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A Brief Examination Of Homophobia In Medicine

DaVinciHeartThe latest edition of Academic Pediatrics reprints remarks Dr. Mark A. Schuster, head of general pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital, made in 2010 about experiencing homophobia during medical school.

One story Schuster details in his remarks, delivered at the Children’s Hospital Boston GLBT & Friends Celebration, concerns a woman with symptoms of a herniated disc.

Though the surgeons were ready to operate, and the students ready to learn, a radiologist reversed his diagnosis because the woman appeared to be a lesbian, thus jeopardizing the woman's well-being.

The neurosurgeon abruptly canceled the operation. It turned out that the radiologist had reversed his reading. When pressed as to why he no longer saw what even a third-year medical student could see (that would be me), he confessed that the neurosurgeon had pressured him to change his read.

When our team met with the neurosurgeon, he was direct. He had seen what he assumed to be a lesbian novel at the patient’s bedside, and he wasn’t going to operate. His rationalization was that she might have inserted something into her urethra that caused her incontinence. He had no research or case studies to support his theory. He had no explanation for why a lesbian would do this. He had no explanation for why it wasn’t showing up on x-ray. He made it clear, though, that he wasn’t going to operate on a lesbian.

Dr. Pauline W. Chen at the New York Times says the reprinted Schuster speech "delivers unflinching, evenhanded descriptions of a profession that is committed to helping others, yet is also capable of treating some of its own as aberrant." Still, I would say being the patient in such a situation would be equally horrible, if not worse.

The woman in Schuster's story ended up getting the operation, for those who wondered. You can read more of his experience with this PDF.


NEWS: Dr. Phil, Dr. Plait, And Dr. Paul

Picture 36
Road Astronomer Phil Plait walks us through the crashing of Phobos-Grunt:

... the third stage on the rocket failed to ignite, stranding the spacecraft in Earth orbit. The air is thin up there, but still exerts a small force, dragging the spacecraft’s orbit lower and lower. In the past few months it’s been dropping, and sometime today it will get low enough that the Earth’s air will consume it.

Road Gay skeptic and magician D.J. Grothe tells Dr. Phil what's up.

Road Thank goodness, somebody's gonna remove that butchered quote from the MLK memorial.

Road Why all the young dudes love Ron Paul.

Picture 35 Road Ben Stein claims he was wrongfully terminated because of his belief that God controls the weather.

Road The rise of the middle school GSA:

While common in high schools across the country, chapters of the Gay Straight Alliance with the younger school set have been slower to gain a foothold, in some cases because of the controversy the clubs stir up.

But there are signs of increasing acceptance.

There are now 500 middle school Gay Straight Alliance chapters nationwide, up from a couple dozen three years ago, according to the national Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

Many of the clubs formed after publicized suicides of middle school children such as 13-year-old Seth Walsh of Tehachapi (Kern County) in 2010 and 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Springfield, Mass., in 2009. Both were bullied because they were believed to be gay.

Road After he spent 2011 burning and shooting children, Syrian president Bashir al-Assad kicks off 2012 by forgiving those who dared complain.

Road Some people say Mitt Romney's the biggest gaylover ever.

Road Sad report on the absence of services available for LGBT victims of domestic violence:

David X spilled his story to the other men seated around him, revealing how his boyfriend -- angry about leaving the heater on too long -- had punched him so hard that his eye socket shattered. Instead of receiving comfort at the counseling session, a man told him: You should have just punched him back. You're a guy.

That was the moment that David, a 56-year-old San Jose gay man whose last name is not being used to protect him, realized he was in the wrong place.

Road A nice young man posted a YouTube video about being gay and Republican. He's pretty stung by the backlash.

Road The best, most rational response to anti-trans Girl Scout cum reluctant YouTube star, Taylor from Ventra.

Road What if Tim Tebow was gay?


