June Duong is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at Queen's University
Author’s note: This is a satire inspired by #tampongate on Twitter, which occurred on October 27, 2018 in response to policies regarding the use of menstrual hygiene products during the MCCQEII. All characters in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Dr. John Doe woke up on Saturday morning and cooked himself a large breakfast. It was doomsday, for he would be doing his exam this weekend. He was going to be out all day. He did not know whether he would be doing the exam in the morning or in the afternoon — not that it mattered in the end, since he would be sequestered for the rest of the time anyway. As far as the instructions he’s been provided with, all they said was, “Do not bring food. A light snack will be provided depending on your examination schedule.” Dr. Doe, with his three degrees, translated this statement into a big, fat maybe. You may get food so that you can focus on your exam, or you may have an empty stomach gnawing away at itself. ...continue reading
Maggie Hulbert is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at Queen's University
Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick
(HarperOne/HarperCollins Publishers, 2018)
I remember learning about “atypical” presentations of heart attacks during a cardiology lecture in my second year of medical school. Jaw pain, shoulder pain, and fatigue replace the archetypal central chest pain and diaphoresis, making the diagnosis much more subtle and easy to miss. Only later, as a footnote, was it mentioned that these presentations usually occurred in women. I thought it was odd that something that occurs in half the population was said to be “atypical,” but as is so often the case in medical school, I didn’t have time to dwell on it for long; the lecturer had already moved on to angina and I missed what he had said about beta-blockers. ...continue reading
Class of 2018
These enthusiastic greetings solidify Tuesday as my favourite day of week. As I enter the classroom, several of the girls come running to give me a hug, squealing my name in excitement. It’s my weekly afternoon at Les Scientistes, a program designed to encourage young girls from low-income communities to discover science. ...continue reading
Iris Gorfinkel is a General Practitioner and Principal Investigator / Founder of PrimeHealth Clinical Research in Toronto, Ontario.
After 25 years of practising women’s health, I am continually taken aback by ongoing erroneous beliefs surrounding miscarriage. Despite improved access to information via the internet, many women continue to be under the false impression that the loss is self-generated.
In a survey of more than 1 000 men and women, respondents most commonly cited a stressful event (76%), longstanding stress (74%) and lifting a heavy object (64%) as causes of pregnancy loss. In addition, respondents inaccurately thought that miscarriage could be caused by sexually transmitted disease (41%), a previous abortion (31%) or use of implanted long-term birth control (28%). Nearly 23% of respondents erroneously believed a miscarriage could be caused solely by the woman not wanting the pregnancy.
Could the very word we choose to use — miscarriage — be partly to blame for these false impressions? ...continue reading
Kirsten Patrick is deputy editor at CMAJ
Breastfeeding? Really? At TEDMED? C’mon breastfeeding is as old as humanity and we know everything there is to know about its benefits (just not how to make moms stick to it), right? How did breastfeeding end up as a topic of a TEDMED talk in a session called ‘TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN’ that I live-streamed this morning?
Well, as the speaker, Eleanor 'Bimla' Schwarz, pointed out we’ve been missing a trick in our thinking and communicating about the benefits of breastfeeding. We’ve been talking all about the benefits for the baby but we've failed to move beyond "it helps you lose the baby weight" when it comes to talking up the benefits for mom. ...continue reading