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Happy Father’s Day 2011

Today is another American holiday.  Am I the only one who has noticed that they seem to come every 30 days or so, demanding that we buy a card or a gift?  I love to celebrate even the smallest victories.  I was blessed with a wonderful father.  But I must admit that holidays can be a bit sad for all of us.  Some have buried their fathers, while others did not know their fathers for an assortment of reasons.  Some fathers were cold, mean, distant, or abusive in other ways.  Today I hope that you can find the good qualities in your father.  Celebrate his positive qualities.  If you are reading this message, your parents believed in life!  If nothing else, praise Dad for the fact that you can see, hear, and feel.

I have already received emails and calls from people who hate Father’s Day.  As the founder of a large organization of professional women, my phone is always ringing.  Helping women is like a religion for us.  Our by-laws state that we assist talented women in raising money, writing business plans, and achieving lofty goals.  We are successful in that regard.  But we spend far too much time dealing with the social issues of unsuspecting women.  Domestic violence and other forms of violence against women is the best kept secret.  The survivors of abusive relationships look like your noble nurse, tolerant teacher, and lovely lawyer.

Personally, I have had a hectic week of summer consulting assignments and the last week of school for my teen-agers.  In the next seven days I have a 7 day business trip across the country.  Summers are just too busy.  Although sleepy and overworked, our volunteers spent all day yesterday moving and hauling.  We had two families of women and children who needed furniture and other household items, due to impromptu moves from abusive husbands.  These women have beautiful homes, but are driven out by verbal and physical violence.  This is how we spend many holidays.  Our husbands get tired of watching us run out of the door during dinner to help women in need.

I carried my children in ‘snuggly-style’ carriers, nursed them in one arm and had a medical book in another.  Being a mother has not stopped me from pursuing my goals.  The 3 T’s have spent many days and evenings accompanying our advocates to the beautiful safe house that our organization built.  Now our eldest is old enough to drive us to perform our service projects.  My heart is really heavy today as many families are hurting emotionally and physically.  Please find some time to volunteer with your religious or civic group.  If we all work together, we can help people transform crises into opportunities.  We can all turn our next trial into a triumph.



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Stress and Disease are Best Friends Forever

My favorite technique for defining a word is to dissect the parts of the word.  Disease, simply stated is a state of not being at ease.  The prefix dis- means not, and we all recognize the feeling of being at ease.  Being at ease is the indescribable feeling of walking out of a difficult exam, watching a formerly troubled child graduate from college, or a woman hearing a judge proclaim that she is no longer bound to an abusive spouse.  The last example should represent the state of being at ease to the 10th power.  Prolonged stress from bad relationships is responsible for incalculable physical and emotional damage.  We have all heard that worrying is a useless expenditure of time, but many people still surrender to this crippling habit.

Before we delve into scientific facts, I do not want the philosophers in our midst to make any harsh inferences.   I am not accusing anyone of having cancer or any other illness because of any self-defeating act.  I do not know your personal situation and this article is not meant to be accusatory in any way.  I am simply sharing statistics that prove that perservative cognition, or worry, exacerbates existing conditions and creates others.

Perservative cognition, as displayed in worry and rumination, is a common response to stress.  Some medical models have largely ignored this fact, and have insufficiently addressed the affects that occur in anticipation of or following stressful events.  One can argue that worry moderates the health consequences of stressors because it can prolong stress-related physiological activation.  Worry is associated with enhanced cardiovascular, endocrinological, immunological, endocrine, and neuro-vicsceral systems.  Humans are not designed to function in fight or flight mode on a continuous basis.  The end result can become hypertension, alopecia aereata (hair loss in areas or patches) or alopecia totalis (universally or across entire body), insomnia, eating and digestive disorders, anxiety and panic attacks, circulation problems, colds and viruses.  The list wanders to infinity.  (Broscot, Gerin, and Thayer, 2004.)  The risk factors for disease increase if you add other unhealthy behaviors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, drug usage, a lack of exercise, and poor dietary habits.

Stress contributes to the disease process.  How can one properly manage stress?  Some levels of stress can be a way to keep us on target with our goals and aspirations.  Each individual should monitor work load and balance with leisure activity and rest.  Physical activity is a powerful way to combat stress.  Exercise can be achieved in a variety of ways.  Consult your physician before embarking on a new exercise regimen.  Gardening, walking, cycling, and swimming are excellent ways to keep the muscles moving.  The human body is not designed to be sedentary.  Being a couch potato is definitely out of style.

