Good job, Senators

After all the waiting and political posturing, today the U.S. senated voted no on a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare).

In the days leading up to this you heard many, including POTUS, urged the senators who had campaigned on repeal of the ACA to step up and deliver on their promise.

Today, the U.S. Senate voted not to repeal.

For those who had campaigned on the promise of repeal but decided to vote No because it hurt your constituents, I respect you.

Campaigning for something and then trying to follow through blindly despite learning how it hurts those you represent is — well to me, it isn’t doing your job at all.

The ACA isn’t perfect.

But a full repeal that would result in coverage loss for millions of Americans with no answer in sight is downright wreckless.


The Almost-Kamikaze American Pilots

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since the Twin Towers fell. In these last few days there have been numerous articles about that day and of memorials being held in NYC. For the most part I have stayed away from them. While I do think it is important for us to remember what happened, I think I just wanted to avoid it this week.

But one article caught my attention and I couldn’t help but click on it. It told of the two pilots who were ordered to intercept Flight 93. Back in 2001, there were no fighter jets that were armed and ready to take off to intercept planes. It was a different time.

When the order came to intercept Flight 93, the two pilots, Lt. Heather Penney and Col. Marc Sasseville, could not wait for their planes to be armed. They took off with only 105 lead-nosed bullets and the knowledge that those bullets wouldn’t do the job.

From the article:

“It was decided that Sass and I would take off first, even though we knew we would end up having to take off before our aircraft were armed,” Penney, among the first generation of American female fighter pilots, said to C-SPAN.

Penney said each jet had 105 lead-nosed bullets on board, but little more.

“As we were putting on our flight gear … Sass looked at me and said, ‘I’ll ram the cockpit.’ And I had made the decision that I would take the tail off the aircraft,” Penney recalled.

Both pilots thought about whether they would have enough time to eject before impact.

“I was hoping to do both at the same time,” Sasseville told the Washington Post. “It probably wasn’t going to work, but that’s what I was hoping.”

Penney, a rookie fight pilot, worried about missing her target.

“You only got one chance. You don’t want to eject and then miss. You’ve got to be able to stick with it the whole way,” she said.

The pilots chose their impact spots in order to minimize the debris field on the ground. A plane with no nose and no tail would likely fall straight out of the sky, its forward momentum halted, Penney said.

I read the article and was just amazed and reminded about what our men and women in uniform are willing to do for us each day.



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Meet Miss South Carolina. She was just recently crowned and she is planning to compete in the Miss America pageant in January of next year. She is a fitting pageant winner for this generation. Before she won her crown she lost over 100 lbs over 3 years. Her secret? Diet and lifestyle changes. Hard work. No easy way out. No surgeries. Just a commitment to getting healthier.

Her pagenat platform is “Eating Healthy and Fighting Obesity.”

I’ll be rooting for her to go all the way.

For more on her story, you can check out the MSNBC article here.


In The News: Mom Withheld Meds, sentenced to 8-10 years

I just got home from taking the Psychiatry NBME Subject Exam and logged onto and saw this story. It’s a story of a mother, Kristen LaBrie who withheld chemotherapy medications from her autistic son for at least 5 months. He died at the age of 9 in 2009. A judge has sentenced her to 8-10 years.

I don’t know what she was thinking. A quote from the news story:

“If I could do it differently, I would, because I certainly miss my son, and I think about him every day and I wish he could be with me and my family,” she said.

Labrie, handcuffed in the courtroom, after receiving he sentence. Photo Credit: Cheryl Senter/AP

Her son was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006. The tragedy is that her son’s oncologist believed that he had a cure rate of about 85-90% under an intensive two-year treatment plan.

But for whatever reason, she stopped giving his medication.

Source: – Mom who withheld son’s cancer meds gets 8-10 years


Holy Smokes!

I found this video on today. It’s ridiculous. A toddler in Sumatra, Indonesia smokes 40 cigarettes a day. Supposedly the government has offered to give the parents a car if the kid stops smoking. The parents, however, say that the kid gets irritated and dizzy when not allowed to smoke. Nicotine withdrawal? Who would’ve thought?

Edit: For some reason MSNBC removed their news clip talking about the smoking baby. I found another clip of him from YouTube, this one without any news commentary.

Edit: And now YouTube has removed the video. So here is another one from Break.

EMBED-Ardi Rizal - The real SMOKING BABY !! - Watch more free videos


How to Date a Med Student

Fox News published a story in their “Love & Marriage” section online by Marissa Kristal entitled “How to Date a Med Student. Here are a few selected nuggets of wisdom (a link to the full article can be found below):

6. here will be weeks you’ll forget you even have a boyfriend—friends will ask how he is and you’ll say, “What? Who? Oh….right. He’s well…I think.”
3. Learn to hide your “ew, gross” reactions when they tell you all the stuff you never wanted to know about your bodily functions.
1. Don’t expect to see them. Ever.



post Facebook misconduct: Med students cross line

Article: Facebook misconduct: Med students cross line

Sometime last year there was an article about students posting inappropriate things on Facebook and having to deal with administrative consequences from their school or lose out on a job because some potential employer decided to check up on the job candidates online.

Well in this latest story, medical students across the country are getting reamed for being inappropriate on Facebook. What kinds of things? Offenses included “posting unprofessional content online, including photos of drug paraphernalia and violations of patient privacy.” Even posting YouTube videos of practical jokes with a cadaver.

While I agree that medical students should conduct themselves appropriately with the dignity expected of someone in the profession and that some of the offenses should never have taken place (like being disrespectful with a cadaver or violating patient privacy), I will point to one section of the article:

Medical students are no different from other young adults, said Anastasia Goodstein, a San Francisco-based marketing expert who tracks youth trends on her Ypulse Web site. The generation that first embraced social networking still considers Facebook merely a way to connect with friends.

“Now they’re waking up to the reality of older people and people with authority over them, like deans, seeing their Facebook pages,” Goodstein said.

And I don’t mean to point that part out to make an excuse for the behavior, but just to offer an opinion (that isn’t necessarily mine) from the other side.

However, I do strongly believe that all patient-identifyng information should never be posted online. And that was a line young and old never have a right to cross.

Oh, and one part of the article kind of pointed out something else. One medical student was in trouble for friend-requesting a patient on Facebook. I understand the ethical dilemma. We discussed this in class — that physicians and patients need to keep the relationship professional. But as Facebook has become more and more commonly used as a means to communicate (in addition to staying in touch with friends), I think this is a gray area.

Why can’t doctors add patients as a facebook friend? Is it because the patient will be exposed to the physician’s less guarded, non-professional moment? Or what if the physician had a dedicated professional account? Anyways, not everyone who is a “friend” on Facebook is really a friend (i.e. people who add/approve anyone regardless of whether or not they know them personally).

And now, I must go dig through both this blog’s archive and my twitter account and selectively purge entries…. lol Kidding. Kind of.