With almost 15 years of experience in emergency medical care, Dr. Michael Parsa serves as an associate professor specializing in emergency medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas. As a long-time El Paso resident, Dr. Michael Parsa takes advantage of the abundant outdoor opportunities the region has to offer, including mountain biking, which he’s been doing since his time in medical school.
Every year, approximately 40 million Americans will mountain bike at least once. As a challenging and fun way to exercise, the sport offers the typical cardiovascular benefits in addition to:
1. Reduced Stress and a better mood. The physical demands and the required focus of mountain biking cause the release of endorphins and serotonin, resulting in more energy and decreased stress.
2. Lower impact on joints. When compared to many other sports, mountain biking (a mostly non-load bearing activity) is less stressful to joints because the body is usually in a sitting position, reducing the chance of injury.
3. Improved muscle memory. A dynamic activity that requires constant adjustment by the rider, mountain biking strengthens neural pathways resulting in improved balance and coordination.
4. Improved Memory. A study by Illinois University reported that people who improved their cardiorespiratory fitness by just 5 percent by cycling performed 15 percent better on mental tests.
Since 2010, Dr. Michael Parsa has held responsibilities as Paul L. Foster School of Medicine emergency medicine assistant professor with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. With a strong interest in health issues facing members of underserved communities, Dr. Michael Parsa has volunteered in locales such as Port Au Prince, Haiti, with with Samaritan’s Purse. In El Paso, he co-authored the paper Rethinking HIV Risks among Women on the US/Mexico Border: Alcohol and Latina Sex Behavior.
With unprotected sex with HIV positive males the leading cause of HIV transmission among Latinas, the paper focuses on the extent to which Latina emergency department (ED) patients engage in sexual behavior that puts them at risk. This under-examined topic was explored via a survey handed out to adult female ED patients who were sexually active. The survey included an alcohol dependency screen.
Through multivariable linear regression analysis, Dr. Parsa and his colleagues explored links between drinking and HIV sex risk behaviors. The majority of patients surveyed reported being unconcerned about HIV infection risks, with those who scored positive for alcohol dependency more likely to engage in behavior that entailed risks.
Unfortunately, there was no significant difference between those who were alcohol dependent and those who were not in the level of concern over the health consequences of risky behavior. The paper thus recommended that coordinated preventive interventions be undertaken to increases levels of awareness among young Latina women.
Dr. Michael Parsa is an emergency medicine physician and professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. A graduate of Creighton University School of Medicine, Dr. Michael Parsa possesses more than 16 years of medical experience both in the United States, through his work in California as well as El Paso, and abroad. Dr. Parsa is a member of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM).
In addition to hosting annual conferences and a variety of educational programs, the AAEM manages the AAEM Resident and Student Association, for individuals just beginning their medical careers. Students receive their first year of membership for free.
Much like their more established peers, student members of AAEM have access to various benefits designed to help them map out their academic experiences and future careers. Once students begin their paid membership to the AAEM Resident and Student Association, they receive a pair of useful print resources: the Emergency Medicine Survival Guide and Rules of the Road for Medical Students. Members also are subscribed to the organization’s peer-reviewed blog and Common Sense magazine.
A number of electronic resources are available to student members, including an educational podcast, subscription to the Journal of Emergency Medicine and discounts on a test preparation website. Members also receive entrance to the AAEM annual scientific assembly.