Some people enjoy keeping journals and a master time management documents, such as Outlook calendars or fancy mobile device applications.  The simple act of writing or typing a task can get that task off your mind so that you can sleep.  If you are not the type to document feelings or events in a journal, try a simple list.  Write all of your concerns on a list and place the list in a safe place.  Today, medical scientists are realizing the benefits of meditation and prayer.  Several studies are being performed to compare the health of people who have an active prayer life to those who choose not to pray.  I have seen bumper stickers that say, “If you worry, why pray?  If you pray, why worry?”  If you have several problems, list them in order of most severe, devise a plan, and start to solve the problems.  We have the capacity to solve all of our problems.  Just approach them one at a time.  Life coaches, psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists are helpful resources.  Consult your insurance administrator to check on coverages.  Some offices have sliding fee schedules if you have a limited income.  Do not be ashamed to get the proper assistance.  Build a hedge around yourself with a strong set of friends and family.  If you have creative ways of managing stress, we would be delighted to hear about them.  Stress and disease are best friends and this friendship is worth  dissolving.  Choose good physical and emotional health.  Stop worrying today.

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Jacob “Jack” Kevorkian Dies at 83

Jack Kevorkian died on June 3, 2011 after a lengthy history of kidney problems.  He was recently diagnosed with liver cancer, which may have been secondary to hepatitis C infection, according to his friend Neal Nicol.  Kevorkian died a dignified death in a hospital.  The nurses played classical music by Bach because he once stated that Bach was his God.  Biomedical ethics courses, which are taught in medical schools, discuss Jack Kevorkian’s philosophies regarding death and dying.  Many of us remember the troubling headlines in 1990, when Kevorkian publicized his first physician-assisted suicide.

Former Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said “I think it was a certain level of hypocrisy in not choosing suicide,” referring to Kevorkian’s death.  Ned McGrath, the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Communications Director stated, “It is both ironic and tragic that Kevorkian himself was afforded a dignified, natural death in a hospital, something he denied to those who came to him in desperation, only to be poisoned and have their bodies left in places such as vans and motel rooms”.

Prior to having his medical license revoked, Jack Kevorkian was a pathologist, having graduated from the prestigious University of Michigan Medical School.  Kevorkian was also an accomplished flutist and organist.  He was also an oil painter who sometimes painted using his own blood.  Nicknamed Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian is dead and he did not choose suicide.

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HIV/AIDS: Whose Disease Is It Anyway?

It is difficult to have a discussion about HIV and AIDS without the conversation moving into a causal direction.  Whether the discussion is scholarly or of a casual nature between friends, someone always leads the discussion towards the ‘who, what, why, when, and where’ of HIV transmission.  The purpose of this article is not to become critical of this direction, but to lead the direction.  Embrace this discussion with an open mind and a fastidious desire for knowledge.  The HIV/AIDS discussion inevitably causes minds to question which demographic is most susceptible to contracting this virus.  By the end of this article, one should see that this disease belongs to everyone.  Yes, HIV can become the viral destination for anyone who does not practice safer sex.  It can become the viral destination for anyone who does not arm themselves with information.  Certainly, many demographics fit into the aforementioned categories.

We will skip all of the details about how the virus burst onto the scenes in the 1980’s and was labeled as the gay man’s disease.  Fast forward past the discussion about HIV/AIDS being the destination for intravenous drug users and prostitutes.  Previous reports have delineated those perceptions in complete detail.  We will begin with the green monkey in Africa theory.  This theory is widely discussed and rejected in medical and scientific circles.  The green monkey theory purports that people in Africa contracted the virus from having sex with infected monkeys.  This theory is flawed and insulting to the residents of the Motherland, the birth place of civilization.  It is difficult to imagine a monkey cooperating with a human in a copulation attempt.  Statistics state that due to hectic schedules, married people find it hard to have intimate time.  (You can’t make your wife stop balancing the checkbook in this economy, but you can seduce a monkey?  Great!)  Monkeys have been found to have an HIV infection similar to humans.  The route of transmission may be due to some cultures eating monkey flesh as a delicacy.  It is possible that one could become infected while cutting the meat, usually the brain, and accidentally cutting themselves.  (Please do not laugh or be shocked about people eating monkey brains.  In America, people still eat chitterlings, that carry all of the digestive contents of pigs.  Pigs will eat anything!  That analogy was made so that we keep the conversation informative and scholarly, without judging norms that differ from ours.)

