The last week was nice. Busy, but nice. I started up classes for summer semester and I picked up extra hours at work. Waking up at 6:00 every morning is exhausting, but I need to become a grownup sooner or later.
Working at the library has afforded me a lot of reading time. Last week I picked up Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman. He's a journalist and a little full of himself, and his writing is really really repetitive, but he has a lot of interesting things to say. He preaches the Code Green doctrine, and expounds on the many benefits that will come if we can find alternative energy sources. He argues that with the limited amount of resources in the world, not everyone can live like a middle-class American. But with the globalized economy, it's getting pretty crowded. Going green will help us avoid energy shortages, liberate us from our dependence on petrodictators (and thus improve our national security situation), ameliorate the affects of climate change, and stop the Holocene mass extinction of our biodiversity. Despite his obnoxious writing style, I'm definitely converted to the green religion.
I've also been reading a lot about health care reform and world events, as I try to prepare for upcoming medical school interviews. I've read a lot of opinions on how we can fix health care, and I haven't come to my own concensus yet. There's a lot of information to process. What I do know is that we have the greatest potential to do amazing medicine, but our country finishes last among all the industrialized countries in executing it.
I like the idea of passing a law that requires health insurance companies to accept anyone, regardless of pre-exiting conditions, but I'm not too keen on the idea of having a law that requires everyone to have insurance. And I'm also not sure I'm down with a public health care plan. Even if it can drive down insurance premiums by competing with other insurance companies, it would give the government too much power. I do like the idea of evidence-based medicine and patient-centered homes, but we've got to find a way to pay for them, preferably without bumping taxes any higher.
I'm excited about the discourse on preventive health care, where the emphasis is on keeping people healthy instead of treating sick people. If we could halt the heart disease, obesity and diabetes epidemics, we could save a lot of money, since that's sucking up about 75% of all medical expenses. Of course, Americans don't want to change their lifestyles, and not even a 3 cent "sin" tax on soda will do much to curb the Western diet.
Yesterday we went up to Bountiful for Seth's nineteenth birthday celebration. We ate massive burgers and then put on special-made T-shirts for a family basketball tournament. I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, and my team narrowly lost the first game. The second game ended abruptly when I rolled my ankle. I felt like an invalid hopping over to the stage, but I was proud of myself for not cursing. Vitamin I made the pain go away, along with Brian Regan's ER sketch, and we finished the night with some more star gazing.
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