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Discuss Wellness Curriculum in Medical School Interview

Prospective medical students today are keenly aware of the stress and burnout that can result not only from medical school but also from practicing medicine. They are highly interested in ways to prevent or minimize the consequences, which unfortunately include alcohol and substance abuse and even suicide.
Before and during interview day, as well as during a second visit, applicants often ask if the medical school offers programs to help them cope. Lately, however, more and more applicants are asking about stress management programs because they are interested in a medical career that focuses on wellness.
These students want to be part of the solution, working in areas of lifestyle wellness and disease prevention. These forward-thinking students see the roles that nutrition, physical activity and mental health play in life expectancy, disease limitation and overall satisfaction with life.
Medical schools have been behind in educating students in the area of wellness, but they are trying to catch up at lightning speed as millennials – those born after 1980 – progress through their education and careers. Work-life balance strongly affects overall wellness. It has been especially important to millennials, more so than to earlier generations, who were largely motivated by post-World War culture and other generational influences on exploding career demands.
In decades past, nutrition was barely taught at medical schools. Now it is surfacing in most, although some schools are still lagging behind.
Faculty of the past also minimized the role of physical activity in medical school curriculum. They assumed it was understood, and because many of them didn’t take care of their own bodies, it seemed less important.
Now there is increasing literature supporting its role in longevity and improved cognition. Patients with chronic illness benefit greatly from regular exercise programs that are monitored to help the patients who hit hurdles in their routines. Physical activity also reduces symptoms of depression.
Mental health begins with prevention. Nutrition, physical exercise, mindfulness practices and a positive attitude can work powerfully to prevent or minimize dysphoric symptoms.
Although an individual can’t change genetics, he or she can do a great deal to influence environmental stressors and other mental illness precipitants. These topics should have a powerful place in the curriculum throughout all years.
So whether you’re interested in wellness from a personal or career standpoint, here are some questions to consider asking during your medical school interviews:
Nutrition
What do you teach about nutrition and where in the curriculum?
Do students feel adequately prepared to counsel patients about nutrition?
What kind of scientific research around nutrition is the school or medical center involved in?
How is nutritional information delivered to patients and the community?
Physical activity
How is physical activity for students embedded into medical training?
Does the school have students who lead physical activity initiatives?
How is physical activity for patients embedded into the curriculum? For example, is there attention given to the impact of daily cycling on Parkinson’s disease symptoms or fitness classes on diabetic patients?
How is physical activity information delivered to patients and the community?
Mental health
Are strategies such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, relaxation exercises and imagery included in the curriculum?
Is cognitive behavioral therapy included in the curriculum?
How can I connect with students and faculty who have an interest in mental health, particularly those in preclinical and clinical research?
How does the school support students’ education, clinical interests and research regarding mental health?
These questions require the respondent to have adequate depth in their answers. If they don’t know what their school teaches, can they refer you to someone who does? Smokescreen answers likely mean they have an inadequate program that does not meet students’ or patients’ needs.
For example, solid evidenced-based nutrition taught by specialists in this area should be demonstrable in the curriculum’s outline. It’s also important to know how clinical preceptors reinforce this teaching with patients.
You may also consider asking the admissions committee to connect you with graduates who have a particular interest in nutrition, physical activity or mental health and who are heading toward residencies in areas that will lead them to a career in wellness.
Although medical advances have helped millions of people live well into their golden years, it hasn’t necessarily helped them live better. You can do yourself and your future patients a favor by considering how wellness and medicine intersect and how you can integrate wellness into your own life and patient practice.
Tags: education, students, medical school, medicine, mental health, diet and nutrition, health, exercise and fitness.source usnews.com

