An “Almost” Doctor’s Guide to MSG: 6 Utterly Wrong Myths

Admit it. We’ve all teared back the crisply sealed cover of cup noodles, salivating at the thought of slurping up those curly strands of savory instagoodness. But as soon as you finish your delicious meal, that soft creeping euphoria of drowsiness (that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that its 3am and you’ve been studying for an endocrinology exam the past 6 hours) begins to overcome you. Must be all that MSG you just choked down. As one of the most widely despised and misunderstood food products in the world, Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG, has gone through quite the journey. A recent article by Buzzfeed contributor John Mahoney sheds light on the whirlpool of myths on MSG, focusing on the titillating rise of the “umami craze” and one chef’s quest to perfect the “5th basic taste”. For these chefs, the path to understanding umami inevitably leads them to MSG, which is chemically identical to the glutamic acid they’re creating from scratch. And yet Chang wouldn’t think of using MSG in his restaurants today. He told me he doesn’t even use it at home, despite being a professed lover of MSG-laced Japanese Kewpie mayo. After decades of research debunking its reputation as a health hazard, and uninterrupted FDA approval since 1959, MSG remains a food pariah — part of a story that spans a century of history, race, culture, and science...

The 6 People You’ll Date in Med School

The Intensivist Medical Geneticist Neurologist Oncologist Gastroenterologist General Surgeon Special thanks to docimuger for allowing us to repost this curated...

5 Medblrs To Make You Feel Less Alone

If you dig deep enough, Tumblr has more to offer than cats and Topless Tuesdays. There are several “Medblrs” that are run by doctors in disguise, haggard med students or just anatomy enthusiasts. Here are my top five Must Follow Medblrs. 1. Dr. Cranquis’ Mumbled Gripes “Cranquis” as he is so called, is an American physician working in an urgent care clinic. His tales of day-to-day doctor life are packed with humor and some real, emotional nuggets of truth. He also interacts playfully with other Medblrs, so his blog also serves as a gateway to other bloggers. His blog is always organized– like pro-styles organized–and depending on your mood he’s got some kind of cheerful/woeful anecdote for you, day or night. My favorite element of Cranquis’ blog is his TSK’s tag (True Story, Kiddos!) in which he tells you about strange, sweet or sexy experiences with his patients on a particular day. This is probably the best post. 2. #WhatShouldWeCallMedSchool Simple, yet effective. This is one of those “thought with gif” blogs that pairs humorous and often disturbingly apt gifs with phrases like, “Whenever I recommend a diagnosis to my attending he’s like. . .”  “When I scrub into a surgery and forget to go to the bathroom.” I really appreciated the gif paired with “When I get too close to the back table in the OR:” because I...

The 7 Most Awkward Conversations Overheard During Med School Orientation

Oh, orientation. Between the rush of meeting so many new people, the copious amounts of alcohol and the lectures on how not to get hep C during your time on the wards (hint: don’t stab yourself with needles you find on the floor), orientation helps create the perfect environment for the occasional awkward conversation. Here I catalog some of the best ones I was privileged enough to overhear this week.  Number Seven Bro 1: You know how at every med school orientation there is that one bro who gets way too friendly with all the girls? That bro lives in infamy for the next four years. I bet that if you can’t name that guy off the top of your head, chances are you are that bro. Bro 2: Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m that bro. Don’t worry, there are support groups on campus, bro. Number Six Girl: I’m definitely considering campaigning for our class’s social chair. When I was an RA in college, I used to host these sick study breaks all based on fruit themes: bananas, strawberries, pineapples, all the best fruits out there.  For Chinese New Year, I did one with the dragon fruit and I spent like $500 on getting fruit directly from China and it was so awesome because I made everyone dress up as a dragon fruit. I really think I could pull...

A Must-See Show on the Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous

Samuel Shem, author of The House of God, delves into his motivations and inspirations for writing the internationally acclaimed play, Bill W. and Dr. Bob. The play tells the story of the extraordinary beginnings of Alcoholics Anonymous and its co-founders, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, who developed the organization out of a surprising revelation. The revenues and donations from the play will go to a national tour of medical and college campuses to address the epidemic of binge drinking. We strongly recommend that medical students and other aspiring medical minds go see this show — and they can get in for a discounted price! Take your friends, take your significant other, take your classmates, take a professor you’re trying to suck up to… it truly is a show for all audiences! The discounted price for medical students is $20 for the following show dates: Thursday, 8/22 @ 7 pm. Friday, 8/23 @ 8 pm Saturday, 8/24 @ 8 pm Sunday, 8/25 @ 3 pm Sunday, 9/1 @ 3 pm The show is currently playing at The Soho Playhouse in New York City. For tickets go...

The Ten Fight Club-esque Rules of Medical Education

First rule: Don’t talk about medical school. Second rule: Don’t talk about medical school. Seriously, nobody cares about gaucher’s disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, or all the random things you know about diabetes. They especially don’t care about gossip between emotionally stunted medical students. Third Rule: Don’t complain about medical school. Despite all the caring and listening doctors purportedly do, nobody cares less about the strife of other doctors than doctors. That goes double for medical students. Fourth Real: Gunners get gunned. Realize that though you can get ahead of others by being a note whoring, brown nosing know-it-all, everyone can and will hate you for it. Fifth Rule: Grades are like a normal person’s income. Only to be shared with close friends and only pompous d-bags brag about it. Sixth Rule: The professor is not your tutor, and the lecture is not a conversation. You get two questions per lecture (three if you’re good). Anything more is wasting everyone’s time. If you seriously don’t get it be a big boy or girl and learn it yourself. Seventh rule: When the professor at the end of the lecture asks, “are there anymore questions?” that in no way means ask a question. That means “I’m done and if you have a question come talk to me after class where all of the people who actually care will be and those that don’t will not...

Why Does It Always Have to Be About Sex?

We live in a society where talk about sex runs rampant. And if someone isn’t overtly talking about it, they’re thinking about it (or at least now you are). As always, popular media has taken advantage of the hopes and dreams of young ones and given the people exactly what they’re looking for: sex. In medical TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, the on-call room is little more than a brothel. Attendings sleep with interns and interns sleep with med students and med students sleep with nurses and the world goes ’round and ’round as these health care providers seem to live consequence-free with their promiscuous actions. While most aspiring medical minds are probably intelligent (and realistic) enough to know that the amount of sex portrayed is not entirely accurate (unless you plan on getting jiggy with your bioskills robot), the same may not hold true for the rest of the population. Yet another issue that arises in medical dramas lies in the sexualization of the patient. Settle down, marketing gurus, I know we are supposed to give the consumer what they want, and sex sells, right? But have medical drama writers taken it too far (not like home run far, but maybe third base far?)? While some of the cases are overtly sexual… Note the “sprightly” music. SO funny and lighthearted that she’s experiencing this agonizing and embarrassing...