Since the NYT brought it up, I feel compelled to comment on the seemingly idyllic biking that this article seems to suggest happens on this campus.  Though they have gotten better since month one, bike-bike collisions are a normal occurrence.  At first I was shocked, but now I hardly bat my eye.  I used to be a fearless biker, and now I just fear for my life during passing time.

Biking around the main quad is like a free-for-all psych out dance.  Undergrad flying toward you on the wrong side of the road?  Stare them down with equal determination OR veer off further right and give them their room?  These are decisions we have to make every day.

The craziest is definitely the cell phone bikers who are on their phones one second, and splat on the ground the next.  The other day two bikers who crashed into each other started a fistfight in the middle of the street.

As a primarily biking campus, this place is sure unique – notoriously unique.

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One idealism that I feel strongly about is the notion of universal, basic healthcare provided for all.  And one personal goal I hope to achieve during my time in med school is to become more informed about the healthcare debate as well as health disparities that exist in this country today.

In class a couple weeks ago, we watched the first chapter of a very though provoking documentary about health disparities that exist even within one city titled “Unnatural Causes” Ch: In Sickness and In Wealth.

Trailer:

It was shocking to see how there exists a nearly ten-year gap in life expectancy in Louisville, KY alone between the $20k per household and +$80k per household families.  Though I have watched snippets of shows like the Up Series, this was the first time these health disparities were actually presented in tangible, number form. Scary.

This upcoming week I am starting a project with a group in my Pop Health class on asthma education within the Health Plan of San Mateo. Should be an eye-opening experience!

City Life

One of the things I love about this school is just how close we are to the city.  Since arriving here, I have already been up there five times.  It’s so nice to stroll along the piers, take walks around Coit tower, and check out the food around the area.  The place seems to be a foodie’s dream if only I wasn’t on a poor med student’s budget.  I have to admit, driving around the area can be quite a challenge… I can’t imagine what would happen to cars on those hilly roads if there was snow like Madison!

Now armed with car, I am experiencing first hand driving adjustments I’ve had to quickly make.  I am much more alert everywhere I am, especially on the curving highways where people are either driving at <50 or 80+ mph.  Also, many more people here tend to have poor judgment on making lane changes, parking, and a lot of the people seem to especially relish in suddenly stopping in the middle of the street (next to a row of parallel parked cars)!  I’ve never gotten into an accident before, but I am convinced some sort of incidence will happen in the next couple of years I am here. Considering someone in these apartments already had their new car rear ended in the parking lot, my new baby Corolla is taking minimal trips and staying away from other cars.

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