8 Ways Working in Medicine Has Made Me An Annoying Girlfriend

Relationships are hard work enough; but throw in the complexities of pursuing a demanding medical career and it can feel impossible at times. Luckily, I have a pretty solid relationship. . .despite the fact that sometimes, my job makes me pretty obnoxious. 1. Anatomical terms roll off my tongue when I attempt dirty talk. “Your mandible is looking really chiseled today, baby.”   2. There’s a medical explanation for everything. Everything. I get up off the bed and stumble after a romp. Boyfriend has a smug grin. “Don’t get too excited that’s just my orthostatic hypotension.”   3. My vacation ideas aren’t usually very good. “Let’s go to Philadelphia.” “Okay, what do you want to do in Philly?” “Mütter Museum.” “I like museums. What kind of museum is it?” “Uh. . .a medical one.” “. . .” “. . .”   4. I don’t give good directions. “No, no, laterally.”   5. I’m too literal to appreciate Valentine’s Day. “This doesn’t look like a heart at all. At best it’s an antiquated and crude rendering of a woman’s buttocks.” “It’s the best heart I could draw!” “Do I need to dig out Gray’s Anatomy again?”   6. I ruin movies and tv shows. “What on earth does he think he’s going to do with that banana bag? Really? Where he’s poking around right there? Acting. Not gonna find a...

Unraveling the Great Lie About Chameleons

That’s right folks, you have been deceived about chameleons your entire life. Totally duped. Utterly bamboozled. Turns out that these clownish reptiles do not just “blend into” their environment as so many cartoons led us to believe when we were kids. In fact, the actual change of skin color depends on a complex pigmentation pattern controlled by chromatophore cells and signaling pathways that detect temperature and mood. As expected, some of you will blame the government on a mass conspiracy meant to rob us of our basic human right to understand our reptile brethren. Others will blame the fat cats of corporate America and the “education-military complex.” Still others will restart their subscription to National Geographic. We’re not really sure what you’re going to do once this confusing reality sets in, so all we can suggest is that you check out some of the pretty cool scientific literature on chameleons listed below. Extra reading: Stuart-Fox, D., & Moussalli, A. (2008). Selection for social signaling drives the evolution of chameleon color change. Public Library of Science Biology, 6, e25. Anderson, C.V. & Deban, S.M. (2010): Ballistic tongue projection in chameleons maintains high performance at low temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 107 (12): 5495–5499.  Anderson, C.V., Sheridan, T. & Deban, S.M. (2012): Scaling of the ballistic tongue apparatus in chameleons. Journal of Morphology 273: 1214–1226.       Featured image is a screenshot...

A Student’s Guide to Health and Fitness

It’s easy to forget about your exercise and eating habits when you feel deluged with information. A run on the treadmill just never seems as important as studying pharmacology and nothing beats a good study snack like some Doritos. But research shows that productivity increases with exercise and that what you eat can actually affect the way you think. So next time your studying for a shelf exam (Aka now, for you MS2’s) reach for the healthier option and get your adrenaline pumpin’ with some cardio. Via: Online Colleges...

Nothing Prepares You To Watch Someone Die in the ER

As I arduously sorted through the endless stack of green papers with lab and exam results scribbled about them, the eerie buzz of the medic radio went off overhead.  “Hospital base, Medic 21, Code 3 notification, CPR in progress, short ETA.”  Only having a few minutes to prepare for an incoming ambulance is stressful enough, but when the patient is under CPR, it adds an additional shot of urgency and adrenaline.  Undoing all my work for the last ten minutes, I shuffled all the papers back together and set the heaping green bundle aside; prolonging the agony for another time. Hastily making my way back towards the resuscitation room, I went through a mental checklist of what I was going to need to do.  Turning into the room I was greeted by an empty gurney, a clean floor, a blank monitor with its numerous cords neatly coiled on their hooks and if it were not for the shrill of the fluorescent tubes illuminating the room from above, there was not a sound to be heard.  In  another two minutes this would all change. Reaching for a box marked “XL,” I grabbed two wrinkled, bright blue gloves, and threw them onto the counter.  After squeezing my hand into the first glove, the unmistakable chattering of an ambulance stretcher rolling over dirty laminated tile crept down the hall.  Moments later it...

5 Keys to Maintaining a Healthy Relationship in Med School

Maintaining a healthy relationship with a significant other can be tough stuff. Add the stress of medical school to the mix and you can make a difficult situation nearly impossible. But ain’t love worth it? I certainly think so. My story? I met the love of my life while in high school. I went to college in Connecticut and he in North Carolina. As if it were not enough that we spent all of college apart, we remained hundreds of miles away from one another while pursuing our graduate degrees. I (as you probably figured out) began medical school, and much to my dismay, soon learned that it significantly complicated the already difficult battle of dating long distance. The amount of time we had to chat everyday dwindled as my workload surmounted. I found it increasingly difficult to devote m y attention to much outside of school. Clearly, I was not alone. As the year went on, I witnessed most of my fellow classmates’ relationships burn to a crisp, a reality that I found far from inspiring. Fortunately for me, our story ended happily. Four years after beginning medical school, I married m y high school sweetheart and am now living the happy life I have always wanted for m yself. It wasn’t always easy, but all good things are worth the wait, and needless to say- the occasional struggle....

She Thought He Wasn’t Going to Make It Until a Pair of Google Glasses and Some Teamwork Saved the Day

As the lines between technology and medicine continue to blur and blend, the utility of wearable devices in clinical practice has never been higher. As we can see in the video, the ability for physicians, emergency response teams, and other health providers to cohesively assess and treat a patient is significantly augmented by the integration of Google Glass technology. Wearable Intelligence’s HIPAA-compliant platform wirelessly enables doctors, surgeons, and nurses to achieve greater efficiency, collaboration, and patient...

Would You Pay $1,000 Per Day For a Medication?

Sovaldi, the newest FDA approved antiviral for treating Hepatitis C, has been shown to cure patients in as little as three months. That’s right: not prevent, cure. Touted as a miracle drug, Sovaldi has been on the market since December and patients have been scrambling to get their hands on it. That is, until they get a look at the price tag: $1,000 per day for a three-month course. Who are the patients? By and large, Veterans, prisoners and those who are uninsured or insured by Medicare. The lowest income patients are the ones with the greatest need, and such, the taxpayers are the ones who are picking up the tab. The tab, in this case, is almost as much as the United States spends on all prescription drug coverage annually: for one year of funding for every one Hepatitis C patient in the United States, the tab is $227 billion dollars. Spending for all prescription drug coverage in a single year? $260 billion. Even so, the company that manufactures the cure, Gilead, is not unsympathetic to the cost of the drug: in worldwide distribution they have begun offering the drug to countries based on their per capita income. So, when Gilead offered the drug at a 99% discount to Egypt, the United States couldn’t understand why patients here were still paying $1,000 per day. The answer is simple: Gilead’s...

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