Why we don’t answer medical questions online.

Why it’s bad for you:

  • We could be anyone; this is the internet, after all. You believe that anonymous internet medipeeps are doctors, but they may not be. If you don’t know someone’s name and number, can you really trust them with your health? It’s risky to trust information from unnamed and unverified sources.And that includes us!
  • You also don’t know if we have any undeclared interest in particular treatments. I might be telling you to take drug A because I’m actually working for said company.
  • Many medblrs are still medical students or very junior staff. Which means that although we know a lot about many things, we are by no means qualified to take on our own patients and offer health advice without supervision in our day job. And if we can’t do something in real life, we’re not able to do it online either.
  • We don’t get anywhere near enough information to make a decision in most anonymous health-related asks. But we can’t bring you back to ask for more information.
  • When you see your healthcare provider, a lot of things happen. They take a detailed history, including asking lots of questions about things you may not have considered to be related to your problem. It’s much harder for us to ask all the right questions if you send an anonymous ask.
  • They then they examine any body system they think is relevant. This is sometimes enough (for the kind of things we see the GP about), but often they will need to order some blood tests and occasionally further investigations.  There is a lot of information we can only get through seeing and testing you.
  • If your situation is complicated, you’ll still need to see a doctor in real life, who can do the right tests and refer you to the right speciality.And without all of the above, there is a very real chance that we may miss something that shouldn’t be missed.
  • Sometimes the only way you can diagnose something serious is with a very thorough history and examination, and the right investigations. A history may make you suspect something serious, but it never confirms it.
  • If we reassure you that you’re OK because we don’ know the whole story, you will probably put off going to the doctor, where otherwise you may well have decided to attend. This may mean that you get diagnosed and treated later. Which could have serious consequences.
  • Some topics require asking a specialist in that field, and even a trained doctor in another field may not be very helpful. A medical student or a nurse aren’t the same as a cardiologist, who is not the same as an orthopaedic surgeon.
  • Your health is important, and your concerns are real. Therefore you deserve to have the full MOT if you are seriously worried about your body, not just some anonymous person reading a few lines and telling you you’re probably OK (but should go to the doctor anyway). You are not ‘bothering the doctors’ if you get yourself checked out.

Why it’s bad for us Medblrs:

  • By answering a medical question, you’re asking us to take a certain level of responsibility for you. Both ethically and legally.
  • If we mistakenly told you your symptoms weren’t serious, but they actually were and and something bad happened to you, we would blame ourselves. Believe me medics blame themselves a lot.
  • We’re under strict legal frameworks of what we can and can’t do. And most frameworks would suggest that taking responsibility for strangers on the basis of hastily written asks would be a bad idea for all involved.
  • You could sue us because something bad happened to you, even if you neglected to metion loads of relevant symptoms. You probably wouldn’t, but there are lots of people who sue for all sorts of reasons and if we answered enough questions, we’d probably be sued eventually.
  • Bearing in mind that we don’t have to answer asks as part of our degree or job, we’d be on a shaky footing legally when it came to defending our actions. Most of us are not legally covered for it.
  • As students or juniors, we don’t take our own patients. We’re not allowed to take responsibility for the treatment of patients in different departments or under different teams, let alone random anonymous strangers online.
  • Some of us struggle with depresison and anxiety, and the stress of taking on resonsibility for someone’s health and possibly life outside of the legal framework we are comfortable working in can be triggering.
  • Nobody is obligated to work for free; and anyone with experience and training has spent a lot of time and money to get there. Answering medical questions looks suspiciously like work for free. There is a difference between someone volunteering to work for free and free work being foisted on them.
  • When we work in hospital, it’s as part of a team. We have seniors we can double-check with when we’re out of my depth or dealing with something we haven’t seen before.
  • But online we can’t exactly ask our seniors or tutors ‘This random person on Tumblr gave me an incomplete history, but can you advise?’ because they wouldn’t take responsibilty for someone who is not their patient. And that would leave us with nobody to turn to if we had questions. Which would mean worse advise for you.
  • GPs see patients alone, but they’ve had years of training on how to diagnose serious things out in the community, and when tto refer to hospital. They still refer to hospital a lot, because even they can’t find everything out by themselves.

