a person has the potential in changing their community but i never thought much about it.

At every family gathering, I paid special attention to our interactions with one another. Odd that I can pick out what could be improved in terms of communication and mannerism. It was very interesting to see how the dynamic of the group differs, depending on who’s sitting in the table. I can sense the subtle change in behavior when an elderly is in the table compared to a table full of individuals in the same generation. It just reminds me on how Chinese people really emphasize the importance of respect.

When I come to think about it, there are plenty of family stress in any household. If a only a family member can spend some quality time with each other and listen to them, I wonder if that will help with all the misunderstanding and unnecessary stress that affects health? The first world problem no longer deals with survival but psychological stress —a silent killer.

Our extraordinary senses

As a student of medicine–regardless the East or West, it is important to know exactly why one wants to go into the field. The intention is so important. These few weeks as I started my first quarter in clinical practice there were quite a few insights that I came to realized. Before I started, I learned that it is important to be on the list of “good interns”. At first, I asked myself: “What does it mean when a patient requests a good intern?” There are so many aspect to that question? Are they looking for someone who can speak the same language? Are they looking for someone with technical precision when needling? What kind of characteristics does the “good intern” have that a bad intern will lack?

If i step back and look at this as a patient, I assume a good intern would have (1) adequate knowledge of what they are doing with (2) decent accuracy and (3) compassion. Out of the three requirements that i have, I suppose only number 3 is commonly used to determined if a intern is “good”. My assumption is that if an intern have enough compassion, it will imply that the intern will go beyond their studies to resolve and understand the problem and find a suitable treatment. 

I have been treating quite a few individuals who practices meditation and yoga. It is interesting experience having such patients because they are extremely sensitive to “energy”. I have been getting the comment; “I really like you, you have really good energy I can sense it” ..on their first impression of me as I start taking their medical history. In my mind, I don’t really understand how they came up with such conclusion. Does our body have the ability to really distinguish the “good” versus “Bad” intrinsically? 

Anger Food

It’s a funny thing how human have a sixth sense to automatically detect the sight, sound and smell of anger. I walked into a room today and immediately picked up the smell of stress wrapped with pissed-off sauce.  It’s an awkward feeling, it’s like recognizing the problem and not doing anything about it. Am I suppose to fuel this anger with inflammables and try to break into the emotions? Or should have I attempt to find some tasty “ice candy” and try to lighten the mood with some sweets? This is when I wish I was a natural impromptu comedian. I could easily share a few lines and sprinkle some humor to dissolve the stress-caused anger. This actually makes me appreciate mediators and those who are in customer service. It’s not easy to deal with agitated individuals and it probably takes a lot of patients to deal with them.

I wish resolving anger is as easy as asking a child to eat vegetables. Perhaps, there are foods that might do the magic–will definitely do more research on this!