The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’m calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban. Please visit zonein.ca to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research.
1. Rapid brain growth
Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to negatively affect executive functioning and cause attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).
2. Delayed Development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development. One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013). Movement enhances attention and learning ability (Ratey 2008). Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning (Rowan 2010).
3. Epidemic Obesity
TV and video game use correlates with increased obesity (Tremblay 2005). Children who are allowed a device in their bedrooms have 30% increased incidence of obesity (Feng 2011). One in four Canadian, and one in three U.S. children are obese (Tremblay 2011). 30% of children with obesity will develop diabetes, and obese individuals are at higher risk for early stroke and heart attack, gravely shortening life expectancy (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2010). Largely due to obesity, 21st century children may be the first generation many of whom will not outlive their parents (Professor Andrew Prentice, BBC News 2002).
4. Sleep Deprivation
60% of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage, and 75% of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms (Kaiser Foundation 2010). 75% of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades are detrimentally impacted (Boston College 2012).
5. Mental Illness
Technology overuse is implicated as a causal factor in rising rates of child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar disorder, psychosis and problematic child behavior (Bristol University 2010, Mentzoni 2011, Shin 2011, Liberatore 2011, Robinson 2008). One in six Canadian children have a diagnosed mental illness, many of whom are on dangerous psychotropic medication (Waddell 2007).
Violent media content can cause child aggression (Anderson, 2007). Young children are increasingly exposed to rising incidence of physical and sexual violence in today’s media. “Grand Theft Auto V” portrays explicit sex, murder, rape, torture and mutilation, as do many movies and TV shows. The U.S. has categorized media violence as a Public Health Risk due to causal impact on child aggression (Huesmann 2007). Media reports increased use of restraints and seclusion rooms with children who exhibit uncontrolled aggression.
7. Digital dementia
High speed media content can contribute to attention deficit, as well as decreased concentration and memory, due to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex (Christakis 2004, Small 2008). Children who can’t pay attention can’t learn.
As parents attach more and more to technology, they are detaching from their children. In the absence of parental attachment, detached children can attach to devices, which can result in addiction (Rowan 2010). One in 11 children aged 8-18 years are addicted to technology (Gentile 2009).
9. Radiation emission
In May of 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phones (and other wireless devices) as a category 2B risk (possible carcinogen) due to radiation emission (WHO 2011). James McNamee with Health Canada in October of 2011 issued a cautionary warning stating “Children are more sensitive to a variety of agents than adults as their brains and immune systems are still developing, so you can’t say the risk would be equal for a small adult as for a child.” (Globe and Mail 2011). In December, 2013 Dr. Anthony Miller from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health recommend that based on new research, radio frequency exposure should be reclassified as a 2A (probable carcinogen), not a 2B (possible carcinogen). American Academy of Pediatrics requested review of EMF radiation emissions from technology devices, citing three reasons regarding impact on children (AAP 2013).
The ways in which children are raised and educated with technology are no longer sustainable (Rowan 2010). Children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology. A team-based approach is necessary and urgent in order to reduce the use of technology by children. Please reference below slide shows on www.zonein.ca under “videos” to share with others who are concerned about technology overuse by children.
|Doctor:||You see this wiggly thing? That's a camera. It lets me look inside your nose!|
|Child:||Ew! That's yucky!|
|Doctor:||Do you remember that episode in Magic School Bus? When Ms. Frizzle's bus gets all teeny tiny and goes exploring Ralphie's nose?|
|Child:||What's the Magic School Bus?|
|Doctor:||The...it was this awesome show on television...hmm...(to the mother) you know what I'm talking about, right?|
|Mother:||Haha, yes. I used to watch that a lot when I was babysitting my neighbour's kids.|
|Doctor:||...(to me) you watched Magic School Bus, right?|
|Doctor:||Phew...thought I was ancient for a moment there...ahem. Anyways, this is going to be like that.|
***REGISTRATION IS OPEN!*** & ends March 15th!
MedWAR, also known as the Medical Wilderness Adventure Race, is a competition that combines wilderness medicine and racing. Teams of four compete to see who can finish first. The teams will have put their minds together and
find solutions to the many medical scenarios constructed throughout a course, which involves running, hiking, biking, and canoeing. MedWAR is an annual event created and coordinated by Medical College of Georgia students and emergency medicine physicians. Now in its fourteenth (or fifteenth? something like that) year, it has expanded to a series of races in the US and Canada.
