Friday, April 28, 2017

Well, this is it, the final blog post! April has sure flown by. We just had our final event with the pharmacology program this afternoon, which was our final seminar. This was a special lecture, given at the end of each year called the Schüeler Distinguished Lectureship in Pharmacology. It was given by Dr. Eric Olson of UT - Southwestern in Dallas, TX and it focused on correcting diseases through genome editing. Aside from that, I picked up my volunteering again this month after not doing much through the business of March. This month I first spent three hours volunteering at "Wednesday's at the Square." This is a weekly event put on by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans with live music and food from local restaurants. I worked the ticket booth and helped people purchase tickets in order to participate in various activities at the event. My next volunteering opportunity came from two hours of soil collection. This was part of our class' efforts in detecting lead levels in the soil around New Orleans. It involved driving around the city and spending time exploring various locations where young children may frequent and digging up and cataloging the soil. We were required to make note of the location, the address, and the GPS coordinates. In addition to these two volunteering efforts, I spent seven hours doing park clean up in Audobon Park. This is a completely community driven effort taking place several times a month that involves members of the local Uptown community spending some time beautifying the park and keeping it clean for all members of the community to enjoy.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this program this year and 100% endorse it to any one reading this and considering attending next year, or any time in the future. I feel more prepared for a possible career as a physician and this program has given me all the tools and experience to excel. I cannot speak enough about the relationships you will develop and the sincere way your professors will care about your success. Not to mention, living in one of the most incredible cities on earth is a major bonus, as well!

Signing off one final time,

Sami Khan

Volunteering Hours for April:
12 hrs

Volunteering Hours for Second Semester:
30 hrs

Cumulative Volunteering Hours for the Year:
61 hrs

Friday, March 31, 2017

March is over! This has been a very hectic month. We started the month with the end of Mardi Gras and a return to real life. After coming back to school we basically immediately started studying for our shelf exam. This exam is the same NBME board exam that second year medical students have to take. It covered basically everything we have learned in Med Pharm so it was over all the drugs covered on the various blocks we've done this year. We were tested over various drugs' indications, side effects, drug interactions, mechanisms, and pharmacokinetic properties. After the shelf exam, we got back in the groove of classes and just recently had our second exam in our cellular control class. This exam covered apoptosis and various information on the role of the mitochondria in the human body. I'll be finishing my volunteering in the coming weeks and my next blog post will be my last!

Volunteering hours for March: 0
Total volunteering hours: 18

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What a month! February sure has flown by, but it makes sense since there's only 28 days! My volunteering really took off this month, but not for the best of reasons. A very destructive tornado touched down in East New Orleans and caused massive amounts of damage. It was surreal because we would see a house completely fine, some looking clean even, and directly across the street a house would be destroyed to its foundations. My part of New Orleans, Uptown, was completely untouched so it was shocking to see the damage that had occurred only 45 minutes away from me. Several classmates and I joined with the Red Cross to walk around the disaster area and do damage assessment of people's homes. It was to help them determine how much financial assistance they might receive from the Red Cross. We spent an entire Thursday out there and then some time on Saturday morning as well. It felt great to help these people in terrible circumstances in our local community.

Volunteering hours for February: 18
Total volunteering hours: 18

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Back to school! After a much needed two week break during the December and January holidays, classes have resumed. We completed our first block of the semester, neurology, two Thursdays ago. We have our next block exam Monday, February 6 over psychology for Principles and Med-Pharm, and our first exam in our Cellular Control class next Monday, as well. The first block exam, over psychology, is one I enjoyed very much. I took great interest in learning about the many different psychological disorders of the brain. Many of the drugs that were covered were drugs of varying "fame" or "infamy," of classes including antipsychotics, opiates, and more. Learning about the painkillers was especially interesting because of the opioid epidemic currently occurring in our country. It really made me think about the alternative forms of pain management that may exist, or could exist in the future, that would treat patients for pain without creating the risk of life altering opiate addiction.

Our class schedule is busier this semester and it's affected my ability to volunteer at Kipp so far. Usually I volunteered at Kipp on Friday afternoons after the weekly guest speaker, but this semester I have a class on Friday afternoons. Now that these first few weeks of the semester have gone by and I have an idea on scheduling, I plan on starting to volunteer at Kipp again next week. We don't have any class the day after our exam so that should be a good starting point. I'm sad I haven't made it out yet this semester, the volunteering each Friday was always a great way to end the week. Hopefully next month I can report back with more good grades and double digit volunteering hours!