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Posts Tagged ‘medical’

55. “Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation,” Sandeep Jauhar

August 7, 2010 Leave a comment

A physics PhD decides to become a doctor for reasons even he finds difficult to explain. In this book, he traces the first years of his transition into medicine

Eh. The medical anecdotes were interesting, but the personal stuff really did nothing for me. If you’re not sure why you are a doctor, maybe you should figure that out before writing a book about being a doctor? I’m more ambivalent about my career that most (hi, I have two magna cum laude BAs, a teaching license, I’m working on two master’s degrees, have been published in an academic journal, and I work fairly happy at a grocery store), but I don’t know why you’d choose to torture yourself with a hellish internship when you don’t enjoy the learning or medicine, or want to be a doctor. Perhaps you should find a minimum wage job, sir?

In the end, Jauhar is a fairly successful cardiac surgeon who has been practicing for ten years. But this book doesn’t really tell us how he got from not wanting to be a doctor to specializing and practicing for a decade (so far). I know sometimes the workings of ones own mind are inscrutable, but you’re writing a book, maybe you could make something up?

Jauhar seems like an interesting guy, but this book doesn’t do him justice.

Page count: 292
Page total: 14,894

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27. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” Rebecca Skloot

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Another excellent book. While I was initially disappointed to discover that this book was more about the Lacks family and how their lives have been affected by Henrietta’s cells having been stolen than about the science related to those cells, Skloot gives her subject such excellent treatment that it becomes utterly engrossing.

I was number eighty- or ninety-something on my library’s waitlist; it took about three months for me to get it. It was worth the wait!

Page count: 338
Page total: 6,756

21. “Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science,” Atul Gawande

April 3, 2010 Leave a comment

This book was extremely well-written. I had read an essay by Gawande in one of the Best Science Writing books and he’s really fantastic at explaining medical things in a way that is accessible without being patronizing. Gawande does a great job, too, of mixing cultural reflections and historical research with case studies from his own praxis. The result is an enjoyable, quick read. I plan to read Gawande’s other books. Also, I saw him on The Daily Show (or was it The Colbert Report?) the other day and he held his own, which I always respect.

Page count: 269
Page total: 5,063

45. “Bonk,” Mary Roach

July 5, 2009 1 comment

I found the first couple chapters sort of dry and self-conscious, like Roach was uncomfortable. By the time she started getting involved in the experiments she documents, she was decidedly less so.

This was interesting, and I learned some cool stuff (see below), but I wish a few things:
-That she had better citations. There are a lot of facts flying around and I would like to be able to quote them without fear
-That, instead of the “quirky” pictures that start each chapter she had pictures illustrating some of the stuff she was talking about. Some of it was hard to follow. The picture of the rat wearing polyester trousers was priceless, though– possibly because it actually had to do with an experiment she addressed
-That this book were called “Boink,” not “Bonk.” “Boink” is the term I have always heard for “have sex with.” Is it a regional thing?

I’m going to be Twittering (I can barely bring myself to use Twitter, let alone the verb “tweet.” I have only just started saying “Google” for “run a search”) some of the weird things I learned for vaginapagina. You can check the Twitter here: http://twitter.com/vaginapagina Since you read my blog, you don’t have to go over there, and you get some bonus facts that I deemed too hetero-/PIV-/baby-making-/penis-oriented for the VP deluge.

My favorite anecdote is that a Michigan woman holds a patent on “Decorative Penile Wraps” to “heighten sexual arousal prior to intercourse.” Designs include a ghost, Grim Reaper, and snowman.

Pigs and humans are the only heterosexual couplings that include breast manipulation as part of sexual contact.

Fallopian tubes dialate on only the side that has produced an egg, directing semen toward the egg, rather than the opposite ovary.

Semen contains a mild spermicide, believed to be intended to guard against another man’s semen making it to the egg.

One research study supports the idea that the flare of the glans of a penis is intended to scrape out any one else’s semen that might be in a person’s vag.

The fire department of San Fran has a code to refer to incidences of a cock ring getting stuck (“C-Ring”). They also have a modified saw to cut them free and undergo training on proper technique.

The collegen fibers in a penis are as stiff, by weight, as steel! I have no idea what that means, but it sounds impressive.

Only one tenth of the clitoris is visible to the naked eye.

Both females and males have an average of 3-5 erections a night (yes, clitorises can get erect.)

It takes one to two pounds of force to push an average-sized penis, finger, or dildo into a lubricated vagina. This is about the same amount of force as it takes to open a screen door.

In a study of cis women in long-distance relationships, the amount of testosterone in their system jumped when they were having sex, compared to when they had no sexual contact. Testosterone is closely linked to sex drive in all sexes.

People with spinal cord injuries may form non-genital “hypersensitive areas,” which can be stimulated to trigger orgasm. These are usually located above the break in the spine.

Heterosexual women who cheat on their partners are most likely to do so when ovulating.

Page count: 306
Page total: 20,408