Sunday, November 11, 2012

Medical ethics and other 'ish

So this week I had 2 phone interviews regarding NIH positions and as usual, I'm really, really, REALLY hoping one of them comes through. The only problem is that one is 70% bench and 30% Bioinformatics work, and the other is 70% Bioinformatics and 30% project management work. In other words, not the exact combo I was looking for, but obviously I'd happily take either one! Speaking of jobs, I got a raise for my private tutoring gig which is cool but no matter how many times my clients tell me I should do this full time, I kindly say "no, I'm meant to be a Physician".

Unfortunately, I got so busy last week that I didn't have time to set up my interview for a clinical volunteer position at the NIH, so that's the first thing I'm going to do Tuesday morning. Now normally, tomorrow would be a reason to celebrate having a much needed day off, but since I have to work tomorrow, I won't be celebrating a darn thing! But given the fact that so many Scientists are unemployed, I ain't trippin', as the young people say.

Other news, my kid now has a Facebook page which I DO monitor and have complete access to! Initially, I wasn't feeling it because I generally think Facebook is for adults, but my daughter is pretty mature so as long as she follows the rules, the main one being to THINK before you post ANYTHING, she'll be okay. And she's already been told to delete obscene posts from the marijuana brownie/chocolate f**king fountain crew because they curse like 50 year ol' Navy men. Man, what ARE their parents thinking? Of course, I know my daughter does things when I'm not around that I wouldn't be too happy about, but based on her crew, I'd guess that it's rare that situations get too out of hand. Speaking of my kid, she made the Honor Roll as she always does, but she got an "A" in Physics too, which I think is amazing for a kid that wants to be an Engineer when she grows up. So to celebrate, we went shopping and she picked up a couple special things for herself which is now a LOT more expensive than it used to be since she doesn't dress casually for school anymore. That also means that I'm going to need to buy a lock for my closet soon too because we wear the same size tops and are only one size apart for bottoms! But then I remember that these are memories that I don't share with my own Mother, so while I think it will get annoying when I go to my closet to find clothes that are no longer there, I think it will be a nice memory to have of her growing up too!!

Finally, I read in pretty much one day the story of Henrietta Lacks, the woman whose cells I've been working with in the lab for years and THIS was a VERY interesting story! For those who don't know, her cancer cells were the first to be classified immortal when cultured in a lab and numerous discoveries were made as a result, including the polio vaccine. The discovery was made at Hopkins, and raised/still raises questions of medical ethics in medical practice, especially as it relates to care of the poor and underserved. And like many other academic institutions including Black ones, Hopkins has conducted studies on the poor which are questionable from an ethical perspective. Ironically, one of my mentors suggested that instead of getting an MD/PhD ( As a science PhD, she thinks the future of science sucks for some of the reasons I've talked about), I earn an MD/JD instead. Her idea is that I address issues like the ones raised in banking tissues from patients, and I gotta admit, it DOES sound kinda interesting. She even gave me a scenario to think about saying, "You could see patients in an inner city clinic 2 days/week, and be in court the other days". Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!! And as an alum of a university with one of the best law schools in the US, this IS something I should at least consider, given my feelings these days about research in the long term!!!

I'll tell ya', I don't know what the future holds, but I'm thoroughly enjoying seizing opportunities as they come!


  1. I never had to worry about my daughter getting into my closet. I'm 5'6" and wear a 14/16. She was 6'1" and wore a size 6. But getting into each other's jewelry? Now that was a different story.

    I congratulate you on making a career change or adjustment. It's never too late to redefine our purposes then set about bringing them to fruition. Good luck!

    1. Hey Nancy, thanks for stopping by to comment, I LOVE your blog and your writing is amazing!