Rick Santorum To Mother Of Cancer Survivor: Yes, Your Son Should Pay More For Health Insurance

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Sorry for adding to the shower of Santorum that's inundated the blog -- but before we're hit by the inevitable Santorum tsunami doomed to result from tonight's GOP debate, it's worth taking a look at this appearance by the candidate in Merrimeck this morning, during which Mr. Santorum explained to a mother why it's good and right and holy that her cancer-stricken young son should have to wrestle with prohibitively high health insurance costs his whole life. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

(HT: TPM)

Continue reading "Rick Santorum To Mother Of Cancer Survivor: Yes, Your Son Should Pay More For Health Insurance" »


Painless Dental Cavity Filling Could Be Here by 2013: VIDEO

Dentist

Human clinical trials are underway on the "plasma brush" a device that should revolutionize the dental industry with painless cavity filling:

In less than 30 seconds, the plasma brush uses chemical reactions to disinfect and clean out cavities for fillings. In addition to the bacteria-killing properties, the “cool flame” from the plasma brush forms a better bond for cavity fillings.  The chemical reactions involved with the plasma brush actually change the surface of the tooth, which allows for a strong and robust bonding with the filling material.

“There have been no side effects reported during the lab trials, and we expect the human trials to help us improve the prototype,” said Qingsong Yu, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering of MU, and Meng Chen, chief scientist from Nanova, Inc., which holds a co-patent for the plasma brush with MU.

For those of you who cringe at even the sound of a dentist's drill, this should be good news.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via gizmodo)

Continue reading "Painless Dental Cavity Filling Could Be Here by 2013: VIDEO" »


Doctors Find Face in Ultrasound of Man's Testicles: PHOTO

Tumor

Usually it's Jesus in a Walmart receipt or something like that, but pareidolia really has no limits now.

Urologists thought they saw a face in an ultrasound of a man's testicles that were being examined for a tumor.

They were so excited they sent it to Urology, the International Society of Urology's official journal, and it was published in the journal's September issue, the UK's Telegraph reports:

Writing in the journal, they said: "The residents and staff alike were amazed to see the outline of a man’s face staring up out of the image, his mouth agape as if the face seen on the ultrasound scan itself was also experiencing severe epididymo-orchitis,” wrote the authors, referring to an inflammatory condition.

“A brief debate ensued on whether the image could have been a sign from a deity (perhaps ‘Min,’ the Egyptian god of male virility); however, the consensus deemed it a mere coincidental occurrence rather than a divine proclamation.”

PS - the mass was benign.


DEA Bans Essential Chemicals In Bath Salts

Bath_salts_003The DEA is cracking down on bath salts!

Do you know about bath salts? They don't go in your bath. These semi-legal drugs, sold in head shops under names like "Vanilla Sky" and "Bliss," are usually snorted or ingested intravenously, and contain mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, which are apparently real mind-benders. Bath salts first popped up in the media earlier this year, attached to all kinds of horror stories. In the New York Times this summer, we learned:

Poison control centers around the country received 3,470 calls about bath salts from January through June, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, up from 303 in all of 2010.

“Some of these folks aren’t right for a long time,” said Karen E. Simone, director of the Northern New England Poison Center. “If you gave me a list of drugs that I wouldn’t want to touch, this would be at the top.”

... Some of the recent incidents [involving bath salt abuse] include a man in Indiana who climbed a roadside flagpole and jumped into traffic, a man in Pennsylvania who broke into a monastery and stabbed a priest, and a woman in West Virginia who scratched herself “to pieces” over several days because she thought there was something under her skin.

Does that sound at all familiar? Like those bogus stories from the 60's about nice suburban girls trying acid for the first time and staring at the sun until their eyes melted? Or the Reefer Madness-era stories about weed turning suburban boys into rape-crazy cavemen? 

Still. Just 'cuz drug opponents cried wolf once (twice, three times, whatever) doesn't mean they can't occasionally tell the truth. And those bath salt stories appeared in the Times! It's the paper of record!

And now, according to the Times:

The Drug Enforcement Administration took emergency action on Friday to ban three synthetic stimulants used to make products that are marketed at head shops and on the Web as “bath salts,” but are actually used as recreational drugs that mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine.

The emergency measure places these substances — mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and methylone — under the D.E.A.’s most restrictive category for at least a year, while they study whether they should be permanently banned. This classification is reserved for substances with high potential for abuse and no accepted use under medical supervision.


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