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Issues in Health Care: The Public Option

This is the first post in our series on current health issues; we will be posting every week a brief summary of one major issue in the health care arena. This brief posts will hopefully provide you with the basics about current issues, which you can then use to help you in interviews, and to educate yourself on these topics. This week we will be talking about the public option. Make sure to subscribe to our RSS feed to keep up with the posts.

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Announcing the New "Issues in Health Care" Series

Yesterday on twitter we got tweets from two physicans who thought that as premeds it is very important for us to stay on top of current medical news. So we are announcing our new "Issues in Health Care" series. Every week we will write a post summarizing one major current issue in the health care world. We will try our best to present all sides of the issue in an unbiased manner.

Currently the plan is to release one post every Wednesday, until we run out of issues. What we need from you guys is suggestions for issues that you would like to see us cover, just post a comment on this post.

Here is a list of what we are planning for our first 5 posts in this series:

  1. Public Option
  2. Cost of Medical Education
  3. Tort Reform
  4. End of Life Care
  5. Health Care Availability

We will be announcing some exciting new things this week and next week, so make sure you subscribe to our RSS feed, and to our twitter and facebook pages.

Follow us on twitter or fan us on facebook, we have special giveaways for our twitter followers and facebook fans going on currently. Also please be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed.



Interesting Read: The importance of stupidity in scientific research

In volume 121 of the Journal of Cell Science an essay titled "The importance of stupidity in scientific research" by Martin A. Schwartz was published. We came across this essay a few days ago and absolutely loved it. Schwartz talks about how most of us decide to pursue science because we were good at it in high school, but in reality research makes you feel stupid. He writes:

I remember the day when Henry Taube (who won the Nobel Prize two years later) told me
he didn’t know how to solve the problem I was having in his area. I was a third-year graduate student and I figured that Taube knew about 1000 times more than I did (conservative estimate). If he didn’t have the answer, nobody did. That’s when it hit me: nobody did. That’s why it was a research problem. And being my research problem, it was up to me to solve.

Schwartz talks about how most of us as students don't real how difficult real research is, and how it can be orders of magnitudes harder than our hardest science classes. This difficulty is created by the fact that research by definition is a journey into the uncharted.

The second point he makes is that schools do students a disservice by not teaching how to be "productively stupid"; we as students are often used to being right the first time. He defines "productive stupidity" as If you're not feeling stupid you're not trying hard enough. I agree with him when he says the goal of science is to learn new things, as he writes:

One of the beautiful things about science is that it allows us to bumble along, getting it wrong time after time, and feel perfectly fine as long as we learn something each time.

I loved this essay, and it is quite possibly one of the best I have encountered in a while. I would highly suggest that as pre-meds you hunt out essays in various journals and read them, namely try to read the essays in NEJM and JAMA at the least. They will expand your mind greatly and help you to understand the world that we are trying to get into better.

The importance of stupidity in scientific research [via Journal of Cell Science]


Surviving Organic Chemistry

Orgo, O-Chem, Organic, whatever you call it; is known as one of the hardest classes for pre-meds. Some call it the weed out, or gateway class for med school. In some respects this may be true, but I also believe that people make it out to be harder than it really is. Yes; there is a lot of content, which must be covered in a short amount of time, and yes many people do not naturally grasp it, but it is not impossible to beat. We at PMH have assembled a small list of “pro-tips” that we believe will help you survive your battle with organic chemistry.

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Writing Your Own Rejection Letter

Ancient monks used to sleep in their coffins, so that they would be reminded of their mortality. A great way to learn your own weaknesses and to improve on them is by writing your own rejection letter. They only way you can truly improve upon your weaknesses, is by understanding them.

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Interesting Read: Why Pre-Med Students Should Read Medical Blogs

One of our readers passed us an interesting link, after our post about our favorite medical blogs, the post was originally published in July of 2008, but much of it is still relevant, and holds true today. Vitum Medicinus...a life of medicine, published the post titled "Why should pre-med students read medical blogs? Because they'll help you get into medical school." The blogger makes the points that by reading medical blogs you will improve your interview, MCAT score, essay, and learn about the life of a doctor. They write:

In retrospect, though, by avoiding blogs I made things a lot more difficult than they needed to be. That's because reading medical blogs can dramatically improve your chances of getting in to medical school.

You'll do better in your interview, improve your essay, learn more about the life of a doctor and whether medicine is right for you, and you could even improve your MCAT score. 

We highly suggest that our readers go and check out this old but great post about, how to leverage the medical blogs on the internet, to your advantage, and how to use them to improve your chances for getting into medical school.

Why should pre-med students read medical blogs? Because they'll help you get into medical school. [via Vitum Medicinus]

Follow us on twitter or fan us on facebook, we have special giveaways for our twitter followers and facebook fans going on currently. Also please be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed.


Giveaway Update

This afternoon we hit our 100th facebook fan, and we held a raffle to see who would win the first prize in our on going giveaway. The winner was:

Joey Lusvardi
University of Minnesota
Class of 2012

We created a spreadsheet of all of our members, and used a random number generator to pick a number between 1 and 100, it picked the number 11, which happened to be Mr. Lusvardi.

We hope you enjoy the book Joey, and good luck on the pre-med path.

As a note to everyone else, you still have chances to win, we are no where near done with the give away visit this link to learn more about our giveaway.

--PMH Staff