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University of Utah School of Medicine Office of Admissions
Continually improving individual and community health and quality of life.
Continually improving individual and community health and quality of life.

University of Utah School of Medicine Office of Admissions's posts

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#UUSOM Self-care Tip 10

Why We're Nicer to Strangers Than the People We Love Most
… and 3 ways to fix the problem before it's too late.

Posted Jul 13, 2014 Alex Lickerman M.D.

Don’t neglect the ones you depend on most

Why is it we so often find ourselves treating the ones we most love the most shabbily? Contrary to popular wisdom, I don't think that the answer is that familiarity breeds contempt. After all, it's not that all the wonderful things we loved about our loved ones when they first entered our lives have gradually become repulsive to us ("I hate that you're so kind to everyone!"). Rather, it's that our tolerance for all the things we've always disliked invariably diminishes over time.

Add to this the fact that pain commands our attention far more than pleasure and we arrive at the explanation: We have the least tolerance for the negative qualities of those with whom we spend the most time.

But of course we do want to treat our loved ones well—and often feel tremendous guilt when we don't. So, presuming we're not so fed up with our spouse that we want a divorce, so fed up with our children that we want to put them up for adoption, or so fed up with our parents that we want to cut off contact, what's to be done?

I'd offer the following strategies:

1. Pause on a regular basis to vividly subtract your loved ones from your life.
The goal here is to produce intense feelings of gratitude. And nothing produces gratitude for something like being threatened with its loss. Studies show that we are all capable of imagining the loss of people in our lives concretely enough to evoke the gratitude that we still have for them. We can best do this, it turns out, by vividly imagining specific ways a person might be taken from us—actually playing out scenarios in our mind in which some entirely believable event snatches them away. Try this: Write a list of things you love about your loved ones and then carve out some time every morning—just a few minutes—to imagine how you really could (or, one day, will) lose them. We're more likely to have an emotional reaction to these imaginings if we envision the absence of a loved ones as visually as possible. If we seek to imagine a life without our spouse, for example, we would imagine seeing the empty space his or her absence would leave in our life, seeing the bed in which we now sleep together without him or her next to us, seeing the table at which we eat dinner but without him or her across from us, and so on. And when we think about how we would have to alter our daily routine in his or her absence, we would again imagine doing so with images—images of going to movies alone, taking vacations alone, attending parent-teacher conferences alone, and so on. Repeating this practice on a regular basis can transform it into a habit that could continue to fill you with gratitude as long as you continue to do it.

2. Spend time with your loved ones in the company of other people.

As I've written earlier, who we are turns out to be largely a function of who we’re with. Have you ever noticed, for example, how you feel and behave one way with your family and another with your friends—and yet another with your co-workers or boss? We may all be multiple selves, but just which self we are at any one moment isn’t as much up to us as it is to the people around us. I'm suggesting, then, that when in the company of others with whom you feel less intimate, you'll invariably find yourself behaving more politely and kindly—to our loved ones as well. Further, you'll have a chance to observe and appreciate the better selves your loved ones have inside them, which are also being pulled out of them by the presence of others. In short, the dynamic between you and your loved ones will change, and generally for the better, when other people are present.

3. Take a break from your loved ones as needed.

Don't do this because you need to recharge your tolerance for the things about your loved ones that annoy you. Do this to acquire a fresh perspective. Get out into the world, alone, so that other experiences and other people pull a more generous self out of you, a self that sees your current life more broadly; that more easily finds a way to appreciate the good in your loved ones; and that achieves a more balanced view of the things that frustrate you about them.

Self-care matters: we are here for you.
Individual therapy, wellness events and support groups


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We're going live today as part of the 2017 AAMC Medical School Virtual Fair. There's still time to register if you haven't done so! Chat with us from 10am-2pm MST.

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#UUSOM Self-care Tip 9

“Regular health screenings are important as they help screen for things that could become a problem before you have any symptoms. These are diseases for which we have good treatment, especially if it is caught early.”

-Karly Pippitt, M.D., FAAFP

Self-care matters: we are here for you.
Individual therapy, wellness events and support groups


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We're just two days away from our first medical school virtual fair. Chat with Admissions staff and current medical students live from 10am-2pm MST. We look forward to chatting with you!

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We're excited to announce that we will be participating in our first Virtual Fair on Thursday, February 16th and we'd love to chat with you! Admissions staff and current med students will be available to chat with you live from 10am-2pm MST. Clink on the link below to register and get your questions answered about #UUSOM.

