Friday, April 29, 2016

Can't stop thinking about the brain

Last fall I happened to catch part of a PBS series on the brain hosted by David Eagleman. I haven't stopped being able to think about it ever since. I bought a copy of the DVD and book for my library and have recommended it to several library patrons. 

What is so interesting about it? Well as you may guess brain science is growing by leaps and bounds. There are things we know today that we didn't know six months or a year ago. One episode I found the most interesting, #5 for anyone who wants to check it out, was the "social brain". An interview with Dr. Lasana Harris in the Netherlands revealed some very interesting discoveries. 

  • Dr. Lasana Harris at Leiden University has discovered that the brain can dehumanize people, registering some people as little more than objects. When he showed subjects different groups of people, including bankers, nurses, sports people, and the homeless, their social networks were deactivated when they viewed images of the homeless. When we perceive others as less than human it’s easier to ignore them, and it’s easier to suspend the moral and social rules we normally live by. Dr Eagleman reveals that Propaganda is an important step from dehumanization to the mass atrocities of genocide. Propaganda plugs directly into circuits in the brain, dialing down the degree to which one group cares about another group.
I hope some of you are interested enough that you'll watch this series too. It really will change the way you think about the brain.

Want to test your knowledge of the brain? Check out these quizzes online.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Getting to know the Nation's First Chief Data Scientist

Data is a big deal. If we haven't heard the buzz yet, seeing the increasing number of MLA webinars that mention data are giving us a heads-up that data is coming to health sciences and medical librarianship. It's already here in our hospitals, universities, and health care systems. 

According to Patil, the best data scientists all have one thing in common: "unbelievable curiosity.” I was thinking that the best librarians I know have that same trait. Maybe there are future data scientists right in our midst?


10 Questions for the Nation’s First Chief Data ScientistDJ Patil reflects on his first year as chief data scientist in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

NLM Blast from the Past

Check out this great video from NLM's In Focus Blog


Smoking in the boardroom. Card catalogs. Keypunch equipment. Get a blast from the past in this 1963 film about the National Library of Medicine. You can hear Senator Lister Hill and catch a glimpse of famed heart surgeon Michael DeBakey and former NLM director Frank Bradway Rogers. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ministry Libraries blog - check it out!

What’s New at Ministry Library Services: Announcements and featured resources for Library users of Ministry Health Care 

Michele Matucheski started blogging way back in 2004 with the What’s New at Affinity Library Services blog.   It was a way to archive the articles we published to our internal employee newsletter.  Sometimes we wanted to refer back to a previous article, and it was much easier to find it on the Library blog than in the employee newsletter.  After the merger of Affinity and Ministry Health Care in 2012, we created a NEW blog to reflect the new Ministry Library Services Team with a system-wide focus.   Now these stories are posted to our internal corporate Facebook-like intranet home page, other internal newsletters, or emailed to stakeholders (Physicians and/or Nurses).  The blog provides a centralized place to archive our stories, and revisit when someone asks a follow-up question.  It’s easy to point them to the respective article on the blog. 

Although Michele learned about blogging for work, she also has a personal blog tracking her creative endeavors : Sweet Leaf Notebook:

The goal is to post new articles twice a month, sometimes more.   Articles cover topics such as our featured resources like Clinical Key or Nursing Reference Center, how to sign up for our mobile apps, Top 10 eJournals, training opportunities,  new LibGuides, frequently-asked-questions, and more.  

In that respect, the blog also makes the content more widely available to our Librarian colleagues outside our organization. Deb and I are thrilled to know that the content is also being read by our peers. That said, please be aware that our target audience for these articles is our own Ministry Health Care Library Users, which means some of the links won’t work outside our firewall.  We think you’ll still find the articles interesting and useful and perhaps adaptable for your own patrons. 

Currently, Deb Knippel is doing a series on Copyright Awareness, which will likely be of interest to WHSLA Librarians, and beyond.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so feel free to leave us comments, or contact us directly.

Michele Matucheski, MLS, AHIP


Deb Knippel, MS


Friday, April 15, 2016

Book review - Delivering Doctor Amelia : The Story Of A Gifted Young Obstetrician’s Mistake And The Psychologist Who Helped Her

Here is a book recommendation from Robert Koehler, Unity Point-Meriter Hospital. 


Book review - Delivering Doctor Amelia : The Story Of A Gifted Young Obstetrician’s Mistake And The Psychologist Who Helped Her

When this book was published in 2003, Dan Shapiro was a psychologist who specialized in treating physicians. Delivering Doctor Amelia tells the story of one such clinician, Amelia Sorvino, a gifted obstetrician who finds herself in the grip of crippling self-doubt following a delivery that resulted in a poor outcome. Not only is she facing a malpractice suit, Amelia fears that she did make a mistake that caused the problem. As a result, she no longer feels capable of delivering other babies.
From the first session with Shapiro, Amelia seems to be holding back rather than opening up during her sessions. This leads to a growing suspicion on Shapiro’s part that he might be dealing with a suicidal patient. The book vividly documents the unfolding journey of self-discovery on the part of both patient and physician.

In his narrative, Shapiro introduces several other side stories. One is his earlier battle with Hodgkin’s disease, intertwined with the efforts with his wife to conceive a second child through in vitro fertilization. A third is his contrasting of Amelia’s case with another patient he has treated, a young girl scheduled to have a leg amputated because of a cancer diagnosis.

Shapiro does a good job of weaving these strands into the overall piece. My problem with the book centers on two issues. The first deals with Amelia herself; she did not seem believable to me as described by the author. I know Shapiro went out of his way to disguise her true identity; perhaps that led to my feeling that some essential piece of her was not captured on the page. The other issue centered on the fact that I learned more about Shapiro’s personality than I did Amelia’s.

These caveats aside, Delivering Doctor Amelia is the type of medical story that will most likely appeal to a wide audience. Its prose is easily understood by the layperson and the puzzle of Amelia is an interesting one. More importantly though, the topic addressed here is an important one. As the author shows, physicians suffer from high rates of mental health issues due to the stresses they face on the job. Finding a way to insure they succeed in their profession is a benefit to us all.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Thinking of taking on a fieldwork student or library intern?

Our library is looking to hire a library intern to help with some cataloging and digital projects we have on the horizon. In looking for interview questions I ran across this wonderful guide from Multnomah County Library in Oregon. While it's written from a public library perspective, I really appreciated the depth and breadth of their guide: Effective Library Internships: A Toolkit for Success. 

It covers everything from interview questions, to acceptance and rejection letters, checklists, exit interviews, evaluations, top concerns of interns and much more. While fieldwork students will have paperwork from their own university that you need to fill out, this guide easily governs how to manage interns and fieldwork students alike. Having not had any formal training in management or HR in library school, I really appreciate this guide that covers the A-Zs of making sure your intern or fieldwork positions are a success. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why Don’t The Nation’s Top Med Schools Have Family Medicine Departments?

I recently heard an interesting segment on the radio show "Here & Now". Medical students in top schools around the nation are calling for a greater focus on instruction in Family Medicine. Ten of the most prestigious medical schools in America have no instruction in family medicine: Columbia, George Washington, Johns Hopkins, and Yale to name a few. Take a listen...

You can read a longer report from STAT focusing on the lack of family medicine curriculum at Harvard Medical School in particular: