November 20th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

By Crystal Mendoza

In the midst of studying for my written qualifying exam, I began to panic. It was a mixed panic, the jitters you get before a big exam coupled with a crippling self-doubt. I had experienced this same self-doubt before, when I was first accepted into Mayo Graduate School (MGS). I did not feel like I had earned my place in graduate school, especially at Mayo Clinic, and that my accomplishments felt like nothing compared to those of my peers. I came into graduate school with only two years of “real” college experience, as I had taken dual credit courses in high school and lacked substantial life experience. The courses I had taken in college were difficult in some cases, but for the most part manageable [...]

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October 9th, 2014 · 2 Comments

What are we eating?

By Carl Gustafson

Contrary to popular belief, Facebook can be good for something every now and then. While wasting precious time on Facebook (shh! don’t tell my PI!), I stumbled across this blog post, by an endocrinologist in California who compared his dining experience at the Googleplex, to his dining experiences at various hospitals.

I sure hope Google starts hiring pharmacologists because his blog raved about the cafeteria food in Mountain View. I don’t know about you, but a good salad bar and a name like “Mountain View” is enough to make me want to apply for a position.

This article spurred me a little. Aside from preparing my CV, I started paying more attention to the food being served on [...]

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October 1st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Gender Equality: Women’s Rights are Human Rights

By Andrew M. Harrsion

By Wells B. LaRiviere

Note: Sex refers to the biological assignment of reproductive anatomy, while gender refers to a spectrum of social and cultural roles associated with sex. This post touches on both, but for the sake of brevity, I will not explore this complex subject further.

On the afternoon of September 18th, 2014, Dr. Karen Hedin (Professor, Mayo Clinic Department of Immunology) hosted a discussion entitled “Women in Science: Problems and Brainstorming Solutions,” an important extension of the ongoing discussion of sex equality at Mayo Clinic. The conference room on the 15th floor of the Guggenheim building was well past capacity and overflowed with students, staff, and faculty alike. However, just as Rielyn Campbell (Education Coordinator, Mayo [...]

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September 12th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

The Greatest Taboo: Mental Illness, Society, Science, and Medicine

By Andrew M. Harrsion

By Andrew M. Harrison

In 1902, Bertrand Russell wrote, “Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.” Beautiful words by one of my heroes and also the pathetic opening to my medical school application essay in the summer of 2009. I did not even get the date correct, but it did not matter then and does not matter now. This post is not about facts and figures: my comfort zone. This post is about emotions and the [...]

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September 4th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Avoiding a Career as a Perpetual Postdoc

By Clara Castillejobecerra

As trainees, we are faced with a frustrating reality-- the job market cannot meet the increasing supply of PhDs. We know this and most of us decide to pursue further postdoctoral training in order to become more qualified for the limited positions. Unfortunately, the few years we anticipate for postdoctoral training can extend longer than desired, thereby causing many of us to become stuck in perpetual postdoctoral work. Disillusioned by the process, a portion of us will abandon our initial career goals to settle for less than desired or just leave science altogether. But are some of us simply destined to this path? If not, then what can we do to avoid the fate of a perpetual postdoc?

Well [...]

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August 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Learning to Listen: Doing Federal Policy from the Bottom-Up in Indian Country

By Andrew M. Harrsion

By Ibrahim Garba, MA, JD, LLM

In a Philosophy and Medicine course I took in graduate school, the professor spent the semester comparing two models of medicine: the biomedical and the humanistic. Broadly speaking, the biomedical model is based on a view of persons being measurable, empirical entities that can be restored to health through the return of bodily functions and processes to a state of normalcy (statistically defined). In contrast, the humanistic model proposes a dualistic view of personhood, framing humans as being constituted of both “body” and “self”. Consequently, restoring the measurable, empirical component of a person (i.e. the body) is only part of the task of healing. There remains the self, an entity so easily caricatured as the [...]

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July 10th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Lessons from My First Year in Graduate School

By Crystal Mendoza

I would like to thank my fellow Diversity Blog editors for their helpful advice and input for this blog post.

As summer begins, my first year of graduate school comes to an end. The fact that my first year of graduate school has come to a close brings mixed feelings. I have come a bit further than I was at this same time last year, and thankfully, have learned a few things. In honor of the incoming graduate school class, I have decided to dedicate this post to them to hopefully offer some helpful advice on first-year experiences.

The most important aspect of a PhD is the mentor and lab in which you will be conducting your thesis work. It’s easy to get [...]

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June 29th, 2014 · 6 Comments

Why aren’t more white males a part of the Lean In discussion at Mayo Clinic?

By Andrew M. Harrsion

By Rielyn R. Campbell

I think Jackson Katz said it best in his Ted talk from November 2012, “A lot of men hear the term “women’s issues” and we tend to tune it out, and we think, “Hey, I’m a guy. That’s for girls.” Or “That’s for the women.” And “a lot of men literally don’t get beyond the first sentence as a result.” I hope if you are a man reading this, you get past the first sentence.

On June 19, 2014, I attended the Lean In session (link through Mayo Clinic intranet only), hosted by Mayo Clinic’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and several Mayo Employee Resource Groups (MERGs). After opening remarks from Dr. [...]

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