Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Let your conscience be your guide

From the New York Times: 

Robert Grossman, a prolific and outlandish illustrator who made President Richard M. Nixon into Pinocchio, put President George W. Bush in a dunce cap and tied a jet in a knot for the “Airplane!” movie poster, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 78.

The forgotten victims of the opioid crisis

Patients with chronic pain. This essay in Harper's by Brian Goldstone is heartbreaking.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Dean will see you now

The Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal at Michigan State has gotten even weirder. The Wall Street Journal is reporting this unusual nugget of information about William Strampel, the Dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine who appears to have covered for Nassar over the years.

In a spring 2005 section of a year-long introductory course on physical examinations taught by (Dean) Dr. Strampel, for example, a male model hired for students to practice prostate and rectal exams didn’t show up. Dr. Strampel offered himself as the model patient, according to an account written by several students and shared with a longtime faculty member shortly afterward.

According to that letter, he directed his offer at one student, and that student left the room alone with Dr. Strampel and conducted the rectal exam, telling classmates afterward that he was concerned about failing the course if he declined.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

"The Wichita State Shockers have a wizard of a coach, a strong defense, and financial support from the world’s eighth-richest man."

Who happens to be Charles Koch, we are informed by the buzzkills at the New Yorker.

What, you didn't know that billionaires have started bankrolling college sports? You weren't aware that the Michigan Wolverines are led by the David and Meredith Kaplan Men’s Basketball Head Coach, John Beilein? Or that Chris Collins holds the position of Sullivan-Ubben Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Northwestern?

Why, for only $5 million, you could even endow a basketball coaching position at Duke.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"A long-time Toronto psychiatrist, who believes homosexuality is a 'sexual disorder' that can be overcome, has been found guilty by Ontario’s medical regulator of sexually abusing two of his male patients."

His license has been suspended. 

"What is the actual state of the U? Fairly typical, extremely dire, in need of change, not without hope."

Robert Katz of the U library writes in MinnPost:

On March 1 the president of the University of Minnesota gave a superlative-saturated State of the University Address. The university described in this speech is not the one I am familiar with. My own perception is that the U is a pretty average large public university. I do not see mediocrity in itself as a bad thing. Most of the people I know are quite average. And most of the things that make our society possible are produced by normal people. By its very nature being average is, well, average.

But, given the dysfunctional state of the “higher education industry” as a whole, a typical university ruins the lives of many of its students, and threatens the economic well-being of the entire nation. The cost of higher education has long been increasing much faster than our ability to afford it. Last year saw a new record in the number of defaulted student loans. The current amount of government-backed student loans exceeds $1.3 trillion. Much of this debt will not be repaid, but will add to the looming federal debt crisis. In 2011 the Wall Street Journal printed a story that identified the growth in administrative costs as the major source of this problem. The article identified the U as a prime example of this trend: It added 1,000 administrators in 10 years. The level of administrative costs is one area where the U cannot afford to be average.