Diversity in Education Blog

February 26th, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Banality of “That’s Nice”

By Andrew M. Harrsion

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 [...]

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January 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Training in Research and Parenthood

By Clara Castillejobecerra

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.

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Fan-Chi Hsu, Ph.D. received her doctoral degree from the immunologyfan-chi track in November 2014. She and her husband, Chien-Chang Chen, a 5th year pre-doctoral student in the immunology [...]

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January 4th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Avoiding scientific nostalgia

By Carl Gustafson

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 [citation needed]. 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 [...]

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December 18th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Should dual degree training exist?

By Andrew M. Harrsion

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 [...]

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December 8th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Adapting to Rochester

By Annyoceli Santiago

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 “…but there’s nothing in Rochester!”. It really didn’t take away my enthusiasm because I was mostly thinking about the research… 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 [...]

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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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