04 12 / 2013
raktoner asked: To add on to the Finals Study Guide you reblogged, if people are looking for white noise but not that the staticky kind, I really recommend rainymood. It's a website and It's really relaxing. Put that on with some smooth jazz does the trick for me.
Rainy Mood. Thanks!
May be helpful for some this time of year.
I made a Ratatat station on Pandora- found loads of great upbeat wordless electronic/instrumental music. Minimalist techno is my studying jam. A Bonobo station would also be great.
04 12 / 2013
I hear about a lot of people that are frustrated with patient’s choices to choose treatments that are not backed by science. Be it the vaccine naysayers, homeopathy, or the MS liberation therapy - there are plenty of examples of unscientific health treatments in large demand from the public. While this can be harmless, it’s clear this always isn’t the case - whatstheharm.com estimates that there have been “368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages" caused by various forms of scientific inaccuracy.
I think a question that comes to many disbelievers’ minds is the question of “why?”. Why, when we know this has no benefit or can even cause harm, do people continue to opt for this treatment?
The problem is made more complex with technology. Say you are interested in a surgery that claims to get rid of a health problem that interferes with your daily life, but is not backed by science. You go to see one doctor for 15 minutes who discourages it, but can head home to connect to networks of people who trumpet the benefits of the unscientific procedure.
I think it comes down to the channel through which information is received. A personal anecdote from a friend, family member, or person struggling with the same disease you have is much more powerful than that detached, impersonal scientific opinion from a doctor. “I truly believe this treatment helped me” is bound to be persuasive; even against scientific evidence.
People build their decisions from their own stories, their own lives, and the experiences of those close to them – fact is just one portion of the decision making process. We do not live by statistics: our lives are complex narratives. To become angry that people choose not to base their health decisions solely on fact is not something that should be punished or mocked – especially if they are desperate for solutions.
All in all, the issue is not as cut and dry as many make it out to be. I think, instead of vilifying those that choose alternative methods of care, other questions need to be asked:
- Why do people not trust the opinions of their doctors and of scientific studies?
- Why do people turn to alternative methods?
- What are the common misconceptions about various types of care? (For example, the idea that natural treatment is safer than pharmaceutical medication)
- How can we make allopathic care better serve the interests of patients?
- What can we do to make alternative medicine safer for those who do choose to pursue it?
I think pursuing answers to these questions would have a far more beneficial impact than the current “no, you’re wrong” approach that is utilized by many.
I struggle with this. Mostly because I’m surrounded by science all day every day that I forget how convincing some things sound to those who may not have the scientific literacy that I do.
Thanks for this post, I’m glad to be reminded.
04 12 / 2013
The mnemonic to remember blotting techniques is “SNoW DRoP”
S - Southern - DNA - D
N - Northern - RNA - R
O - Oooooo - Ooooo - O
W - Western - Protein - P
Hope you won’t go, “Which direction was that again?” in the exam =P
There’s another simpler one for all those who can speak the language Hindi.. Southern in Hindi is Dakshin for DNA & Western in Hindi is Paschim for Protein!
03 12 / 2013
"Only about 1/3 of the population has the necessary gut flora to produce methane, which can be used to ignite farts."
02 12 / 2013
It’s 6:30. I have eaten dinner – a microwavable meal – and have half a pot of coffee to get me through the night. I have been up since about 6 am studying, with bouts of lecture punctuating my day. I will study until roughly midnight, go to bed, then do it all again tomorrow.
This is my life. This is the glamour of being a 2nd year med student.
Some days it really sucks.
I recently caught up with a buddy who goes to another medical school. We talked about our experiences and the perception people have when they learn we are in medical school. Non-medical personal might as well be the muggles of our world. They look in with curiosity and the assumption that, like Grey’s Anatomy, my life is awash in beautiful women, drama, and the type of lifelong friendships one always dreams of. Unfortunately that couldn’t be further from the truth. Right now most of my life is spent reading medical texts.
The constant studying would be forgivable if we only studied the interesting parts of medicine. But on this particular night I have spent an hour reading about different types of transfusion reactions. Before that I dove into the intricacies of different psychiatric medications, teasing out which double as sedatives, which help with neuropathic pains, and which I can use for an incontinent patient. The truth is that a good portion of medicine is, well… boring. Unfortunately most diseases we learn about are not House-like medical mysteries.
What about the patients I do get to see? They are far from the idealized patients displayed on T.V. Many are elderly or in poor health with multiple comorbid conditions. For every rare presentation there are 20 pneumonias, 15 heart failures, and 10 COPDs (that is probably an understatement). On T.V. patients appear composed; in real life they are likely to have multiple orifices with fluids coming out. Needless to say, most patients do not appear like they just got done with their Glamour Shots.
I love medicine, I honestly and truly do. But sometimes I hate how much it controls my life. I have a stack of books that are awaiting my attention, half written stories that need to be finished, and tons of bicycling adventures needing to be had. Not to mention all of the travel opportunities, friends and family that have been neglected over the last years.
I don’t mean to complain. I am extremely lucky to be where I am. I really do feel fortunate to be on a career path I love, especially when so many don’t end up in medical school. But sometimes I am frustrated by the completely inaccurate portrayal of medicine. I feel like these unfortunate stereotypes are only getting worse as people see healthcare costs rising and vilify doctors as the cause. Half of my Thanksgiving was spent justifying a system that I am not even a part of yet.
In all honesty, being a doctor isn’t like what’s on T.V. It is hard work, day in and day out, as is the road to get there. But for every complaint above there are ten more reasons that I love it. I am proud to be on this road and I can’t wait to one day help patients. This is a rewarding path filled with excitement and daily revelations.
But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t suck sometimes.
All the internet hugs for TNQD. Hang in there, buddy. We’re in the same boat and we’ll make it.
I think it’d be neat if more medblrs posted about the typical day in the life of/less than fun parts of med school/doctorland.
02 12 / 2013
But right now I’m really stressing about when the Cute Boy will text me back about ice cream.
I need some to live and we need to get some like right now.
02 12 / 2013
It’s getting to be time where second years start worrying about Step 1.
For those of you wondering how I prepared, you can find what products I used here as well as a fairly long post on how I studied for Step 1.
Step 1 is the horror.