An interesting investigation of what it takes to be successful: choose an area that you love, and get started accumulating 10,000 hours of effort. I d...moreAn interesting investigation of what it takes to be successful: choose an area that you love, and get started accumulating 10,000 hours of effort. I do wonder about why the chapter on the code of honor was included.(less)
This book helped me make decisions that gave me the patience to weather many tests and consultations that led to the discover of my coronary artery di...moreThis book helped me make decisions that gave me the patience to weather many tests and consultations that led to the discover of my coronary artery disease before I got a heart attack. Doctors are people too. They are trying to make a living and doing the best they can. Don't hate them because the prescribe expensive drugs or inconclusive tests. You need to work with them and force them to communicate their thinking. Always ask why a test is being administered. When a diagnosis is made, always ask: 1) What else could be the problem? What other body parts are near the region where I am experiencing symptoms? 2) Is there anything that doesn't fit? 3) Could I have more than one ailment? When looking for a thinking doctor, look for 1) Communication 2) Critical reasoning: the doctor should explain the thought processes that generated the diagnosis 3) Compassion: respect for the patient's values and spiritual needs. When diagnosing, (not only doctors do this!), avoid the pitfalls of 1) Availability: the tendency to judge the likelihood of an event by the ease with which relevant examples come to mind. 2) Confirmation Bias: confirming what you expect to find by selectively accepting or ignoring information. 3) Anchoring: a shortcut in thinking where a person firmly latches on to a single possibility without considering multiple possibilities. This may be driven by a wish for a certain outcome. 4) Affectation error: selectively surveying the data driven by the expectation that your original diagnosis is correct. 5) Attribution: be wary of "going with your gut" when you have strong emotions about a person, either positive or negative. (less)
The book reviews outbreaks of polio throughout the 20th century. The role polio played in FDR's life and how his birthday celebration eventually led t...moreThe book reviews outbreaks of polio throughout the 20th century. The role polio played in FDR's life and how his birthday celebration eventually led to the March of Dimes and the 1946 dime with his picture. The Mothers March of Dimes started in Arizona and spread to the whole country as a way to raise money. I am currently reading about Jonas Salk and Sabine and other researchers who eventually developed the vaccines that wiped out the disease.
I finished the book late last night. It's fascinating to read about the statistical studies used to confirm that Salk's vaccine was effective. There were "observational controls" and "injected controls". It took a year to analyze the results. Salk's vaccine was only 60% effective on Type I, but 80-90% effective on the weaker strains. Salk erred in not crediting his colleagues when the original success was announced.
When Salk's vaccine proved to be effective, the Eisenhower administration assumed private industry would take over. This led to shortages and insufficient testing facilities. Some children got polio from the vaccination from one producer, because live cells still existed in the serum. Clumping blocked some cells from the formalin. Testing was inadequate. Once discovered clinically, the problem was corrected, but this led to orders of magnitude more money from the federal government.
Polio was not the biggest killer, although it got the lion's share of contributions. After polio was beaten, the March of Dimes refocused its mission.
Sabine went to Russia where 70 million children were vaccinated orally with the live, attenuated virus. No control studies were undertaken in Russia, but they were in Ireland. Sabine's vaccine was better at giving lifetime immunity, although some children still got polio from the vaccine itself. Today, nfants are given the Salk injections at 2 and 4 months, using enhancements invented by Dutch researchers.(less)
I chose this to listen to while driving six hours. My family always loves to listen to books about dogs and veterinary medicine medicine, so this is a...moreI chose this to listen to while driving six hours. My family always loves to listen to books about dogs and veterinary medicine medicine, so this is a popular genre for our car trips. Veterinary books deal with medical problems without the same level stress and drama we attach to human health issues. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the depth of feeling that people have for their pets, and how a compassionate doctor can help them make good decisions about treatment. The author borrows a page from the "24" series by describing one day in the life of surgical veterinarian. Through flashbacks he is able to convey the sensibility of "the new kid on the block" to complement the views of a veteran of many decisions and interventions.(less)
This is good coverage of practical applied physics. Lots of thoughtful stuff. He goes a little overboard picking apart Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. H...moreThis is good coverage of practical applied physics. Lots of thoughtful stuff. He goes a little overboard picking apart Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth. He is afraid that overstating the case may cause a backlash, and he's right. In the end, he has a pretty balanced perspective on nuclear power and renewable energy. I often felt like disagreeing, but stick with it, you will learn a lot from this book.(less)