Medical Assistant is #1 Job for Work-Life Balance

According to this article from Yahoo! entitled, ” Jobs that Let You Flex Your Freedom”, medical assistant is the best job for work-life balance.  The number four job on the list is medical transcriptionist.  Read the article at Yahoo! for the details.

MD Offers Tips on Minimizing Anxiety

We’re all very busy.  In this tough economic environment, normal stresses of life can become amplified by the extra efforts we all must make to protect our jobs, families and households.  Many of you are employed full time, parents and heads of households in addition to being online students.  It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that your stress levels are higher now than they have ever been. Dr. Matthew Edlund is the Director of the Center for Circadian Medicine and the author of the book, The Power of Rest.  Dr. Edlund recently published a list of eight things each of us can do to better manage our stress levels.  I found it to be particularly helpful in helping me cope with my own frazzled existence.  I thought readers here would find it equally useful.  Read his article here.

Armless Pianist Wins “China’s Got Talent”

A few months back, I posted an inspirational bit about Liu Wei, the Chinese double amputee who was an accomplished piano player.  In the video I posted, Wei shared his conviction and personal thoughts on living within the constraints life saddles us with and still finding ways to persevere. Perhaps not surprisingly, this tale of heroic courage and determination prompted many comments from you, our readers.  Also not surprisingly, this inspirational man achieved what he set out to accomplish and was recently named the winner on this season’s, China’s Got Talent TV program.  Below is video of his win.  Enjoy!

Mmmmmmm…. Mechanically Separated Meat

I publish stories here from time to time about different food products, recipes and dietary information because I think as professionals enterring the healthcare field, it behooves you to be aware of such things.  Also, it never fails to amaze me how poorly the general public pays attention to such issues.  In this installment of “Ewwww, Gross! Are You Gonna Eat That?” I link you to the story behind some of our society’s favorite foods and the sickening process used to manufacture them.  I am talking about hot dogs, baloney and chicken nuggets.  Click here to see some appalling pics of the output of a process known as “mechanically separated meat”, a moniker that I myself have laughed about seeing on food packaging in the past.  Let me also say by way of disclaimer, that I am overweight and enjoy (in sparing quantities) hot dogs, some processed meats and chicken nuggets.  However, I do try to keep them from being regular diet items.  For me, its good, fresh, locally produced foods – just in too much quantity – that are the problem.  Anyhow, these images and the article they adorn may finally dissuade me from any meats not locally procured.

Know Your Enemy

Yes, it is war again.  My yearly battle with seasonal allergies has erupted again into violence.  Violent sneezing, gruesome coughing and a river of tears and clear liquid pouring from my eyes and nose.  I am sure many of you readers are fighting the same battle I am these days.  For some it is worse in the Spring.  For me it’s worst in the Fall.  Well, like any good warrior will tell you, “knowing your enemy” is of critical importance to winning the war.  And although knowing what these pollens actually look like (when viewed through and electron microscope) will not provide you any critical advantage, it will at least make you feel better about nuking these scary looking irritants with Claritin, Benadryl or whatever your favorite weapon of allergic destruction may be.  Grab a hanky and have a look at this interesting pollen slide show from the Telegraph UK.

