The Road to RDville: Will my brain burst?

Wow. I’ve had eight days of classes and I’ve learned…a lot. I’ve been shoveling some heavy duty info into my brain on both the nutrition and the public health fronts, and my head has yet to explode, so I take that as a good sign. Here’s an overview of what my classes have been covering:

  • Biostatistics. Research study design (experimental vs. observational), methods for choosing study sample populations, exploring data numerically and graphically.
  • Epidemiology. History of epidemiology, occurrence of disease (incidence and prevalence) and the different types of research study designs (going into way more depth than we are in biostatistics).
  • Health Services. Evolutions in the health care system and the health insurance system, the history of public health (including its sometimes complementary, sometimes adversarial relationship with the medical community) and the ever changing definition of public health.
  • Nutrition & Metabolism. Assessing energy needs and body composition, the effects of aging and disease on energy needs and body composition, the role of our cells’ mitochondria in aging (including the effects of free radicals, exercise, caloric restriction and other factors on mitochondrial function).
  • Assorted weekly seminars. Program information, developing goals for this academic term and for the first year of the dietetic program, and why it is very, very, VERY important to not falsify data when we do our thesis research. Bad! Bad! (You would think this would be a no-brainer, but unfortunately, it happens.)

Lots of good stuff. I’ve read more research papers in the last week and a half than I’ve read…well, in the previous month, I guess, since I like reading research papers. It’s a lot of work, but I love what I’m learning. And I’m very thankful right now that I am staying organized and on top of my to-do’s, because if the rest of the term flies by like this first week-plus has, it’s going to be over like that [snap]!
I have an interesting post planned for tomorrow that I didn’t have time to write last week. I am vowing to write it today! I swear!