Education

0

Warning:  Daily use of aspirin can lead to side effects which may include total loss of impulse control, man boobs, toe hair, and third nipples.  Please consult your doctor before taking this and other over the counter medicine.

Well, not really. But your really should know the risks and benefits of anything you take, even if it’s over the counter, even if it’s aspirin. I have an early memory, and I cannot have been beyond high school or early college, for I was still going to Friday night services with my Parents-of-Blessed-Memory.  My father would not let me in the choir with the other retired senior types with weak voices; but, it seemed to amuse him to no end when I out sang them and the cantor from the congregation.  The cantor had some kind of a congenital dislocation of the hip and some kind of back pain and I don’t know what else.  My parents had discouraged my still premature medical curiosity and told me not to ask him. Read more on To Aspirin or Not To Aspirin; That Is the Question…

Filed under Disease, Doctors, Education, medicine by on . Comment#

0

It is not just that Fox missed “fair and balanced” with a recent headline about why women gain weight after menopause.  This is out and out false advertising.

I am glad that someone is figuring out genetic predisposition to visceral fat in mice.  I actually own a significantly overweight Minnie Mouse stuffed toy.  She needs to know about this.  Oversimplifications of science in order to get folks to listen to or read news stories is worrisome, tedious, and all sorts of things. Read more on Misleading Headline about Postmenopausal Weight Gain Lets Me Plug My Book…

Filed under eating disorders, Education, weight by on . Comment#

0

The first time I heard about using empty whipped cream dispensers to get “high” was a long time ago.  I was living at my parents’ house after I had finished medical school in France.  I had done my thesis as quickly as possible, in the fall.  My residency was projected to start July first.  I promised my parents I would do what I could to earn my keep.  I sold kitchen cabinet fronts over the telephone, got involved in a chorus production of “Pirates of Penzance,” and substitute taught for awhile.

As a substitute teacher in suburban Boston I was taught everything from senior hygiene to 9th grade algebra.  A principal saw me teach 9th grade algebra and told me the heck with the credentials — the way I put across factoring quadratics was good enough for him to take me on permanently.  I was leading the class in yelling, singing, and dancing “everybody factor.”  And they were.

I told him I was going Cincinnati to start a surgical residency.  He stared at me in disbelief.  I told him I had more important news for him. Read more on Teens and Inhalant Addiction and — K2 Spice?…

0

The car was parked but the engine was running.  Just like me – My body was idle but my brain was running.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to accompany my husband to various stores, but prefer to let him run in to pick up whatever we need while I wait in the car.  I have another companion while he is gone – Public Radio.

I have a friend who is a talented stand-up comic.  She’s not in the “big time” but plays the circuit of comedy clubs across the country. One of her routines is about the time she and her then-husband (you’ll see why they divorced in a few moments) stopped at a convenience store for gas during a cross-country trip.

While husband was inside paying for the gas, my friend decided to go inside for a cold drink or a candy bar.  She wasn’t dressed formally, by any means – her hair was up in rollers to prepare for the evening’s performance, and she was wearing sweats. Read more on Funding Science Should Be A Priority…

0

Probably, a lot of people would claim that they were my mentor if I was famous enough to be worth claiming.  I had some great teachers, especially early on, and I had a bunch of wackos, too.

MentorMy-Father-Of-Blessed-Memory had to take up the slack when my first Hebrew teacher in a Yeshiva — now defunct — was a highly insecure (and probably gay) man who even got chalk all over himself.  As a teacher, he was neither condemning nor very helpful, knowing no way to teach except repetition, both oral and written.

