Andrew M. Harrison @andrewharrison1
Activity by Andrew M. Harrison @andrewharrison1
By Andrew M. Harrison
The time: January 2010. The place: The barren cornfield-tundra (then tundra) of Rochester, Minnesota. The setting: Other applicants and current students enjoying drunkenly sliding along the sheets of black ice, but you are in pain and hiding a back brace under your clothing from a spine surgery two weeks ago. Do you: (A) join along and hope nothing goes wrong, (B) point out you are weak for the aforementioned reasons and risk judgement, (C) act uptight and risk a different form of non-weak judgement, or (D) cry and risk every judgement?
I am not a fan of "fancy" words or terms, but this is known as invisible disability. When I broke my neck a [...]
By Domenic F. Fraboni and Andrew M. Harrison
There I was (DFF). Standing in front of the crowd that had gathered at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine's Annual Diversity Welcome Reception on Wednesday, September 07, 2016. I may have been one of a handful of people in that room that had never lived outside of Minnesota. A good number of the individuals in the room had even lived or grown up outside the country. I also don’t have what I call great surface diversity. This is what most individuals may think of when they think of diversity: race, ethnicity, and culture (and I would say rightfully so as it is a significant component of diversity). By that standard, I represent the [...]
By Andrew M. Harrison
Is racism the result of one of the basic human emotions, social disorder, both, or neither? Is this question even valid? From contemporary American psychologists such as Paul Ekman and Robert Plutchik, I can stretch an argument racism is derived from some basic human emotion and thus a sort of fundamental human right. From the ancient Analects of Confucius, I can argue “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name” and thus racism is the result of some improperly balanced social construct.
On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, Mayo Clinic’s Office for Diversity (Mayo Clinic College of Medicine) hosted its 5th Diversity Discussion at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus in Minnesota: “Social Justice: [...]
By Thomas Mork
I was sitting in Phillips Hall in the Siebens Building at Mayo Clinic, immersed in a speech by “Bob”: former patient, cancer survivor, and nationally-renowned speaker. He stood proudly at the podium while his voice reverberated among a crowd of physicians, nurses, and physical therapy students. This self-described “active patient” defied cancer by becoming a dynamic advocate for himself during his medical care. As his story goes, he brought forward multiple treatment options that his physician never considered. They decided to try these treatments when standard care was failing. Over a year later he is still cancer free and advocating to people across the nation to become active members of their healthcare team. The ideas he brought forth [...]
By Dr. Jim Maher
How can Mayo Clinic best honor the axis of diversity that might be called "faith," "belief," "unbelief," or "religion" and what leadership can be shown within Mayo Clinic's academic environment (the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine)? These were some of the questions that motivated a fascinating lunch session on May 11, 2015, organized by the College of Medicine Office for Diversity, and featuring a delightful panel representing a sampling of four faith traditions different from the nominal Christianity that typified 78% of Americans in 2010. The premise of the discussion ("Religious Diversity in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine: Positive Expression, Ongoing Challenges") was that global faith traditions, including agnosticism and atheism, are richly diverse, and the [...]
By Nora E. King
I sat in Mayo Clinic’s St. Marys Hospital cafeteria with my clinical team, in that awkward way medical students know too well: the attending physician (“consultant” at Mayo Clinic) buys you a cup of coffee and then proceeds to gossip with his buddies for the next 15 minutes. It’s never clear whether you should chuckle along with the stories or pretend to not listen, absorbed in your notes on the patient list.
Unusually, the cafeteria was filled with music. “What’s that noise?” someone said. We glanced around and noticed a poster with sepia photos of famous Black Americans. “Oh, it’s Black History Month,” his colleague replied, “that’s nice. Let’s get out of here, the music [...]
By Andrew M. Harrison
No, I will not be writing about the illustrious EdD-JD. However, please note these are both largely regarded as “professional” doctoral degrees in the US. Although still less relevant in the US, you should know the difference, as most of the rest of the world draws a clear distinction between a research doctorate and a “first professional degree”.
As data interferes with effecting social changes (for better or worse), and blogs are by nature not designed to be lengthy, let’s get this part out of the way first and fast. More Commentaries on the subject of MD-PhD training have been published in the academic literature than I care to discuss. The most comprehensive [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
By Stephen C. Ekker, PhD
High angst for a PhD student in life sciences today. From the mea culpa ‘Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws’ in published in PNAS by Drs. Alberts, Kirschner, Tilghman, and Varmus, to the high uncertainty of public funding of science, it is understandable – and very appropriate – for young scientists to be concerned about their future.
Dr. Ekker with Drs. Eleanor Chen and Ann Davidson, both former grad students in the Ekker lab and both pursuing their own science adventures (one in the US, one now in Canada).
Although all of the current [...]
By Matthew J. Borgo
From February 23 through March 1, 2014, I had an experience which I will not soon forget. I had the great fortune of being able to travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, spend time with the Gynecology/Obstetrics/Oncology team at Zewditu Memorial Hospital, and attend the 50th Annual Meeting of the Ethiopian Medical Association (EMA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of this anniversary meeting was Medical Tourism and Healthcare and over one thousand health professionals were in attendance.
Ethiopia is a country of many different ethnic groups. With a population estimated at almost 97 million, it is the 14th most populous country in the world. Life expectancy is currently 60.7 years with 0.03 physicians per [...]
By Fareed Khawaja
NOTE (AMH): This post has been re-posted after the addition of new material. However, no removal of or changes to the original content were made.
There have been many successes for gay rights in the United States lately. With the recent strides made in both Utah and Oklahoma, one can say that the gay movement in America is progressing well. But what is the situation like for the LGBTI community in more conservative countries? To be more precise: the Islamic world.
By Joshua J. Faucher
I returned two weeks ago from the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) 2013 Annual Meeting, which took place on November 2nd in Boston, MA. It was the third PNHP Annual Meeting I have attended, and my first as a student member of the organization’s Board of Directors. I can say that the meeting was a rousing success, and that we had a record number of attendees (including over 130 medical and health professional students – the largest number ever)! Can I say, however, that we are approaching the final realization of our goal: the implementation of single-payer national health [...]
By Timothy N. Kruse
On July 31 through August 04, 2013, Andrew Harrison and I attended the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) in Santa Clara, CA. The AAIP is an organization for American Indian and Alaska Native physicians across North America. The Mission of the AAIP is “to pursue excellence in Native American health care by promoting education in the medical disciplines, honoring traditional healing principles and restoring the balance of mind, body, and spirit”.
Association of American Indian Physicians