Jon Stewart Meme

IMG_0348

Maybe I will have more to say about the #ferguson situation soon, but for now, this meme will suffice.

Positively Influence,

Key

Thoughts on the Arizona Anti-Gay Bill

CNN reported that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer would likely veto the anti-gay rights bill (she has 5 days to do so.). The Bill was passed by the state legislature last Thursday. The word likely implies doubt regardless of the context. For humanity’s sake, this Bill should be vetoed. Just to give a little background for those who do not know what is doing on, this measure posits business owners can deny service to Gays and Lesbians, based on religion…..

.Image

Yeah, that’s how I felt to when I read this. With a Jesuit education and a social work background, I consider myself to be one of the most understanding people on the planet, but this is a measure I simply cannot understand. Its not bill that is the problem. I get it; Homophobia lives! Its the reasoning that makes this issue much less palatable. In many cases, it’s ok you use religion as justification for for disapproval: murder….uhhh blood transfusions…uhhh…abortion…uhhh…not purchasing health insurance…Ok, well maybe there is no clear cut example of when religion justifies what you should and should not do. However in the case of refusing service to members of the gay community, I do not think that is justified. I am a man of faith, and I understand the invaluable role religion plays in people’s lives, but we have to look at each human being with dignity and worth, regardless of ANYTHING. If a gay person was starving to death, would you not provide them with water/food? What if it was your family member? What next:

I can’t serve you because your skin color is against my religion.

I can’t serve you because you are political stance is against my religion.

I can’t serve you because you are poor.

I can’t serve you because your face looks weird.

We are still talking about Arizona’s SB 1070 and its permission of racial profiling. If signed into law, this new bill will create sexuality profiling.

Give me a break!

Governor Jan Brewer, your move.

Positively Influence,

Key

Medical School Fear, Resolve

“Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting and just have faith that things will work out” -@MorganFreeman_:  (parody account)

I felt like I needed to talk more about this before I begin my MCAT studies for the day. The road to medical school is one long and arduous journey, but when that freshly minted acceptance letter is delivered to the mail or inbox, the nerves, stress, anxiety, and fears subside. I am a long way from that acceptance letter, but I know that one day it will come. This year I am applying to medical school, and it is a trying, yet exciting process. I envision myself sitting in a medical school classroom or hospital learning additional tools necessary to heal. The worst thing about wanting something so badly is not having it, but thrill of the chase is enough to keep striving for it because you know in your heart where your are supposed to be, what you are destined to do. From a young age, I can’t say that I knew I was supposed to be a doctor. God helped me find out my vocation through a series of life experiences, but one thing I was absolutely sure of was that I was placed on this earth to make the lives of others easier. With that said, I worry about my future, but at the end of the day, I know everything will be alright. Wherever we end up in this life is where we are supposed to be. The decisions we make, and the events that make decisions for us are the  determinants that lead us to our present situations. I am not a “boot-strapper”. I do not believe someone can always rise up from the dirt and achieve success (which is relative). Nor do I believe that we are doomed to fall into a cycle of misfortune. However, examples from both sides have shown us that rags to riches stories are real, just like cycles of poverty. With that said, I also believe elements of faith and luck are the link between the success and failure. I have faith. A little luck will go a long way…

Video

What Healthcare Reform means to Los Angeles County(video)…(and me)

This video is from The Los Angeles County Report. It discusses the impacts the Affordable Care Act will have on health care in Los Angeles county.

I get excited when I see videos like the one above. They inspire me to keep working hard,  gain acceptance into medical school, and  develop the skills necessary to be a physician. I will be a practitioner that strives each and every day to make a difference in the health outcomes of others. We are at a pivotal time in our nation, and we must progress in the right direction in the field of health care. With increased access to health care, collective efforts must be made to meet the needs of our patients. Across the country, health practitioners, social workers, legislators, businesses, and citizens must work together to make our health care system run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. If we can make a team effort to take better care of each other and ourselves, both physically and mentally, our society will continue to be more fruitful and more peaceful.

Positively Influence,

Key

Fried Tofu and Brown Rice

20130102-165232.jpg

This dish is made from firm tofu and brown rice. The versatility of tofu allows it to be used in soups, stir frys, etc. In this dish it was seasoned with cornmeal, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. It was then fried in extra virgin olive oil until brown and slightly crispy. Various recipes suggest frying in canola or vegetable oil, but olive oil is a slightly healthier option because it includes more unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. However, too much of it can be dangerous. As always, moderation is important. I also used brown rice as a slightly healthier option to white rice. This is a light snack that for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Enjoy.

Image

Egg and Avocado Sandwich

Egg and Avocado Sandwich on Wheat bread w/ cheddar cheese.

This is a healthy breakfast option packed with protein, unsaturated fats, and carbohydrates. It works for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Eggs are versatile and can create so many dishes. If you have high cholesterol, be careful with egg yolk. One egg (with the yolk) has about 70% of the daily allowance of cholesterol.

20121229-130643.jpg

Its Not About Guns, Its About Our Future

After studying social work for the past few years, I have grown to understand the role mental health plays in our society. Yesterday innocent children were murdered at the hands of a young man who we presume has mental health issues. However, the simple truth of mass shootings seems to be characterized by similar characteristics: mental health, gun control, and mass violence. The type of tragedies that occurred in Aurora, Columbine, Casas Adobes, Newtown, and others are systemic. These are not the isolated events they appear to be. The implications of mental health treatment has and will always be extremely important. Our society, must foster an environment that emphasizes the importance of healthy minds. So often we forget about prevention and the hard work it takes for us to stop problems before they happen. We must no longer react to the inevitable. We must make the inevitable disappear. One of the most important ways to prevent these types of events is to focus on inclusion. Studies demonstrate that interpersonal relationships improve the quality of life. We must not ostracize individuals we know or perceive to be at risk for mental health. In my 24 years on this earth, I have seen so many people ignored, outcasts, and criticized because they were “different, weird, or crazy.” Empathy has allowed me to try to include and engage all people I interact with. At times it is extremely difficult, but as social beings, sometimes all we desire is communication, a hug, and a smile. These elements go incredibly far.

If we are not going to focus on gun control, an extremely partisan topic; we must focus on mental health. We can no longer solve the woes of this country with budget cuts to mental health, rehabilitation, education, and child development. These are the basic factors driving the society in which we live. We must transform the way we think. The children we influence grow up to be the people we are. Therefore, what they hear us say and what they see us do becomes apart of who they are and who they will become. We must work to better ourselves in order to better our youth. This will help us improve our future. We have to make this world better for them. It is the only way we can move forward as a society.

We must transform the way we care. Opportunities to learn, to thrive, to live and to love must be at the forefront of our society. As a clinician and a researcher, I implore others to find ways to transform our environments into places of peace and support. We will see the immense changes we cause, the hope that we inspire, and the power of our hearts.

Positively Influence,

Key