7 Subtly Romantic (and Medical) Ways to Say “I Love You”

There’s a lot of cheesy chemistry and biology pick up lines and ways to say I love you. A couple of my favorites are “I wish I were DNA helicase so I could unzip your genes” and “You’re the sodium to my chloride.” But what about more complex areas of science? In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s some ways to say you care on a physiological level.   1. You make me have premature ventricular contractions. In premature ventricular contraction, the ventricles contract before they maximally fill with blood making circulation inefficient. So basically, it’s a way of saying “You make my heart skip a beat.”   2. I get tachycardia when I’m around you. Tachycardia is a fast heart rate, above 100 bpm. Therefore, you’re saying, “You make my heart race.” This comes from the brain signaling to the adrenal gland to secrete hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine that cause the heart to beat faster and stronger.   3. You raise my oxytocin levels.   Oxytocin is a hormone that is associated with love. Its levels have been shown to increase when we hug or kiss someone, even when we are simply around someone whom we love. It may have a role in orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors, giving it the name the “bonding hormone.”   4. You increase blood flow to...

The “Other” Kind of Doctor

I don’t want people to think being a PhD candidate is this awful experience, so let me start with some positives. The environment that I work in promotes creativity, imagination, self direction, and cutting edge research. However, it also has its drawbacks, and as most PhD’s do, I will dwell on the negatives and share them with you. It is always an entertaining process trying to explain what I do to family/friends/acquaintances. Here is an example: them: so, you’re going to be a doctor eh? me: well, yeah, but not the one you’re thinking, I’m doing a PhD. them: huh? Oh, that’s not like a doctor doctor? me: no, I do research them: On what? me: It’s a bit complicated and boring, its just biology stuff them: what kind of stuff? it sounds pretty cool… me: [big sigh]…well, I am looking at a nuclear recept…. them: …………[BSoC]…….. This is the Blank Stare of Confusion. I notice it immediately, so to remedy this I just tell them that I take care of mice. Usually ends the conversation right there. PhD training is a quite different exercise than training to become a medical doctor. There really is no structure or set timetable. In fact, you don’t even have to show up all the time. The project is driven and shaped by the results…Ah yes the R word, merely a rumour to...

A Doctor’s Guide to 13 Awesome Gifts For Him On Valentine’s Day

As medical students, we live and breathe science and medicine. So when it comes to gift giving, what better way to show that special medical savvy person in your life how much you care than by appealing to their nerdy passion? To help you be anatomically correct and raise oxytocin levels to the max, here’s some gift ideas to get you started.   1. Anatomical heart screen-printed tie, Etsy, $30 2. Nerd XY cologne, Eau de Nerd, $31.41 3. Medical Caduceus Cufflinks, Etsy, $40 4. Anatomical Heart Coffee Mug, Etsy, $25 5. Oxytocin Coffee Mug, Etsy, $25 6. Plush Heart, I Heart Guts, $20   7. Plush Heart Cell, Giant Microbes, $12.95 8. Unisex Valentine’s Day Oxytocin T-Shirt, Etsy, $9.99 9. Cardiology III Stethoscope in Red, 3M Littmann, $153.61 Even if they already have a stethoscope, they can carry this red one around the hospital and think of you each time they use it. 10. Blood of Grapes wine, your local liquor store   11. Educated Guess wine, your local liquor store   12. Anatomical Heart Wine Glass, Etsy, $12 You can drink your Blood of Grapes or Educated Guess wine in this anatomical heart wine glass!   13. Erlenmeyer flask, Amazon, $8.13 If you insist on giving flowers, add some nerd to it by using an Erlenmeyer flask as a vase. As you can see in the photo of roses I...

Aunt Hilda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch Discusses OAB

Caroline Rhea, comedian/activist, and Elizabeth R. Mueller, MD, discuss the latest treatments for overactive bladder including oral medications and sacral nerve stimulation. They urge physicians to consider botulinum toxin, which has been shown in studies to treat overactive bladder for up to 6 months, and can be administered as a single shot in the...

A Doctor’s Guide to 8 Awesome Gifts For Her On Valentine’s Day

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and that means a celebration of the random firing of nerve impulses of your abdominal region (those butterflies in your stomach), the irregular beating of your major cardiovascular organ (your heart skipping a beat), and the complete loss of any ability to think rationally (aka falling head over heels for that cute girl you see in the library every Saturday). It also means you better be on your gift-giving game or risk finding yourself with a very disappointed girlfriend! For all of you dudes out there who have significant others in medical school, it’s not always an easy task to find the perfect token of your love for your studying sweetheart. Never fear, luckily the internet exists and I have personally searched it and composed the following list of presents that run the gamut from goofy to sentimental and will be sure to get you some special Valentine’s lovin’ from the future MD in your life. 1. Trust her, she’s a doctor. If you want something a little more special than the typical grungy sweatshirt with the name of her medical school emblazoned across the front in fuzzy letters, Zazzle.com has pages of funny t-shirts advertising your girlfriend’s future profession so you’ll be sure to find something to suit her fancy.   2. Don’t give her mono, but give her a mono doll! “A kiss...

Is It Ethical to Keep a Pregnant Woman on Life Support Solely To Keep Her Baby Alive?

It astounded me to hear that, in light of the now heavily debated case of a pregnant woman in Texas named Marlise Muñoz who was kept on life support specifically in hopes of maintaining the viability of her fetus, there is currently another eerily similar predicament brewing in Victoria, British Columbia. While judges ruled last week that Muñoz be taken off life support (because doctors deemed the fetus unviable) the case for Robyn Benson is murkier. In the case of Muñoz, her family, particularly her husband, did not want her to be kept on life support even though they understood that the pregnancy would thus not go to term. It was, no doubt, an agonizing decision, but in Muñoz’s case, the red tape was put up by the hospital and the state of Texas; not the wishes of her family. Marlise Muñoz Benson’s story has emerged with a twist on the Muñoz case: her husband and the doctors agree that keeping her on life support until they can deliver the fetus via c-section is the only option. An important distinction here is that, in Benson’s case, the fetus (remarkably) is still growing normally despite the condition of the mother. But how does one even approach the idea of calling Robyn Benson the soon-to-be baby’s mother? Right now she is genetically and physically a host unit; she will not wake...

Can Medical Marijuana Be the Answer for Those Suffering from PTSD After 9/11?

Martin Lee, author of Smoke Signals, and director of Project CBD, discusses the results of a University of Calgary study that found New Yorkers suffering from PTSD after the 9/11 terrorist attacks had a lower baseline level of naturally occurring cannabinoids than those not suffering from...

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