Another scientific application of the green monkey theory is rarely discussed.  This application is most relevant to biomedical researchers.  A vector is a disease carrying agent, such as a mosquito or tick, that carries microorganisms from one host to another.  In the clinical laboratory setting, microorganisms grow on petri dishes.  Petri dishes are half-filled with a nutritious gel called agar.  Different types of agar are used depending on the growing requirements for various types of viruses or bacteria.  Agar must be sterilized to ensure that it is not contaminated before growing the desired microorganism.  Agar comes from boiled kidneys from monkeys, cows, or other animals.  It is then cooled, enriched with other nutrients and antibiotics for purity, and sealed until needed.  The most neglected component of the green monkey theory is that the agar for a certain set of vaccines was contaminated by using the kidneys of sick monkeys.  We are not suggesting that you believe or disbelieve these theories, just be able to speak of them intelligently.  Our job is as much to inform the lay public, as it is to educate the next generation of doctors and biomedical researchers.

The ‘monkeying’ around has just begun.  Fast forward to today’s ‘do you’ and ‘live and let live’ sexual environment.  How safe is your sex?  I wish I could say that being married is a safeguard against sexually transmitted diseases.  My team sees many vaginal Pap smears and fecal samples. The Pap Smear test was developed and named after Dr. Geogios Papanikolaou, a Greek physician.  He noted that cervical cancer could be detected by vaginal smears in 1928, but his work was not widely recognized until 1943 when he published a book about his work with Herbert Traut.  (Side note to all scholars:  You must publish, publish, publish!)  I am busy publishing every day.

Again I ask, “How safe is your sex or your child’s sex?”  Some communities still cannot have an intelligent conversation about an issue that is growing to pandemic proportions.  The African-American community and certain religious communities are preaching abstinence alone.  I wish more people were abstinent.  Looking at such bleak laboratory results is heart-breaking.  Twenty percent (20%) of the American population has genital herpes.  That is 1 in 5 people.  I have seen some 11-year-old girls who are sexually active.  Dear Lord, we need to start talking!  I become more informed every day, as my team evaluates the efficacy of new vaccines.  Examining the post-mortem pelvis tells all of the secrets.  Due to the nature of my work as a lecturer and researcher, I have been showing my children the results since they were in the 2nd grade.  It may sound drastic, but I felt the need to adopt the Latin saying, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”  I am hoping that knowing about mommy’s passion will provide some shock value for making better choices.

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Racism and Science

In the words of Malcom X, “I would like to have an off the cuff chat with you.”  I love to read and write, and clean.  These are some of the ways that I diffuse and divert sadness, or any other negative emotion.  I also clean when I am happy.  My house is immaculately clean despite having a busy household.  At one point we had toddlers, pre-schoolers, and now young adults.  Soon all of them will be in college.  Extreme organization is the only way I can meet my massive responsibilities.  I laugh when people say that having children is the reason their homes are untidy.  I suppose it is a matter of choosing when to apply energy.

Speaking of chores and how they help me deal with serious issues, you probably will not smell food as you drive up to my house if I am the parent on duty.  The men in my family love to cook.  The girls cook out of necessity, but love to bake!  I can eat a salad and a piece of fruit and sleep very comfortably.  I love to bake bread and other treats, but only cook about every seven days.  It is shameful for a lady with deep southwestern roots not to enjoy making huge meals.  Yes, I clean when I need to be pensive, but as a country we need to find some comprehensive ways to eradicate racism.  Even my home economics style psychotherapy can’t clean up racism at the institutional level.

This article is about racism in medical science.  My genre of writing is typically academic, with wrote facts, numbers, and a blatant absence of opinion.  Well, my preliminary commercial should provide clues that I am deviating from the norm today.  This article will have abundant opinions, sprinkled with an occasional fact.  It is now mid-2011 and The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Health and Science section has printed an article entitled, “Racism Still Contaminating Science.”  (Faye Flam, Monday May 30, 2011)  I am physically exhausted after a truly successful week.  Two weeks ago, my semester ended as we watched over 1,000 physicians and medical scientists graduate.  It was a satisfying feeling to see this academic year come to a close.  I deceived myself by saying that I was going to rest this year.  (When have I ever relaxed for the summer?)  That is how normal people live.  But for those of us who live ‘purpose-driven-lives-the steroid-version’, we just dream about resting.  I will rest when I die.  This is so sad coming from one who holds the highest distinction of sleep medicine, but that topic will receive an entire article.  When articles like the one I mentioned above, deliver 1925-style facts in 2011, we cannot afford to rest.  The work of Harriet Tubman, Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, and Dr. Carter G. Woodson must go on.

