Carl Gustafson @carlgustafson
Activity by Carl Gustafson @carlgustafson
I haven’t written much lately. Even though it takes more than two hands to count the number of times I have sat down with an idea for a blog or article in the last year, and written a couple sentences, none of those ideas have hatched into anything coherent enough to be worth sharing. But I’ve been trying! Really hard. Writing stories on topics I've been reading about or opinions that have precipitated in my mind is quite cathartic. Evidently I am also pretentious enough to think that someone else might care that I have an opinion. But, lately when I've tried to collect my insoluble thought products [...]
Great article Tom! Thanks for sharing. I really like your point about students being more concerned about renin-angiotensin (or whatever rigorous scientific topic) and less concerned about learning to connect well or communicate well. It seems like changing that attitude may benefit many scientists and clinicians.
Written by Crystal Mendoza and Carl Gustafson
The Biomedical Engineering and Physiology (BMEP) students are going global! In 2009, a few students got together and formed the Initiative for Medical Equipment Sustainability (IMES) to address issues of transferring medical technology to developing countries, and making those technologies sustainable. Since then, the program has grown to become part of the local Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and has received funding and mentorship support from the Program in Underserved Global Health (PUGH).
“What you are doing, right now, is killing you!” Nilofer Merchant scanned a suddenly breathless crowd with a faux menace at her 2013 TED talk. The audience anxiously awaited her answer: what could possibly be killing us so menacingly and discretely that we would simply sit here and allow it?
Well, I agree with her, so let me repeat it. What you are doing, right now, is killing you. And me.
We are sitting. And that is what is killing us. I often sit for 8-10 hours every day: reading papers, documenting results, in meetings, culturing cells, you name it – I am sitting down. Then I go home, and…I sit down because I am thoroughly exhausted from all [...]
“In re mathematica ars proponendi quaestionem pluris facienda est quam solvendi.” – Georg Cantor
Just when you thought Latin was a dead language…
If I were to ask you a question, how would you answer it? …Did you just tell yourself, “well, Self, that depends on the type of question!”? Good. You’re awake! Let’s be more specific.
Here is the question: What did Georg Cantor just say to the world?
Since I assume that you already answered this question, how exactly did you go about answering it? There are possibly thousands or millions of strategies by which to conquer translation and interpretation of Georg’s statement…Did you phone a friend who took Latin in [...]
Hello diversity blog readers and welcome to 2015! Thanks for sticking with us; we hope you’re as excited about the future of the blog as we are. If not, keep reading. Maybe someday we'll serve up the post you've been waiting for.
Science moves pretty fast . In fact, it’s very difficult to quantify the rate of progress of science (umm, units?), and it seems that experts disagree on how to actually do this. Regardless, it appears that global scientific research output (units?) increases at a rate of 8-9% per year. Compare this to the rate of increase in global computer processing power. “Moore’s law” (not really a law…and yes, I got this off Wikipedia, don’t judge) observes that the [...]
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 [...]
Editor’s note: This article was first published in the Spring 2014 edition of the Berkeley Science Review. It has been re-posted to the Mayo Clinic Diversity in Education blog with the direct, written consent of the original authors. You may view the original article here.
This is your mind on grad school: The state of graduate student mental health at UC [...]
By Carl T. Gustafson and Andrew M. Harrison
Last Tuesday, the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine’s Office for Diversity held its third Discussions in Diversity event. The four panelists were Ann M. Farrell (Mayo Clinic Librarian and Secretary of Mayo Clinic’s LGBTI Employee Resource Group), Joseph D. Gallego (student, Mayo Medical School), Dr. Stacy A. Rizza (Director of Mayo Clinic’s HIV clinic and Associate Dean of the Mayo School of Health Sciences), and Dr. Alisa I. Walz-Flannigan, Ingrid (Assistant Professor of Medical Physics). This event was moderated by Dr. John M. Knudsen (Consultant in Radiology and Medical Director of Mayo Clinic’s Office of Health Equities and Inclusion). The first of these events was held last summer, spanned the topics of race and ethnicity [...]
“Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America.” –Dwight Eisenhower
I recently got my passport, and the above quote is inscribed on pages 7 and 8. I read it and immediately translated it to “Whatever the Ph.D. student hopes to bring to pass in the Ph.D. must first come to pass in the heart of the Ph.D student.” That interpretation may be stretching the bounds of my “artistic license”, but hey, it’s inspirational. The list of things I would like to bring to pass in my Ph.D. is fairly short; after “make a world-changing discovery”, “publish”, and “graduate” there isn’t much left and everything else listed is fairly optional. [...]
