Sister Helen Prejean is a well-known anti-death penalty advocate who has ministered to prisoners on death row. She began her prison ministry in 1981 by becoming pen pals with Patrick Sonnier, a convicted murder who was sentenced to death by electrocution in Lousiana’s Angola State Prison.
Since then, she has witnessed 5 executions and founded the victim’s advocacy group “Survive” in New Orleans. She continues to counsel inmates on death row as well as the families of murder victims. Sister Prejean speaks out against the death penalty through lecturing, organizing and writing, and she is the author of two books on the subject. Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States was an international best seller, and it was developed into the 1996 motion picture for which Susan Sarandon won an Oscar for best actress.
Deep Bhatt and Alison Pletch are on their way out of medical school, and reflect on what they’ve been thinking about as they prepare to leave Iowa. And Kaci McCleary and Corbin Weaver help them answer listener Todd’s question about the better MCAT study guides and courses, how to get a discount on those courses, and whether it’s a good idea to start studying for the test even as he begins community college.
Kaci McCleary, Dylan Todd, Amy Young and Corbin Weaver are on hand this time to talk about the two-week specialty rotations, like Ophthalmology and Radiology. You see, as Kaci entered her clinical clerkships, she had four of these short rotations in a row, and found herself hating them. They seemed like a waste of time, and weren’t offering her much in the way of hands-on experience. While her experience isn’t universal, we thought some might question the utility of these short rotations, especially if one isn’t going into a specialty but is more focused on primary care. Fortunately, there’s some hope on the horizon in the form of instant learning through brain stimulation. Will future med students even need two-weekers? This leads us into a discussion on the place of rebellion in medical school. Does medicine need people who buck the system? How should someone who sees herself as firmly outside the box react when they’re surrounded by it?
The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them. If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.
Corbin Weaver visits the local grocery store to hear a presentation on pelvic floor disorders, part of the store’s health outreach efforts, and marvels at the fact that A) many people seem to have a very foggy notion of anogenital functions, and B) that some also seem to have no inhibitions about bringing up embarrassing bodily foibles in a room full of strangers. Also, Dave points out that sometimes medical research reaches into the past to ‘discover’ ancient remedies that actually work. So Corbin, Mark Moubarek, Alex Volkmar, and new host Erin Renfrew sample and evaluate some folk- and old-timey prescriptions to see if they have any merit, aside from causing very bad breath and wet, salty feet. Continue reading Searching for Cures from Old-Timey Remedies, Dopamine Headphones, and Cuban Vaccines→
Dave helps Mark Moubarek, Amy Young, Rob Humble, and Corbin Weaver to practice their clinical skills by answering random people’s “health” questions from the saddest place on the Internet. But first we discuss the AMA’s policy to support the ban on direct to consumer advertising of drugs and implantable devices, and how such advertising makes the doctor-patient relationship complicated. Will drug companies retaliate by advocating for bans on advertising doctors and hospitals to patients. Researchers in the UK may be about to get the green light to edit the genes of human embryos seeking answers to why some miscarriages happen. Are we approaching the slippery slope?
Second-years Kaci McCleary, Marc Toral, Corbin Weaver, and Aline Sandouk are about to finish their didactic studies in the curriculum and embark on their clinical clerkships! At long last, they get to work with patients. Among the questions they face: is it better to put yourself out there during clerkships? Or keep your head down? And are they nervous? Maybe a little, but there was plenty of health news this week to distract themselves with, including a Harvard study that provides evidence that one’s stress and one’s health may be unrelated.
Even though Dave’s in NYC, he still finds a way to call it in (pun intended) for a show with Kaci McCleary, Corbin Weaver, John Pienta, and Jason Lewis. We discuss the possibility that most medical abstracts are at best wishful thinking and at worst fraudulent. And speaking of research, physicians get it together to petition congress to start treating gun violence as a fundable research topic for the CDC. Continue reading Guns and Research→
John Pienta has an profound moment with a patient, one which crystalized for him a sense that he’s doing exactly the right thing in his life. Meanwhile (being full of profundity this week) he brings Marc Toral, Dylan Todd, and Corbin Weaver good news–that we are not alone in the universe. Maybe…Marc’s not buying it. Whatever, science boy, this changes everything. Continue reading Megastructures→
The Annals of Internal Medicine published an editorial from a medical educator admitting and highlighting the fact that there are objectionable people in medicine, and showing how the hierarchical nature of medicine leads otherwise well-meaning students to play along with racism, sexism, and harassment. One can argue that no-one should ever play along, but in order to not be taken off guard by those who have control over your life, you must have a plan for bad behavior. Corbin Weaver and newbies Tony Rosenberg, Nicole Westergaard, and Emily White toss around some ideas.
Okay, now that I got my pot joke out of the way, we can focus on the episode, the topic of which this week is medical and recreational cannabis. Nathan Miller, Kaci McCleary, Corbin Weaver, and Eric Wilson explore the attention marijuana is getting lately from the medical and legislative/legal communities. On the medical front, what are the uses of pot? Do we actually know anything useful about the uses of pot? What are the ramifications of the legalization of recreational marijuana? Have med schools caught up with these new views on pot? Are there other countries that have successfully legalized MJ without collapsing into anarchy or suffering from the effects of potheads’ endlessly innovative bong-making drives?