Medical Assistant is #1 Job for Work-Life Balance

According to this article from Yahoo! entitled, ” Jobs that Let You Flex Your Freedom”, medical assistant is the best job for work-life balance.  The number four job on the list is medical transcriptionist.  Read the article at Yahoo! for the details.

Seeing is Not Always Believing

Watch this fascinating video about the McGurk Effect.  It deals with the way our brains interpret the vast quantity of stimulus we absorb every minute.  From sounds to visual images, our amazing noggins are able to separate out all the different input and make sense of it.  However, just like optical illusions trick our eyes, there are also “auditory” illusions that can dupe our ears.  This is important as you enter (or re-enter) the career world.  Remember, you may hear your employer or supervisor say one thing, but the boss may have actually said something completely different.  The moral?  Listen carefully!

Tomorrow Is Election Day – Get Out and Vote

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few months, you’ve seen the unbelievable amount of money spent on campaign advertising.  This year a record $4billion is being spent on campaign ads.  I know of a million ways (at least) that the $4billion could have been spent better.  But alas, this is the system we have.  So let’s make it worth it for all the cash that would otherwise be a complete waste and get out there and  VOTE!  Don’t forget, many generations of Americans laid down their lives to protect your right to vote.  So honor those who have fallen by exercising your franchise and make your voice heard.  Tomorrow, November 2, is Election Day.  Go and pull the lever for the people you feel best reflect your values.  Or at least, vote against those whose values run counter to you own.  It is your most precious right as an American!

It’s Not What You Know, It’s How Well You Interact

You know the old saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” that is the key to success.  Well, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have recently published findings in Science magazine that confirm this old adage.  In school we always wanted the “brainy” kid to be our lab partner right?  In the job world, we always seek to engage the smartest/most experienced people to work on our project team.  The thinking being that having the smartest people in our work groups would ensure a good grade or superior job performance.  But it seems that intelligence is not the essential ingredient to success in the group format.  Rather, it is social sensitivity – the ability to pick up on emotional clues from others – that makes for the most effective groups.    Read a good synopsis of the findings of this fascinating study that was published here in Wired magazine.  Remember it when your employer asks you to team up with others to handle a task or project.

In Haiti: Its Not Lack of Science, It’s Poverty

On top of the utter destruction wrought upon the island nation of Haiti by this year’s earthquake, a cruel new misfortune is adding to the misery. Hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitians, people whose homes were destroyed in quake, are living in squalid conditions in temporary tent camps. Without adequate access to clean water or sufficient medical supplies, an epidemic of Cholera has broken out. BoingBoing blogger, Maggie Baker explains what Cholera is and does:
“The bug behind this devastation—the bacterium Vibrio cholerae—is a fascinating and frustrating creature. Fascinating, because of its role in the development of epidemiology and what we’re still learning from it. Frustrating, because it ought to be relatively simple to treat and prevent infection. We know what to do to help a cholera victim survive. All it takes is access to clean water and the most basic medical supplies. The trouble here isn’t science, it’s poverty.Cholera is, essentially, the worst food poisoning you can possibly imagine. In fact, it’s related to Vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria that tends to infect people via undercooked seafood.After you ingest the cholera bacteria, it’ll hang out in your gut for a few days before symptoms kick in. Once they do, though, cholera can kill you within hours. How? I’ll be blunt: Massive, constant diarrhea that drains the body of fluids and electrolytes and leaves victims looking like glassy-eyed, hollow-cheeked corpses before they actually are.”
The problem isn’t that medical science cannot beat cholera.  In fact all that’s needed to beat cholera is clean water and antibiotics.  The problem is poverty – there simply isn’t enough money to ensure clean drinking water and access to simple medical treatment for the Haitian population.  Over the jump is a list of places where you can contribute (even the smallest donation is HUGELY valuable) to saving the lives of people who simply shouldn’t have to die. Continue reading…

Some Factual Information About Job Growth

With the upcoming election, politicians are yammering on and on about the jobs picture in this country and how it should affect your choice on whom to vote for. Needless to say, when listening to politicians, you’re likely to hear more lies than truths. However, the facts are out there if one wishes to seek them out. Now, no one can say that the jobs picture is pretty and we are a far way away from returning to the full employment we enjoyed before the economy tanked. However, it is an indisputable fact (as shown in the video below) that job losses have been shrinking and job growth has returned (albeit slowly) since 2009. Also, you should give yourselves a pat on the back for chosing a career in an industry that is poised for significant growth. Keep this video in mind when listening to the candidates talk about unemployment on the campaign trail. And don’t forget to vote on November 2nd!

MD Offers Tips on Minimizing Anxiety

We’re all very busy.  In this tough economic environment, normal stresses of life can become amplified by the extra efforts we all must make to protect our jobs, families and households.  Many of you are employed full time, parents and heads of households in addition to being online students.  It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that your stress levels are higher now than they have ever been. Dr. Matthew Edlund is the Director of the Center for Circadian Medicine and the author of the book, The Power of Rest.  Dr. Edlund recently published a list of eight things each of us can do to better manage our stress levels.  I found it to be particularly helpful in helping me cope with my own frazzled existence.  I thought readers here would find it equally useful.  Read his article here.

Pfizer Gets Bigger Yet

As entrants into the medical field, I figured it may be of value to you to keep abreast of happenings in the pharmaceuticals field.  Pfizer, one of the world’s largest drugmakers recently absorbed rival producer, Wyeth in a corporate acquisition.  Not content to stop there, and in an effort to bolster the “painkillers” portion of their impressive portfolio of pharma products, Pfizer announced it will be taking over painkiller maker, King Pharmaceuticals.   The $3.6 billion dollar deal makes Pfizer the largest drug manufacturer in the world.

Armless Pianist Wins “China’s Got Talent”

A few months back, I posted an inspirational bit about Liu Wei, the Chinese double amputee who was an accomplished piano player.  In the video I posted, Wei shared his conviction and personal thoughts on living within the constraints life saddles us with and still finding ways to persevere. Perhaps not surprisingly, this tale of heroic courage and determination prompted many comments from you, our readers.  Also not surprisingly, this inspirational man achieved what he set out to accomplish and was recently named the winner on this season’s, China’s Got Talent TV program.  Below is video of his win.  Enjoy!

Mmmmmmm…. Mechanically Separated Meat

I publish stories here from time to time about different food products, recipes and dietary information because I think as professionals enterring the healthcare field, it behooves you to be aware of such things.  Also, it never fails to amaze me how poorly the general public pays attention to such issues.  In this installment of “Ewwww, Gross! Are You Gonna Eat That?” I link you to the story behind some of our society’s favorite foods and the sickening process used to manufacture them.  I am talking about hot dogs, baloney and chicken nuggets.  Click here to see some appalling pics of the output of a process known as “mechanically separated meat”, a moniker that I myself have laughed about seeing on food packaging in the past.  Let me also say by way of disclaimer, that I am overweight and enjoy (in sparing quantities) hot dogs, some processed meats and chicken nuggets.  However, I do try to keep them from being regular diet items.  For me, its good, fresh, locally produced foods – just in too much quantity – that are the problem.  Anyhow, these images and the article they adorn may finally dissuade me from any meats not locally procured.