One of the reasons that I had no real mentoring when quite young was that I really did not know exactly what I wanted to do with my curious life, aside from “something in the arts and sciences” which covered pretty much anything I liked, or didn’t. Read more on The Fortunate Few Have Mentors…

Filed under Education by on . Comment#

0

The first thing you get when you “in-process” into the Army — at least the first thing I got — was dog tags.  I had to decide if I wanted my religion on my dog tags, and tell the lady at the typewriter what kind of funeral I wanted. For all my ups and downs, I decided I would die Jewish, and get a traditional funeral, and make the Army find a rabbi.  I could put that on them with no thought of guilt. I had the option of putting my faith on my dog tags.  I was warned, in the most dispassionate possible way, that some enemies of the United States of America would kill me if it said “Jewish.”  I chose a resolution some co-religionaries had chosen in World War II.  I chose “Hebrew,” feeling more in common with the ancient faith than with the heavily politicized modern tripartite (Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed) ways of filling congregations.

Then I got my “Geneva Convention” card — Lavender and black and white, it said in 22 languages, roughly the equivalent “Don’t kill me.  I’m a doctor.” 

Read more on Doctors In Danger — Real, Physical Danger…

Filed under Doctors, Education, News by on . Comment#

0

Several conversations fly into my mind, separated widely in time and space, about what college is supposed to mean and do. I remember one of the few social outings of my college years, a cocktail party with other advanced chemistry students and a few professors, where mostly everyone but me was drunk. We were at the house of a chemistry professor of Kiwi (New Zealand) origin, who was probably the drunkest of the lot.

Another chemistry professor asked me why I was in college.  I told him, with sober placidity, that I was simply doing the things I had to do before I got to medical school — medicine being my passion. He launched into a tirade about how I was in college in order to learn.  I should learn all I could about anything I could because this would be the last chance in my life to do so, before I went into that sickly-overblown trade school that is medical school, where I would be restricted to learning things that would make me more money. During my childhood, my father rhapsodized about his Harvard experience and how he wanted me to have one equally fulfilling — hopefully at Harvard. Growing up in Harvard it is not hard to generate negative feelings about perceived elitism, more financial than intellectual, dominated by a heavy veneer of snobbery, which my father joyously promulgated.

I was busy spending most of youth being overweight and thus largely a social pariah. Unfortunately, I got little recognition for these twin achievements – unlike the deliciously funny portrait of “Overweight Achievers” in Woody Allen’s film “Celebrity.” Read more on Is College A Waste of Time?…

Filed under Doctors, Education, News by on . Comment#

0

While taking my psychiatric training at the University of Kansas, Wichita – the so-called “Buckle of the Bible Belt,” I often saw patients who told me freely they did not think I could help them because I was of Jewish origin.

Most could deduce because of my name, and most were not shy about asking point-blank.  I had nothing to hide and was not ashamed. 

They would quiz me about my belief in Christ, and despite my protestations that a prescription pad looked pretty much non-sectarian to me, some would request/demand to see someone who was at least marginally a Christian. Read more on What About The Brain Of The Born-Again?…

Filed under Brain, Education, News, Religion by on . Comment#

0

I was between patients with my door open in one of the many clinics I have covered and this staffer slipped in, this woman who is in the process of trying to “dress up” because she has just realized that she does not have a boyfriend. She trusts me, asks me about personal things. In this case, she slipped into my office because she needed to adjust her bra, and I was the only person in the office, and it was obviously a “man-free zone.” “Damned underwire!” she mumbled, adjusting herself. 

“Why the hell do you need underwire?”  I asked her. Read more on Are You Wearing A Wire? (Bra That Is —)…

Filed under Education, News by on . Comment#

0

Jokes about how hard it is to read a doctor’s handwriting are older than Hippocrates himself.  Many think this is the only reason for someone to attend pharmacy school – to learn to decipher a doctor’s handwriting.

Actually, I’ve been told that mine is pretty easy to read – for a doctor.  At times, I scribble handwritten notes rather than typing into ever-present-laptop or dictating.  Later, when my husband is trying to decipher the notes to add to my blog or weekly newsletter he can come up with some new twists on the “unreadable doctor’s handwriting” jokes.

Obviously, I love a man with a sense of humor – even if it is at my expense. Read more on Illiteracy Is (Much Too) Widespread…

Filed under Education by on . Comment#