Monthly Archives: October 2008

Happy halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Boo! (as in the thing you yell when you are showing disapproval, not the thing you say when you want to scare someone.) It’s raining!!

I wore a hippie “costume” to school today. 4 year old Z is Indiana Jones.

I toyed with the idea of going out tonight after Z crashes, but somehow I agreed to teach the female pelvis in the anatomy review tomorrow. At seven am. For real. Ugh.

I know it’s a good idea for me to brush up on the different ligaments, what they contain, and the different spaces, and what they’re between. It’ll look good on the old CV. It’s good for the M1s. I just….ehhh, I said I’d never go back.

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Oh, I’m so relieved

I have to give yet another hat tip to Rachel at Women’s Health News for this hysterical (no pun intended) and informative video about lost tampons.

I am also incredibly relieved. Not because I had a lost tampon. (I use a Diva Cup, anyway). No, I am relieved because I will not be the weirdest doctor in the world, and not the only one who would be that medically excited about vaginas.

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M2 doldrums

We have a cool osetopathic principles and practices professor at our school. He is always paying attention to us as holistically as medical students, (maybe it’s because he is a true ostepath? Hmmm…) He knows what exam is coming up in another system in a few days, and will wish us luck at the beginning of his lectures. Many of our other professors barely know what is going on in their own systems.

He gave us some words of wisdom recently. Halfway through second year of medical school? It’s a dark time, he said. He didn’t get over it until third year rotations. He told us to keep jumping through the necessary hoops, and remember why we wanted to become doctors.

Well, I was shadowing today, and I got to see and hear some things I had only read about up until this point. I saw a barrel chest , heard a systolic ejection murmur and felt a pulse of a person in atrial fibrillation.

Using my senses for honest to goodness medicine instead of just reading about it really helps. I get recharged whenever I get to touch real patients. I can’t wait until women’s health next month. Hopefully that and clinic shadowing will propel me through the boards and into rotations without crawling into the fetal position too often.

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It’s a sign!

Photobucket It’s a sign from above.

Sarah Silverman, The Great Schlep worked!

My husband bought a loaf of challah bread, a traditional Jewish egg bread, at our local grocery store. This store is west of Fort Lauderdale, and it has total Jewish grandparent cred. I have run into more than one Holocaust survivor there.

Well, when I opened the loaf yesterday for breakfast, lo and behold, one of the pieces bore a striking resemblance to a certain presidential candidate. I decided to go ahead and toast the bread, and my piece of crap eccentrically cooking toaster oven came up with this browning pattern completely on its own.


I probably should have saved it, maybe should have tried to make a run of the talk show circuit or I could have sold it on eBay. But, I ate it with butter and blueberry preserves. Obama toast is just too tasty to resist!

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Abortion and religion

Well, if that isn’t a heavy title, I don’t know what is. As my mom would say, “Scares me, and I’m fearless.” And she would be scared of that title. She identifies as Christian and “pro-life”, and introduced me to the reproductive rights discussion by handing me a book about Jerry Falwell’s home for unwed mothers and a teen bible with an addendum about why abortion was wrong.

Many supporters of reproductive rights, like me, have been in a tizzy about Senator McCain’s use of “air quotes” when disdainfully discussing the “health” of the mother being a included as a clause in legislation restricting access to abortion. But, some people at Shakesville (and I am sure elsewhere) are also concerned with Senator Obama’s quote from the last debate, in which he says: “But what ultimately I believe is that women in consultation with their families, their doctors, their religious advisers, are in the best position to make this decision”.

Thanks, Rachel at Women’s Health News for tipping me to this angle in the discussion. I have actually been thinking about this a lot recently.

I went to a Planned Parenthood Interfaith Council meeting this week. I went as a representative of our school’s chapter of Medical Students for Choice. The council meeting was hosted at a synagogue, and several ministers of different denominations attended. It was one of the best hour and a halfs I have ever spent. I knew there was a diversity of opinion among people of faith, and therefore leaders in faith, when it came to reproductive rights, but I just hadn’t had the chance to meet with any to listen to their points of view. It was really exciting to meet several allies at once.

