What Is Your 2015 Academic Goal?

Do you desire more discipline in your academic and professional life?  We always hear of people wanting to get more accomplished in a more efficient manner as the new year approaches.  Long range planning and documenting minute steps and milestones is one way to achieve more efficiency.

Try these suggestions:

1.  Make a list of the most important tasks of the day.  List them in order of importance.  If possible, perform this task the evening before.  Sometimes the new day will bring different priorities.

2.  Document reasons for shortcomings and a brief plan to compensate.

3.  Use all available time.  Listen to a lecture while washing dishes or starching a set of scrubs.

4.  Cultivate a group of thinkers who are as dedicated as you.  Ask for help.

The American Council of Women and Diversity in Medicine, Science, Business, and Education (ACWD-MSBE) is committed to mentoring women and scholars of color in achieving their goals.  2015 WILL be your most successful year.  Be resilient!



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Improve Your Understanding of Anatomy and Physiology by Mastering Embryology

The study of embryology or the study of the unborn provides amazing clues which can be used to master the study of anatomy. Get ready to master gross anatomy.


What Is Embryology?

(Greek, en = in + bryein = to be full of) Embryology is the science of studying embryo development, which is usually applied to all development before birth (in humans, included both the embryonic and fetal period).


(Greek, en = in + bryein = to be full of)
An egg that has been fertilized by a sperm and undergone one or more divisions. Also the set of early developmental stages in which a plant or animal differs from its mature form.


(inner cell mass, Greek, en = in + bryein = to be full of and -blast, a primordial cell)
The cellular mass component of the blastocyst that will give rise to the embryo. The remainder of cells that form the wall are the trophoblast cells.

Embryonic Cell Cycle

Term describing the rapid rounds of mitosis occurring in early development following fertilisation. Cells alternate between mitosis and duplication of DNA without intervening growth periods (M, S, M phases) compared to the normal adult cell cycle that includes growth periods between each of these phases (M, G1, S, G2, M phase). Each round of cell division results in cells smaller in cytoplasm size that divide again before growth occurs.



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Achieve Your Goals Despite Obstacles and Challenges

If achieving goals was easy everyone would advance to the head of the class.  Many brilliant and talented people fail to realize their maximum potential because they do not push through difficult times.  Organization is a tool that is highly effective in achieving goals.  In my experience, the act of typing a strategy for getting the work done is as comforting as actually doing the work.  Large assignments should be broken down into weekly, daily, and hourly chores.  Use a list to check off each item and keep track of your progress.

In 2015 the American Council of Women and Diversity in Medicine, Science, Business, and Education will publish study aids which I designed to maximize your study time.  Whether you are preparing for the USMLE, NCLEX, or other allied health national examination, we have a product to assist you in excelling.  Stay encouraged and be resilient.  You can achieve your goals.

Professor Danna McKellar Ntaka

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Resolute and Formal Positions

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it,”  is a profound statement made by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  I love the message that resonates from this statement.  Sometimes we, as humans, lament over periods that seem unexciting, lacking rewards, or uncomfortable.  I am learning that those times could potentially be the times that offer the most unique opportunity for personal growth.

Today is the day that Americans, and some other cultures honor mothers, mentors, and surrogates.  Happy Mother’s Day to anyone who has accepted a call in the middle of the night, from a person who felt motherless at that moment.  I believe we have evolved in our thinking, and recognize motherhood as more than the act of delivering or legally adopting a child.  I have high regard for the aunts and best friends who have accepted the responsibility of assisting their siblings and best girlfriends with the motherly load.  I would be less than thoughtful, if I did not recognize that today is a special day.  Many of us have celebrated cancer survivors this weekend.  I love the way the Mother’s day weekend has become a time of celebration.  I am partial to the color pink and I am partial to women, but not to the exclusion of men, as my career has been one of service to my gender.

This week has been a monumental week in American history.  President Barack Obama announced his support of gay Americans having the opportunity to marry.   Since then, my telephone has not ceased to ring.  I thought, “I am not a politician, so why am I being called for my opinion?”  As a scientist I have read many journal articles on embryological differences between males and females.  The scientific community debates on whether homosexuality is more influenced by nature or nurture.  As a highly opinionated professor and researcher, I now understand why people called me this week.  I walk the line between being a woman of science and a woman of God due to being reared by devout Christian leaders. “Is there any word from the Lord?” if I may quote the Biblical Scripture from Jeremiah 37:17.  Certainly, there is a word from the Lord.  The questions manifest regarding how one interprets words from the Lord.  Here is my Biblical position.  In Mark 12:17, Jesus’ words can be summarized as, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.”  This one Scripture is a clear call for a separation of church and state.

Earlier this week, my minster friends began to email and fax copies of sermons for today, letters they planned to send to the White House, and numerous other position papers.  I love my preacher friends because I love intellectual stimulation.  The Democratic preachers are reacting more vehemently that members of the Grand Old Party.  I sympathize with those who are passionate about particular subjects, but my position on this issue emphasizes grace and mercy.  The principles of grace, mercy, and forgiveness are pillars of the Christian faith.  The woman at the well stood alone with Jesus as her accusers had to ‘keep it moving’, as the young folks would say.  Since they were not free of faults, they ceased to wield their stones.

