Everything happens for a reason, right?

I went to VidCon with the mindset that I wouldn’t be able to meet Mark. In order to gain access to Mark’s signing, you needed to enter a lottery and get a wristband. I didn’t get one. This was fine until an opportunity presented itself, then promptly exited stage left.

I was upset and disappointed but I took some advice from bristlee1 and sucked it up. (Those weren’t her exact words, but you get the idea.) It was either embrace the truly fun time I was having with she and xypt or stay angry and let the whole trip go to waste over one incident. That’s easier said than done and even by the last day, I was still sore over it, until I realized what going to his last panel meant: 

I was going to see Mark in person for the first time. I was going to sit in the same room and hear his voice from a place other than behind a computer or television screen. This probably sounds absurd, but he was finally going to be real to me, not just an .mp4 or .mp3 or .png. 

I know Mark is just a “normal guy” and should be treated as such, but three years of packing emotion into the idea of a person changes their personal meaning. While I know I’d never treat him as anything other than human and like a normal softbro dude, he stopped being just that to me when he was the only reason I didn’t hurt myself or worse. The dude’s been there for every stage: Saving my life, helping me save my own, and helping me completely reclaim it. All I’ve ever wanted to say is thank you, y’know? 

At the end of the panel, the moderator moved to have the audience ask questions via Twitter. Mark grabbed the microphone and told everyone to use #PEEHYPE. I already had my phone out and typed up the tweets above. He took his phone out not a second later, smiled while he read submissions, and took back the microphone when he was ready. All he said was, “I just have one. Brianna Thompson says to do the leg thing.”

Not only did he read my tweets and refer to them by name, but I’m just going to sit here and believe he saw the both of them. 

I got to say thank you. 

I finally got to say thank you. 


Photo credit entirely goes to the amazing bristlee1.

Madeleine Brès (1842-1921), qualified as a physician in 1875

Art by Maria Koceva

Although her marriage at age 15 ended her formal education, Madeleine Brès had her eye on medical school.  She trained as a midwife and independently prepared herself for university studies while raising ten children.  Her husband supported her ambitions and in 1866, Madeleine petitioned the Dean of the School of Medicine in Paris for admission.  The Dean agreed to admit her to the medical school under the condition that she obtain her baccalaureate first.  Madeleine passed her baccalaureate exams three years later and was preparing to enter medical school when a national debate erupted over her admission.  French universities had only opened to female students in 1861 and although three foreign female doctors had already enrolled at the Sorbonne, many members of the French establishment felt that women were not suited to medical training.  With the support of Empress Eugénie, Madeleine enrolled in medical school at the Sorbonne in 1869.  She wrote her thesis on breastfeeding and graduated in 1875.  For almost forty years Madeleine ran a large gynecology and pediatrics practice in Paris, but her patients were generally poor and Madeleine died in poverty in 1921.

How To Mend a Broken Heart

by Alex O’Brien, Mosaic Science

Haskell Karp was 37 when he suffered his first heart attack, and over the next ten years he suffered a variety of related problems. By 1969 even the slightest effort, like combing his hair or brushing his teeth, would bring on chest pain or extreme shortness of breath. There are four grades of heart failure under the classification determined in 1928 by the New York Heart Association; Karp’s was classified as grade IV, the most severe.

The surgeon who treated him at St Luke’s Hospital, Texas, in 1969 was an energetic man called Denton Cooley. “The man had a big dilated heart and I hoped we could reduce the size of that heart, so it could regain some of its own function,” says Cooley. But Karp did not respond well to the treatment; half of his heart was beyond repair. Cooley had expected this. He’d discussed it with Karp before the surgery: “I don’t think your heart’s going to be strong enough to tolerate this operation,” he’d told him. But Cooley had made a suggestion: if Karp’s heart were to be too weak at the end of the operation, how about taking a replacement ­– an experimental artificial heart they’d been developing in the lab.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I'm a grad student studying history but I think I might want to become a OB/GYN or a midwife. I already have a BA in history so I really haven't studied any sciences, could I still go to med school to become a GYN? If so, do you have any suggestions for me this late in my academic career? Thanks!

