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We said it's OK on the day we said nothing

Apr. 24th, 2008 | 08:17 pm
location: virus-land, apart from a brief foray into here
mood: predatorypredatory

loneraven has been playing me Indelicates' "Our daughters will never be free," and this made me feel a little bit personally responsible, for not saying things often enough. Here is a situation that happened recently, when I said nothing because I didn't know what to possibly say.

Medic students and tutors had convened to hear about the research projects that us *3rd years* (safety in numbers, rather than descriptive words beginning with F!) had done. One medic (who shall remain nameless) mentioned that in oxfordshire, out of 500 patients with cardiovascular illnesses he was studying, there was a trend that on average men received treatment for their illness 2 years earlier, and survived 3 years longer, than women.

Brings back first year medical sociology, namely a study (Schulman, K. A., et al., (1999) NEJM 340:618-626) where researchers showed  videos of 4 actors describing symptoms of the same condition, and consultant cardiologists were asked to recommend treatment. The outcome is too obvious - the elderly white man gets coronary bypass surgery, the elderly black woman is sent home and told to stop worrying.

So I raised my hand, and asked, "Medical student who shall remain nameless, why do you think there is a difference between how long men and women with heart disease seem to survive?" His response was, "Maybe the wives are so busy nagging their husbands to take their pills that they forget to take their own." This person may, in future, become a doctor. All the other students and tutors heard this, and said nothing.

So what should I have said?

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Sounds like...

Apr. 23rd, 2008 | 05:27 pm
location: staring at pile of paper on desk, ineffectually

...Lab equipment: molecular code. If you ever miss your sequencer or luminometer or beta counter, which no doubt happens often, this makes you feel all fuzzy.

...Justin Timberlake sung by a lovely girl-person: tender forever.

Interesting noises are keeping me going through this huge torrent of herpes and 'flu and HIV and academic in-fighting.

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Across the channel, briefly

Apr. 8th, 2008 | 05:49 pm
location: oxford
mood: happyhappy

I came back from there a couple of days ago, on the Eurostar, singing "under the sea" in joyful disharmony. PJ's parents are very nice people. Paris is more pleasant than placentas, perhaps excepting the horror of greengrocers called Harry Cover. Say it with a French accent.

rive droitewitch hazel in the Jardin des Plantesin the Quartier Latininside the Institute de Monde Arabebuilding site

The girl-person with the tape measure working on this mythic parisian building site makes me very happy. Likewise the luminometry inside the Institut du Monde Arabe.

Monolake's performance at the Centre Pompidou was epileptic, eventually. Picture: at the beginning the room fills with bohemian people who evidently have much more of a right to be there than I do; the deep red light in the room fades out, eyes adjust until exit signs appear. Silent minutes pass. Then, "il y a un petit probleme." And out of the darkness, lo, unto them, a Mac startup chime.

In the meantime, cycle safely, my friends, or I'll get your lunch. 

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