The moment you want to be an anti-vaxxer

“What is the worst case scenario as a doctor?” –at some point, one of my faculty in school asked us this question– “It’s when your patient was asymptomatic before they saw you, and after accepting treatment you said they needed, now they’ve developed symptoms and are in pain.”

Now that I’ve practiced for a few years, can confirm: this is the worst.

And this is unfortunately exactly what happens a lot of the time with vaccines.

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Q & A for 17 Going on 18

“the end of a year is like the end of…life…in these last hours, the lifetime of this year passes before my eyes, and I face the inevitable question: Did I live it well?”

This is from the John Piper’s Solid Joys Devotional for December 31st. He goes on to note with encouragement that unlike our actual deaths, the next morning we will have a fresh slate to take all the insights of our “death” to make the next year better.

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Permission to Impost

“Imposter” is one of those funny words that doesn’t have the root it should. If “shopper” is one who shops and “reader” is one who reads, shouldn’t “imposter” be one who imposts?

But of course, impost isn’t a word, and in that regard the very word imposter is a fake among others like it.

Imposter is also what I’ve felt a lot like recently. Continue reading

Measuring Health in Quality of Life

1/3 low income adults say they avoid smiling because of their dental issues.
17% have trouble doing usual activities because of the condition of their mouth/teeth.
~1/4 low-income adults say their oral health issues cause them to participate less in social activities.
$1.6 billion, the amount spent on ER dental visits in 2015, is the same as the amount it would cost to add adult dental benefits to Medicaid Continue reading

Almost 2016 Media Dump

On colorblind casting, and specifically the weird tension that colorblind casting can cause, e.g. in Ex Machina:

“The fact that the film is so self-aware about its most brutalized characters being robotic women of color becomes even more unnerving considering the audience is expected to forget Isaac is himself Latino.” (Angelica Jade Bastién, The Atlantic)

just found out that Oscar Isaac is Latino! I feel a little sad for him as a fellow person of color…if I became famous and somehow the fact that I was Chinese got hidden in the process (not that this could ever happen, since I don’t have white-passing privilege anyway, but regardless) I would feel ashamed. Like Esther in the palace of Xerxes or something!

NPR has a really good and brief commentary on that.

In the day-to-day experiences of these two characters — notably both created by writers of color — sometimes race matters very little, and other times, it matters quite a bit. Just like in real life! Race is not the focus of Creed and Master of None, but neither is it treated as a coincidence without consequence — and both works are far more textured and richer viewing experiences for that honest, straightforward acknowledgment. (Gene Demby, Code Switch/NPR)

And on an utterly unrelated note, here’s another piece from The Atlantic from my friend Andrew on the “new warfare,” aka the information/propaganda war that’s going to be, the author proposes, the warfare of the future. Unfortunately, liberal democracies don’t do well at this kind of war:

While it is relatively easy for authoritarian regimes to fuse the efforts of military, media, and business entities, in democracies the interests of these groups are often diametrically opposed. For example: When the U.K. government signed a deal this fall allowing China to invest in a new British nuclear reactor, the money men at the Treasury were delighted; the moral men in the media appalled by the United Kingdom selling out on human rights; and the military men worried by Chinese penetration of British energy and telecommunications infrastructure. Of course, Western powers can unite money, media, and the military to devastating and diabolical effect when a war is declared (the lead-up to the Iraq campaigns being the most obvious recent example), but they are more at a loss when responding to not-quite-wars that are undeclared. (Peter Pomerantsev, The Atlantic)

This is especially fascinating to me, because of late I’ve been obsessively and guiltily cutting into my expensive London time to watch The Newsroom, a show that hubby introduced to me and which is honestly excellent. I’m really sad it’s over already! (And now that you know that, if you start watching and feel similarly, at least I didn’t pull a Firefly prank on you)

I guess John Oliver is the closest thing we have to this amazingness:

Words of the Week – a catch-up

You will grow old. When you were young, you would go to institutions and gradually gather letters after your name: BA, MD, PhD. Now that you are old, you do the same thing, but they are different institutions and different letters. Your doctors will introduce you to their colleagues as “Mary Smith, COPD, PVD, ESRD, IDDM”. With each set of letters comes another decrease in quality of life.

From this essay, sad but too true. Reminding myself daily that behind each patient is a person, and that even behind all accomplishments and professional facades is a person too.


“Choices will continually be necessary and — let us not forget — possible. Obedience to God is always possible. It is a deadly error to fall into the notion that when feelings are extremely strong we can do nothing but act on them.” (Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline)

From Mary Ann’s gchat status. Too often I have been deceived into thinking that my feelings are stronger than the Holy Spirit, or more important than obeying God’s loving will for me.


 “You are not entering into a partnership. You are entering into a union. So forget that 50/50 split business; being in a union is about giving 100%.”

From R & E’s wedding. Lately God has been exposing to me my own self-centeredness and stinginess when it comes to truly meeting others’ needs at my own cost.


I’ve got more but I’ll save them until Sunday. 🙂