By: Zenobia Tayeb, MD3
With the collective effort between various XUSOM clubs AMSA, FMIG, PMIG, and SGA, the management and execution of a health fair at AZV (Algemene Ziektekosten Verzekering) was successful. AZV is a local company that provides supplemental health plans. The morning consisted of medical students conducting blood pressure, blood glucose, and BMI readings followed by a brief consultation from the senior students. It was a valuable learning experience for the medical students as well as the 65 AZV employees who steadily rotated from station to station throughout the morning.
Manpreet Saini, MD5 student and Health Fair Consultant, not only discussed the results of the AZV employees’ readings, but also discussed their complete medical history including current medications. Many employees admitted that they do not visit their physician consistently for check-ups as much as they should. While many were aware of their health issues (hypertension, diabetes, obesity) and the consequences associated with said issues, it was surprising to learn that some were still in denial of their health issues. For instance, one employee believed her high blood pressure of 155/100 was the “norm” for her body. At the close of the consultation, employees were advised to make lifestyle changes, which may include diets that are low in sodium and sugar or diets that consist of nutritious home cooked meals as opposed to fast food. Also, it was advised to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise a few times per week, and to seek physician assistance to discuss the results.
When MD2 student, Jared Stewart, was asked what he learned from this experience, he responded stating that, “The one-on- one interactions with the patients was invaluable as it was an opportunity to practice our medical skills on real patients.” He continued, “Additionally, the teachable moments – courtesy of XUSOM faculty – were a welcome glimpse into the clinical aspects of medicine. I would highly encourage all XUSOM students to participate in future fairs.”