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Opening Doors to the World

Just weeks after our nation’s inauguration of a new president, strident voices, poorly executed programs and initiatives, and confusing messages, including at the highest levels of government, could easily shut us off from the world, just when the need to understand and engage with our global partners is at its most urgent.
The executive order issued recently that temporarily halted the admission of citizens and refugees from certain countries into the U.S. – which has now been put on hold by the judiciary – raises real and serious concerns about the treatment of current and future immigrants and refugees. Here at Indiana University, where we have a long history of international engagement dating back over a century, the order is also contrary to the very core of our values as an institution dedicated to excellence and innovation, a diversity of community and ideas, respect for the dignity of others and a commitment to addressing the major issues facing our state, nation and world.
I have been an American citizen for some time, but was born and raised in Australia. I share these origins with hundreds of other faculty members at my university, over 20 percent of whom are foreign born, which underscores how American universities derive their matchless strength from the world’s best talent. I am also a first-generation college graduate, something I have in common with more than 25 percent of IU students who are the first in their families to go to college. These students, many of whom come from low-income and minority backgrounds, reflect the vital role that flagship public universities play in the democratization of American higher education, the concept of the “common good” and a culture of tolerance, integrity, inclusion and understanding.
History has too often shown us that wars, major global crises and the very collapse of civilizations and cultures can result from miscalculations based on international ignorance and xenophobia. Our country’s colleges and universities must play a leading role in combating this.
There are probably no American institutions more widely admired and respected internationally than its great universities, which are living descendants of the most ancient and most enduring of human institutions. One of the first, Nalanda in India, was founded in the 6th century BCE, and existed for 17 centuries; Plato’s legendary Academy in Athens lasted for nine.
Universities have always been truly international, with a tradition of opening their doors to the world, attracting scholars from every country and championing greater cultural and intellectual understanding, exchange and enrichment. At the same time, colleges and universities are dynamic institutions, reflecting the society and culture of their time and shaping those of the future. Our very foundations – gathering, creating, disseminating and exchanging knowledge and ideas – mean these institutions must constantly evolve.
Indeed, the responsibility of embracing openness to the world has been handed to us. It is an inextricable part of who we are. We are guardians of centuries of knowledge and culture that we transmit from one generation to the next, a constant through political, social and economic upheaval.
It is incumbent on American universities to remain steadfast in carrying out our original missions. It is no understatement to say that we are central to the very preservation and persistence of civilization.
This is not to imply we are perfect. We, too, have had to deal with difficult questions from others, including those within our own communities about action (or inaction) on many issues, including those related to freedom of expression. Such criticism is also in keeping with our history. Despite our best intentions, we will not always get things completely right in our pursuit of intellectual growth. And we certainly will not ever please everyone. Our job, instead, is to find the common ground and collaborations that keep open the pathways of discussion and, yes, dissent that lead to discovery benefiting all humanity.
We can achieve this by placing international literacy and experience at the very top of all that comprises a premier university education; making it possible for more students to study abroad not just for a few weeks, but for extended periods and in unfamiliar regions; strengthening diversity and inclusion on our campuses; supporting and encouraging faculty from all academic disciplines to engage internationally; and recognizing that the planet our graduates will inhabit will require more, not less, knowledge about the world.
In a world struggling to reconcile the effects of globalization, university students are the next generation of leaders. It is our responsibility to educate all of these students, regardless of their countries of origin, to help prepare them for active, engaged and committed citizenship, public service, and the building of civil society around the globe.
source usnews.co

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Students with Learning Disabilities Can Secure Scholarships for College

