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Managing Bipolar Disorder in Medical School

Two days before interviewing at the medical school I now attend, I couldn’t get out of bed. At the nadir of my eighth major depressive episode in eight years, I seriously considered whether I could make the trip. Thankfully, I did. And thankfully, six days after that interview I met the psychiatrist who would finally piece together my long and steadily worsening psychiatric history.

I sat in his office, quiet and dulled compared to my spring and summer self, and began recounting my story – the weightiness of my current depression, the semester in college marked by a mere two to four hours of sleep a night (“insomnia” according to my doctor then), and the clockwork nature of my mood changes each year. Within ten minutes, he stopped me mid-sentence and said, almost casually, “You know, you show a lot of signs of bipolar disorder.”

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Redirecting the worries brought on by the medical school reapplication process

I am a reapplicant. Those are four words that every reapplicant shies away from and for understandable reasons, having been one myself. They are laced with fear, self-doubt, and perhaps some shame. And that’s okay.
This was my painful journey as a reapplicant: I was waitlisted at my top school the first time around and was reassured that I had a high chance of gaining admission that very year, but obviously did not make it. The intensity of the emotions that followed were more intense than anything I had imagined, but then again, when does life work out the way we expect it to?

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20 Questions: Jennie Kaufman Singer, PhD – Psychologist

Dr. Jennie Kaufman currently teaches criminal justice courses full time at California State University Sacramento (CSUS), but her interest in clinical psychology started when she was an English major at San Diego State University where she graduated Magna cum Laude. From there, she earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology from California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego, and her PhD in clinical psychology from the same school, where she graduated with honors.

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20 Questions: Ruchi K. Sahota, DDS

Currently in private practice in Fremont, California, with her dentist-mother, Ruchi Sahota got her start in dentistry via University of the Pacific, which she attended both pre-dental and, subsequently, at Arthur A. Dugoni University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, where she earned her doctor of dental surgery (DDS). After earning her degree, Dr. Sahota served a general practice residency at Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Hospital before partnering in her mother’s practice.

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20 Questions: Gary Flashner, MD [Family Medicine]

Dr. Gary Flashner, MS, MD, ABFP is an emergency physician and Vice President of Medical Content for ExitCare, LLC.    He completed his undergraduate work at Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA), Masters work at Penn State, medical school at Thomas Jefferson University, and residency in Family Medicine at Sacred Heart Hospital (Allentown, PA).    His 20 years of clinical practice and teaching endeavors (including 13 years of full-time work in hospital-based emergency medicine) were split between the eastern U.S. (Pennsylvania and Ohio) and California, including working at Yosemite National Park.

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Career Spotlight: Nuclear Pharmacy

Nuclear pharmacy is a specialized practice area in pharmacy that involves compounding and dispensing radiopharmaceuticals to be used in various nuclear medicine procedures.  Unlike radiology, nuclear medicine is a fantastic tool for assessing physiology (function), as opposed to only structure and anatomy.
It is a unique niche within pharmacy and this article will provide an overview of the specialty area, including common radiopharmaceuticals and procedures used in nuclear medicine, as well as the role of a nuclear pharmacist on the healthcare team.
From a business perspective, the industry’s current standing includes nuclear pharmacies which are either institutional (and cater to a single medical center), or commercial.  Centralized commercial pharmacies are contracted by hospitals/clinics to provide radiopharmaceuticals.
Today, there are only a few major radiopharmacies: GE (formerly known as Amersham), Covidien (formerly known as Tyco or Mallinckrodt), and Cardinal Health (which bought out Syncor, among others), as well as a few smaller independents.

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How to Survive Interview Travels

You’ve been waiting for what seems like an eternity. You practically snatch the mail from the mail carrier as it is being delivered and frantically search through the stacks of coupons and bills to find some good news; just as you are ready to steel yourself for yet another disappointment, your heart stops.
There it is.
The school’s emblem sits silently above the return address on the envelope, meeting your stare. Hands shaking, you fumble with the envelope and eventually manage to tear it open. Unfolding the letter it contained, you discover that someone out there thinks you are interesting enough to offer you an interview.
After you finish dancing with your neighbors who were minding their own business until that point and get done laminating the letter, you catch your breath and wonder, “How do I proceed now?”
It is possible that you have never been on a plane before, nor traveled out of state. Now you are expected to travel to a city you have never been to, alone, and make a favorable impression upon an admissions committee member-oh, right, and then there’s the issue of paying for the trip as well.
Luckily, on the Student Doctor Network Forums, many students have already been through what you are about to go through and can offer you some valuable advice. If, however, you don’t feel like perusing pages of threads to get the answer to a quick question, this article might be just what you need.

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20 Questions: Harry Rosen, MD [Hospitalist, Author]

Dr. Harry Rosen was born in Israel and received his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge. He attended The Sackler School of Medicine, obtaining his M.D. in 2000.
He completed his residency at West Los Angeles Veterans Administration in 2004, and he currently works as a hospitalist at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Southern California. Most recently, Dr. Rosen has written “The Consult Manual of Internal Medicine.”
Editor’s Note: For more book information and sample content from “The Consult Manual of Internal Medicine”, please visit
Q: Describe a typical day at work
A: A usual day at work starts off at about 9am when I arrive at the hospital and start on my first can of Pepsi or Coke — or, if I feel daring, a Mountain Dew. The caffeine and sugar help start the day off with a sweet pick-me-up.

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20 Questions: Michael Hyde, O.D. [Optometry]

Michael Hyde graduated from the University of Houston in 2002.  He currently practices on Mondays at the MS Eye CARE Clinic at the University of Houston and in Huntsville, Texas.
His areas of interest are glaucoma and neuro-ophthalmic disease and binocular vision disorders. He also enjoys complex, specialty contact lens fittings.
He recently took time from his schedule to answer a few questions for SDN.
Describe a typical day at work.
On Mondays I see a variety of cases as I work with Rosa Tang, MD (a well respected neuro-ophthalmologist) out of the University of Houston. It keeps my interest in learning and gives me good detective skills to use. The rest of the week I deal with primary eye care issues at my own practice. I enjoy the the hectic pace and the management of a business. It has been both rewarding and frustrating, and it constantly pushes me to learn and adapt and grow.

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20 Questions: Otha Myles, MD [Infectious Disease]

Otha Myles, M.D. is the Deputy Chief of Epidemiology and Threat Assessment at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s United States Military HIV Research Program in Rockville, Maryland.
Dr. Myles graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He went on to complete his residency in internal medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. followed by a fellowship in infectious disease. He was also a recipient of the U.S. Military’s Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP).
Dr. Myles has become one of the leading researchers in the field of HIV. His involvement includes projects in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Dr. Myles recently sat down with SDN to give us a glimpse into the lifestyle of an Infectious Disease specialist.

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