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Challenges Continue For Women In Science And Medicine

I didn’t turn on the computer yesterday (yes, it was glorious), so I missed Mother’s Day coverage in our local newspaper. When we returned home, I was happy to see that on the front page of the print copy the dean of Duke School of Medicine, Nancy Andrews, M.D., Ph.D., was featured with her daughter in the lab on their “fun Saturdays” together.

Also cited and pictured in the article was Duke vice dean for research and professor of pharmacology and cancer biology, Sally Kornbluth, Ph.D., and her daughter.

Written by News & Observer science editor Sarah Avery, the article describes how women are increasing in ranks in biomedical degrees earned while still lagging at the associate professor level and up. This trend was cited specifically for faculty and administrators in basic science departments of medical schools, but is widespread in academic science and engineering. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*

A Link Between Depression and Female Baldness

Female-Hair-LossA reader sent me this really sad story that got me thinking about hair restoration for women:

Happy, I wanted to share with you this picture of a woman who’s lost all hope. I saw her a few years back during my psychiatry rotation. As you can see, it looks like she’s going bald, but in fact, during her fits of rage and depression she’s actually pulling out her own hair. How sad is that? Just another example of what we docs take care of on a daily basis. 

Man, that’s unbelievable. I don’t know much about classic female pattern baldness. From what I’ve read it’s usually a diffuse loss of hair everywhere or  a central expansion of hair loss but rarely does it encompass the entire scalp. It’s usually caused by hormones, aging and genes. In advanced age, I’ve seen more than my fair share of elderly women who have more hair on their chin then they do on their head. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Overachievers May Turn To Prescription Drugs To Gain A Competitive Advantage

There’s no doubt that prescription drug abuse is a major problem in America, and it’s escalating in epic proportions.  Prescription drug abuse affects men, women and teens.  Concerning trends include older adults, adolescents and women.

On MSNBC’s website, Karen Asp writes, Superwoman syndrome fuels pill-pop culture, and it’s about how “Overwhelmed overachievers turn to prescription drugs for an edge.”

This article is a little misleading since there are many women who are hardworking “superwomen” who do not indulge in illicit drug use. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

Early Puberty Linked To Aggression in Women

Interesting title, eh? A University of Queensland study has reported in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology that females who experience puberty before the age of 12 may be more aggressive, which seems perfectly expected to me!

Young girls who experience puberty are frequently the tallest kids in their classrooms, the first ones to have breasts, and are likely to be teased and approached in a sexual manner by older males! This context means they are more likely to date earlier, have opportunities to drink, smoke and become sexual earlier, etc.. In fact, these girls, although they get in more trouble at teens, tend to grow up to be very strong and resilient women – characteristics frequently correlated with aggression!

I am simply not surprised by these results but do hope that the results encourage schools, medical professionals and others who work with preteens to notice pubertal changes and help young girls deal with the pressure and changing peer and social status that comes with puberty.

Photo credit: xinem

This post, Early Puberty Linked To Aggression in Women, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

What Women May Not Know About Their Fertility

I can’t tell you the number of times women in their mid 40’s come to me and announce “Well, I’m ready to get pregnant”. Putting off pregnancy is understandable in our times. Women are building their careers, moving and traveling, going through a series of “Mr. Wrongs” and looking for the best baby-daddy. Women have thought that fertility was a given and they could get pregnant when the time was right. But, sadly, what they haven’t been told is the cruel trick of nature. Fertility doctors know…after age 29 your chance of having a baby without medical treatment is diminishing every year. After age 40 there is a precipitous drop.

To bring that fact home, check this out. A woman age 19-26 has a 50% chance of getting pregnant during any one menstrual cycle if she has intercourse two days prior to ovulation. For women age 27-34 the chance was 40% and after age 35 it drops to 30%. And at 40 you are only 1/2 as fertile as you were at 35. That is a sharp drop off! Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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