Archive for November 2010

links to journals   Leave a comment

Here’s a list of links to rhet/comp and other types of journals put together by students at Bowling Green:


Posted November 22, 2010 by jblakescott in Uncategorized

NPR story on Cancer through History   1 comment

From the summary: “Mukherjee’s new book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, grew out of his desire to better understand the disease he treats, through examining the way cancer has been described and treated throughout history. He chronicles the ways therapies evolved, particularly in the 20th century, as more treatment options became available and scientists worked to understand the underlying genetic mutations that caused the disease.”

Like  a semester summary. He even mentions the evolution of the “war against cancer” metaphor.

Posted November 18, 2010 by jbork in Uncategorized

Ex Nursing Professor Suing UCF   1 comment

VERY interesting article about cultural sensitivity and ethical responsibility…..I’m not saying either side is right (the article is a little slanted)….but never the less it addresses an important issue in education and is pretty relevant to our curricular unit.,0,6835228.story


Posted November 17, 2010 by terieleawatkins in Uncategorized

STAT Blog   2 comments

I’ve started to work with blogger, but I think it will be easier to edit the page when I add pages to it, that way I can see how the page displays the links on the main pages.

Anyway, I’m going to go take a nap and start up again tomorrow morning.

Posted November 17, 2010 by capochetta in Uncategorized

Presentation Extras   Leave a comment

For those of you who were curious, here are my slides from last night:


Also, for those interested in the mice of Gonzalez Byass


And finally, for those who may have missed my post on the Educational Films found in Lisa Cartwright’s book:


If anyone has any questions, post them below.


Posted November 10, 2010 by capochetta in Uncategorized

Judge and Jury   Leave a comment

“[T]echnology appears to take over not only seeing but judging as well.  The evidence no longer presents itself nor is received as data to be interpreted but as veridictory statements about the organization of the world.”  (Pg 125, Joseph Dumit, Picturing Personhood)

     When I was a case study this past summer, the doctors decided they would do a SPECT scan on me to measure the metabolites in my brain.  The main focus was to look at my brain choline levels since my blood choline levels were so incredibly low.  The one doctor said something to the effect that they didn’t really know what the SPECT scan would mean, the technology was still fairly new, but it might provide some data regarding the metabolites in my brain.  They said that a computerized graph would chart the levels of each metabolite, of course stimulated via some sort of chemical they put in me intravenously.  So I said sure, I was game.  What was interesting is after the scan I was told my brain metabolites looked good and there was no need to worry.  Now I’m not sitting in a panic by any means, but after last week’s presentation and reading Dumit I have to say:  “Just what exactly did they or didn’t they find out with my SPECT scan?  Was it at all productive?  And what are the consequences should they dismiss my brain chemistry as ‘normal’ due to the SPECT scan?  —or any ‘POTS’ patient for that matter?”  The scan now seems highly arbitrary and ridiculous, and my only real worry is that they will make judgments based on the scan that aren’t necessarily accurate or true.  And I have to wonder just how much their reasoning changed before versus after the scan.  After seeing the actual computerized images were they more convinced of one thing or another, than before they went into the scan with open minds?  Did the colors in the graph persuade their views?  Who exactly determined what the SPECT meant for that matter?  Who got to view the scan?  Why even do the scan?  Were the doctors trying to find solid proof for the memory loss, word retrieval problems, and ‘brain fog’ that I had described to them?  What judgments were made on me the patient and the validity of my narrative based on the scan?  Was I determined more of a drama queen about my symptomology if my brain scans didn’t turn out exceptionally strange to them?

“Expert brain images come to be seen as making the facts visible and being the only objective ‘proof’ that grounds rather than supplements the expert’s truth.  Semiotically, we can see that rather than there being a need for agreement on the chain of representations before logic and rationality can be secured, the rationality and logic of the digital images are being invoked to secure agreement.”  (pg 120, Dumit)

In Picturing Personhood, we are told a story of a judge who chooses to let brain scan images be displayed, but far enough from the jury that they can barely see them, relying mainly on the testimony of experts instead of letting the jurors make judgments on the images themselves.  But for me, as just a patient in general, who exactly are my judge and jury?  And how do scans affect the validity of my patient narrative?  Does a doctor’s empathy or sympathy level change by how abnormal or normal a scan is perceived?


Posted November 9, 2010 by gentyrrell in Uncategorized

Dumit and EHRs   2 comments

While I was reading Dumit, I was questioning how in the world I was really going to be able to connect to all of this scientific talk, until I got to the middle of chapter 2 and ran across this quote:

The historical turning point or scientific catalyst will be the new source of information and the device that provides it.  The challenge to its inventor is to gain the recognition for it from peers who are not prepared to change their perceptions or their stakes to accept this new information.  In fact, Phelps describes most of science in this vein of difficult revolution…..(38).

While his example below this quote deals with PET scans, this absolutely relates to the opposition we are dealing with in terms of EHRs.  While I am not sure that only one inventor is going to have to gain recognition, I believe it will be a system that has to be recognized, and it is the doctors and patients who are going to prepare themselves for a change in perception of the effectiveness of this system and reevaluate their stakes in paper record management.

And Phelp’s PET scan example isn’t much far fetched from what we are seeing with the EHRs.  When Johns Hopkins made the leap and people saw that the approach was possible, it became an accepted approach.  With EHRs, once these trial programs that different medical groups are working with become visible to the populations they will serve and viable as an approach, people  will be able to acknowledge just how effective they are; and then as with the PET scan, the EHR system can become “a really powerful thing” (39).

Posted November 9, 2010 by terieleawatkins in Uncategorized