Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Let Me Tell You What I Learned About Malaria

     The lab inspection was intense - I've never been on the receiving end as a medical director, and I'm brand new, but I think I nailed it. Told Jack earlier when I interview the lab director peer to peer it's usually super laid back they threw some hardballs but luckily I'm plugged in so much it wasn't an issue. Stressful? Yes. Impossible? No. 

    At lunch one of the CAP inspectors, there were two one was training another one, were talking about travels. Marti Favorite - an employee of Baptist who helps out with all these regulations in our Baptist Health system and fights for unreasonable citations (she won one today and got called out and respected at summation for it) said her retirement dream is to be a CAP inspector. I was like right? If they have protected time, like my friend Eric who works at the U, they get dream assignments all over the world.

    One of the inspectors talked about a trip to Mali. She said they all stayed at a hotel in the NIH system other than one excursion that exposed them to extreme poverty. Women were walking miles with children on their backs and pots of water on their heads to get clean water. For cooking. I didn't say this out loud, but if you are born into a loving family in a beautiful country who cares about financial status and A/C. Family or friend love is much richer than finances, and can give you much more success in life.

    This is the golden point, the one that I have been pondering all day and it might take me a while to extrapolate and apply and I might fail but I got super excited. The one that went to Mali talked about a new vaccine being tested and I googled the story I was so fascinated and confused she had it half right and half wrong. Some chic named Jessica in another country came up with the crazy wild idea to target the vector not the pathogen with the vaccine. So they are basically using mosquito spit to target a variety of mosquito borne illnesses. Which is novel, bc malaria has been too heterogeneous to target. It's working in animal models. Zika, Dengue, Ebola - the possibilities are endless. 

    I wondered - can we apply this to cancer? So many are viral driven. Obviously it will take me more than five minutes to think this through and I'm no academic researcher but this is great food for fodder. She said eliminating cancer will seriously hamper your job. I was like in my head what? I do more than cancer and yes, that is most of my job, but something else will come along and eliminating it in my lifetime is like a  crazy pipe dream. Isn't this part of some golden rule? The health and happiness of the many trumps the individual. Happy Wednesday. Much love, Elizabeth

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