I mentioned the same statistics that Rachel mentions in her post from the Guttmacher Institute (well, I read it in a slide in a powerpoint from them, but Rachel sites the original study on her post like a good librarian) how the majority of women seeking abortions, when surveyed, self identify as religious. 43% of them say they are Protestant, and 13% of those say they are evangelical. 27% identify as Catholic.

Most of the people in my medical school who struggle with where they stand on reproductive choice issues have religious reasons for thinking abortion is wrong. When I speak to most of them, however, they say that they do not want to perform abortions, and would not choose to get one if pregnant (if female) or would not want someone that they got pregnant to get one (if male), but do not support abortion being illegal.

Some classmates who are proudly pro choice are also proudly religious. Our school’s chapter of Medical Students for Choice has had membership that overlapped with the Christian Medical and Dental Association”. It bothers me whenever I hear people, either in the anti-choice movement, the pro-choice movement or in the medical profession, assume that religion, especially Christianity, is mutually exclusive with being pro-choice. It isn’t true at the level of the individual woman who makes the decision, the practitioner, the religious leaders, or the community.

I saw a woman who works in public policy for Planned Parenthood say a Sukkot prayer in Hebrew along with the Rabbi who hosted our breakfast. She knew every word. One of the Baptist ministers goes on outreach missions in the community every weekend sharing information about and samples of emergency contraception, and used to drive women from her dorm to New York to get safe terminations from an ob/gyn when the only other alternative was a back alley abortion, like the one that almost killed her aunt.

People of faith are our people. Our movement cannot survive if we rule them out.


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Excuse me, Senator McCain

Did you seriously just raise your fingers and make the “quotes” sign and say..the “health” of the mother????

Senator McCain, mother’s lives are sacred, too. How dare you imply that our health is a joke or a political ploy or is somehow worth your derision.

That made me furious.


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Feministing hiccup

Ang Jolie

Ang Jolie

I tried to reply to a post on Feministing. W magazine has a beautiful photo of Angelina Jolie on its cover. It is suggested, but not clear, that she is breastfeeding in the picture. All you can see of the baby is a tiny hand.

The post got a predictable flurry of comments. Celebrity + breastfeeding = hot topic. Many people commented on the original post’s use of the word “sexy”. I have tried to post a reply a few times, but there is some glitch in the server. I am afraid of multiple posts showing up on the blog entry, but I really want to comment on this. So, here is an expanded version of my reply:

Thanks for posting a pro breastfeeding post. I kind of winced at the word sexy since I knew it would cause a reaction. Angelina Jolie would be sexy if she was feeding a baby with a spoon. She would be sexy changing a diaper, too.

Breastfeeding with a human breast is problematically sexualized. So, that is a discussion to be had, since many critics of public breastfeeding accuse the breastfeeders of wanting to show off their breasts in a sexual manner, and/or say breastfeeding in public is too titillating (sorry, I had to) to allow.

I don’t think saying she was sexy was a horrible thing to say in the original post. Someone with good intentions who has feminist respect for the subject may see a beautiful woman who is doing what is natural and is confident in her choice and see that as sexy. But, unfortunately, those words do not exist in a vacuum.

(Oh, and in response to childfree_feminist: I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are not a teenage boy trying to get a bunch of feminists riled up, although I have my doubts. I have seen anti-breeder commenters before who self identify as feminists, so I will reply to this comment as if this was where you are coming from.
Yes, we are animals, mammals in fact. We spawn and suckle our young on our teats if we can. We eat and breathe and have sex, too. Are you pointing and saying “ooky!”? Or, as I suspect, insulting every mother in the human race for reproducing? That is how we survive as organisms. If you choose to be childfree, good for you for making that choice and I am thrilled you have that choice to make. But do me a favor and don’t insult people who choose to parent and want to and are able to do what is best for them, which is breastfeeding.)

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