A godawful hangover after a rather messy night out has me thinking about the lifestyle that my medical student comrades and I have chosen for ourselves. For a group that is (in theory anyway) unusually well informed when it comes to health, we often do a piss-poor job of looking after our own. Poor diets (well, we are students, so baked beans are basically a food group), illicit drug taking, massive alcohol consumption (ouch), drunk driving, yada yada.
An alcoholic is someone who drinks more than their doctor. Someone who drinks more than a medical student is probably dead.
The student body tends to be strangely proud of the “Do as I (will) say, not do as I do” culture. There’s a tongue-in-cheek glorification of our hypocrisy as a group which is the source of many a jest. One of my friends jokes about having a special pie drawer in his desk so that he can chomp on steak and kidneys in between advising his patients to take better care of their diets! I try to make an effort to keep in good nick, though that’s purely selfish and not to do with setting a good example, although it must be said that I would find it difficult to give lifestyle advice were I unfit, obese and smoked seventy a day! However, I’m no health nut, not by a long shot, though right now the idea of, say, giving up drinking forever seems a remarkably good idea…
For some, this is rationalised by the “if you live healthily and avoid one disease, another will still kill you” argument. Not entirely invalid, I guess – I’d rather die earlier of a heart attack than live longer if I then went on to develop Alzheimer’s, a disease that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Though for myself it’s not the mortality so much as the morbidity that concerns me; I’d rather keep fit simply to avoid being unfit, the decreased chance of heart attack or stroke just being a happy side effect.
Listening to: Summer in G minor, by Vivaldi
This is a repost of the above piece of journalism brought to my attention by PharmaGossip. There are times when the disregard of basic ethics by some pharmaceutical industry, and those that work with them, beggars belief. In particular the use of clinical trials as marketing exercises, and the tactics used to get apparently favourable results from worthless studies, push home the importance for would-be doctors like yours truly to have a good grasp of stats and how to critique a piece of research.
This sort of crap makes me angry.
Hacking away at an anatomy textbook in preparation for the coming academic year, and struck as ever by how amazing the human body really is.
It has far too many pieces, my dear Mozart, and is too beautiful for our eyes.
In parallel I’ve been reading the original Gray’s Anatomy, which is a fascinating insight into medical history. Though partly I’m reading it for the pretty pictures – the engravings are beautiful.
Listening to: Teeth of a Cogwheel (Baroness)