Friday, February 20, 2009

Done with Preventive Medicine

After a small snafu with getting my answers uploaded, I was done with the online test by Monday night. It's pretty much all about hypertension. My advice for other Case students taking this elective is to only read the module on hypertension and then do the test. The other modules are not very helpful for answering the test questions. It's also not necessary to read all of the linked additional readings.

I hope it doesn't sound like I think this elective is fluff just because it wasn't organized the most efficiently. Actually, it helped reinforce some things I had learned in my medicine rotations, which is good because preventive medicine is covered on Step 2. Plus, I learned a few new things too, the most surprising of which is that there is conflicting evidence about the utility of restricting salt intake in hypertensive patients.

Even if the effect of restricting salt intake on blood pressure is small, it's probably still a good idea to encourage people to eat less salt, because American diets are ridiculously high in sodium. But getting patients to restrict their salt intake is very difficult, because there is a lot of salt in just about every processed food in existence. Try looking at some nutritional labelings on the packages even for sweet things like tomato sauce and cookies the next time you're in the supermarket, and you'll see what I mean. It doesn't help that food without salt tastes bland to most people, either.

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