Binge Drinking is a form of alcoholism

8 01 2016

Had a heavy lecture today about Alcoholic Anonymous and it really got me to think that I haven’t done my best to convey the proper message to people I care about. I really believe there are a lot of people who are suffering in ways I will never understand, but I want them to get better and feel better about themselves. And more importantly stop the things that are hurting them lethally. But this cannot be done without themselves putting in the hard work. If you get through this: just know that I love you and am thinking about you.

Nothing else will help if we continue to promote what harms us.

I’m laying here thinking about people: of my father whose heart stopped… then of those with the liver issues, heart failure, kidney failure, pancreatitis; of the Russian woman in her late forties who literally turned yellow from hepatorenal syndrome and died from chronic alcohol. Thinking of the Hispanic male in his 40s who kept having a visual hallucination that his brother was bringing him a case of beer and how he tried to throw a chair at the window on the THIRD FLOOR to break the window in attempt to get down from where he’s at (in-patient Psychiatry hospitalization) and how he went into Delirium Tremens after that. Thinking of the skinny African American male in his 60s with alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver who kept having to come into the hospital with delirium and how his bilirubin levels could not be kept under control causing even further brain damage. The telephone cord now looks like a snake. Thinking of the African American male in his 60s who suffered three strokes from high blood pressure all his life ending up with paralysis in all four limbs from the stroke and he can’t even talk anymore and died with his fourth stroke. Thinking of the 30 years old female who was morbidly obese and how her body could not handle the fight against swine flu because her body was technically immune suppressed by the obesity causing her lungs and kidneys to fail from the swine flu virus… and death.

Thinking of others with who deny that there are eating disorders, mouth ulcers and sores even head and neck and mouth cancers, eye issues, and ….. finally myself and family.

This field of work isn’t cut out for us all. It is hard and depressing with deaths left and right and more so when you haven’t made a single dent to send the message. I get it: people die everyday. We can’t stop that, but we can help the ones we love feel better and get better.

So here it is: the fight against binge drinking. Let’s do smoking on another day: which is the leading cause of preventable health issues.


“Binge drinking causes brain damage faster and more severely than chronic drinking (alcoholism). The neurotoxic insults are due to very large amounts of glutamate which are released and over-stimulate the brain as a binge finishes. This results in excitotoxicity, a process which damages or kills neurons (brain cells).[8] Each binge drinking episode immediately insults the brain; repeat episodes result in accumulating harm. The developing adolescent brain is thought to be particularly susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of binge drinking, with some evidence of brain damage occurring from drinking more than 10 or 11 drinks once or twice per month.[9]”

I would still check-in with a health professional for Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency to prevent neurological and brain damage in the long term. Visual impairment can be caused by alcohol. In Wernicke-Korsakoff in the later stages you get: confusion, ataxia, opthalmoplegia which is confusion, tipsy and imbalanced, and nystagmus or eye problems.

Binge drinking varies from state to state, and estimates of adults who binge drink range from 10.9% in Utah to 25.6% in Wisconsin. Binge drinking is most common in the Midwest, New England, the District of Columbia, Alaska, and Hawaii.


SOURCE: 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Combined Landline and Cell Phone Developmental Dataset, Adults Aged 18 and Older, US


The average largest number of drinks within a short period of time among binge drinkers ranged from 6 drinks in the District of Columbia to 9 drinks in Wisconsin. The largest number of drinks consumed by binge drinkers is highest in the Midwest and southern Mountain states (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah), and some states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina where binge drinking is less common.

The average largest number of drinks consumed by binge drinkers on an occasion


SOURCE: 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Combined Landline and Cell Phone Developmental Dataset, Adults Aged 18 and Older, US




Surgery work in Vietnam

29 11 2015

Missing surgical supplies and maybe more training. Definitely forwarding to that one organization that’s going out to train other countries crating sustainable residency programs there.

Definitely should be forwarded to organizations like the HEAL Initiative at UCSF.

Where we donate vs diseases that kill us

20 11 2015

CDC report graph in 2011 shows that we’re not donating to the causes that kills the most.

2011 CDC report

Accidental Overdose stories due to medical technology and human errors

7 11 2015

“Alert Fatigue” is the term for providers ignoring the medical alerts appearing on the screen in electronic health records.

This year I am doing research and in one of the morning reports there was a discussion of Robert Wachter’s book and how a 16 year old patient from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital was given 38.5 pill of Septra (Trimethoprim-Sulfamethazole) . The link is here. And while the doctor and the pharmD discussed their “alert fatigue” and the article talked about EHR technology errors. There was more than 1 chance that someone could have caught the error and no one noticed. Human error and fatigue…. is actually pretty scary.

taken from the book

Getting robbed and killed when you retire in Jamaica

16 10 2015

I found whoever wrote and followed this article interesting. I wonder which other countries this had occurred also.

A mother who’s a doctor

3 12 2014

at 14.5 minutes, the son bends forward so that he can carry his mother on his back. For the longest time, he was alienated from his mother who did not have the time for most of his life because she was so busy taking care of patients and other businesses but their own. He finally understands his mother with the help of a lady friend who goes and digs into their past life. The story is so sad and this son depicts the feelings so well in this acting.

Going forward without residency for a year. COMPLETELY MY FAULT.

2 12 2014

In reply to people who actually saw my last blog about framing my diploma and not getting residency while being $330k in debt…

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hey there, what a somber post. i feel just awful for you. I just had my interview for ross and this post just scared the daylights out of me. what are your plans going forward? and what caution signs would you put up for other non trade going the ross route?

All the best,


Dear Dani,

My plans going forward was I ended up paying a bit extra to get Interview Prep help with Kaplan. Ross did give mock interviews, but does very little to guide and assist in interviewing techniques and CV reviewing. During this time, one needs to review their file and apply for clinical work anywhere and volunteer in related fields e.g. if you are applying Family Medicine you’d want to work in a clinic or doctor’s office. If you apply Surgery, you’d be working with a Surgeon etc to get a letter of recommendation stating an “observership” similarity of some sort. Get another degree. Anything to keep your hopes up. Ask Ross for a job. And then reapply in the upcoming year and hope for the best while you fine-tune your application and extracurricular activities again.

Just know that it will be harder and harder for IMGs to match in upcoming years. Last year it was a 48% MATCH, but will be a less number in coming years as residency positions are stagnant and not opening up fast enough to accommodate the growing graduates in medicine from both Osteopathic and Allopathic schools.

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Hi, thanks so much for blogging your experience. I am interviewing for Ross soon, but I’m concerned about whether I will be able to obtain a residency when I’m done. Is that something I should be concerned about? How do people end up not being matched and is it likely that this happens? Thanks!

Dear Maily,

If you are stellar at studying and don’t think that you will have average grades, go for it. What matters most to Residency programs is high USMLE STEP I scores on first attempt. Step 2 CK must be higher than Step 1 and then passing Step 2CS on first attempt. Eventually one day, you will match residency if you keep trying and put in 110% effort to get all the experiences you can from others applying to Residency. Interview skills need preparation so don’t just go walking in there thinking you’re ready for an interview. It’s like studying for another STEP exam. I can honestly say God had a different plan for me this year and I wasn’t prepared for my interview last year… so it was COMPLETELY MY FAULT. Amend our own faults and move on forward.