I took a nice nap this evening, micro-organized my office, and finally began to express myself regarding racism’s contamination of medical science.  I read Flam’s article, but did not need to have another opinion or another set of facts.  I am an African-American professor of medical science and principal investigator.  I am the founder and executive director of a group of diverse women in medicine, science, and business.  We are on the front line of the battle against racism’s contamination of every field.  We are currently writing grants and strategic plans to open a small medical school and medical center in the Gulf Coast.  Our members have all graduated from the top American medical schools, with distinctions.  One in particular graduated from a prestigious school with a double major in three years, after having a baby during her freshman year.  This same lady has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is pursuing a second Master’s Degree in Public Health.  After that, she will apply to medical school.  We are a group of chronic professional students and achievers.  (There is no such thing as an over-achiever.  Either you are an achiever or you are not!)  We have defied all of the odds.  We love our brains, our curly hair, and our brown skin.  We particularly enjoy the fact that we have developed organizations that suit our needs and our platforms.  Like James Brown, ‘we are black and proud’ and ‘open doors for ourselves’.  Racism can go on and contaminate any field it chooses.  We will not be stopped.  We are pioneers.  I cannot tell you how many of my mentors have commented on how I do not fit the statistical notion of a black woman.  I know that they meant well, but the insult was almost tangible.  Most of my mentors are either deceased or in the initial stages of dementia.  As one who now holds the role of mentor, I feel very comfortable exposing some of the racism I have experienced during my multi-disciplinary career.

When I moved to Philadelphia in 1986, I did not know that it was an American center of medical education and history.  Being from Texas, I simply wanted to experience East Coast living.  I looked at the map, saw that Philadelphia was between New York and Washington, D.C., and that was eastward enough for me.  I was busy taking classes and working during that summer.  I had recently graduated from Southwestern Christian College, a historically black college in Terrell, Texas, and was too busy to attend orientation.  So I laid my eyes on Philadelphia for the first time when my parents followed me to the city, with their vehicle and trailer loaded with everything I owned.  At that point, I owned a car which was purchased by my parents, clothes, a large book collection, a doll collection, and a ton of drive.  I was happy to be in Philadelphia.  The trash men had just gone back to work after a long strike and we could smell the city from Chester, Pennsylvania a few miles south.  They wanted to take me home because the city was so dirty.  (The city was still recovering from the race riots of the 1960’s)  I thought it was beautiful.  I saw all of the potential.  Philadelphia is rich in black history and American history.  Once I convinced them I would be okay, I began to read about my new city.

We had the first black mayor, Mayor Wilson Good.  We can thank Mayor Good for the beautiful Philadelphia skyline.  The MOVE bombing occurred the year before I moved to Philadelphia, and was a tragedy during the Good administration.  Philadelphia now boasts its third black mayor, former City Council President Michael Nutter.  Before Mayor Nutter, there was Mayor John Street, who is now a law professor at my alma mater, Temple University.  Philadelphia was a great choice for me.  Being from Texas, I had never seen a black mayor.  They actually hung people on the square in many Texas towns.  (I will write that article later.)  My pioneering grandfathers were successful farmers, despite the racial tensions.  I chose to make my mark many miles away from the familiar.  In recent years I can reflect on my childhood in Texas, and appreciate my beginnings.  I will forever remember my handsome math teacher who was so meticulous and strict.  He taught us how to tie a tie.  I think of him every Sunday, as I tie my sons’ ties.  I needed to see more handsome and smart men who shared my complexion.  So, I hope you understand my love for all things urban and ethnic.

The article lists several facts.  For instance, Samuel Morton, one of the world’s leading anthropologists, was performing experiments in Philadelphia in the 1800’s that measured human skills.  He used that flawed data to justify the enslavement of Africans.  The article further stated that Psychology Today recently published a headline that read, “Why Are African-American Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?”  Morton’s collection of skulls rests at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  Morton’s research came many years before Charles Darwin’s theory.  Morton’s skull experiments equated the size of the brain to intelligence, which is a laughable premise.  It actually works this way: the largest people have the largest skulls.  It is not the size of the brain, but the quality of the brain cells that determine intelligence.  We now use MRI’s to view dendritic trees of brains.  People who read and study a lot have more branches of dendrites, the tree-like extensions at the beginning of neurons.  Dendrites help increase the surface areas of cell bodies and are covered with synapses.  Dendrites are tiny root-looking protrusions that send and receive information.   Synapses are junctions, which allow for chemical and electrical transmissions.  The word synapse comes from the Greek “syn” which simply means together.  I do not want to bore you with scientific facts, but I feel that everyone should have a basic knowledge of how the body works.  How else can we combat falsehood?

