Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Visit to Bastyr. Part 2

Just a heads up, I gave the last entry a nice face-lift. Some of what I'm writing about in this post was in the old post and some of what's in the old post wasn't there initially.

Back to Bastyr:
The herbalism lab was not the only thing that had me hooked on the school though, but it was the easiest to describe. It's much harder to explain the mentality of the staff and students there, but that was probably what influenced me the most. What really interested me was how much importance was given to balance and respect, both for people and their work, but also on a large scale. One example I already mentioned is the award-winning vegetarian cafeteria, although I was unable to sample the food from there and can't say much about it. An example that was more poignant to me was hearing about how the campus recognizes the contributions of everyone on campus. Even those who don't have a pulse. Bastyr actually hosts a day of activities to give thanks to the cadavers that they learn so much from. Year-round, there are multiple paintings made in the honor of the cadavers hanging on the walls. Those that are more musically inclined can offer up original songs or other projects. All in all, I thought it was a really good idea. You can say what you want about the deceased, but you can't deny that people would probably feel a lot better donating their bodies to a place that does stuff like this. I honestly would like to see this sort of thing all over, if only to serve as another reminder that patients are people and not just a biological box of problems and enzymatic reactions.

I probably should have prefaced the above by mentioning that I once planned on going into the funeral home business. That ended once I realized that the last thing I wanted to spend my life doing was managing the family of the recently deceased. Research is a lot more constructive and interesting.

Speaking of, Bastyr is one of the leaders in CAM research according to my guide on the campus visit. She was corroborated by the research posters that plastered the walls of the upstairs office level of the building. Not only was it encouraging to see so many projects, but also the diversity. I saw work involving everything from leukocyte cytokine expression to dietary survey data. No matter where your interests are, there is probably a research project at Bastyr you can get involved in. If not, you can apply for funding to start your own. That last bit actually had me skipping a little bit when I heard it. Luckily, looking at medical schools isn't like buying a used car and I didn't get 20% added onto my tuition right then and there.

Actually, they might have gotten away with it. When I geek out, I geek out HARD.

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