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PreMed Magazine U NIVERSITY

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GEORGIA

2013: preMed welcomes its first issue

Epidemiology what you did and did not know

Spotlights medical school research career

January 2013 | Issue 01


Table of Contents 4

Medical School Spotlight

6

Research Spotlight

8

Clubs in Action

9

In the News

12

Epidemiology

14

Pharmacy School

16

Dental

17

Healthy Living

UGA PreMed January 2013

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Spotlight

MEDSCHOOL

A

n application is all about how well you stand-out. Think about what will take you from a piece of paper in front of the admissions board to a student enrolled in one of the top medical school. It’s no easy task to stand out in today’s application pool. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, there were 609,312 applications submitted to various medical colleges across the United States, for enrollment in the 2011-2012 school year. Every medical application has the basic numbers, a hard earned GPA and distinguished MCAT score. So what makes the

future medical school students stand out? First let me take a minute to note that a high GPA and competitive MCAT score are essential to any medical school application. These numbers are often used to determine the applicants who proceed past the first part of the application process. Therefore undergraduates should not underestimate the effort and commitment it takes to be a premed student. With that said, it takes a student that is committed and involved in more than just their academics to be a top applicant for medical school. Medical schools are looking for students that have what it takes to be professional doctors, work-

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ing with and treating patients. Being a good doctor takes more than good studying and test taking skills. The most competitive applicants are well-rounded and demonstrate their passions and commitment through their involvement in different extra-curricular activities. The American Medical College Application Service’s application requires students to detail different areas of involvement in and special awards or recognition they have received. Applicants can fill out up to 15 slots in this part of the application. In addition applicants are required to provide further details on three of their extracurricular activities. The AMCAS application provides a list of activity types to written by kathleen laporte photo morguefile


identify each experience. A few of the listed experiences include; Paid Employment, Military Employment, Community Service (Medical/Clinical or Non-Medical), Research/Lab Work, Leadership, Teaching or Tutoring, Honors/Awards, Publications and Hobbies/Avocations. This list can give students an idea of what admission boards are looking for when reviewing student’s applications. While experience in all these areas can help your application it is important to focus more on the quality of your involvement and experience rather than the number of things you are involved in. Medical schools will expect students to demonstrate their interest in the medical profession through exposure and involvement in clinical and medical experiences. Applicants are expected to have some experience in a medical field whether it’s volunteering, working or shadowing. These experiences give students an opportunity to show their abil-

ity to work in a professional medical setting as well as their interest in this field. While having medical experience is extremely important, premed students should think about what they are most passionate about when determining which extracurriculars to pursue. Not only will students enjoy their involvement in something they are passionate about they will contribute and gain more from these experiences. Use your passions to demonstrate your best skills, whether its sports, art or something else, first get involved in something you’re passionate about then try to determine how to tie-in or find other medical experience. The experiences you include in your application should reflect your best qualities as a student and future medical professional. Get involved and stick with what you start, this will show commitment in your work. Find a position of leadership that will demonstrate your ability to be responsi-

ble and take charge. Also look for experiences that will contribute to your personal growth, something that you can learn from and get as much out of it as you put in. Every new experience, club or extra-curricular activity is a new opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest of the aspiring medical professionals out there. Put yourself in the admission boards’ shoes, you’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands, of applications with all the basics, GPA, MCAT and clinical experience. Its your semester in Europe, being captain of the champion club soccer team or your role in the University musical that will catch the drooping eyes of an otherwise bored review board. So balance your time and don’t bite off more than you can chew, but also don’t become buried in your textbooks and test cramming, there is so much more to get involved in if you want to outshine the med-school competition.

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Spotlight Lab Quick Facts: Lab Category | Cellular Biology Faculty Mentor | Kojo Mensa-Wilmot Lab Focus | African Trypanosomes and Drug Discovery Number of Undergrads in the Lab | 3

researchlab P

rotozoan parasites cause millions of illnesses worldwide, but one of the most neglected tropical diseases is caused by the Trypanosoma genus of parasites. There are two Trypanosoma species that affect humans: Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chaga’s Disease in South Amer-

ica, and Trypanosoma brucei, which causes African sleeping sickness. Dr. Kojo Mensa-Wilmot’s cellular biology lab is focusing on both the drug discovery for and the biological mechanics of the Trypanosoma brucei parasite. African Sleeping Sickness is extremely prevalent in the central belt of Africa where the Tse-