I am thankful for my Philadelphia education.  By simply looking at the map, I placed myself at the feet of the world’s most noted medical professors and African historians.  I love them all.  Thank you Dr. Molefi Asante, Professor Kuriamu Asante, Milton Watkins, M.D., Stewart Bryan, Ph.D, Professor Sonia Sanchez, and Professor Evelyn Brooks-Higginbothom.  There are so many others who saw something in me to be developed.  We are still dispelling the myth that women and black people are inferior.  On the East Coast, many of my white professors encouraged me to continue to make the history books false.  My white professors also loved my curly afro, braids, and twists.  They, too, encouraged me to embrace the blackness God gave to me.  I would have never received this affirmation in Texas.

I will close by stating that a text book, written in 1966, falsely states that the black race is the only race that has never contributed anything to society.  The book is almost 45 years old and rests safely on one of my shelves.  We all know that the Leaky team of scientists found the oldest skulls in East Africa.   Others have found writings on stone pads, tools that doubled as art, and many other signs of civilization, long before the Mayflower was conceived.  It does not take scientific fraud to contaminate science or history.  We all must control personal bias as we work to publish our results.  Pardon me for being opinionated every once in a while.  I will probably clean another area with scientific precision before going to sleep.  Every time I read about a study that is laced with scientific fraud I clean and polish my own scientific results.

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To Med or Not to Med: A Viable Question for this Century

Careers usually have popular topics for scholarly review and debate.  The field of medicine has a plethora of topics that are newsworthy.  Healthcare reform and medical education are at the top of the list.  Members of the American Council of Women and Diversity in Medicine, Science, and Business have been researching the sudden explosion of new medical schools.  The team has been diligent in analyzing the research and design of medical schools, for the past four years.  The mission statements of many of these schools reference the shortage of primary care physicians that should impact this country by the year 2020.  Some even mention under-served populations as a motivation for building their program.  The new schools are opening with as few as 20 students and as many as 50.  Even existing medical schools are opening satellite campuses in remote areas.  The ideas are phenomenal.  It just makes sense to open new schools instead of watching our students go abroad to be guaranteed a seat in medical school.

The erection of new institutions for medical education seems exciting.  Until four years ago, the last allopathic medical school was built in the 1970’s.  In Miami, Florida alone, three new medical schools have received accreditation, and four more await decisions.  Usually, I write scholarly material and allow my sophisticated audience to make the necessary inferences.  However, some thoughts just will not stop invading the frontal lobe of my brain.  Will diverse and under-served populations have a fair chance at the seats in the new medical schools?  Will the new medical schools become just another group of big businesses?  The list of questions increases.

The American Medical Association issued an apology to African-American physicians due to previous inequality against the group.  The formal apology was issued in July of 2008.  Anne C. Beal, MD, MPH declared this apology an “important first step”.  “The matter is not ‘ancient history,’ because if it were, we wouldn’t be dealing with racial disparities in health care and health care outcomes. This is still something we’re working with and dealing with today,” said Dr. Beal, assistant vice president for the Program on Quality of Care for Under-served Populations at the Commonwealth Fund in New York City. (

In 1870, the American Medical Association barred African-American members.  It was not until 1968 that the AMA House of Delegates announced that it would expel states that did not allow African-American members.  I am sure that these historical facts will not surprise anyone who has studied American history, however, it is important to know that the AMA is working to correct the institutional injustices in which it played a significant role.  Today, the AMA utilizes the Minority Affairs Consortium to send African-American physicians to schools in under-served areas to motivate students.  The American Medical Association contributes over $100,000.00 annually to scholarships for diverse populations.  In 1910, 2.5% of medical doctors and medical students in the United States were African-American.  In 2006 the percentage decreased to 2.2%.  As a pioneering personality, I am elated to see the explosion in the building of new medical schools.  I will continue to report the progress that we make in the field regarding leadership and diversity.  My personal mission of empowering women and diverse populations to become leaders in the field, has been adopted by the ACWD-MSB.

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Gender Disparities in Medicine

Gender disparities in careers and education are as relevant today in America, as in 1970.  This type of discrimination increases the likelihood that employers will deny women promotions and positions of leadership, due to the possibility that they might move or need a sabbatical after marriage or childbirth.  As a result, women are given jobs with few opportunities for advancement.  The term ‘glass ceiling’ has been coined to describe this systematic type of discrimination.  Features of the glass ceiling include any practice that favors men over equally qualified and motivated women.  As the glass ceiling analogy implies, a transparent or artificial barrier exists which keeps women from achieving substantial leadership roles.  Historically, earnings discrimination has been a part of the pollutions theory.  This theory suggests that a career looses technical expertise as women are admitted to the field.  In essence, the field has lost clout and men will soon leave.

Women entered the workforce in America, in large numbers in the 1960’s, however, careers still remain categorized by gender.  Librarians, customer service representatives, and teachers are female dominated fields, and pilots, executives, and engineers are considered male dominated fields.  The income disparity has closed some, but still exists.  Women’s earnings have increased and men’s earnings have reached a plateau.  Just because the cavity is not as deep does not imply that the void is insignificant.

Historical data should assist in the comparison of progress for women and diverse populations.  (Note:  The term diverse populations will be used as a substitute for the term minority.)  In 1965 only 5% of the enrollees in professional schools were women, however, the percentage increased to 40 % in 1985 in law and medicine, and 30 % in dentistry and business.   Highly effective oral contraceptives have allowed women to defer family additions and pursue careers of their choice.  This represents significant progress for a twenty-year time frame, while on the contrary may explain why disparities exist today.  In a historical sense,  the movement to correct the disparities is in its infancy.  Women are still underrepresented in executive leadership positions and boards of large corporations.  Medicine in its delivery, training, and education is not exempt from gender disparity.  We often expect disparities in incomes and careers in developing countries, but act shocked that this problem still exists at home.

A study conducted by Andra L. Blomkalns, M.D., et al, was printed in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology in March, 2005.  This study entitled “Gender Disparities in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Non–ST-segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndromes: Large-Scale Observations from the CRUSADE (‘Can Rapid Risk Stratification of Unstable Angina Patients Suppress Adverse Outcomes With Early Implementation’ of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines) National Quality Improvement Initiative, gives a current analyses of gender disparity in medical treatment.  Blomkalns, et al, hypothesized that significant differences treatment exist between male and female patients presenting with non-ST-segment elevation (NTSE) acute coronary syndromes (ACS).

Women represented 41% of the participants of this study, of 35,875 total, and were older.  The median age of women was 73 vs. 65 for men.  The women of this study more often had diabetes and hypertension.  They were less likely to receive heparin, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, and statins at discharge.  The use of cardiac catheterization and revascularization was higher in men.  Among patients with significant coronary disease, percutaneous revascularization was performed in a similar proportion of women and men.  “Women were at higher risk for unadjusted in-hospital death (5.6% vs. 4.3%), reinfarction (4.0% vs. 3.5%), heart failure (12.1% vs. 8.8%), stroke (1.1% vs. 0.8%), and red blood cell transfusion (17.2% vs. 13.2%), but after adjustment, only transfusion was higher in women.”  Blomkalns, M.D. et al.  In conclusion, women with NSTE ACS were treated less aggressively than men, despite presenting with higher risk characteristics.  This is just one example of a well defined study outlining gender differences in the delivery of care.

Explore the data regarding the admittance of women and diverse populations in medical careers.  Over 800,000 physicians practice in America.  Approximately 30,000 or 4% are African-American according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Women have entered the field of clinical medicine in record numbers, However, women are underrepresented in academic medicine.  As the medical community prepares for the shortage of primary care physicians by the year 2020, women physicians are being covertly blamed for working fewer hours due to family obligations.  (Note this century’s adjustment of the pollutions theory:  High tech fields lose clout after women enter!)

As a leader in academic medicine, I am highly opinionated, but strive to deliver the facts.  It gives me great pride to allow my sophisticated readers to make the necessary inferences.  I reiterate that our job has just begun at the American Council of Women and Diversity in Medicine, Science, and Business.  Please support our non-profit women’s advancement organization as we live by the philosophy, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  We are active in four states, and would love to start a chapter in your home town.  We are building female directed enterprises; closing gender, financial, and diversity gaps in the most technical and difficult careers.  This summer, I plan to enjoy the first summer of strict publishing, fundraising, and devotion to women in medicine, science, and business.

Dr.  Danna McKella

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