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Comment Really?! (Score 1) 189

I know I am late to this thread and not having spent the time to read all the replies I am sure I'm simply repeating what others have probably posted. Even so! I must have my say!! Anyway, if the friend takes your advice and regrets it, it is YOUR fault. It isn't really, as he would have made the decision and should be responsible for it, but that is simply how human nature works. The friend should follow their heart. Yeah, it's probably a grind. Yeah, working for Blizzard may seem to some to be the worst thing ever. But maybe your friend is up for that kind of abuse and will actually thrive on it. I threw an entire career in IT out for a chance, just a chance mind you, to get in to medical school...and it worked! Now I work 80+ hours and will for many years. But I am very, very happy doing what I am doing. People who took the easy and secure route have no idea what I am talking about. I have no retirement and will barely make enough to retire because I am entering the field much later than my colleagues. And there is plenty of abuse at work. But I survived my intern year and things can only get better. Probably its like that as an intern game programmer. Things will only get better. But if it doesn't work out, chances are that if he got a 70k offer right out of school, he'll probably do even better in a year with 80+ hour weeks under his belt, willing and able to do more that he could've just out of school. So don't discourage your friend. Sure, tell him what it's like, then say, "but you know what, if anybody can do it, you can." It is cheesy, sure, but it is true - good, friendly support and encouragement goes a long, long way.

Comment Re:Necessary for MD's to do their job (Score 1) 659

Current medical school curriculum teaches us that documentation should be objective, complete and should include an impression and plan. Never did any of my professors or attendings teach me that I should document as if no patient will see the record. Perhaps this was the case in the old days, but the old days are over.

Comment Re:Possible compromise? (Score 1) 659

Patently false. I am a doctor and I have never had a professor or proctor or attending physician teach me to never let the patient see the charts. In fact, on many occasions, when a patient has expressed the appropriate level of interest and is intent on understanding, I have printed reports from their record and given these to the patient, or pulled the x-ray up on my iPad and shown it to them. Then I spend a few minutes explaining the big words. Then I ask if they have any questions. They love it, and so do I. Also, many physicians actually appreciate electronic records keeping in the hospital. Where you have legitimate complaints is in the clinic, especially for small offices, where incredibly burdensome laws actually make it so that we must spend less time with the patient in order to complete documentation. Incidentally, we don't get paid any more for this extra work, though we are responsible for paying for the software and then losing time in order to complete it. So we are burdened with greater costs and greater demands on our time. While this makes it easier for insurance and government to more finely control and regulate the health care that I have been trained to provide, it doesn't actually produce a better outcome for the patient in the majority of cases. Lastly, because every doctor I know who has made it out of residency has been sued at least twice, we are very careful, by and large, about what we put in the record. That's why when I know a patient is lying about pain, I don't write "patient is lying about his pain." Instead, I carefully record my objective findings: "Patient's abdomen is exquisitely tender to palpation, but not to palpation by stethoscope."

Comment Have your records. (Score 1) 659

I happen to be a doctor. I think that patients should be allowed to have their records. Will it do them any good? Doubt it. Just because you can look your condition up on the Internet does not make you qualified to read and understand your medical records. Heck, more than half the time I can't even read what my colleagues write. But, welcome to them, I say. And if you bring your records around to my clinic after my residency, I will cheerfully meet with you and charge a level 4 visit to pore over them and do my best to try and decipher the writing. Then I will actually need to do a complete history and physical the first time I meet you and record all that data over again because that's what a good doctor does. Then I will give you information about what I think will help you - give you the data you need, and the alternatives, so that you can hopefully make an informed decision. So, sure, Have your records. I don't really see why not.

Comment "make" people violent? (Score 1) 161

No, video games and movies do not "make" people violent. Rather, explicitly violent material reinforces neural pathways already there as part of being human. However, this also means that violent content inures and de-sensitizes consumers so that the hyper-violent is more acceptable. And, in those relatively few individuals already prone to violence due to mental health issues, it erodes the line between the real and the unreal and makes it more difficult for these folks to connect.