Unplug and Carve Out Some Free Time

We’re all just so busy.  Working, studying, raising kids, planning for the future.  Sometimes, for those of us tethered to all these activities by the computer, it can seem like we just don’t get enough time to unplug – literally or figuratively.  Here are a few tips on how to reclaim the spare time you may recall having once had to spend on yourself.  These come courtesy of Kari Henley and you can read her whole article about Reclaiming Spare Time here.  Kari says:Email Self-Control — Declutter your inbox by unsubscribing to anything you don’t need or read regularly, and try not to continue long email conversations that aren’t necessary. One of Therese Borchard’s tricks is to take weekend breaks from her computer. Imagine! This is a great way to scrounge up a ton of free time — think of it as email Sabbath, (Reading this column, however, is an acceptable exception).Social Networking is junk food, plain and simple. Let’s face it — Facebook is the Doritos of friendships and Twitter is a super size box of Fries. Both are tempting, and both are ultimately not all that healthy. Take the time for some “slow food” — home-cooked friendships that require face-to-face time. If you are IM’ing someone in your office, get up and try walking over for a change. Facebooking your best friend? Pick up the phone or stop by; imagine how you look from space, hunched over terminals sharing the daily chatter.Find the “in-between” moments of the day to embrace as spare time. Driving is a great opportunity to do some deep breathing, turn off the noise in your head, and notice the scenery around you, rather than listening to talk radio, eating, or talking on the cell phone. Find the moments in the shower, doing dishes or walking the dog to flatten out as buffer zones of nothingness.Force yourself to be bored. Remember being bored? It is the MacDaddy of spare time. Kids today think five or six seconds of spare time equals being bored, and many adults’ tolerance for unfilled moments is not much better. Set aside several hours once a month with nothing particular to do and see how it affects you.

Mindfulness: Take Time to Think Amid the Rush

I had a teacher once who taught me the value and rewards of mindfulness.  Mindfulness is a concept from eastern religion that simply involves the act of living in the moment and maintaining the clarity of though that so often is hard to achieve.  As we live our frenetic modern lives, with work, family, online study and 24/7 connectivity through ever improving social and communication technologies, it is hard to ever take a moment to fully focus on the task at hand.  When the task at hand is something important like driving safely on the freeway or something really important like interacting with the ones you love, mindfulness is key to avoiding unpleasant consequences.  It also has the positive benefit of helping one achieve positive goals with less strife and effort.This teacher of mine wasn’t a school teacher or spiritual figure.  Rather this teacher was someone I encountered in my personal struggle to change my relationship to my own body.  Learning to be mindful about my thoughts, words and actions (especially about eating and exercise) helped me to become significantly healthier than I had been.  Lately, I had fallen out of the practice of mindfulness in my affairs and have seen the predictable return of some unhealthy results.  But today, I have made the decision to again focus on being mindful in all aspects of life and I feel good about what this refocus will mean for me.  I thought it would be valuable for me to share some basic info on mindfulness to readers of this blog, as much for their own benefit as for my own. Read this excellent, brief description of what mindfulness means and how it benefits mind and body, written by Soren Gordhamer; an author who counsels individuals and groups on ways to live with less stress and more effectiveness in our technology-rich lives. He has been featured in various media, including GQ Magazine and Newsweek.com, and has taught classes on stress reduction to such diverse populations as youth in New York City juvenile halls, trauma workers in Rwanda, and to staff at Google.

Horrifying Ingredient List Artfully Presented

You know I have an affinity for whole foods.  Not Whole Foods the grocery store (which we refer to in my house as Whole Paycheck), but rather simple, healthy ingredients.  So much of what our diet consists of is adulterated, processed and downright chemical.  Case in point: the ham & cheese Hotpocket.  Don’t get me wrong, I will mac one of these at 2AM after a night of dancing and a few too many cocktails.  But I may think twice about even eating it on those rare occasions.  Have a look at this artwork, made of the ingredients in a single Hotpocket.

Wednesday Humor: How Will This Be Billed?

Brazil Discovers an Even Better Exercise Program than Soccer

OK, so you’ve heard Wednesdays referred to as “hump” day because it is the middle of the work week and once it’s over, the diligent worker has made it over the metaphorical hump and it’s a downhill run to the weekend.  Well, the Brazilian Health Minister has called for everyday to be hump day in his country in the name of public health.  Follow over the fold for the best piece of legislation I have heard proposed by any government official in years. Continue reading…

Keeping Stress in Check

Its difficult to work, study, take care of family obligations and find time to relax.  As a result, each of us experiences stress and stress is bad for us.  It is very important to your health to get both enough sleep and to find outlets that can help us vent or otherwise mitigate the stresses and pressures life often places upon us.  But what about the people whose very careers are inherently stressful?  Take a look at the slide show here to see the list of top 10 most stressful jobs and be thankful that the career choice you’ve made will not likely add stress to your life (although some of your future employers have a place on this list).