I was one of the administrative directors for the race last year, in charge of advertising & helping plan the medical scenarios (which are always Awesome by the way), & I’m helping out again this year! Pass this along to anyone who is interested or let me know if you are!!
Special note to the anon docs/med students I follow: You guys are amazing and I respect your anonymity. Feel free to sign up / e-mail me and let me know you are interested. No need to let me know how you heard about it or let me know your alias, I just want you to enjoy the race!!
Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested!! OR just go ahead and sign up ;)
A note: Anyone can participate :) So bring it on.
You can also go to the website (http://www.medwar.org/southeast/) or facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/medwar.southeast) to see more about the event. OR if you’re in a different region, check out the website for the race near you!
More info below the cut:
As I said last year when signal-boosting this event — I would totally do this if I had the time…
OR MAYBE I’LL ACTUALLY BE THERE THIS YEAR, UNDER MY REAL IDENTITY, AND NOBODY WILL EVER KNOW.
(Kind of a reverse April Fool’s prank?)
Rule 1: post the rules
Rule 2: answer the questions the person who tagged you asked
Rule 3: write 11 new ones
Rule 4: tag 11 peeps
Rule 5: tell the peeps you tagged them
1) If you were a bacteria/fungi/virus, which one would you be and why?
Probably Streptococcus thermophilus or Lactobacillus bulgaricus because probiotics! They’re made to culture yogurt, and yogurt is so good. S. thermophilus is also used to make mozzarella cheese.
2) Favorite weather and favorite thing to drink during that weather.
Sunny (but not too much), about 75-80 degree weather, where you can sit outside and enjoy a cool breeze and read a good book in the park or just hang out with friends, while drinking a mocha latte (hot or iced). Because mocha lattes all the time, anytime - espresso and chocolatey goodness in one drink!
3) Favorite word and why?
"Lackadaisical" - It just sounds cool, although being lackadaisical isn’t always the best thing.
Also, “lickety-split” because it also sounds cool. There are so many awesome words out there! But for some reason I can’t think of all my favorites now…basically anything that’s onomatopoetic, as well.
4) Favorite prank to play
on cranquis? Sending Cranquis messages about how I know who he really is muahahaha No favorite pranks really, just little things here and there on my brothers. The best one though I think I played on April Fool’s once on my best friends - told them I was moving to another state and transferring to another college. One of them was so surprised, she told her mom, like how would I take the MCAT and stuff just moving in the middle of everything like that in Junior year.
5) Teacher/doctor who had the most impact on you?
Mr. O - he was my after school teacher in the 3rd grade for a program called Project Read, and then he was my 4th and 5th grade teacher too. Mr. O was simply marvelous. He encouraged and helped nourish my love for books, literature and writing. Mr. O is just simply amazing - I still keep in touch with him now! My 6th grade English teacher Mr. E is amazing too. And of course there are some lovely professors I had in undergrad, and now med school has wonderful ones too.
6) Toughest lesson you’ve had to learn thus far?
I guess I’ll go with the good ole, you-have-to-work-hard-super-hard-if-you-want-what-you-want-because-no-one-and-I-mean-no-one-will-do-it-for-you-lesson.
7) Favorite movie to watch after a tough day
I’ll watch anything that’s Disney, action-packed, funny, or mysterious. Usually I like to go to a t.v. series or something I’m currently into (like White Collar and Sherlock), to relax after a tough day. Lately I’ve been watching lots of The Graham Norton Show because it’s just so funny and awesome. There’s also always Tom Hiddleston videos of interviews and dancing on Youtube.
8) Favorite dessert.
Almost any and all types of ice cream!
9) Something people would be surprised to know about you
Hmm, I don’t know…
10) Favorite thing to cook
Different types of pasta, fried rice, chicken maqlooba, cheesecake flan, and trying to learn all those delicious Bengali dishes Mom makes.
11) People on Tumblr you want to meet in real life
randommomentsdevida, cranquis, baffledinbrooklyn, wayfaringmd, modernathena90, mynotes4usmle, md-admissions, aspiringdoctors, the-relativity-librarian, ankahi-dastaan, compoundfractur, sterileplayground, medmonkey and probably some others I’m missing.
I’m also tagging you all to answer the questions, if you want. Feel free to ignore if you’ve already been tagged by someone else, and of course if anyone else wants to answer them, go right ahead and tag yourself into it!
