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In my first reflection blog, I talked about how doing DukeEngage in Miami was like trying pistachio ice cream for me (i.e. trying something I previously said I didn’t like but had yet to try). If the legal advocacy work that I do via DukeEngage in Miami is like my pistachio ice cream, then being premed and learning about healing is like my favorite flavor of ice cream: strawberry ice cream.


Well fortunately, this week I was served a scoop of strawberry ice cream!


Wednesday morning, I was in court with one of Dade Legal Aid’s amazing child advocacy attorneys, Dana Viggiano, who had hearings with Judge Zayas. Judge Zayas runs the 11th Judicial Circuit Grace Court, a specialized court in dependency for children and young adults who are victims of human trafficking or at risk of becoming victims. After a morning full of cases, I received an email from Dade Legal Aid’s director Karen Ladis about a statewide training from Florida Legal Services (FLS) titled “Medical Terminology & Records Review.”


This was my scoop of strawberry ice cream.


The FLS training, led by John Tucker, Esq. (Managing Partner at Tucker Law Group), went over how to decipher medical terminology (e.g. root words and the meanings of commonly used prefixes and suffixes) as well as all our human body systems (e.g. cardiovascular, endocrine, immune system, etc.). In discussing these systems, Mr. Tucker explained what organs/parts of the body they encompassed (e.g. the integumentary system is comprised of the skin, hair, nails, and glands in the skin) and some fun facts (e.g. the skin renews itself every 28 days). He also reviewed directional terms used in anatomy (e.g. coronal plane, median plane, etc.), terms used to express the status of a patient or condition (e.g. acute, benign, chronic, critical, etc.), and terms used on prescriptions/treatments (e.g. PO is an acronym for the Latin phrase “per orem,” meaning to be taken by mouth or orally). Lastly, Mr. Tucker also explained 10 common medical conditions and how they can cause disability.


I saw firsthand how the legal and medical fields can be interrelated, and although I have been enjoying my pistachio ice cream of legal advocacy work, this scoop of strawberry ice cream was really refreshing for my premed self.