lifestyle

Think Med School Is Pricey? How About This Man’s “Medical Procedure”

It’s no secret that we live in an interesting time, but it seems some people like to take popular fads to the extreme. Here, we have one of those cases. Joel Miggler, a 23-year-old German man has been feeding his obsession with body modification since the age of 13, including several holes large enough to put your fingers through (I’m sure his dentist has no problem finding his way around through the gaping holes in his cheeks). Apparently, Miggler said his “experiments” didn’t hurt, and when asked what the inspiration behind his interesting ventures was, he replied nonchalantly, saying, “I just enjoy playing with my body and blood.” Well, if it didn’t hurt physically, it sure did hurt the old savings account. Since embarking on his “holey mission,” Miggler has spent a reported $6,800 on his various procedures–roughly the same cost of a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969. Talk about money…well spent? Featured image from The Huffington Post | Caters News...

Think Medical School is For You? You Might Be Right.

Over the weekend, there was a minor uproar on Twitter surrounding an article published in The Globe and Mail titled “Think medical school is for you? You’re probably wrong.” Sounds harsh right? The rest of the piece continued in much the same vein and spawned several rebuttal articles from physicians and medical students arguing against the author’s thesis, which hypothesized that the burnout rate among young doctors is a result of what got them into medical school in the first place: their perfectionism, their impressive laundry list of qualifications and the fact that they are, as yet, unacquainted with failure. Katherine Sinclair writes about individuals who, when asked why they want to be doctors, invariably parrot the ideal of wanting to help others, but secretly hold less altruistic motives at heart. They are driven by power, money, security, and the success that has courted them all throughout their life. When faced with the realities of medical school, the sensation of being a big fish in a huge pond, surrounded by other, much bigger fish, these students falter. An average exam mark or two later and their sense of well-being is degraded. By the time they are awarded their coveted MD and begin to realize the thanklessness of the job, the long-hours, the impossibility of saving everyone, they break. These gifted students who follow medicine because they believe it’s just...

A Call to Almost Docs: The Future is Yours for the Making

In case you haven’t noticed, we are in a time of great change in medicine. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, while perhaps not ideal, accompanies a conversation in our nation about improving healthcare access and affordability to make our country a healthier place. More and more research papers are published every day as we seek to understand the world around us and use that knowledge to improve the way we prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Health disparities and cultural differences are acknowledged as we try to make healthcare better for all. Advocates are vying for policy change at a national level. Outreach is being done to other countries to bring them ideas and medicines they may not have had. Yet, despite all of this effort, we have a long, long way to go. With financial, cultural, social, and other barriers hindering change, the problems we face today may be problems that we will face for quite some time. If we look at those in medicine who are involved in this change, whom do we see? We see physicians who have played the role of doctor for quite some time, who know the healthcare system and who have been striving to enact change for many years. We see primary investigators who are leading research and have had the longevity in their careers to establish themselves and promote their...

These People are Just Doing Their Jobs, But Here’s Why I’m Thankful They’re Good at It

6:20 PM “Ok everyone. We’ve got eyes. Sir, my name is Dr. Hanger. Can you hear me? You were in an accident earlier today and you are in the ER right now. We’re gonna take good care of you. Just stay with us, ok?” That is undoubtedly something no one wants to hear when they open their eyes. I struggled to remember how I had ended up in the ER when I should have taken bus 71B and headed straight home to finish my long-overdue calculus homework. It took a moment for me to recall the details, but it all finally came rushing back to me.   5:00 PM “That physiology exam…I wonder if the professor just likes to torture us for fun,” I thought to myself as I walked out of the exam room. It was sunny out today. I could see everyone sitting in the lawn, relaxing under the shade of the sun that had appeared after countless months, and all I could think about was how I had just screwed up on my test. “If this is undergrad, med school’s going to be a treat.” I just kept on walking, approaching the intersection on Fifth and Bigelow. I was distracted, thinking about my plummeting grade in physiology class, when I was swept off my feet (literally) and thrown to the ground 10 feet away from the...

How Physically Altering Your Brain May Be the Panacea to Medical School Success

Medical school is a stressful time, one of intense study, divided attention, and extreme mental demands.  As a brand new third year student, I can feel my attention being tugged in many directions.  On any given day I have lectures to prepare for, cases to read about, labs to check, patients to see, reading assignments, etc.  It’s hard to say if it’s more material than the previous two years of school, but it is definitely more diverse in nature. Naturally I am interested in anything that increases my mental abilities.  Many students, myself included, turn to energy drinks and coffee for those days we can’t get it together.  But a recent body of research suggests there may be a better alternative to mega doses of caffeine.  Mindfulness training and meditation, something that has been known to Eastern cultures for centuries, has slowly migrated its way into Western society and has been the subject of a wealth of literature over the past decade. A study published last year in Psychological Science demonstrated that just two-weeks of mindfulness training improved undergraduate reading comprehension and focus.  Another study looked at incorporating mindfulness training into a semester of classes for undergraduate students.  This, too, demonstrated improvements in attention.  A review of the literature suggests that there are numerous studies correlating mindfulness mediation training with increased attention and enhanced working memory So how does...

12 Tips For Being The +1 At A Wedding, “Almost” Doc Style

It’s spring, and you know what that means … wedding season! Being a “plus-one,” aka the unspecified date that wedding guests are often allowed to bring, can be an anxious experience. You probably won’t know very many people, yet you will be expected to eat, drink, and be merry. You’ll be introduced to dozens of new people whose names you’ll be expected to remember, even though you’ve already made six trips to the open bar. However, if you follow these tips, you can be sure that you’ll be the perfect plus-one: anonymous, meek, and instantly forgettable. 1. Know your role: think of a wedding as being made up of a series of tiers. Think of how the tiers work in the medical field and where you stand as an “almost” doc, and you’ll catch on quick. In descending order of importance: attending physician, fellow, chief resident, senior resident, junior resident, intern, and medical student. As an “almost” doc you’re probably low on the totem pole. No different as a +1 at a wedding. There is the bride and groom, their parents, the bridal party, invited guests, hired staff, the hors d’oeuvres, and then you. You’re like a wedding peasant. 2. Speaking of the hors d’oeuvres, show some self respect. Sure, you’ll probably never see most of these people again in your life, but try to keep them from remembering...

How Do We Change the Public’s View of Science?

“Can you explain DNA to me?” my aunt asked the other day. “I always hear things like DNA, gene, and sequence being thrown around in the news but I don’t really know what they mean by it. Like how do you look at DNA and see the sequence? With a microscope?” My reaction was twofold. First, I was glad that she reached out to ask rather than just disregard what she didn’t know. By studying science, terms like these have been integrated into my vocabulary and I’ve found it easy to forget that to many they are still jargon. Unfortunately, my aunt is by no means alone in this sentiment. The number of adults who are science literate – defined as having “knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making” – is a mere 28 percent. This number has nearly tripled over the past 20 years, which is great, but it nonetheless highlights how far we need to go. Why does this matter? No, it’s not just because I live and breathe science and want others to love it too (which I do). Rather, while many think the answer to the classic high school question, “When will I need to know this?” is never, that is not the case with science. An understanding of science is necessary to take care of your own health...