Saturday, May 30, 2009

I feel so dirty

Just came back from the most Jesus-filled wedding I've ever been to. It had everything, random quotations from the bible every few minutes, passing around of the collection plate, singing with eyes closed and hands in the air and even a poster for the "Prayer Force," that had a picture of an African refugee camp with fighter jets dropping bombs onto them (I am NOT kidding). I feel pretty dirty after this experience, so to cleanse myself, I just joined Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (my donation is dedicated to the Bride and Groom).

Friday, May 29, 2009

Returning back to med school (sort of)

Although I don't officially return to med school until July, I unofficially started med school this week. I couldn't fit a 2-week radiology rotation in my schedule during 3rd year, so I decided to do it now (since I have 6 weeks off and doing nothing). It's definitely a laid back med school rotation (yesterday, we were in at 9 - which is nearly lunch time for typical med school rotations and were done at 3) and there is no patient contact. However, it does give me a chance to assess how well I remember my facts from nearly 6 years ago. I am currently on the rotation with students who are ending their 3rd year, so they've nearly had a year of school, and as a result have experienced a lot and know a lot. But, besides the obscure disease that no one actually sees (except on the boards), so far, I've been able to hold my own (although, I guess I should wait until I see how I do on the exam before acting so cocky). Previous MD/PhDers have told me that it all comes back to you and I never believed them... but it does seem to come back pretty quickly (even anatomy). So, at the minimum this mini-rotation has helped me feel less anxious about the hard-core rotations that will come up soon (medicine and surgery are my first two).

But beyond that, it's made me realize that radiology is awesome! Since my research was somewhat radiology-related (I did use MRI's), it was a field I was always looking into. The fact that is has great hours, great flexibility, and (yeah, it's important) great salary, was really pushing me towards it. But without seeing much of it at work, I didn't really have a great reason to pursue it (other than research). Well, even though I've only had a few days of it, I'm much more impressed by the field. It really is a field that is very scientific. More than any other field, I think that the translation from basic research to clinical practice is the fastest in radiology. They already use techniques that are considered cutting edge (even for research purposes). Techniques that were discovered only a few years ago. I really like the fact that it has such a close relationship with the research side of things and the flexibility will make combining a life of research and clinical work very easy.

It's really early and I may change my mind, but so far, it looks like I'm going to continue telling people I want to go into radiology.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

There go my innocent days as a Mr.

So five (really) smart people decided that my work was good enough for a PhD... personally, I think I just overwhelmed them with the number of pages they had to read. I kind of screwed up a bit on my presentation (but, oh well, most people there had already heard me talk before and knew what I was doing). The closed door session went surprisingly easy. I did get some tough (or unexpected) questions (like "can you ever prove causation?"), but they tended to be questions that had no correct answer. I'm glad it's all over and thanks to those who attended it (like MadDR2, who is weeks away from his own defense... you'll do great, even if you mess up on your presentation like me, you'll get your PhD).

I get about 10 days off before I start med school (I am doing a 2-week Radiology rotation before med school actually starts since I couldn't fit it in my schedule later).

Anyway, I leave you with this (which, with my newly certified expertise, I can assure you is accurate)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shouldn't medical professionals know better?

I was reading a blog in Medscape (a branch of webmd that focuses on medical education; unfortunately requires registration) in which a med student talks about homophobic comments made by her attendings (and how in medical settings, homophobic comments are more tolerated than racist comments). Unfortunately, racism, sexism and homophobia are as prevalent in the clinics as they are in the real world (after all, doctors do come from the real world), but I found it pretty surprising that in the poll attached to it, 84% of respondents have experienced a racist or homophobic comment in a medical setting (and even more upsetting was the fact that a third of those aren't bothered by it). Granted, this is an online poll with small numbers (and anecdotally, I've heard similar experiences from many other med students), but the fact that it even exists is not right. I know that there are good and bad people out there and there's nothing keeping a bigoted asshole from becoming a doctor, but it saddens me to think that people in a field that is devoted to caring about others can see nothing wrong with hating someone just for who they are.