“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Last year, on a whim, I volunteered at the Rochester Regional Science Fair. Growing up, I was never in science fairs, and it’s fair to say that when I signed up to be a judge at one, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. As it turns out, science fairs are completely fascinating, and I totally missed out as a kid (way to go, Mom…). That’s what I get for being homeschooled deep in the north woods of Minnesota, but I’m getting off track. Let’s start over.
Last year, on a whim, I volunteered at the Rochester Regional Science Fair. [...]
By Carl T. Gustafson
King Solomon, reputed by Biblical lore to be the wisest man that ever lived, once commanded us to “go to the ant…consider her ways and be wise...” This man, the wisest man, knew we had a thing or two to learn, even from ants.
This past summer I took my Written Qualifying Exam, which is, in essence, a tiresomely long and nearly comprehensive test that determines whether I stay in graduate school or not. Every Ph.D. student that ever existed has had to take a test similar to this. During this summer I studied like I have never studied before and was essentially blind to the outside world. When I emerged from the gloomy caverns of dose response curves and receptor binding kinetics, I realized what I had missed. There was conflict in Syria. People were upset about marriage rights. My nephew had learned to walk. I had even missed Shark Week of all things. It had been less than two months since I had even attempted to lend an ear to anything other than research methods and experimental designs, but I was way behind. I had missed a lot and I hadn’t even noticed it when I was missing it. It was too easy to fall behind and so very hard to get caught up. I’m still kinda bummed about Shark Week.
By Bennett G. Childs and Andrew M. Harrison
After attending the recent College of Medicine “Discussions About Diversity”, I (BGC) was sorely disappointed to miss the Westboro Baptist Church's visit to Mayo Clinic (1, 2). I was drawn to ask the question: what motivation would drive someone to get up at the crack of dawn to preach hate (as I got up even earlier to pursue the answer)? The protest-protesters were dispersing as I arrived, carrying American flags and picket signs. Tapping him on the shoulder, I asked one guy: “Hey, have the crazy people gone?” He gave me a puzzled look and then perked up. “Oh yeah, the gay-bashers are gone. But they're not crazy. That kind of hate takes conscious effort.”
The list of people hated by the Westboro Baptist Church (3) and their God could fill a book. Though, that may have been done already: homosexuals, fornicators, wiccans, women who do not obey their husbands, and atheists. As I walked away, I started to think about the sort of people it takes conscious effort to not hate: bigots, homophobes, AIDS-denialists (4, 5), anti-vaccinationists (6), men who think misandry is a thing, people who say YOLO, people who end lists with etc., etc... Why do I have to fight down this crimson hate every day?
Every year, the Mayo Clinic hosts visiting students in summer research fellowship programs. The Mayo Graduate School welcomes over 100 visiting undergraduate students in a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) that lasts for 10 weeks through the summer. The Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education hosts visiting medical students who are between their 1st and 2nd years of medical school and are looking for training in patient-oriented research. Both programs bring in many students from various backgrounds with diverse research interests and career goals. Here’s what a few of our visiting students had to say about their research experiences and future aspirations:
- Stephanie Nemec -
My name is Harrison AM and I am not unique. In fact, according to PubMed, there are at least three of me. Also, I cannot claim to be the only Harrison AM who has published on the subject of surgery. Or even surgical education…
For the Herasevich’s of the world this may not be an issue, but for the Harrison’s it is. In a world of increasingly sophisticated electronic medical records, unmanned drones, and shopping prediction software, why does the foundation of biomedical science authorship continue to operate on the premise that the non-random combination of letters we were assigned at birth might be unique? This premise would be hilarious, were it not true.
In addition to the generalized inconvenience, confusion, and frustration this [...]
I have a vivid memory of one day from my anatomy + physiology class in undergrad, which makes that class fairly worthwhile compared to a few others I took. Our professor asked the class of 300+ students if anyone knew what a ketone was and the class fell eerily silent... I knew the answer, but the looming silence maintained. So why didn’t I speak up?
Every student has been here. We have all known the solution, to some question, at some point, and failed to respond. Instead of shouting it out with confidence we hide in the back, clutching a shred of doubt - afraid to attempt a response for fear of being incorrect. In this case, the answer was a carbon atom double-bonded to an [...]