Questions for You:
1) Were you named after anyone? Where does your name come from?
2) Pet peeves?
3) What’s the sweetest thing you’ve eaten? Spiciest? Also, cucumbers or tomatoes?
4) What’s your favorite sound? Favorite smell?
5) What’s your favorite thing about the 90’s?
6) 3 fictional characters you’d love to hang out with, and why?
7) What word did you spell wrong in a spelling bee?
8) What do you miss most at the moment?
9) If your life could be shaped after a movie, which movie would it be?
10) What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
11) Have you ever searched your name on Google?
But for Rumnock, as for the students, there’s also more: a collision between performance and reality that surprises him.
Being an SP has awakened his inner hypochondriac: “Every time I do a diabetic,” he said, “I’m convinced I have diabetes.”
It has also changed how he regards the doctors he comes across in his own life. When a cousin was recently hospitalized, gravely ill with liver failure, Rumnock watched a physician stumble through a discussion of her care.
The doctor talked and talked, but it was clear to Rumnock that his cousin didn’t understand that she was dying — and that the doctor didn’t grasp that.
"We are so isolated," Rumnock reflected. "We don’t know how to communicate anymore."
At his cousin’s side, he started asking questions that steered the doctor toward spelling out the truth.
He tried to do it gently, the way the best medical students learn to do.
lindsaytheamazing said: Happened to me too. Wtf.
I think it’s spam. We should call the phone numbers on their Tumblrs and investigate ;)
irandommomentsdevida said: They have seen your face (somehow). They have seen it’s beauty. They wish to study it. +Follow! :)
What’s up with the influx of plastic surgeons following the blog?
Nirmal Joshi: The ‘free market’ approach to healthcare means seeing more patients in less time. We’ve lost the human connection in health reform.This is a call to begin a spirited discussion centering on such real healthcare reform. I am not naive to the hard economic realities of healthcare delivery or how civil discussions on reforming healthcare payments need to continue. However, meaningful and lasting solutions will not be found in models that commoditize health and continue to be based on a foundation of reward and punishment alone. They will be found in models that bring back the joy of healthcare to professionals who deliver it – physicians such as me and countless others who seem to have lost the single most powerful driving force – purpose.An outstanding piece on health care reform from the perspective of a doctor.
She’s 58, but appears maybe three days older than 42. Her eyes are sunken, tearful, worried, anxious. She tells me about her two grandchildren, and how she just visited them in Michigan. She came to the hospital, straight from the airport. She’s worried.
She’s worried because her shortness of breath hasn’t gone away for over a month now. She has had breast cancer, and opted for a more conservative approach - a lumpectomy with axillary node biopsy without radiation. She’s admitted, and gets a chest x-ray and a CT scan, which show a pleural effusion with what looks like nodules in both lungs. ’Likely represents metastatic disease,’ reads the official radiology report. She knows, so I don’t bring it up again.
'I am just a medical student,' I think.
On the second day, she undergoes surgery to evacuate the effusion, and her lung is biopsied. Now, we wait for the pathology report. I visit her everyday as we wait, sometimes two or three times. I’ve met her husband, and we know each other by first names. Her daughter and son are also beautiful people, just like her. They ask me questions, and I keep my answers limited to what I’ve read in the chart. They never ask me about the cancer. They know what the radiology report said, so I don’t bring it up again.
'I am just a medical student,' I think.
She never complains. Not from post-operative pain, not from shortness of breath, not from coughing, not from anything. I take my time with my physical exam, ensuring that I don’t miss any tenderness. I don’t want her to suffer unnecessarily. ”Surgery is painful,” I tell her, “make sure you let us know if you are in pain.” She agrees, but never complains.
The nurse corners me one afternoon, and asks me, “Is there any way to put in an order for morphine PRN for her?”
'I am just a medical student,' I think.
"Why?", I ask.
"Because when her family isn’t here, when she’s alone, she cries. She’s in pain, she’s scared, but she’s a silent sufferer."
I am the first person she sees every morning, and I try to make sure she’s comfortable. I offer extra blankets, water, anything I can do just to make sure she is as happy as she can be. She appears more and more cheerful, and I spend what seems like hours holding her hand and chatting about life, the weather, her family, my family, my future goals, my girlfriend. I show her pictures. We laugh. We smile. But her eyes remain anxious and worried.
