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Archive for January, 2009

this week literature recap

Every week, I scan journals for interesting articles.  Here are some of the really interesting ones I found over the last week… from Science Magazine: Serotonin Mediates Behavioral Gregarization Underlying Swarm Formation in Desert Locusts by Michael L. Anstey, Stephen M. Rogers, Swidbert R. Ott, Malcolm Burrows, and Stephen J. Simpson Of general interest, serotonin [...]

how long have i been here anyway?

It’s funny how I see constant reminders of the eons I have spent at this institution.  New buildings–that’s a big one.  The fact that half of the campus did not exist when I started is a sad reminder that I’m not getting any younger.  No joke–in the time that I’ve been at this institution (eight years), [...]

reality check

Uh oh–the end of the month is nearing and you know what that means! That’s right: back by popular demand a-gain, it’s Final Countdown by Europe. Take 5 minutes, sit back and enjoy… Europe-The Final Countdown @ Yahoo! Video

reader appreciation

So I’ve been at the blogging thing now for almost 3 months and I can’t believe it, but people have actually been reading my blog. In particular, I have noticed a group of readers who check in on a regular basis to see what’s going down on mudphudder.com. Maybe like 5 people, 4 of whom [...]

can you smell what the mudphudder is cooking?

What is it about professional wrestling that makes it the common denominator for every red-blooded male regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status or health?  From the lowliest of lows to the highest of highs, no male can help but to crack a smile at the thought of professional wrestling.  And you know why?  Because no matter who you are, [...]

becoming defensive and accusatory is not helpful

Nothing gives me more confidence in a residency program than when I ask an interviewer a question regarding a concern I have about the program and I get a very defensive and accusatory response.  Over the last week, I was at a few residency interviews and at one of them, I asked one of the more senior interviewers [...]

new product: miltenyi macsquant analyzer

For those of you to whom this might be useful, the company Miltenyi Biotec describes the MACSQuant analyzer as a novel compact benchtop cell analyzer for highly sensitive multicolor flow analysis with the following attributes:  Compact benchtop design Multiparameter cell analysis Absolute cell counting Sensitive rare cell analysis using MACS® Technology Multisample processing Autolabeling of samples I’ve [...]

i’m number one

OH MY GOD I’M THE GREATEST PERSON ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH!!! My long held suspicion has been confirmed by the fact that I have achieved the unachievable.  Yes, I got ticket # A-01 on my Southwest flight out of Detroit (with some personal details whited out). I’m pretty sure this ticket means that I am [...]

a last snack before last flight to last residency interview

Just finished my snack (a raspberry cheesecake and Sprite) at the airport and about to board the plane to my last residency interview EVER.  Of course, airport cheesecake is no substitute for my favorite (the NY style strawberry cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory), but it will do for now.

respect the personal space

What is it with people who put their arms on your seatback while you are sitting in the chair?  This is one of the Mudphudder’s pet peeves.  Whether it’s on an airplane, theater, whatever, I find it to be a pretty darn annoying violation of my space when people decide to grab a hold of my [...]

choosing oral board exam committee members

In some–if not many–graduate programs, you have no say over who is on your oral board (a.k.a. qualifier) committee.  Some graduate school programs don’t even tell you who is on your committee until you walk into the room on the day of your exam.  Painful.  But if you have the option to choose who is [...]

intragenic microRNA scanner

For those of you who do work on miRNAs, here is another resource that you can use to look for intragenic miRNAs.  You can either enter a miRNA ID and look for which gene it is located in or search with a gene name, gene symbol or ENTREZ gene ID to look for miRNAs within [...]

my shoes are not hot

If you want to see hot shoes, go to Dr. Isis’s blog and her shoes of the week.  If you want to see shoes that are not hot, continue on for my ratty hospital clogs.  From less than a year of clopping around the hospital, note the lovely asymmetric heal wear on my Dansko clogs from [...]

SurgeXperiences 215

Check out the 15th edition of SurgeXperiences hosted this week on Vagus Surgicalis, a blog by Aussie (pronounced “ozzie” I’m told) medical student Jeffrey Leow.  For those of you who are not familiar with it, SurgeXperiences is a blog carnival that compiles the surgical-related posts from the medical blogosphere.

response to a reader

A reader left the following comment on a recent post on intellectual property rights as a grad student: Hey Mudphudder, I was wondering if you have any opinions on intellectual property, specifically from the vantage point of a graduate student… When I started with my department, one of the orientation meetings emphasized the university’s controlling [...]

i’m canceling the rest of my residency interviews

Am I the only fourth year medical student interviewing for residency who is concerned with the fact that some birds took down a U.S. Airways A320 plane?  Everyone’s probably heard about this, but a flock of geese blew out both engines on this plane and forced it to land in the Hudson river today. To [...]

please don’t talk to me—but yes, neil diamond rules

You know, the mudphudder is not a mean guy. I think I’m pretty nice. My friends think I’m pretty nice. Maybe. But I really don’t like traveling for work and I definitely do not like traveling for residency interviews while I am on clinical rotations and have active research projects going on. So in next [...]