College – and paying for it – is tough enough for students who don’t face the challenges of physical or learning disabilities. But neither these disabilities nor financial barriers should prevent deserving students from pursuing college.
Earlier this year, the Scholarship Search Insider detailed scholarship opportunities that can help ease financial concerns for students with physical disabilities. Such opportunities also exist for those with a learning disability.
The BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship for Students with Disabilities is open to current undergraduate and graduate students who have learning or physical disabilities and attend a four-year university in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants must be pursuing a degree in math, physics, business or commerce, statistics, engineering or a related field, and they must be interested in pursuing a career in financial services.
In addition to the application, students must submit a letter of recommendation, transcripts and an essay specifying their career goals and why they should be selected.
U.S. recipients receive $10,000, while Canadian winners receive $5,000. Applications will open this fall.
High school seniors with learning disabilities can apply for the Marian Huber Learning Through Listening awards. Learning Ally, a nonprofit that helps students with disabilities, presents six of these awards – three for $6,000 and three for $2,000 – to students with learning disabilities who are members of the organization.
Recipients must plan to attend a two- or four-year college or a vocational school. A selection committee chooses the winners. The application deadline is May 31.
For students with dyslexia, Gemm Learning offers the $1,000 Gemm Learning Dyslexia Scholarship twice a year. Applicants must be planning to enroll in or currently attending college in the U.S. or Canada and must submit a 500- to 650-word essay about living with dyslexia.
The next award period – for the fall 2017 semester – opens April 1 with a July 15 submission deadline. In addition to the monetary award, the winning essay will be featured on Gemm Learning’s blog. Note: The winner will be notified via email and must respond within three days or forfeit the award.
Each year, the Law Offices of Judd S. Nemiro PLLC also awards two annual $1,000 scholarships to students diagnosed with dyslexia. Applicants must complete an online application, including submitting a statement about their education goals and an essay describing how dyslexia has affected their education. Interested applicants should visit the firm’s website to apply.
The Perecman Firm PLLC of New York, a personal injury law firm, annually awards the Avonte Oquendo Memorial Scholarship for Autism to a high-achieving student. Applicants must be undergraduate or postgraduate students currently enrolled at or accepted to an accredited university and must have either been diagnosed with or have a close family member who has been diagnosed with autism, including Asperger’s syndrome.
The $1,000 scholarship is named for a 14-year-old autistic boy who wandered from school in 2013 and was later found dead in the East River. To apply, students must submit a 500 to 1,000-word essay on one of three autism-related topics. The deadline for fall 2017 applications is July 31.
Feldman & Royle, Attorneys at Law, a Phoenix law firm, also awards two annual $1,000 scholarships to students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. To apply, students must submit an essay detailing how their disorder has affected their education as well as a 100-word statement regarding their education goals. Be sure to check the firm’s website for updates on the 2017 application deadline.
In addition to these scholarships, which are open to students throughout the U.S. and, in some cases, Canada, many other scholarships for students with learning disabilities are granted on a regional or statewide basis.
For example, Incight, a Portland, Oregon, nonprofit that supports individuals with disabilities, offers the Incight Scholarship to students with disabilities who attending community colleges, universities, vocational schools or graduate schools in Oregon or southwest Washington. Documented disabilities include autism, developmental delay and specific learning disabilities.
Applicants must demonstrate outstanding community service and the ability to overcome personal struggles. Incight awards up to 100 scholarships at varying amounts. The application deadline is April 1.
Graduating high school seniors in Iowa who plan to attend college or vocational school can apply for one of three scholarships from the Learning Disabilities Association of Iowa. Each award is $500, and applicants must be current association members or be children of or recommended by active members. Applications are due March 31.
The Learning Disabilities Association of Arkansas awards the $2,500 Ralph G. Norman Scholarship to a student enrolled at a two- or four-year college or vocational or technical training program. Applicants must be current Arkansas residents with a documented learning disability who are ineligible for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability funding.
To apply, students must submit an application, including a written or video essay about how their learning disability has impacted their life and their education and career goals. The deadline to apply is April 3.
Finally, Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, is a private, accredited college specifically for students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or specific learning disabilities. The school offers two- and four-year programs.
As part of its financial aid program, the school awards 10 Endowment Scholarships, ranging between $500 to $8,000, to students with financial need. Students wishing to receive the awards must, as a first step, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by March 30.
Students with learning disabilities have a similar desire as other prospective college students to earn a college degree. These scholarships can help ease the financial burdens associated with this dream.
source usnews.co

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