Sunday, July 22, 2007

Listen to: Sexy! NO NO NO

After reading my blog and if you haven't noticed by now, you should definitely know that I LOVE GIRLS ALOUD. Only the Brits can make legit girl groups like them. And the fact that they basically release new (better and more mature) material every year makes them just so much more AWESOME.

Watch their performance of their new single called "Sexy! No No No!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Why I Love My School, Reason #54

The XXX-rated med school teacher
By Jane Elliott
BBC News, health reporter

Penis examination
Sex shops can provide useful teaching tools....
Dr Carla Pugh makes an unusual shopping trip at the start of every academic year as she prepares teaching materials for her medical students - to porn emporia and toy shops.

Worried by the quality and anatomical accuracy of mannequins available for her students to practise on, Dr Pugh decided to take matters into her own hands and provide her own.

"One model that was available for teaching the students had the rectum in the wrong place, in another the prostate was in the wrong position.

"The penises that were available were made of styrofoam and they were all the same.

Secret motive

"So I decided to get my own," said the assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago.

"I had to go into porn shops and ask for lots of penises, all sizes, erect and not erect, circumcised and non-circumcised. I was met with gales of laughter in the shops."

They would be really freaked if they knew I wanted the dolls to cut up
Carla Pugh

She also frequents toy shops for materials, but admits she does not tell the shop assistants what she wants her weird collection of objects for.

"They would be really freaked if they knew I wanted the dolls to cut up," she laughed.

She also buys baby dolls for delivery models, squishy balls are used to represent ovarian masses and harder wooden balls for ovarian cancers.

Models are combined with computer technology

"I think my students are clueless about what I have gone through to get the materials to teach them - but what students do know the work their teacher has done to prepare?"

Dr Pugh has also patented technology to combine portions of fully formed anatomical mannequins with computers to teach medical students to do exams on the body's most private and sensitive areas - genitalia, breasts and rectums.

At the prostate station students can examine several models of the male posterior.


In each they have a fully formed anus and rectum. There are paper-thin sensors inside to measure a student's touch and send individual readings to an attached computer monitor.

These are the sort of exams, she said, that students are often most worried about performing and which medical school instructors can also find embarrassing.

Dr Carla Pugh
Dr Pugh practised on her own dolls as a child

"We've got big issues in the US with sexuality," said Dr Pugh.

"These guys have to be able to do it and act professional, so that adds a lot of pressure."

Cadavers are still used for anatomy, but Dr Pugh said that, as in the UK, there has been a shortage of bodies being offered for donation.

But she added that even when these bodies were available, often they were not suitable for students to practice on.

"Many of the women who donate their bodies have had hysterectomies, so the students do not have a uterus to practise on," she said.

Natural sensation

She also added that practising on a rigid rigor mortis body was very different from the softer form of the live body that her students would encounter.

Students at work
Aids are devised to give a naturalistic feel

Dr Pugh said her simulators were not perfect, but that they were close enough to the reality for the students to know whether their touch is too rough, too soft - or if they have missed a key spot entirely.

They provided a much needed bridge, she said, between traditional medical training where students often go straight from textbook to exam room with live patients, where they observe skilled doctors in action.

"Guess what? They are sweating bullets because they haven't had a scenario where they can talk about it comfortably, safely and with someone who is more knowledgeable."

Dr Pugh began performing "surgery" on her dolls as a child, transplanting eyes and limbs with a sewing kit borrowed from her mother.

She said she had always maintained a hands-on approach to medicine.

But she felt very disappointed by how little 'real-life' practice she was able to do as a student herself.

"It frustrated me because I was unsure. I didn't have the level of access to the human body that I wanted."


Prostate simulator
Dr Pugh's prostate simulator

She came up with the idea for her technology while working on a doctorate in education at Stanford University and obtained a patent for the sensors and data accumulation technology in 2001.

Pugh formed a licensing agreement with Medical Education Technologies Inc, a company specialising in medical training products, in early 2003.

Her pelvic exam simulators are already on the market at prices ranging from $16,000 (£8,200) to $20,000 (£10,300) each, and are used by more than 60 medical and nursing schools around the US.

The prostate exam simulators used in the class, as well as those for breast exams, are still in prototype form.

I knew those dildos didn't come from a medical device catalog! MYSTERY SOLVED.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

happy 4th of july!

here’s a little something to help celebrate your freedom from British culture: I love Amy Winehouse, but that was a shitshow.