She says she likes my bowties, so I make sure to wear one everyday for her. And I tell her, “I thought of you when I put this one on this morning.” She smiles through those tearful, anxious, worried eyes. I smile back. And that is enough to make my day.
I walk in with my bowtie and smile around 6:30pm. She just got back from the CT scanner, and her family is around her bed, as per usual. I visited, just to say good-bye for the day. The sun dips a few degrees further West, just enough to peak through the curtains, and her husband turns to me and says, “Edwin, thanks for bringing the sunshine.”
I stand there, in a loss for words, armed with little more than a bowtie and a smile.
'I am just a medical student,' I think.
"There’s something of yourself that you leave with every meeting with another person…" — Fred Rogers
She’s a joyful, jubilant, glowing 27-year old, and she tells me that just 12 weeks ago she received the best news of her life.
“You are pregnant! You are going to be a mother!”
I wasn’t there, but I close my eyes to imagine the excitement. I imagine the physician coming back with the results of the urine pregnancy test, and I imagine her clenching her husband’s hand until its red, white, and blue, like Raynaud’s phenomenon. I imagine them as they hold their breath to listen, so that not even a whisper of air can distract from this moment. I imagine the tension, the electricity, the anticipation, the anxiety.
Just 12 weeks ago, they had plans of bringing a baby into this world.
Just 12 weeks ago, they began to think of names.
And just 2 weeks ago, she began to feel the ‘fetus’ move, and she became even more aware that a baby, complete with 23 maternal and 23 paternal chromosomes, was growing inside of her uterus. It had a heart beat. It had life. It had a name.
She visits the clinic – alone – at 18 weeks gestation for her routine prenatal checkup. She tells the doctor and me that, recently, she hasn’t been feeling the baby move as much. And even more concerning, she had an episode of bleeding two nights ago. And she’s worried.
She’s worried. And she’s alone.
The doctor tells her that she needs to check-in to the hospital to get a non-stress test done to assess for fetal reactivity. She agrees. I know she’s worried, so I tell her that I would be at the hospital in the afternoon, and that I will check on her. She’s thankful.
When I get there in the afternoon, she is just getting to the hospital. I walk in, and we chat. We talk about the snowstorm that we are supposed to be getting over the weekend. She jokes that meteorologists are always wrong, and that we probably won’t get more than an inch. We joke and laugh, as the nurse begins to set up the doppler and tocodynamometer. I decide to step out and allow her to finish setting up the non-stress test.
I walk to the nurses’ station, and, oddly, the nurse follows behind me. She tells another nurse to call the doctor in the clinic.
Something is off.
A few minutes pass, and I get up to go to the bathroom. As I exit the bathroom, I hear a shriek from the other end of the hallway, the type of shriek that’s filled with passion and pain, the type of shriek I’ve only heard once before in my life. And in that moment, I remember that’s the noise my father made at his grandmother’s funeral.
I walk into her room to see her balled up on the hospital bed, with the doctor holding her hand. And somehow, I know what has happened. I take one look at her eyes - filled with grief, pain, anguish, agony – and one solitary tear gently runs down my cheek onto her sheets.
The doctor holds her hand, and tells her that there is nothing she could’ve done to prevent this from happening. He explains what is going to happen next. He tells her that most of the time, it is due to anomalies that are incompatible with life. She asks questions, and he takes his time to leave none unanswered. She’s tearful, and asks if she can call her husband. We leave the room to give her privacy.
After a while, she is wheeled down to the OR to ‘evacuate the products of conception’ – a phrase that I utterly despise. To her, it is more than a ‘product of conception’. To her, it is more than just a ‘fetus’.
To her, it was her baby. It had a name. It had a life.
And just then, I become disgusted with some of the medical terminology we often use in our notes. We often dehumanize and assign expressions based on legalities and constitutionality, rather than emotions and humanism.
The ‘pregnancy’ is ‘viable,’ as to not imply life.
The ‘fetus’ is not yet a baby, as to avoid an emotional attachment.
We wheel her out of the OR, and her eyes speak an indescribable pain. A pain, that if she had read my post-operative note calling her baby an ‘aborted fetus’, she probably would’ve spit in my face. And I would not blame her.