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tse fly vector thrives. There are approximately 60 million people at risk, and there are more than 66000 deaths per year from this disease that is 100% fatal if untreated (Seattle BioMed 2012). Although there is high risk rate for the people of Africa, because it is not a worldwide epidemic, it is often neglected by ma-

written by nina paletta photo american physiolocial society


jor researching organizations. Unfortunately enough, the only available treatments are toxic and difficult to administer; and because there are two different types of sleeping sickness, it is difficult to find a treatment for both. The subspecies Trypanosoma brucei gambiense is most prevalent on the western coast of Africa and is extremely slow progressing; on the other hand, Trypanosoma brucei rhodensiense is present in east Africa and has a rapid onset. The drug Melarsoprol, although the best available treatment, is an arsenic-based drug treatment that can only be administered intravenously; and it can only be used to treat Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. There are very few drugs that target the life cycle of Trypanosoma brucei rhodensiense. Because both of these parasites are virulent and pathogenic to humans, Dr. Mensa-Wilmot’s lab works with the subspecies Trypanosoma brucei brucei. This subspecies causes Nagana in cattle; although it is not known to be pathogenic in humans, the genomic sequences are practically identical. Although the sequence has been determined, not much is known about the specific roles each protein plays in the cellular biology of the parasite. In this lab, Dr. Mensa-Wilmot and his research staff are both screening small-molecule drugs that can be orally administered and arrest the growth of the parasite in the bloodstream form as well as looking for the biological functions of different proteins within the parasite in order to understand it better. I began working in Dr. Men-

sa-Wilmot’s lab at the beginning of this semester. I work in close proximity with both the post-doctorate Dr. Paul Guyett as well as the three full-time graduate students. All of the members of the lab are extremely hands-on in aiding the new undergraduates in their training. Throughout the first few months, Dr. Guyett walked the new undergraduates through the lab basics. We spent the first few weeks learning sterility techniques, how to culture cells, how to use the lab equipment, and how to take care of various lab duties. We were given the proper training in order to fully understand all of the lab procedures. As undergraduates in a small lab, we are very hands-on. After we had gotten acclimated to the lab, we began running drug trials for a series of 85 small-molecule drugs that target protein tyrosine kinases; we have been responsible for this project for the entire semester. The drugs that we find to have have a high growth arrest and killing percentile will go into further in-vitro –and possibly in-vivo – trials. In addition to the general drug screenings, the graduate students in the lab also have their own projects that have been presented at several meetings and conferences as well as having been published. Although each graduate student is working on a different project with a different drug or set of drugs, all use a central scheme of techniques. Through the utilization of PCR, chromatography, bead elutions, mass spectrometry, RNAi constructs, gel electrophoresis, and gene cloning and knockdown experiments, the lab staff are

working incredibly hard to find a cure for this disease. In addition to the in-vitro studies that the undergraduate students are conducting, some of the graduate students have found potentially viable drugs that they are testing in-vivo in mice. So far, the lab has found one potentially viable drug that they use as a baseline for all of their subsequent experiments. Lapatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has shown great success in both arresting cell growth and killing the parasite in the bloodstream. Along with the protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors, the lab is also studying the effects of serine/threonine kinase inhibitors. By studying both types of kinase inhibitors, the research lab is not only finding drugs that better kill the parasite, but they are also learning more about the signaling pathways of the parasite itself. The future of this lab is incredibly bright. The newest project that the lab will be tackling is a collaboration between Dr. Mensa-Wilmot and Dr. Kennedy in the UGA pharmacy program. Dr. Kennedy has developed a new type of synthetic drug that disrupts protein:protein interactions. This project has been started in the lab previously, however it had to be halted as the undergraduate in charge graduated. With all of the different projects that this lab is currently exploring, an incredible amount of information about the Trypanosoma brucei parasite is coming to light. If this lab is as successful as it has been, the data found could potentially lead to the discovery of a cure for this debilitating tropical disease.

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Clubs in Action

Association for Women in Science The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is an organization that was founded in 1971 to help advance and enhance the careers of women with interest in the sciences. AWIS has close ties with many professional organizations, allowing their members to network and meet useful contacts that could help further their path towards their prospective profession. While this organization focuses on the empowerment of women in the sciences, the club also encourages males who are supportive of the cause to join.

The UGA chapter of AWIS has many events that would be enticing to prospective members. One of the most exciting opportunities that comes with being a member AWIS is the Inter-Collegiate Mentoring Program. This is a unique opportunity for undergraduates to be partnered with a graduate student at the MCG/UGA Medical Partnership, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Public Health, and the College of Pharmacy. This program will give undergraduates a look into their prospective careers, while helping them expand their

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network of professionals. AWIS also holds “Pi in the Sky� nights during which members meet with local middle school children and try to grow their love for science by performing experiments with the children. AWIS also offers lectures by guest speakers and community service opportunities to their members. AWIS generally hold meetings on Thursday evenings, and has a list serve that prospective students can subscribe to.

written by kristi haisler photo awis uga


In the News Health apps explode in popularity, aid the medical process Patients and medical practitioners alike are turning to computer and phone applications to access medical information and ease the transition to digital records. As the federal government spends up to $29 billion in incentives to get providers to digitize health care records by 2014, hospitals and doctor’s offices are changing the way they process claims and prescriptions. Patients are also accessing health information and tracking their own appointments and prescriptions. In addition to federal dollars, venture capital for health technology is soaring to nearly $955 million, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. The mobile health app market will reach $1.3 billion in revenue this year and 500 million users by 2015, according to Research2guidance, a mobile research group. The fast-paced growth is difficult for the Food and Drug Administration, the agency in charge of regulating mobile health apps, to written by carolyn crist photos morguefile

manage. Though it has evaluated a handful of apps, guidelines are still unclear about which apps require approval. A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives could help the agency’s evaluation process. The Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act would create an Office of Mobile Health at the FDA to provide recommendations about mobile health apps. The bill would also create a mobile health developer support program under the Department of Health and Human Services to help app developers operate within federal laws that set privacy standards, such as HIPAA. “Our healthcare system works against small-to-large startup entrepreneurs with a multitude of barriers to entry,” Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., said in a statement before introducing the bill. “Why have the principles of Silicon Valley, which I represent – competition, innovation, and entrepreneurship – not fully manifested themselves in the healthcare information technology space? This bill gets us closer to that

space.” FDA officials and representatives hope to have a short-term solution by the end of 2012. Four lists below outline the top medical and health-related apps being discussed in October: TOP APPS BEING DISCUSSED ON PHYSICIAN BLOGS AND WEBSITES:

Happtique

a mobile application store developed by health care professionals, recently introduced a pilot program to assist physicians in electronically prescribing medical apps to their patients.

a medical reference tool by Medscape WebMD geared toward physicians. The original self-titled WebMD app included a symptom checker for patients. Recently, the company also launched WebMD Pain Coach, an app that aims to help patients deal with conditions like migraines, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Created by the Visible Body group, this includes views of 600 muscles, 200 bones, and 50 quizzes.

VaxNation

an online vaccination tracker for patients developed by students at Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, and the University of Texas School of Public Health. With the patient’s birth date and information about past vaccinations, VaxNation provides age-appropriate recommendations based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.

MedPage Today

partnered with Thomas-Reuters Healthcare, provides prescription drug monographs and disease pathology information.

Top paid apps in the Mac App store: 1. MUSCLE SYSTEM PRO III $19.99 Co-created by StanfordUniversity School of Medicine and 3D4Medical, this shows musculoskeletal system with 360 horizontal degree rotations of any body part, 10 layers of superficial and deep muscle and tons more.

2. SKELETAL SYSTEM PRO III $14.99 Also co-created by Stanford University School of Medicine, this shows the skeletal system with 360 horizontal degree rotations of any body part, 94 movement animations, and more. 3. GRAY’S ANATOMY PREMIUM $1.99 For the classic anatomical book from 1858, this is available for Mac using high resolution images of all 1,247 illustrations. It includes a disclaimer that this is unrelated to the TV show Grey’s Anatomy! 4. VISIBLE BODY 3D HUMAN ANATOMY ATLAS 2 $39.99 Anatomy learning and teaching app with male and female models, each with 3,400 anatomical structures in 3D. Users can study by body system or body region and can tap a structure to learn more. 5. 3D MUSCULAR PREMIUM ANATOMY $29.99

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6. MY MEDICAL $19.99 Record keeping app for keep medical information in a database. It offers autocompletion and autosuggestion for medical terms, including drug names, vaccinations, laboratory units, and more. 7. BRAIN PRO $9.99 Created by the same company as Muscle System Pro III and Skeletal System Pro III, this allows users to manipulate the brain by rotating it, cutting the brain open, and adding custom labels. 8. BRAIN SECTION 3D $.99 Allows users to study the anatomy of the brain with functions, activities, types, and textures. 9. 3D HUMAN BODY ORGANS REFERENCES $2.99 Created by the same company as the Brain Section 3D app above, this gives 3D views of body organs and body systems. 10. BREATHING ZONE $3.99 Harvard Medical School recommended app that helps with breathing and relaxation exercises.


Top apps for the iPhone (separate from the Mac App store):

Top free apps in the Mac App store: 1. GRAY’S ANATOMY STUDENT For the classic anatomical book from 1858, this is available for Mac with high resolution images. It includes the full text and has scrollable thumbnails of the 1,247 illustrations. 2. BREATHING ZONE Free version of the Harvard Medical School recommended app that helps with breathing and relaxation exercises. 3. CARDIO3 ATLAS OF INTERVENTIONAL CARDIOLOGY LITE It’s a reference tool for cardiologists and internists and is the preview version of Cardio3 Invasive. The paid version was released Oct. 9 and is $39.99 4. EPONYMS This gives a short description of more than 1,700 medical terms (such as Rovsing’s sign and Virchow’s node) to your Mac. 5. ONE-HAND KEYBOARD This is a one-hand typing keyboard layout that uses your existing two-hand typing muscle memory. It’s created to help people who have broken an arm, fractured a wrist, lost a finger, or have limited use of one hand.

6. 3D NASAL VISTA LITE It allows 3D views of the nasal passages. The paid version is $899.99! 7. iSURF BRAINVIEW Brain MRI tour based on MRI automatic segmentation pro ducted by FreeSurfer, a software package developed by investigators at Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. Ratings say it’s basic and doesn’t give much context. 8. MIRROR-QWERTY This is also a one-hand keyboard app that mirrors the keyboard by holding the spacebar. 9. TRAIMONITORMINIET It simulates a EtCO2 monitor but has limited functions. The free version is intended to learn the management of EtCO2 with a realistic image. 10. IMCPRO Released Oct. 5, this gives BMI based on weight and height. It acknowledges that BMI is a proxy for human body fat and does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. This helps to show your position in a graph.

1. POCKET PHARMACIST $1.99 This app includes drug information and a medication organizer. 2. PILL IDENTIFIER $.99 This is a searchable database for 10,000 prescription drugs by imprint, drug name, shape, or color. 3. PREGNANCY ++ $2.99 Created to help people have a safe and healthy pregnancy, this app gives daily information and updates about a developing pregnancy. 4. EPOCRATES Free This is one of the most popular mobile drug reference apps among physicians. 5. MEDSCAPE Free WebMD’s medical resource features a drug reference section, interaction checker and medical news. 6. TARASCON PHARMACOPOEIA $39.99 This is another popular portable drug reference app.

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examining the big picture:

EPIDEMIOLOGY

W

ith a human population of about 7 billion, the Earth supports more life than it has ever in the entirety of its history. Yet, as massive as this figure is, our world has become smaller and smaller through the globalization process that has been expedited by advances in technology. The voyage that took Ferdinand Magellan and his crew nearly three years to complete by water can now be done in a matter of days through the air. A person in New York City, New York can communicate with someone in Buenos Aires, Argentina in seconds through media such

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written by ronke olowojesiku illustration christine byun


as Facebook, Skype, and telephone. Our world is becoming more and more close-knit – what is a problem for one part of the world can easily become a problem for another. In two instances this fact is readily apparent – in times of economic woe, such as the financial issues in the United States and Europe, and in the event of grave disease outbreak. One only has to look at the recent H1N1 pandemic to see evidence of the latter. In times of widespread disease, it falls on a particular individual to assuage the anxiety of the general population while searching for an answer. This individual is none other than the epidemiologist. Epidemiology, from Greek roots meaning “that which is on the people,” is the study of the patterns, causes, and effects of disease on populations. An interdisciplinary field, epidemiology pulls from the various biological sciences, social sciences, and statistics to ascertain the mechanisms of a disease in the environment and to counteract its effects on the human population. The Greek physician Hippocrates is considered as the first epidemiologist as he was the first to seek to understand the relationship between the environment and disease. Centuries after in 1854, English physician John Snow discovered the cause of several cholera outbreaks in the Soho district of London. This profound event in public health known as the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak earned Snow the title of the father of modern epidemiology and sparked the increased development of modern-day epi-

demiology. An epidemiologist is a professional who works in public health studying the patterns of disease within a population. These studies can take the epidemiologist to many places; to the field, to the lab bench – even all the way to Washington to discuss policies related to the nation’s health. The entry level degree for epidemiologists is a master’s degree, typically in public health or a related field while many epidemiologists hold doctorate degrees in epidemiology or a related field. The majority of epidemiologists – 54% -- work for some sort of government entity. A prime example of this is the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA. Other epidemiologists work either in hospitals, academia, or for research or pharmaceutical companies. The median wage for an epidemiologist is $63,010 with the top 10% earning near $100,000 (“Occupation Outlook Handbook”). In recent years, many have highlighted the benefits of integrating the aspects of epidemiology into clinical medicine. At least 32 medical schools in the nation have established MD/ MPH joint programs with a vast number of other schools offering joint degrees in partnership with another university. The appeal of the MD/MPH is that the program trains physicians to care for both individual patients and entire communities at the same time, providing a broader perspective on health. Instead of observing an individual’s signs and symptoms, giving a diagnosis, and proposing a treatment plan according to these obser-

vations, a physician utilizing a public health mindset would look at what factors in the individual’s community – socioeconomic, environmental, etc – could also be impacting his or her health. For example, an individual who contracted West Nile Virus may have been more susceptible to acquiring the illness due to their living situation. If this individual lives in poorer housing that lacks air conditioning and window screenings, then he or she will be in greater contact with the disease vector. Thus, in studying an illness from this standpoint, physicians can determine a better solution to the illness at hand that will have a larger impact long-term on not only the individual, but the community as a whole. When in 2009 a novel H1N1 flu began to manifest itself in pandemic proportions, it was the work of professionals in public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization that helped to control the spread of disease and educate the concerned public. Epidemiologists play a vital role in our society by studying the various facets of the diseases that impact us as humans and in doing so improving our overall health. In marrying the roles of an epidemiologist and a physician, one becomes better equipped in combating disease from both an individual level and population level. Says one MD/ MPH candidate at the University of Texas Health Science Center, having both a public health and clinical perspective on health has allowed her to see the “bigger picture of medicine” (Bein 2010).

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Spotlight

Pharmacy School UGA’s Measure

“There is such a family atmosphere here.” When asked what set UGA’s College of Pharmacy apart, that was how Dr. Alan Wolfgang, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs in the College, chose to reply. At first blush, this response seems to go against the grain; after all, shouldn’t the penultimate defining characteristic of a pharmacy program be the success of its research or the rigor of its cur-

riculum? Such claims are made by many pharmacy schools and are meritorious, if not actually unique, but through its creation of a community among the students and professors, UGA’s College of Pharmacy has built upon the common goals of research and academics to teach a lesson less easily forgotten. The previous article detailed the defining characteristics of the four top-ranked

pharmacy schools in the United States, and that theme continues here. How does UGA’s College of Pharmacy compare to these pharmaceutical giants? Dynamic coursework, diverse research, and small class sizes combine in a pharmaceutical education that is distinctively UGA. To get down to brass tacks, no school can achieve success without excellence in academics.

After all, the most basic mission of any school is to teach information and train students to excel in various academic disciplines. Halting progress at this conveyance of information, however, misses the true purpose of an education. In the words of William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Basically, colleges and universities exist to kindle and inspire the passions of their students, not merely to fill them with “pertinent” information. UGA’s College of Pharmacy applies this theme remarkably well, structuring its program to dictate three years of didactic course-

work culminating in a fourth year comprised of internships. Through this model, students are exposed to the entire range of information essential for success in the pharmaceutical field while being given the opportunity to learn the day-to-day applications of this information in various real-world situations. More than this, however, the College is dedicated to keeping its curriculum abreast of current trends in the world of pharmacy. The University of Minnesota garnered its national third-place ranking among pharmacy schools for its trailblazing emphasis on collaborative healthcare, and ad-

ministrators in UGA’s College of Pharmacy are well aware of this emerging movement. Within the next few years, it is highly likely that the list of admission prerequisites will be lengthened in order to liberate more hours within the four years of pharmaceutical education in which principles of this new healthcare movement can be taught and in which students may focus on honing their diagnostic skills. Another application of the academic coursework lies in research, a major source of funding for pharmacy schools. While students and faculty in UGA’s College of Pharmacy are engaged

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written by abigail shell photo morguefile, kayla mohler


in both clinical and basic science research spanning topics from treatments for strokes and for diabetes to development of drugs to combat AIDs, malaria, and certain cancers, the research division of the pharmacy school is at a perceptible disadvantage. Unlike the University of California, San Francisco, and the others nationally ranked as the top pharmacy schools in the nation, UGA does not have a College of Medicine and thus also does not have a hospital directly affiliated with the campus[1]. Lack of such a resource severely decreases the opportunity and data pool for extensive research and largely limits efforts to the laboratory. In turn, this restriction curbs the amount of money able to be generated through research, and according to Dr. Wolfgang, these returns on NIH research are the principle impetus driving the national rankings of pharmacy schools. Despite this lamentation, research efforts are quite hale within UGA’s College of Pharmacy, and with each influx of new minds each year, the pos-

sibilities for studies continue to expand. While unfortunately less than ideal for research, the small college feel of UGA’s College of Pharmacy strongly swings in the students’ favor. With around 150 students admitted each year[2], the College of Pharmacy statistically composes but a small portion of UGA’s 34,475 enrolled students[3]. Such selective admission facilitates the creation of small classes in which students have direct and personal access to their professors who in turn are characterized by their open-door policy. Dr. Wolfgang describes the College as “having all the resources of a large, research-intensive university while still maintaining a small school feel.” In this way, UGA’s College of Pharmacy seems to have struck a pleasant medium; the activities, opportunities, and funding supplied by a large, land-grant university float at its students’ fingertips while the close-knit relationships and resultant productive atmosphere are nurtured through the small size of the community.

If academics, research, and class sizes play significant roles, but none are actually an independent standard for measuring the success of a pharmacy school, how can this question actually be answered? Ultimately, the most successful school(s) will be the one(s) who produce competent pharmacists---individuals ready to step from the graduation stage into a pharmacy without having to waste time learning basic applications. How can such a rate be judged? The percentage of graduates who earn residencies is an excellent first indicator, and while the top four pharmacy schools have a high percentage of students who secure such opportunities, UGA’s College of Pharmacy does as well. Beyond rankings or awards or fancy medical buildings, this is what truly matters: producing a new generation of pharmacists competent in the work they do and passionate about improving the quality of life of all those with whom they come in contact.

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Dental

Collaboration Between Dentists and Medical Doctors

T

he separate realms of medicine and dentistry are growing less and less distinct as the years go by. Traditionally, medical doctors and dentists care for their patients in two completely separate areas of health care; one cared for the health of the oral cavity and the other cared for the health of the body. It is now understood better than ever that the oral cavity is an integral part of the body and shouldn’t be viewed as a separate entity. Since the understanding of the interconnectedness between oral and non-oral health has broadened, the level of collaboration between medical doctors and dentists would surprise more people. In just a square inch of oral cavity space, there are over 600 known species of bacteria that call it home and in a single milligram of oral biomass there is an estimated 100 million microbes. The majority of these bacterial

species are harmless or even beneficial, but that still leaves many species of detrimental, health threatening species. So it shouldn’t be surprising that “early childhood caries [is] the most common chronic disease of children” and that many infections of the body take root in the oral cavity. More and more medical doctors are now taught to check the health of the mouth as part of their routine when treating the ill, and this puts dentists on the list of specialists to consult. This consulting between medical doctors and dentists is a two way street. Many systemic diseases present early symptoms in the oral cavity that a physician normally wouldn’t catch. For instance, mucosal changes, periodontal inflammation, or bleeding and specific decaying of teeth can be early signs of Crohn’s disease, diabetes or even human immunodeficiency virus among many other illnesses where oral

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changes are one of the first indicators. Some oral problems can even be a contributing factor in many serious conditions; tooth loss has been linked to dementia and pregnancy issues while tooth decay greatly increases the risk of heart disease. Tooth decay and gum disease is best treated by a dentist so many physicians are also referring patients to see their dentists more frequently. The partnership between physicians and dentists has greatly improved the prevention, early detection, and treatment of diseases for patients, making a considerable progress in improving public health. It is a step in the right direction of having an interdisciplinary approach to health care and improving communication between all medical professionals.

written by james cheng photo morguefile


Healthy Living

How Exercise Improves Your Quality of Life Do you want to look better, feel better, and maybe even live longer? The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are here to help. Exercise may seem like a burden in your busy schedule, but when you look at the impacts on your health, mood, and body image, it’s 100% worth the time you put aside a few times a week! Here are some great ways exercise is truly beneficial to your quality of life.

#1: Exercise prevents weight gain and maintains weight. Worried about gaining the infamous Freshman Fifteen? Exercise can help prevent weight gain or help maintain weight loss. Exercise helps the energy balance between caloric intake and expenditure. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to obtain weightloss benefits. Get more active throughout the day — by walking to class instead of taking the bus or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Burning 200 calories walking to and from class everyday adds up to over 5lbs over a single semester!

#2: Exercise fights health problems and diseases Does your family have a history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, or digestive and reproductive cancers? Exercise has been statistically shown to reduce risk of all the above. Cardiovascular disease is the numwritten by peyton glass photo morguefile

ber one killer of both males and females in the United States. In 2008, the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory committee found that 60 studies over the past 10 years found a reduction in CHD mortality risk of 30-40% with higher levels of physical activity in both men and women. Physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which cause plaque to build up in your arteries. This combination keeps your blood flowing smoothly without this plaque build-up, which decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

#3: Exercise improves mood and concentration Stressed? Depressed? A workout at the gym can help. Physical activity stimulates various neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine that may leave you happier and more relaxed. When you feel great about yourself, others will notice. Exercising regularly can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Who knows, maybe that cute guy or girl in your class you’ve been wanting to talk to will flash you a smile and strike up a conversation!

a great way to improve your sleep quality! No more falling asleep in class and watching your notes trail off the page as you drift off to sleep!

#5: Exercise is fun! Need a break from school work and studying? Exercise and physical activity is a great way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Guys, call up your friends to get a game of basketball going, and girls, simply go on a walk or light jog while gossiping about the latest news! Exercise can be a great way to stay in touch with old friends and even make new ones! If you get bored, try something new and incorporate some fun, different types of physical activity into your routine! Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This change in lifestyle will truly show in your appearance, mood, and even your grades!

#4: Exercise promotes better sleep. Do you have a difficult time falling or staying asleep? Regular exercise may be able to help you fall asleep quicker and have a deeper sleep. As long as you don’t exercise too close to bedtime because you may be too energized to fall asleep, exercise is premed magazine at uga | January 2013

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Letter from the editor Welcome! Have you felt the pressure of being a pre-med student yet? The competition to get accepted into medical school is becoming as fierce as ever and you have risen to the challenge. What led me to start PreMed Magazine at UGA is the level of competition that I felt amongst our fellow bulldogs. What we often forget to do is help each other out; we get immersed into our own vortex and start to think that even if we share or help our friends (be it by sharing helpful information or even just watching an episode of Modern Family with them) then we would fall behind on our pre-med journey. There are many resources available for pre-med students here at UGA, and PreMed Magazine will explore and inform of everything that you can take advantage of to achieve your goals. In the mean time, help other people out; as the competition increases, we need to remember that the health care field is all about helping others. Shajira Mohammed President/Editor PreMed Magazine


Premed staff Editor in Chief Shajira Mohammed Managing Editor Aashka Dave Copy Editor Sefali Patel Writers Kathleen LaPorte Ronke Olowojesiku Kristi Haisler Peyton Glass James Cheng Abigail Shell Carolyn Crist Nina Paletta Designers Christine Byun Gloria Jen www.premedmag.com facebook.com/premedmag twitter.com/UGAPreMedMag


PreMed Magazine @UGA January 2013