Chicago has its "world-class" fireworks a day ahead of schedule. I don't know why, but that's how they do it here. Several of us disappointed by the pricey pricey food at Taste of Chicago, we decided to have it a picnic at Grant Park.Clockwise from upper left: apple pie, chocolate covered frozen bananas and strawberries with slivered almonds and toffee pieces, tempting (?) trail mix, cucumber and tomato salad with basil (both produced by my wonderful roommate), yummy chicken wings, baguettes with brie and nutella, cinnamon encrusted pita chips, Christine's wonderful turkey sandwiches with pepperjack cheese, apple pie.The most awesomely patriotic dog.
I don't know why the Vagina building says "Go Rush" on its ceiling...The fireworks were definitely worth seeing. They were shown across the lake, but you can see it anywhere from the park (but stupid trees blocked some of the view.) I've never seen fireworks at such a grand scale. Definitely high tech, and ooooooh-ahhhhhh-worthy.Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Excited for August

It made me really sad that I would be stuck in Chicago all summer. Stuck is a bad term. I love Chicago and there is so much to do here. I stumble out randomly and it seems to have a festival on every corner... practically everyday.

But I'm so antsy to leave. It's been awhile since I've been anywhere. New York was awesome as a spring break, but I want to go some place different. I'll probably be in Chicago for a long time later in the year. M3 and M4s all say: ENJOY THIS LAST SUMMER. IT IS YOUR LAST SUMMER. LAST

Well for a week in August, this is going to happen:

From: O'Hare (Chicago)
To: Heathrow (London)
Depart: 29 Jul 2007
Class: World Traveller
Operated by: British Airways
Booking status: Confirmed

From: Heathrow (London)
To: O'Hare (Chicago)
Depart: 8 Aug 2007
Class: World Traveller
Operated by: British Airways
Booking status: Confirmed


Please watch Sicko.

You can say that I am a fan of Michael Moore. I haven't seen his other movies, but Fahrenheit 9/11 was such a breath of fresh air at a time when it was unsafe to speak out. I remember watching that film three years ago at the Charles Theatre in Baltimore (man, I wish I had one of those in Chicago...) It was great to see someone with the guts to speak out against the Bush administration and pinpoint all the fallacies people failed to notice or denied ever having seen. 

When I heard Moore was planning his next documentary to be about the healthcare system, I was more than intrigued by what he would produce. As a medical student, (or even when I was a college student) I am truly displeased with the healthcare system. Simply, the basis of health care should be helping people, and the American system is an utter failure.

While watching the movie, I couldn't help but go back to senior year when I took that health care and management course. It was interesting to hear all these Johns Hopkins public health officials, people who are at the top of their fields in the health care management speak of the system today. Every lecture, the professors kindly noted the areas that American health care needs to resolve, or it will be a slippery slope to disaster. Americans spend about 16% of the GDP on health care. That's certainly a considerable amount of money and definitely more than what other Westernized countries are paying. The reason why people are spending so much money is that people who are insured are paying for the number of people who are uninsured. This system causes people who can afford to pay for their medical care are paying for people who can't. This brings all the prices up and causes people to go bankrupt.

The number of elderly people are growing exponentially and there is a definite a lack of resources. I kept hearing again and again, you should go into internal medicine. Too many doctors are going into specialized practices where earning greater than six figure salaries. Well hello. My name is Dennis. I have around $40,000 in debt for college. And will now amass another $250,000 grand for medical school. $300,000 is going to be gone. Would it be LOGICAL for me to go into specialty where I won't be able to pay back these loans. It is why so many people aren't going into internal medicine. CAN YOU SEE THIS CYCLE OF DESTRUCTION?

So this movie presented its case on how bad American health care really is. So many people are without insurance. People with insurance aren't getting quality health care and can't afford it. Hospitals are turning patients away. Dropping them literally on the streets. People are dying due to profits of all these private HMOs are making. It's just ridiculous. And oh, there's that controversial part of the 9/11 workers getting 320938 times better care in FREAKIN' Cuba than in the states.

This movie just made me angry. Angry that I'm going to be part of this system that is negatively affecting patients lives. Angry that I'm going to be tied to the system affecting the care I will give to my patients. Angry that I can't do anything about it. Angry that American probably won't change in my generation. Angry that people are so against the single payer system. Angry that Britain and France have FREE health care, and us Americans don't. ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY!!!

That's my two cents and tell everyone to watch this movie. It will make you just go in awe in how bad America is compared to the other nations in the world. The movie is not about Michael Moore and his political beliefs. It is about how opening your mind to other health care systems and wondering why ours isn't like theirs. That concludes my long rant I had to get out after watching.