I am not willing to summarize President Obama’s entire presidency based upon this single moment.  The Republican candidate, Governor Romney has clearly stated that he has little interest in the plight of the poor.  Most of my clients are not of privilege, and are technically the working poor.  Many of my medical students will be first generation professionals and the tenants who rent apartments are one parental paycheck or student loan refund away from breaking a lease.  I serve the poor and extract great rewards from doing so.  I chair a leadership and diversity committee, so I have had to hone my listening skills.  I know the stories of people with struggles that do not mirror my own struggles.

I asked one of my minister friends to relax his position, and not speak such an inflammatory sermon today.  As one of his confidantes, I know how his position has evolved since we lived in the dorms.  I requested that he back down from his dogmatic position because everyone is a journalist in today’s world.  I do not want to see this personal friend attacked for speaking in contrast to his previous stances.  No matter which analogy I used, he would not re-write his sermon.  He assured me that he would not back down and expected me to defend him if attacks came his way.  I am not in favor of anyone being bashed from the pulpit.  In reality, too many sermons are preached about people’s sexual orientations and not enough about love and doing the real work of God.  Real friends address complicated topics with you.  Preachers, please use your pulpits wisely.

In my years of marriage, I can honestly say that gay people getting married did not affect my marriage. I am a great fighter, but I am sitting out on this battle.  I am glad some of these people were not around when my ancestors desired emancipation and women desired to vote.  My associates work tirelessly to battle the public health epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases.  Most of them see gay marriage as a way to promote monogamy and decrease the incidence of STD’s.  This is a  heated debate and will probably continue in this fashion.  Many of my academic associates are agnostic, but we relate to each other well.  I do not bash them and they sit quietly while I thank the Lord for my lunch.  I catch a couple of them saying that we will be blessed and I smile.  I suppose I have affected them in a small way.

Is your position evolving on gay marriage or are you philosophically beating people in the head?  If there is truly a separation of church and state, why are preachers framing sermons around their political preferences?  However you stand on the gay marriage issue, you have that right as an American.  Be careful about inviting the government into your bedroom.  It WILL backfire on this brave and free land we are so proud of.  On a spiritual note, I hope you can find something useful statement in your minister’s sermon today.  Preachers, keep on preaching about the love of Jesus.  It is okay to be resolute about an issue.  I pray that you administer your position in a way that is flattering to you.  Remember that their will be a time for you to re-visit your words.  I hope you can receive them as you have distributed them.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Professor Danna McKellar

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Spring 2012 With Professor Danna McKellar

Greetings to all who are in the final days of this academic year.  I hope that the past nine months have been inspiring, informative, and incredible!  This season is full of medical students and biomedical researchers who are ready for internships and post-doctoral fellowships.  This season is also full of stress, final commitments before graduation, and allergies.  For those who suffer with seasonal, food, or hereditary allergies, I would like to offer encouragement.  We all need balance in our academic, personal, and business lives.

In an effort to remain balanced, I have taken some time off from publishing to do spring cleaning, shredding, and thinning of files.  As medical educators, we also must renew and update our skills.  I have been involved in classes and certification renewals of my own.  I am excited about the new lectures and skills I have prepared for those of you who live a lifestyle of lifelong learning.  Study hard, but learn to take pleasant breaks to rejuvenate, recharge, and renew.  Happy Spring!

Professor Danna McKellar


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Anatomy of an Unsafe Abortion

The debate about abortions continues. Read one OB/GYN’s story. Re-posted from Dr. Jen Gunter.

Dr. Jen Gunter

I was in clinic when I heard the overhead STAT page to the emergency room.

As I sprinted down the stairs, I ran through the possible scenarios. I wasn’t on call, so the day to day gynecologic emergencies weren’t my purview. I hadn’t operated on anyone in the past few weeks, so unlikely to be one of my own patients with a complication.

Logically there was only one conclusion.

A nurse was holding the staff entrance to the ER open. From the look on her face I surmised this was to save the minute or two it would take to punch in the numbers on the lock and inquire at the desk for patient’s whereabouts.

“Down there,” she pointed.

On the gurney lay a young woman the color of white marble. The red pool between her legs, ominously free of clots, offered a silent explanation.

“She arrived a few minutes…

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Conclusion – The Survey of Blood

We are concluding the survey of human blood by leaving you with some resources to consult if you or a family member are diagnosed with a condition related to the blood.  If you would like further information on the 16-week course on blood that is taught by ACWD-MSB, call us at 609.851.1370.

We conduct an Academic Medical Ministry, which is our science outreach program that is held at local churches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey.  The AMM outreach teaches basic and advanced science to anyone from age 12 to 99.  We offer varying levels of exposure from body basics and learning to care for your organs, to advanced classes for those aspiring to apply to nursing, pharmacy or medical school.  We even offer support to those who are in professional school and need a strong review of the sciences or assistance studying for national board examinations.  We have a multi-disciplinary staff that is comprised of many ethnic groups.  Many foreign doctors and medical students have benefited  from our vast experience.

The following site contains several pages of detailed information on blood components, diseases, and handling.  The company also offers continuing education module for healthcare professionals.  Have a productive day.


We recommend that you add this site to your favorites.  It will certainly assist you or your loved ones in the future.  Although our primary mission is to members of the healthcare community, we are committed to delivering free information to the public.  An informed patient is our best patient.  Be well.


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