Monday, August 20, 2018

I’m Coping With Cancer by Reporting On It - POLITICO Magazine

It's Wednesday morning. My boyfriend's mom is walking around the house, humming to herself, and my puppy is waiting for her to leave, sitting patiently by the door.

I'm also waiting for her to leave, just like I waited for my own mother to leave three days ago. And, after she leaves, I'll wait for my boyfriend to leave for work so that I can finally sit in silence for the first time since Friday.

I'm a relatively solitary person. I normally live alone. I work from home most days. And before I adopted a border terrier from the Humane Society last Monday, I could go days in a row before touching another living, breathing thing.

But that's not my life now, because I have cancer. It's in my left breast and perhaps in other areas of my body too: my armpit, my shoulder, maybe even my femur.

I found out last Friday at the vet, as my new hound, Lily, squealed during her rabies shot and my mom waited in the sitting area. The doctor called, and the vet and her tech probably thought I was rude to answer while Lily cried out on the cold, metal operating table. I didn't leave the room but tried to duck my head down near the seat of my chair, to better avoid their line of vision and, therefore, their judgment.

I was surprised, but the doctor wasn't. As he told me that the biopsy had come back positive, I hoped I hadn't been previously rude to him because I was irritated that he had been treating me like a cancer patient before I even got my results. I had privately bashed him for extorting me for unnecessary tests that already cost more than $600. This is the problem with health care, I told a nurse at the time. Expensive, unnecessary tests.

Talking to him, my head between my legs, trying to pay attention to the important things he was saying, I felt terrible for those comments. I suddenly felt grateful for all those expensive tests and for his serious, quiet demeanor; for his quick action.

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Medical students are skipping class, making lectures increasingly obsolete - STAT

The future doctors of America cut class. Not to gossip in the bathroom or flirt behind the bleachers. They skip to learn — at twice the speed.

Some medical students follow along with class remotely, watching sped-up recordings of their professors at home, in their pajamas. Others rarely tune in. At one school, attendance is so bad that a Nobel laureate recently lectured to mostly empty seats.

Nationally, nearly one-quarter of second-year medical students reported last year that they "almost never" attended class during their first two, preclinical years, a 5 percent increase from 2015.

The AWOL students highlight increasing dissatisfaction and anxiety that there's a mismatch between what they're taught in class during those years and what they're expected to know — or how they're tested — on national licensing exams. Despite paying nearly $60,000 a year in tuition, medical students are turning to unsanctioned online resources to prepare for Step 1, the make-or-break test typically taken at the end of the preclinical years.

These self-guided med students are akin to a group of American tourists wandering through Tokyo without a map. Like a tour guide hired on the street, the online learning tools — including memory aids, videos, and online quizzes — can enhance the educational journey, or send the students down a dead end.

Lawrence Wang, a third-year M.D.-Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Diego, and the National Institutes of Health, said he relied heavily on these resources during his first two years of medical school.

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A constant loud clicking or crunching noise in her head stumped stumped doctors - The Washington Post

Maryjane Behforouz's attempts to ignore the disturbing noise in her head always ended in failure, leaving her feeling increasingly desperate. No one seemed to know what was causing the nearly constant clicking — or sometimes crunching — sound that was so loud it would wake her in the middle of the night.

Behforouz, 48, who lives outside Indianapolis, had tried everything she could think of to make it stop.

She had seen three ear, nose and throat specialists, undergone painful steroid injections in her ear, tried acupuncture and changed her diet, all in a vain attempt to drown out the persistent auditory intrusion. When her doctors seemed unable to help, she scoured the Web, intensely focused on finding an expert who could.

Her husband, an ophthalmologist, was sympathetic, but at a loss to explain what sounded to Behforouz "like someone clicking their fingernails together, amplified by a megaphone."

It was only after the cause had been identified and eliminated more than a year later by an expert Behforouz had found that she realized "how much energy it took every day just to deal with it."

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