Sex, in every sense of the word, has been at the center of media attention lately, from the cascade of rulings that lifted same-sex marriage bans across the country, to the heightened scrutiny of universities regarding sexual violence, to the ongoing battle surrounding the rights of sex workers. The list is endless.
The same goes for drugs. The legalization of medical and nonmedical marijuana, the constant criticism of the U.S.’s “war on drugs” and comparison of it to other nations’ strategies, the prescription drug abuse among young people, the celebrity deaths attributed to overdoses—not a day goes by when you don’t see a drug-related headline in the news.
But as an undergraduate premed student, I find it difficult just to keep up with my classes and extracurricular activities, let alone follow current events. In fact, even as I’m writing this, I get distracted by the thought of the huge pile of organic chemistry flashcards that await me on my desk, and the fact that how well I do on my genetics final will make or break my grade in that class. I can only imagine how much longer my list of stressors will be when I am in medical school.
And yet it is essential for physicians-in-training to stay informed about current events so that we will be able to understand the context of our patients’ conditions and provide them with optimal care. Doctors are tasked with understanding what situation a person is in as well as the situation inside of a person. I hope that this issue’s stories will remind us that in the midst of burying our noses in science textbooks, we must not lose sight of the fact that other subjects, such as gender discrimination, are equally relevant to medicine—and if not directly to medicine, then to the atmosphere of the medical community.
On a lighter note, this issue also includes a couple of juicy treats because—let’s be real with ourselves—with the stress levels that we take on, we all need a little bit of sex and drugs (and rock-and-roll) in our lives.