Check Out the Grand Rounds Blog Carnival

Just a quickie post to let everyone know that Grand Rounds is up this week at In Sickness and In Health.  In case you are unfamiliar with Grand Rounds, it’s a blog carnival that’s hosted on a different site every week. The host chooses a theme (this week the theme is “connections”) and links to [...]

nash equilibrium article

You may have seen the movie “A Beautiful Mind” and heard about John Nash, the Princeton mathematician who won the Nobel prize in economics for his work on mathematically describing what has now been termed “Nash Equilibrium,” which can be described as (excerpted from Wikipedia): a solution concept of a game involving two or more [...]

i don’t want to hear about your shopping

“Hello, I am a medical student.  I have been assigned to join you for clinic today and afterwards, you need to fill out an evaluation of my performance that I need to take with me when I leave.” [Fast forward 9 hours]   “And now that clinic is over for the day, here is my [...]

homage to producers

You know me.  I can see you eyeing me as the P.I. gives me a tour of the lab.  The P.I.?  Yeah–that’s the individual slobbering at the thought of my joining the lab.  That’s right…you know who I am.  I’m a producer.  I don’t talk much–I let my work ethic do the talking–but when I do [...]

clinical departments of the world: you can’t have it both ways

Or can you?  So every clinical department at academic medical centers around the country wants to hire physician-scientists.  Physician-scientist?  You do research?  Hired.  And that’s great–could be much worse–as the job market is quite good for any physician who also wants to do research.  But, there are still a lot of obstacles in the way of [...]

non-parametric statistical tests

Nonparametric tests are also referred to as distribution-free tests. These tests are used when you cannot make the assumption of normality. Non-parametric tests compare medians rather than means and, as a result, if the data have one or two outliers, their influence is negated. But how do non-parametric tests compare to the usual parametric statistical [...]

USMLE (Step 1) Free Questions & Study Aids

It’s the new year, and no doubt some of you are starting to prepare for your first USMLE exam. It is also the age of the internet, and while buying USMLE prep books will always be part of the drill, these days looking for USMLE study resources online isn’t unusual. The hard part, though, is [...]

despite financial crisis, obama could have major impact on science and technology

With the pressing financial crisis and foreign affair crises facing the country, President-elect Obama has made it clear that he recognizes the importance of science as a practical tool in addressing matters of national and international importance such as energy dependence, global warming and health care. And while the financial crisis may limit funding for research, [...]

Sanjay Gupta: i’m too sexy for this job, too sexy for this job, too sexy by far

So, it’s almost official. There was a leak in the Washington Post as well as rumors swirling around the blogosphere all day. Reuters, however, is reporting as of 4 hours ago that Obama has indeed offered the post of Surgeon General to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who has in return expressed his interest to accept the position. The [...]

response to a reader

A reader and fellow mudphudder left this comment on my recent post on when I was dis’ed by a PI back when I was looking for a PhD lab: So I read your latest post about getting snubbed by a PI (my worst nightmare.) I’m in the process of shopping for a rotation this summer. [...]

how notch heals a broken heart

From the December 22nd issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine: The Notch pathway helps a developing heart get into shape but also helps a damaged heart reshape itself and keep pumping. Weakened by a heart attack or the protracted stress of hypertension, the heart rebuilds itself as it struggles to maintain blood flow.  Some [...]

virtual reality training for medical students

Anyone ever hear of an Institute for Simulation?  Me neither, but apparently one exists at the University of Washington.  The exact name is the Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies (UW-ISIS), and they boast a program in medical simulation that aims to help doctors improve surgical dexterity, reduce error rates and foster effective teamwork.   [...]

a shot of humility never hurt anyone

I was reminded of a funny story today.  One piece of advice that was passed on to me and that I pass on to younger students is that when you are looking to engage a P.I. about doing a rotation in their lab, specifically indicate that you would like to meet with them ONLY IF they have [...]