I take one look at her eyes, and I can’t stomach what I just wrote in the chart. I feel dirty, unclean, dishonest, deceitful. And I want to take my post-operative note and rip it out of the chart. And I want to tell the resident and attending that I will not refer to her baby as an ‘aborted fetus’, and that I demand that we start using terms that illustrate the emotions that this woman is experiencing for her lost baby.
But I don’t.
And I don’t know why.
The 10 writers who spoke at a two- day conference held recently at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington also lead double lives. They are simultaneously successful surgeons, internists and psychiatrists and novelists, poets, essayists and journalists.
The question posed by the conference’s title, ”Can One Serve Apollo Two Ways at Once?” is one that each doctor has faced. (Apollo was the god of both poetry and medicine.) While the answer in all cases was ”yes,” it was the ”why” and ”how” of doing so that proved of greatest interest to the audience of 400, predominantly doctors and medical students, who came to the conference from 27 states and Canada.
Discussions ranged over subjects logistical - how do busy doctors find time to write; ethical - is it right to use patients as material for literature? and philosophical - will knowledge of the humanities, particularly literature, help make someone a better doctor?
The eagerness to share experiences and ideas was not surprising to the conference’s organizer, Dr. Richard Ratzan, assistant professor of surgery, community medicine and health care at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. As a writer of essays and fiction, Dr. Ratzan designed the conference as one ”I wanted to go to myself,” he said. He said he had also become aware of the number of doctors who ”are actively engaged in non-scientific writing.”
Money to hold the conference, which Dr. Ratzan said was the first of its kind in the country, was provided by the Connecticut Humanities Council and the Gannett Foundation.
The medical-literary combination goes back centuries, said Dr. Robert Massey, dean of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. St. Luke, Maimonides, Rabelais, Tobias Smollett, Arthur Conan Doyle and William Carlos Williams are all a part of that tradition. Present-day physician-writers include Walker Percy, Kobo Abbe and Lewis Thomas.
Dr. Gerald Weissmann is a professor of medicine at New York University and the writer of essays and magazine columns on medical subjects. While instructing his students in the difficult art of diagnosis, Dr. Weissmann said he often refers them to Sherlock Holmes, whose legendary deductive powers derive directly from Arthur Conan Doyle’s experience in making clinical judgments.
It was William Carlos Williams, however, who inspired a special admiration as a fine writer and as a doctor who continued to practice medicine after achieving literary success. His description of medicine and writing as ”two parts of a whole” echoes the experience of most of the position- writers at the conference. Despite the time-consuming demands of both professions, most said they enjoyed the interplay and contrasts of the two.
”I love the camaraderie of surgery,” said Dr. Richard Selzer of New Haven, ”and the solitude of writing.”
Dr. Selzer has used his experience in his fiction and essays, which include ”Confessions of a Knife,” ”Mortal Lessons,” and ”Letters to a Young Doctor.”
Though he has written graphic accounts of the disintegration of a corpse and exactly what takes place during an abortion, his purpose, Dr. Selzer said, is not to shock but to demonstrate his ”sense of wonder for the human body.”
Dr. William Ober, who is director emeritus of the Department of Pathology at Hackensack Medical Center in New Jersey, said he delights in finding in some small aspect of a subject a thread that he spins into essays that combine the knowledge of medicine, history, art and literature. For example, his interest in leprosy led to an essay on how lepers have been perceived by artists.
Dr. Ober said he rewrites his essays over many times.
”If the writer is under no obligation to rewrite,” he said, ”the reader is under no obligation to reread.”
Doctors, said Dr. David Hellerstein, learn earlier than other people how to manage time effectively. Still, the demands of two professions and family obligations raise the question: ”How does one keep one’s identity?” Creativity, he said, must be used once again to solve these problems.
If not resolved, those physicians who aspire to writing may share the fate of James Gates Percival, an early 19th-century poet from Connecticut whose life was described by Dr. Ratzan. Dr. Percival spent most of his life rejecting medicine for writing, then rejecting writing for medicine, all interspersed with nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts.
”He was never able to be either a good doctor or a good poet,” Dr. Ratzan concluded.
— Anton Chekhov (via themedicalchronicles)
I clearly look like a woman who needs chocolate all the time because this is the second rotation in which a resident passed by me and gave me...
- I have to know 'wendigo' for my Psych exam
You know where my mind went to…
- Curriculum Office just sent us an email:
"Scheduling website is back online! May the odds be every in your favor."
How I imagine the office: