I’m going to guess that many of those reading this are friends and family who feel obligated to feign a bit of interest in my attempt at blogging. On the off chance that you don’t know me (or would like to know a bit more about me and what I hope to accomplish here), here are some of the relevant factors…
I’m an MD/PhD student who just started the clinical portion of my degree. That means I’ve completed my undergraduate (a B.S. in biochemistry), the first two “pre-clinical” years of med school, my PhD (in pharmacology and physiology, specifically exploring the effects of chronic alcohol consumption on signal transduction in the liver (No, I didn’t study myself. Yes, at times I probably could have.)), and am now on the floors learning how to put all this into action in the clinical setting.
An MD/PhD degree is an interesting combination of medicine and science, and many medical types will admit that “mud phuds”, as we are sometimes known, are a bit of an odd bunch. Perhaps more interested in the basic sciences than most medical students and doctors, perhaps a bit more people-oriented than your typical lab type, we’re a mix of the academic and the clinical world. We are also, unfailingly, rather nerdy.
The phrase ‘bench-top to bed-side’ is often used to describe the role of an MD/PhD. ‘Physician scientist’ is another popular phrase. In my writing I hope to take a slightly broader perspective on this role- hence the ‘Principle into Practice’ moniker. While I like to look at basic research, and plan to explore and share interesting primary literature (scientific journal articles), I hope to be able to always hark back to basic principles that are applicable in day-to-day life. Furthermore, as a budding physician, I hope to explore how these principles are applicable to medical practice.
I’m only at the start of my medical clerkships- the process by which I will expand my clinical knowledge and also get a flavor of multiple medical disciplines so that I can chose what avenue of medicine I wish to pursue. MD/PhDs frequently (though not exclusively) opt to venture into some of the more academic and competitive specialties. While I may well change my interests in the next year and a half, at this point I am most interested in primary care, most specifically in preventative medicine.
I want to make it clear here and now that I am in awe of what we are able to accomplish with modern medicine. Some degree of illness and injury are unavoidable, and when these things strike, I am very glad we have the medical arsenal (of knowledge, techniques, and pharmaceuticals) to treat and manage these conditions. That being said- many of the conditions physicians currently treat are wholly preventable- that is where my interests lie. Furthermore, understanding the mechanisms by which chronic disease occurs, and exploring the evolutionary basis of these mechanisms, is a bit of nerdish fun.
So I suppose I should close with that warning. In my writing I plan to explore and promote basic principles that are practical for everyday life and for the practice of medicine. I tend to enjoy distilling things down to basics when possible, but I also can’t help but geek out a bit on the history, biochemistry, and general fun-factor of life… I hope you’ll join me for the ride!