I’m not against senior clinicians (like some of our medblrs) choosing to answer health-related asks; Anyone who is a fully trained clinician to a level deemed competent to take their on patients has every right to use their expertise in their field as they see fit. When done right, it can be useful.

But I feel it can be difficult for junior medblrs to reply to asks, and I’m worried that there’s a pressure for many of them to answer asks that they don’t feel is within their competencies at this point in time. None of you have to answer a single clinical question that relates to the asker’s health; you have a right to say that you are not yet comfortable, or trained, to do it. 

This is not about specific medblrs or specific asks; please don’t feel that you’ve done anything wrong if you’ve asked or answered such a question. I just wanted to make clear that if someone feels they shouldn’t, or can’t answer a question, it is not because they don’t care or don’t respect the person who asked it. If we tell you to see your doctor, we’re not trying to be flippant or lazy.  

(Edited the last paragraph for clarification)

i ♡ histology

The tissues of the human body are made up of cells (and love).



This collection of histological hearts comes from a variety of sources. Contributors include histo_edu, Joao Bato, i-heart-histo, theshortcoatlife, J. Coyne, angimartinez , La Melodie and Ryane Nichol (pathologicalartist) among other anonymous submissions. All have previously featured on You can visit their images by clicking the links provided.

anonymous asked:

idk, going around asserting that there are nefarious "fake trans people" who can be readily identified by how they act seems to me a pretty good way to fuck up our chances of getting free health care.

Fake trans people are identified by not having dysphoria.
If you don’t have dysphoria, you are not trans.
You are cis. You are cis, and you are appropriating the shit trans people go through.
What fucks up us getting healthcare is transitioning being seen as cosmetic rather than medically necessary. That is caused by cis people transitioning bc they think it’s trendy or cool or w/e. If you think you should transtion b/c you break gender roles or bc you think that “defying” the gender binary is “radical”, you’re full of shit.
You’ll get dysphoria after a while. You’ll get dysphoric as soon as you body starts to change in radical ways that your brain map can’t register. It will be the absolute worst feeling you can fucking imagine. Your body won’t look familiar to you. Then, you’ll de-transition. Unlike actual trans people, you won’t have to go through multiple screenings to get hrt. You won’t have to pay for pills or medicine or whatever. You’ll just have to stop taking your hormones. That’s it. Unless you’ve gotten surgery. In that case, sucks to be you.
A lot of de-transitioned cis people then complain. They complain about hrt, and their accounts are used by transphobes to claim that transitioning is “evil” and trans people aren’t real.
And insurances won’t cover that shit. the more people de-transition, the more fucked we are. the more cosmetic transitioning looks to people.
you also hella invade our spaces. you dont understand how it feels to be dysphoric and you come here and you try to tell us shit like “biological sex isnt real” and invalidate us. then you get fucking pissed off when we tell you thats not how it fucking works bc obviously your 14 yr old cis ass/cis ass with a WOMYNS STUDIES degree knows more than we do, or doctors do. yeah, fuck off.
But, you want to help trans people? you want to be good at social justice? STOP USING TRANS AS A FUN LABEL. if you care about trans girls and trans boys and nonbinary trans folk, stop appropriating our pain. stop making trans look fun and quirky. stop telling us dysphoria isnt real, stop telling us bio sex isnt real. stop invading our spaces. you are cis. you are cis, and there is fucking nothing bad about that.
just stop being transphobic by invading our spaces. please.

anonymous asked:

Do you think being a minority will help you out a bit in the application process? Or does the med panel just look at resume and pick the best candidates from there without really caring about your ethnic/race? I'm just wondering because I hear all the time about wanting doctors to be more diverse and stuff. But when I see the med schools acceptance stats latinxs and blacks are always in thee single digits, usually less 5%.

I think the stats of latinos and blacks being accepted into medical school are low at least partly because a lower percentage of people of those races apply. And that has a lot to do with lower percentages of those races going to college or majoring in STEM fields, too. Which of course stems from a culture of racial, socioeconomic, and educational inequality.