It’s never too late to go back to school!  It may be a long journey ahead of you, but it’s worth it when it’s something you really know you want to do.

Obstetrician Gynecologists need the following schooling:

  • A 4-year bachelors degree (can be unrelated to medicine)
  • 4 years of medical school (pre-requisites needed)
  • 4 years of residency
  • Some folks chose to do a further 2 years of fellowship in a sub-specialty of obstetrics like Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Certified Nurse Midwives and/or Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners need the following schooling:


  • A 4-year bachelors degree (can be unrelated to medicine/nursing)
  • A 1 year accelerated Nursing program (some programs require pre-requisites, others do not)
  • A 2 year masters in midwifery


  • Four year Nursing bachelor’s degree
  • Two year masters in midwifery

If you really think that you’re interested in either midwifery or obstetrics, I suggest shadowing both a midwife and an ObGyn in the next few weeks and figure out which calls to you more.  Then, by looking into the schools that would provide the education for the profession you have chosen, you can get a sense of what you would need to achieve to start on that track.  Good luck!

Today I got my white coat. I scribbled out my school name and such, even though it is probably obvious where I am going.

I’m going to get sentimental now. Once, a friend gave me some advice: strive to be the person you needed when you were at your lowest, most vulnerable point. I couldn’t help but think of the time when I was a teenager who realized she couldn’t make it up a staircase. There is no more vulnerable point in your life than when a doctor walks into the room and says, “You need to sit down for this.” When I question why I am alive today, and why I will (hopefully) remain alive for many years, I can give you a list of names. I guess I took that advice too literally, because now I am becoming a doctor. If you never hear from me again, it’s because I’m a medical student now, so I suppose I’ll see you 7 years and fifty billion dollars of debt later.


Oil on circular panel, 20" diameter
Spring 2015

We often end up experimenting on ourselves when we have difficult-to-diagnose diseases. Here, the figure is encircling herself in an alchemical “magic” circle. Goji berries, ginger, dried red dates, and dried mushrooms – all medicines in Chinese Traditional Medicine – are scattered to one side. Pills and a stack of books represent Western medicine on the other. The titles on the books show the names of major medical institutions and the p-statistic for statistical significance. The bookmark ribbon is draped over the arm to evoke blood draws for tests. The signature appears on the curled piece of paper in the front. 

(I realized halfway through this project that I had stolen a lot of the composition from Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo, accidentally. The rocks in the background come from a cool little sunken circular flower garden in Hyde Park). 


You can give them to either a local drug dealer or directly to a person with disabilities. For example, I have chronic pain. It’s much less expensive to buy Percocet, Vicodin, ect. on the street than from a pharmacy if you don’t have health insurance. If someone was injured, uses half of their prescription, and then tosses it, that is hundreds of dollars they could have saved someone like me with chronic pain. Handing over pills to the drop boxes in police offices is a waste. They just throw them out. 
Another example, people who can’t afford to go to the doctor or are victims of gate keeping could really benefit from your unused drugs. A lot of people simply can’t afford to go to the doctor or have limited resources available in their area. If you give unused pharmaceuticals to your favorite local dealer, you are making those medications accessible to people who might need them more than you do.
Don’t have a favorite local dealer? Ask someone you know who is an avid user. They can normally point you in the right direction.  

1. First 10 Minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.

2. 20 Minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to hits by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment.)

3. 40 Minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.

4. 45 Minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

5. 60 Minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium,  magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in your metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.

6. >60 Minutes: The caffein’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assures that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolytes and water.

7. >60 Minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing is with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.

infographic credit: Wade Meredith

3 Ways to Solve Study Clutter

So you’re starting back at school and you want to be the study queen or king? The best place to start is with a clear desk and organised stuff. If you’re not organised before you start back at school quite frankly you’ll never be.

There are three broad stratergies avaiable to you

1. The Archivist
This is the most time consuming method. You painstakingly look at every document throwing away the totally useless and sorting everything else neatly into the correct section. It makes it easier to go back and find things later, if you’re the kind of student who actually does so. However beware your eyes arn’t bigger than your sorting fingures. Once you start you really need to see this through until every piece of paper is sorted.

