The Mileage Junkie’s Guide to Staying Healthy

[Nursing Editor's note: Cathy is one of our resident staff writers and also a travel junkie. She asked if she could write a series about travel. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into. Enjoy!] I love a great churn as much as the next gal. Points hoarding and free travel are [...]

7 Must Pack Items to Stay Healthy While Traveling

With winter break and vacation for many, a lot of us are going to be doing a lot of traveling. While there are a lot of things you should always pack (a passport and money for example), a lot of us forget about the things will help us stay healthy.

Remember that when traveling you can’t always get what you need close by, so it’s good to have a simple kit with some medicines and tools that will take care of most day to day problems we encounter when traveling. So without further ado, here’s my 7 Must Pack items this holiday traveling season:

  1. Imodium or other anti diarrhea medicine – between airline food, greasy pub food, and holiday meals, you may end up with what our Aussie friends call “Delhi Belly”.¬† I’m an extremist but Amazon has great deals on 400 caplets of Costco brand for only $10.09.¬† Note that for Traveler’s Diarrhea the CDC actually recommends Pepto Bismol as a preventive measure.
  2. Energy bars, like Clif Bars or power-bars, can keep you relatively nourished if the only food available  is junk like airport food. Pack a few for when your flight is delayed or your car breaks down.
  3. Eye Masks and earplugs – sleep is essential to staying healthy and reducing the risk of illness. If you’re going to get any sleep then you need to be able to shut out distractions. The really intrepid will also include a small air mat so they can sleep pretty much anywhere, airports included.
  4. Over the counter pain killers and antibiotic creams, like Tylenol and Triple anti biotic ointment are essential to deal with most minor aches and scrapes while out of town. You should also consider a full, small first aid kit. I love the ones from Adventure Medical Kits, but any small kit will do.
  5. Condoms – not one that is talked about enough. We tend to drink more over the Holidays, and with New Year’s Eve just days away it’s imperative that we keep in mind STDs. This recommendation is for women too, just in case your partner didn’t read this article.
  6. Medical Bracelets – if you have any disease or condition you probably already wear something like this, but it’s easy enough to forget. So make sure to get one and wear it while traveling (and always, really)!
  7. Travel Insurance – while not exactly an item, make sure you are covered for medical care and evacuation wherever you are. This is less relevant if you’re staying in the USA, but if you’re traveling abroad, see what your policy covers when abroad and make sure that you buy insurance if you’re not covered.

Safe travels!


iPhone Apps for Medical Students

If there is one gadget many medical students cannot dispense with, it is the iPhone. On itself, however, the iPhone does not offer much for these students. It is the applications that it supports that many of these medical students cannot do without. Below is a list of the top 10 iPhone apps that you, as a medical student, just cannot do without.

1. Medscape Mobile

This is a comprehensive medical app that can simply be described as the smartphone version on e-medicine. With a large database of medical articles, drug references and even pictures, even the most obscure disease has been referenced in Medscape Mobile. Even more, it is free; though you should not expect it to load very fast because it is extremely detailed.

2. MedCalc

This application is useful for recalling all kinds of medical formulas. It is easy to use since all the formulas are carefully explained. You can customize and sort your often used formulas into categories for easy retrieval.

3. Eponyms

The application packs a large database of eponyms, with accompanying descriptions. You do not have to struggle to remember those obscure names (think McArdle’s syndrome) of long gone physicians. This one is also free.

4. Micromedex

Medical students cannot do without a form of drug reference book. Instead of walking around with an extra load in the form of a book, why not download Micromedex to your iPhone? The database includes both Canadian and U.S trade names, and all the indications/contraindications are also included.

5. Epocrates

This is another drug reference app with thousands of prescription drugs and other clinical information. This is what medical students should use if they wish to learn how to improve patient safety.

6. Heart Pro

This is one of the best 3D medical applications available. It was developed by Stanford University School of Medicine in conjunction with 3D4 Medical. It is useful for rotating, cutting and labeling a very realistic 3D heart.

7. Doximity

Doximity is to the medical fraternity what Facebook is like to the rest of the people. This social network for medical and healthcare professionals fosters easy communication and is available absolutely free.

8. Pocket Lab Values

As a medical student, one of the things you have to deal with is laboratory values, and they are numerous. With Pocket Lab Values app in your iPhone, you have at your fingertips more than 320 common and uncommon laboratory values.

9. Radiology 2.0: One night in the ED

This application is very handy for those who are learning (or for referencing) radiology. It offers case-based presentations for imaging. The application was inspired by an Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Radiology at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Daniel Cornfeld. Even practicing non-emergency physicians will find it very useful.

10. Neuromind

Developed by a neurosurgeon who is also a researcher and software engineer, medical students who are interested in neurosurgery must have this application. It is an extensive reference tool that even other clinicians can use for referencing neuro-based pathologies.