January 27th, 2016 · 1 Comment
By: Thomas Mork
â€śWhat do you know about him?â€ť inquired my clinical instructor. I was on my first rotation as a student at the University of Utah and, using only two hands, was still able to count the number of patients I had seen. I commenced listing my patientâ€™s home environment, his physical capabilities, etc. My clinical instructor cut me off. â€śThatâ€™s great, Tom, but what do you know about him?â€ť I pondered the question for a moment.
â€śWell, he was a high school teacher.â€ť I replied, questioningly. My clinical instructor smiled. â€śThatâ€™s itâ€ť, he said. And he made my goal for the next four weeks to learn something about the lives of my patients.
By the [...]
December 17th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By: Robin Willenbring
Being human is hard sometimes.
Now, to add to that, many of us reading this particular blog post, are human scientists or in the medical field. There have been too many times to count that each of us has questioned our lifeâ€™s choice, our sanity and thought about being anything else. What keeps us going? That is the age old question, isnâ€™t it? For each the answer is different. However, there is one defining feature, our passion. Whether itâ€™s a passion for developing technologies, teaching the next generation, caring for the sick, running a company, thinking critically, or viruses; each is a passion. Throughout our careers, we find ways to share this passion, through our publications, [...]
December 3rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Domenic Fraboni
The â€śItâ€™s on USâ€ť campaign is a White House based movement that aims to increase awareness of sexual assault and sexual assault prevention.Â I learned about the â€śItâ€™s on USâ€ť campaign in January of last year when the NCAA became an official partner of the campaign. Â As a member of the Division III Student Athlete Advisory Committee (DIII SAAC) I was tasked with bringing the campaign back to my respective conferences and campuses.Â The â€śItâ€™s on USâ€ť mission immediately resonated with me.Â As a college football student-athlete I often felt subject to some unfair stereotypes of male student-athletes, specifically football athletes, and how they treated women.Â Then I faced the real facts.Â During their collegiate experience, one in [...]
November 22nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Crystal A. Mendoza and Andrew M. Harrison
Humanitarianism medicine stands apart from both academic and non-academic medicine. Although not mutually exclusive, humanitarianism medicine is one component of the larger field of humanitarianism: a vast conceptual construct of community that transcends individual civilizations and societies across time. On November 18, 2015, the Mayo Clinic Dolores Jean Lavins Center for Humanities hosted Dr. James J. Orbinski, 1999 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, for its inaugural Rewoldt Nobel Laureate Lecture.
Dr. Orbinski, physician, humanitarian leader, and emeritus President of the International Council of MĂ©decins Sans FrontiĂ¨res (Doctors Without Borders), gave two lectures in Rochester, MN: â€śHumanitarianism In War: MĂ©decins Sans FrontiĂ¨res And Beyondâ€ť and â€śEquity And Global Health â€” An [...]
November 19th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
Women in Science and Engineering Research (WiSER) has one mission: To support the success of women in research by providing opportunities for career development, networking with women leaders, identifying strong mentors, and developing a meaningful community for women in biomedical research at Mayo Clinic. They are off to a great start!
The group, founded by Kay Pepin and Mekala Raman, began with one key observation: women within Mayo Graduate School make up over half of the students (62%), both PhD and MD/PhD, but that number is not reflected in the Research Fellow population where men make up 62%. The gender disparity is even more striking for faculty, where women comprise only 21% of full faculty. These startling statistics are not unheard of for most [...]
November 5th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By: Thomas Mork, SPT
What do you love about your profession? Is it seeing patients smile? Is it putting on your detective cap to figure out a disease? Or is it the sheer variety of the cases that you see every day? The fact is, if we go to work for one of these reasons, or one I havenâ€™t mentioned, we are extremely fortunate; we are part of an exclusive club that enjoys our job. We are the ones that think about our patients as we make dinner, or research best practice for some light, nighttime reading. But our vocation comes with responsibility to ourselves and our colleagues. It is our duty to protect and advance our profession and further our [...]
October 21st, 2015 · Leave a Comment
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).
September 24th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Domenic Fraboni
At times, diversity can be a difficult area to be â€śsuccessfulâ€ť in.Â This can be especially true when trying to represent all the different aspects of diversity in a specific committee, staff, team, or any other group.Â The complexity of this topic webs out even further when including those non-superficial definitions of diversity: ethnicity, religion, orientation, social, family type, education, and the list could continue on.Â It may seem to be an obvious statement, but if we have diversity of any sort, we will only be able to better understand, collaborate upon, and ultimately solve the issues that face us every day.Â With this being said, why do so many organizations fall short when it comes to fully [...]