Med schools absolutely look for diversity. I don’t think being a POC will hurt your chances of acceptance in any way. But whether individual med schools practice affirmative action or not is probably variable from school to school, so I’d have no way of knowing that. 

Tumblr peeps,

How many of you did the study group thing when you were doing medicine or medical sciences? Was it a massive help? 

I would very much like to just study on my own and be friends with Tumblr and forget I have a real life, but apparently that is pretty much the hallmark of future serial killers… 

So, study groups. Worth it?? Did you get value out of them in terms of your study or purely social?

i mean on the one hand i want to live a wildly academically successful life by getting multiple degrees and becoming a world-renowned scholar and traveling the world with my equally incredible lover

and on the other i want to get married RIGHT NOW and pop out some kids and settle into soccer mom suburbia. i want to speak to the manager and knock over a 9x9 pan of brownies and tell helen to fight me.

what am i doing with my life

MCAT in retrospect.

It has been almost a year since the dreaded/exciting/awful/rewarding day of my MCAT.  I took it only once and after about 8 months of studying.  I read through the books, made piles on index cards, and recited information aloud in my kitchen for hours.  Now that it’s over, and very over at that, I see it without a veil of fear and anxiety that shielded it since I first knew what the MCAT was.  Here is my list, in hindsight, about useful tips and advice:

  • Think big.  Remind yourself every hour if you have to what kind of consequence this test has.  Picture abolsutely dominating the test: it’s the gateway to your future. Can’t you see yourself in a long white coat, bustling through the hospital, running rounds?  Can’t you see your office, the patients, the diploma on the wall?  Remember that this is the key to what you want.
  • STOP if you’re confused and figure it out.  Yeah, so your goal was to get through 20 pages of material, but you are stumped at page three.  Go over and over the idea until it sticks, even though it’s painful realizing you will only get through five pages after all.  At least you will have a solid knowledge base and didn’t rush through to meet projected timelines.
  • Say it out loud over and over again.  When you catch yourself stuttering or skipping over words and just replacing them with mental notes, you don’t get it.  Be able to explain the concept to your wall, a stranger, your cat, without losing your “flow,” and you know you are ready to move on.
  • Be weird.  Say those strange thoughts out loud and fully envision any unexpected visuals.  This will help you remember on test day.  I reminded myself that calciTONin tones down blood calcium levels, DJ Ileum spins the sick beats in the villi (to remember duodenum, jejunum, ileum in the right order).  I also matched dramatic hand signals to remember physics equations (almost like interpretive dance) and had odd voice inflections over key words.  You’ll keep yourself entertained, too.
  • Pump yourself up.  Associate the MCAT with awesomeness and mastery.  I played by music deafeningly loud and memorized Iggy Azalea lyrics about domination: “I heard the top is lonely, I wonder if that’s the truth” and “I’m what amazing looks like, you’ll recognize it when you see it.” I looked forward to breaks so I could feel cool while rapping in my kitchen and drinking iced tea.
  • Do practice questions.  After content review, you are only halfway through studying.  You need to become almost bored with the question and answer format of the test, the wording, and the pace.  Time yourself, sit on a hard chair, stare a computer, eat nothing, put your water in another room, and be as realistic as you can.
  • Admit your practice score (on AMCAS practice tests) is an accurate projection.  Not much will change on test day.  Don’t assume you’ll get an expert spurt of knowledge at the MCAT computer.  If your physical sciences score doesn’t seem to reflect your efforts (like mine), that’s what will probably happen on the real test.  Review the specific questions you didn’t get, then explain (out loud) the right and wrong answers in a conversation tone until it’s simple and clear-sounding.  Tackle your weak spots wholeheartedly and admit when you have a weakness.

Looking back now, the MCAT looks like a faint memory that did not overpower my summer.  At the time, it felt like it ruled my life and took over my soul.  So if you are in the trenches, rest assured that this one day be only a memory.  Of course, the experience has seriously lasting consequences, but it still only feels like a droplet in the ocean once it is said and done.  Don’t be afraid, be empowered, to take another step on the doctor-journey!  =)

also I hate when doctors ask about my med history because it’s mostly just a long list of antipsychotics with a couple of benzos and ssris thrown in and it’s just like fuck I can’t fake anything