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Episode 79 is now available on iTunes!

I interviewed Anish, third year student here at #UUSOM

“There’s a point in school, especially here, where you just feel like you have to learn for yourself and you have to keep up with the learning and teaching for yourself and not with what everyone else is doing.”

Anish grew up in Sandy, Utah and headed to Baltimore to attend John Hopkins #JHU for undergrad. We talk about what it was like to live in Baltimore and how taking a gap year in between undergrad and medical school could have made a difference for him. Next, we talk about his experiences as one of the youngest members in his medical school class, as well as different relationship models and why it’s important to find one that works for both parties. Finally, we close our discussion with a Taco Bell #tacobell analysis too.

So head on over to iTunes, look for "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life". It will be Episode 79. And, if you can, please leave a rating.

Take care,

Dr. Chan

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Alyssa – MS1

My Global Health Experiences & How They Have Tied into My Medical Education
My first major exposure to Global Health came when I applied to volunteer on a medical/dental mission trip with Global Brigades during my junior year of college. Traveling to Honduras for the first time, I was immersed into a culture entirely new to me. I quickly fell in love with the country, the people, and the work that we were able to accomplish. The country was simply beautiful; even despite the trash littering the sides of the roads. The people were inspiring as they were the most patient, kind, and appreciative people I have ever met. As for the work, we were able to see nearly 1000 patients in just one week, and provided each with a medical consultation, health education, medications, and the option for a dental and/or gynecology exam. After my first brigade, I was elected to the Executive Board. This role allowed me to become more heavily involved in the coordination of the subsequent trip and return to Honduras a second time.

One of the things I loved most about UUSOM when I first considered applying was that they had a Global Health program that could be incorporated into my medical education. As a first year, I have already taken three global health electives and am currently working toward a Graduate Certificate in Global Medicine. These elective courses have opened up my eyes to what Global Health really is and helped me to discover ways to get involved as a future physician. I have realized the strengths and weaknesses of my previous work. Additionally, I have learned how this type of work can be improved upon in order to promote true sustainability and empowerment in global communities.
Ultimately, this program has made me appreciate Global Health even more as a way to both improve our healthcare here in America as well as around the world.

As for future global health plans: This upcoming summer, I am super excited to be spending a month in rural India. I will be performing maternal/fetal health research with Dr. Bernhard Fassl (a pediatrician here at the U who is heavily involved in Global Health efforts). I am especially looking forward to this as it will be much more of an independent global health experience versus the “hand-holding” I was used to previously. Additionally, it will allow me to see the reality of global health- which I have been warned can be a lot more difficult than what I am used to as true progress presents much slower. In my third or fourth year of medical school, I am hoping to spend one of my clinical rotations abroad as well.

Global Health has been a major motivator for me to pursue a healthcare profession. I strongly believe that every human in this world deserves access to adequate healthcare, but unfortunately this is not our current reality. It is therefore my ultimate goal- through my continuing Global Health education and experiences- to make an impact in the efforts to achieve global health equity.

#GlobalHealthMatters #UUSOM
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#UUSOM Self-care Tip 8

Speaking your truth is an essential aspect of living a life of passion, fulfillment and authenticity. It takes courage. It, it takes integrity. It takes dedication. At the end of the day, though, you have to be able to live with yourself.

Read more:

Self-care matters: we are here for you.
Individual therapy, wellness events and support groups


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Our first ever #MotivationalMonday highlight comes from Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. Senior Vice President, University of Utah Health Sciences. #UUSOM #Whatmotivatesyou

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#UUSOM Self-care Tip 7

Cuddle Up

Close your eyes and remember the last time someone held your hand for a while. Remember the warmth of their skin and how it instantly made you relax? Human touch is powerful and can be an excellent way to bring your stress level down a notch or two.

Touch can relieve pain, reduce blood pressure and stress hormones, and improve the immune system.

It seems that as we experience touch, we focus on the feeling, warmth and relaxation it provides instead of focusing on any worries, anxieties or pain. Any time we can refocus our mind to a relaxing place it has a positive effect on the body.

Explore adding more touch to your day. You can do this by reaching out to friends and family members as you talk or greet each other. If you feel comfortable, add a little touch to the arm or a short hug as you first see them.

Sheryl M. Ness R.N.…/e…/cancer-and-touch/bgp-20056335
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