September 17th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Luz Milbeth Cumba-GarcĂa, MS
At the age of 16, I was admitted to the Universidad Metropolitanaâ€™s early admission program in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to study Cellular and Molecular Biology. From my early days as a college student, I had the opportunity to do summer internships abroad, conduct research in different laboratories in Puerto Rico, and attend countless national and international conferences. These experiences have led to great adventures in different countries where I not only learned about their culture, but also about their approach to research and science in general.
My first research experience abroad was in 2010 when I investigated the response of T lymphocytes in a model of collagen-induced arthritis in [...]
July 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
Historically, women have been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This trend seems to be predominant in academia, where sexist hiring has been labeled as one of the culprits. But does current evidence support this hypothesis?
Research from Cornell psychologists, Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci, suggests that sexism in hiring may no longer be an obstacle for women in academia. Published earlier this year, the objective of this study was to determine the role of the gender bias in tenure-track faculty hiring. Male and female candidate profiles, which were identical in every respect except for sex, were created and subsequently reviewed by faculty from all 50 US states who were then asked to rank the [...]
July 16th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
By Thomas Mork
I was sitting in Phillips Hall in the Siebens Building at Mayo Clinic, immersed in a speech by â€śBobâ€ť: 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 â€śactive patientâ€ť 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 [...]
July 5th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
â€śWhat you are doing, right now, is killing you!â€ť Nilofer Merchant scanned a suddenly breathless crowd with a faux menace at her 2013 TED talk. The audience anxiouslyÂ 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 â€“ I am sitting down. Then I go home, andâ€¦I sit down because I am thoroughly exhausted from all [...]
May 13th, 2015 · 2 Comments
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 [...]
March 19th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
â€śIn re mathematica ars proponendi quaestionem pluris facienda est quam solvendi.â€ť â€“ Georg Cantor
Just when you thought Latin was a dead languageâ€¦
If I were to ask you a question, how would you answer it? â€¦Did you just tell yourself, â€śwell, Self, that depends on the type of question!â€ť? Good. Youâ€™re awake! Letâ€™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 Georgâ€™s statementâ€¦Did you phone a friend who took Latin in [...]
February 26th, 2015 · 3 Comments
By Nora E. King
I sat in Mayo Clinicâ€™s St. Marys Hospital cafeteria with my clinical team, in that awkward way medical students know too well: the attending physician (â€śconsultantâ€ť at Mayo Clinic) buys you a cup of coffee and then proceeds to gossip with his buddies for the next 15 minutes. Itâ€™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. â€śWhatâ€™s that noise?â€ť someone said. We glanced around and noticed a poster with sepia photos of famous Black Americans. â€śOh, itâ€™s Black History Month,â€ť his colleague replied, â€śthatâ€™s nice. Letâ€™s get out of here, the music [...]
January 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
Perhaps you are contemplating becoming a parent in the future. If so, you may be wondering how becoming a parent will affect your career, how you will handle your responsibilities as a researcher and parent, or how you will survive these tough years in graduate school with the addition of children. To answer some of these questions, this blog will offer different perspectives and advice from students who have made the decision to become both scientist and parents.
January 4th, 2015 · Leave a Comment
Hello diversity blog readers and welcome to 2015! Thanks for sticking with us; we hope youâ€™re as excited about the future of the blog as we are. If not, keep reading. Maybe somedayÂ we'll serve up the post you've been waiting for.
Science moves pretty fast . In fact, itâ€™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. â€śMooreâ€™s lawâ€ť (not really a lawâ€¦and yes, I got this off Wikipedia, donâ€™t judge) observes that the [...]
December 18th, 2014 · 1 Comment
By Andrew M. Harrison
No, I will not be writing about the illustrious EdD-JD. However, please note these are both largely regarded as â€śprofessionalâ€ť 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 â€śfirst professional degreeâ€ť.
As data interferes with effecting social changes (for better or worse), and blogs are by nature not designed to be lengthy, letâ€™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 [...]
December 8th, 2014 · 1 Comment
By Annyoceli Santiago
I remember when I was accepted into the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at Mayo Clinic two years ago. I was extremely excited about moving to the United States to do research. When I told my friends and professors that I had been accepted to PREP, most of them said â€śâ€¦but thereâ€™s nothing in Rochester!â€ť. It really didnâ€™t take away my enthusiasm because I was mostly thinking about the researchâ€¦ And after all, no distractions were great because I could focus on work. After my first week, I already had a group of friends and was introduced to most people in the IMSD (Initiative for Maximizing Student Development) program. I was amazed by how culturally diverse [...]
November 20th, 2014 · 1 Comment
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 â€śrealâ€ť 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 [...]