Medical care makes you healthier…right?

Do you regularly see your doctor for annual checkups, scans, blood tests, and procedures? While most of us see this as a daily part of a healthy lifestyle, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch would suggest otherwise – in fact, he seems to suggest seeing the doctor more frequently can be harmful to your health. In his book,  OverdiagnosedMaking People Sick in the Pursuit of Health, he argues over the supposed benefits of today’s commonly accepted medical thoughts: early diagnosis is always better and treatment is always better.

What is overdiagnosis? It’s when you are diagnosed by your doctor with a disease and undergo treatment when you either do not show any symptoms or when treatment might actually be harmful. Can this be you? To be sure, Dr. Welch specifies that he is not against doctors or treatment (he is a doctor, after all), but he is against diagnosing diseases when the patient has yet to show signs of disease. He distinguishes that people who have diseases should be treated, but overdiagnosis is when you are not sure the disease will ever exhibit any symptoms (yes, even some cancers will never affect you) and will never cause any trouble. In such cases, treatment is extremely harmful the patient. Continue reading

Daily Dose of Reading

Here we go again! That time when I share all the (online) things I’ve been reading. 

The Best Birth Control in the World is for Men: When I began looking into birth control, I was appalled to discover that really, birth control is a “woman’s” problem! We’ve got IUDs, Implanon, daily hormone shots, pills, etc… And for guys? Condoms and vasectomy. It was infuriating and made me feel that getting pregnant was a woman’s issue. The guy just has to remember to be sorta responsible and supply condoms, but girls have to endure all this other crap to really feel secure. Well, guess what? The best birth control in the world is for men! I know! Spread the word! But no one knows about this and no one in America (to my knowledge) has it. Why? Maybe because guys are terrified of having anything close to their nether regions. Well guess what? Women undergo procedures to have IUDs, and those aren’t even as effective and/or easy as this procedure for men! Seriously, spread the word. It even fights HIV!

Gay Men and Christian Wombs: Surrogacy’s New Frontier: I thought this was fascinating mostly because I’m not Christian and it never even occurred to me that Christian women would decide whether it was moral to help give birth for a gay couple. Also, the thought of being driven out of a town because you might do that? Crazy.

Continue reading

Widener by Alice

“Harvard Can Do Better”

Yesterday, an anonymous Crimson op-ed  written by a current undergrad went viral. (I really recommend you read it.) The noteworthy piece recounts the struggles of having schizophrenia at Harvard. Most likely your first reaction will be something akin to “That’s crazy” – not at all because of the student’s mental disease, but at the horrendously poor mental health service this student has received from the college. This poor student not only cannot afford treatment, s/he must deal with classes, papers, and finals on top of hearing voices? One of the most noteworthy quotes that stuck out to me was: “I can apply for $5,000 to study bat droppings over the summer, but there is no application to pay for the treatment that enables me to function.” Continue reading

Food for Thought

I tend to share a lot of articles or links that I found really interesting on my Facebook, and I’d like to do the same on my blog. Sometimes they interest me so much that I feel compelled to write a full blog entry on. Other times, I will post them together with maybe some highlights and a couple of my thoughts. If anything, social media and the internet are really great the way we can share so much.

This article has been circling all over my Facebook, so I took a look at it. It is amazing, and clearly this is why everyone wishes to share it, as I hope to share it with you. Here’s a small gem from the article: “If anything, pure happiness is linked to not helping others in need…” There’s More to Life Than Being Happy – and I believe it. I think the generation of twentysomethings are continually battling with the pressing need of being happy, when they should be looking for what will make their lives meaningful. I am still figuring out what exactly makes my life meaningful, but I’m slowly getting there. Have you discovered what makes your life meaningful?

Who said you can’t put a dollar value on a life? Nadia Taha took a stab at it in The Cost, in Dollars, of Raising a Child. I’m sure many people disagree with what she attempts to do, since most people take having children as a given. Still, I thought it was worth a read since it does greatly impact one’s life. It does come off really cynically (if we all stop having children because of money, clearly humans would die out), but it does amaze me how expensive everything is today. Then again, this article can easily be read through the lens of the above article since it mentions that parenthood adds meaning to one’s life, but often is shown with a decreased happiness level.

China’s Great Shame – The Great Famine is still a forbidden topic in China — unless you want to say it’s because of the unrecorded natural disasters. I remember first really learning about this topic in a government class at Harvard. I had heard of Mao’s Great Famine before, but only in numbers. X amount starved. It was a tragedy. While the number in itself is ghastly, the true horror to me were the conditions that caused it. The ambition, the lying, the hoarding. Communist members hoarded the rice from the peasants. This truly was a man-made disaster that continues to break my heart. Admiration goes out to the author, Yang Jisheng, who is risking his life to spread the message of this horrible event.

If you weren’t aware, sex education in America is pretty damn shitty. I’m amazed we even know how to do it, all things considered.

Read anything good lately? Share it with me!