Term 2, or Lent Term, is underway in Cambridge and the weather is starting to warm up!
This is my first time ever living outside of California for more than six months, so it’s been an exciting adjustment to live where it snows!!
Every morning I ride my bike 4 miles to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. My lectures take place in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, part of the hospital. Rain, sleet or snow! #1 Tip I received was to purchase biking gloves, they have saved my fingers!! It hasn’t snowed enough yet to stick to the ground – so nothing compared to Boston or New York – but enough so that the sky is white and looking out of my window at the 12th century church across the road is all the more pleasant with snowflakes in the air (and the radiator on high).
For my coursework, this term has been predominated by survey lectures on different fields within public health. We had a week on genetic epidemiology, a week of psychiatric epidemiology and various biostatistic modules. Moving forward we’ll be learning about chronic disease prevention and intervention, and nutritional epidemiology. “Sitting is the new smoking” is a phrase often stated in our lectures. As the UK and US become more obese there are many implications for cardiovascular health. Our course looks at research methods to investigate causative factors and how to design interventions on a population level.
For my Lent Term essay I am writing a Meta-analysis, or statistical comparison using weighted averages, looking at whether smoking marijuana can cause head and neck cancer. As the US goes through policy reform and recreational marijuana is made legal, it is important to understand the public health implications of these changes. It has been previously found that tobacco and marijuana smoke share similar carcinogenic chemicals, and tobacco and alcohol consumption are the leading causes of head and neck cancer worldwide. Therefore, what risk does marijuana smoke hold? I am using statistical software to compare 10 different case control study results from around the world in order to pool their data and analyze the larger sample of pooled evidence. While the topic is interesting, it’s even more important that I am learning to this statistical skill, which we talk about so often in medical research. I am excited to be learning tangible tools that I’ll use in the future to do research studies with my own data and hopefully inform patient care and health policy.
In addition, I had another Rotary talk last week. This time in Bury St. Edmonds about an hour north of Cambridge. Simon Lake, of my host club Cambridge Sawston, was kind enough to drive me. The meeting was held in the Greene King Brewery, a well known beer company in the UK. Dinner of cottage pie (mashed potatoes, beer, and peas in a pie dish) was delicious and I had numerous interesting questions about my talk. Very cool to see how different Rotary clubs operate around the UK and get to meet new rotarians.
Looking into the next few weeks I have a few exciting events.
The last weekend in February I’ll be going to Dublin with my college. St John’s College Cambridge is sister colleges with Trinity College Dublin. Trinity College Dublin has invited us to visit and stay with their graduate students for a weekend. I’ve never been to Ireland, and being a Moore, am very excited to see a little piece of my ancestry! The weekend is that of their “Scholars Dinner” which is a black tie event in their old hall! Really excited!
At the start of March is my Varsity soccer match against Oxford. The Cambridge light blues vs Oxford dark blues is an ancient rivalry that exists in every sports team and our match will be March 4th, followed by a night out in Oxford with our rival hosts! Playing for the Cambridge women’s soccer team has been a really great way to meet girls in other colleges and disciplines at Cambridge and explore towns outside of Cambridge as we play away matches.
Looking forward to spring as we round out February! My parents will be visiting in March so many more adventures to come! Thanks for following along!