Comment Re:Perspective from the humanities.... (Score 1) 772

Neurologic studies tell us some interesting things about our brains. Here are some tidbits I've picked up along the way through med school.
1. Our brains remain 'plastic', or malleable for learning, until the day we die. Whether that potential is actually exercised is up to the patient.
2. Learning a 2nd language actually staves off Alzheimer's, speaking of broad averages across retrospective studies. YMMV, as neurologic problems in old age tend to follow genetics as much as environment.
3. Our vocabulary tends to grow.
4. Our ability to memorize decreases, but can still be done - it simply takes longer (more work).
5. Our brains physically shrink in old age. This is yet one more reason why the elderly are more susceptible to brain bleeds - the bridging veins get stretched as the brain matter sort of retracts, making it easier for the veins to be broken and cause a bleed.
6. Brains are a lot like muscles, in that as we age, the brain and the muscles naturally enter into senescence - about mid thirty for muscles, somewhere between 40 and 50 for the brain - but, like muscles given a regular training program, not only can the established neural networks be reinforced and maintained, new ones can be forged (see item #1) - it just takes more work than when we were younger.

Comment Just Do It. (Score 1) 772

If you are having to ask the question, like you need permission, perhaps you are too old. Don't go gabbing to a bunch of people with nothing better to do than scan comments and comment on comments on old articles and re-hashes of re-posts. Go study your new language, instead. I was 35 when I quit my job as a Java web developer and started medical school. I'm going to finish in May of 2012. If I had asked others if I could do it, I wouldn't've gotten up and gotten it done. They would have told me I was at a comfortable job, making a comfortable living. Why would I do any such thing that might impact my family? My family managed. I'm still happily married. We haven't starved yet or had to live on the street. It's working out. Go. Learn your new language. Do not ask other people if you can or cannot do something new. The only person in the galaxy that can actually answer that question is you. You are welcome.
United Kingdom

Boy Builds Wall-Climbing Machine Using Recycled Vacuums 96

Joe McIntosh writes "Hibiki Kono just might be a boy genius. The 13-year-old decided he wanted to climb vertical surfaces like his hero, Spiderman. So, he used two 1,400-watt recycled vacuum cleaners and a little bit of elbow grease to make a machine that allows him to scale walls. Kono has been scaling the walls of his UK school and has told the media that he hopes his invention will help window washers eliminate clumsy ladders from their daily routine."

Comment Tablet PC + MS OneNote. (Score 1) 569

I love my tablet PC and MS OneNote. And I know there are other programs out there that will do the same in other OS's. I am in my 2nd year of med school and each of our lectures typically comes with a PowerPoint or PDF. I download it, print it to OneNote and then take notes directly on the instructor's presentation. I can draw, type and highlight. It is by far the best combination of writing/drawing/notetaking that I have ever used. Furthermore, it allows me to organize by course, exam and lecture. It is really rather keen.

Comment Re:What about clotting? (Score 1) 465

Clotting depends on a lot of factors. Some of which include the various cytokines that are released whenever there is tissue damage. These released cytokines can jump start the clotting process, whether in the vessel or on your skin surface. Another factor, as you mentioned, is stasis. This is the source of clots and chronic wounds, we call these 'venous stasis ulcers,' they are very hard to get to heal. You can see this in advanced stages of type two diabetes (what we used to call 'adult onset' diabetes). No, I am not a doctor, but as a 2nd year med student I often get graded on pretending to be a doctor in the sim lab...

Comment Re:Any systems depend on a pulse (Score 1) 465

The property of the elasticity of the vessels has much more to do with the constituents of its wall and less to do with the pulse. In fact, all of the arterial vessels (and even a few of the venous ones) have muscle fibers in them and are affected by various endogenous and exogenous forces. Parasympathetic innervation tends to constrict the vessels in certain places and dilate in others (the gut), sympathetic innervation tightens it up in many places (the gut) and dilates them in others (skeletal muscles). I am not a doctor, but as a 2nd year med student, I often pretend to be one.

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