2. The Vault
Take all your notes, put them in a box and put that box in the bottom of your wardrobe. Now you are done. You technically have everything you might need to fetch but it would be a pain. This is good if you’re unlikely to use anything but unhappy to throw things away wholesale.

3. Mordor
Shred or bin everything that isn’t essential. Start fresh in the knowledge that you have the internet to look things up on. This means you have less things in your room and can really hve a clean break. However some people are unhappy to wipe away years of work so quickly.

Whichever you choose this is a good first step to study skill success.

Book Review: I Am Your Doctor, and This Is My Humble Opinion
History and the greater emergence of medical presence in popular media have placed physicians on a pedestal where they command significant power and respect. As healers and scholars who are privy to the secrets of the human body, physicians are often expected to shoulder great responsibilities for their fellow human being while still maintaining their own mental well-being.
By in-Training

“And as we experience this parallel of suffering and joy as readers, it becomes clear that what is truly meant to be conveyed is the humanity and fragility within the physician. Certainly, no occupation demands such capacity for enduring suffering and death without the loss of composure. At the same time, no occupation provides such intimate connections with humanity.”

Nita Chen brings us a look into the physician’s mind in todays article, where she explains her findings on the book I Am Your Doctor, and This is My Humble Opinion by Jordan Grumet. As medical students, we can sometimes find ourselves maintaining a professional composure even in the face of sadness and despair, and this book seeks to shatter this so called “poker-face” in dealing with patients.

I intend to read this very soon!

Fading gracefully...

As I’m on-call, The new junior who will be replacing me had to cover the ward in my stead. During a lull in my workload, I went over to check on them and make sure they weren’t struggling, because I know it’s not easy to be in their shoes.

And after a little prompting, the littlest docs found their feet. They even started altering the ward list (our ward list!). After all the effort I’ve spent trying to impart as much useful information as possible, they’ve begun the process of owning their new role. Watching them, I started to realise that I wasn’t really needed here any more, but not in a negative way. A lot of my colleagues, from HCAs and nurses, to doctors and even the restaurant staff have started to say goodbye and good luck, and the inevitability of leaving all the teams we’ve grown to enjoy working in has started to settle on us all.

And I realised that it reminded me of what the Elves must have felt like when they all started heading West because their time in Middle Earth was at an end.


Eli Lilly’s New Drug Could Lead To Alzheimer’s Cure

Eli Lilly is debuting solanezumab, its new drug designed to cure Alzheimer’s. But will the drug fare better than past trials have foreshadowed?


By: Newsy Science.

The Epigenetics of Famine: Why Some People Hoard Food Even in the Midst of Plenty

Starvation can alter an organism and its descendants for generations to come, according to a new study.

The effects are what Duke University biologist Ryan Baugh terms a “bet-hedging strategy.” In nature, the worms live a boom-or-bust lifestyle in which the occasional famine will devastate the population, but not all of the worms are killed. The survivors are smaller and less fertile, and they acquire a toughness that lasts at least two generations.

What changes isn’t their genes themselves, but the way in which those genes are used, Baugh said.

Baugh and his Duke team starved thousands of C. elegans worms for one or eight days at the first stage of larval development after hatching. When feeding was resumed, the worms that had starved longer grew more slowly, and ended up smaller and less fertile. They also proved more susceptible to a second bout of starvation.

The starved worms also had offspring that were smaller, fewer and less fertile. However, these children and grandchildren of famine turned out to be more resistant to starvation and a heat-tolerance test. More of them were also male instead of the usual hermaphroditic, self-fertilizing form.

In their natural conditions, it appears the worms are able to increase their growth rate and fertility in times of plenty and then to turn these traits back down in hard times. “They have a memory of famine,” Baugh said. The net result is “a combination of fitness costs and benefits that unfolds over generations,” the authors wrote in a study that appears early online in the journal Genetics.

(excerpt - click the link for the complete article)