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    Forum Posts by
    Colleen Farrell

    • A Body With Bullet Holes and the Right to Arm Ourselves

      Posted on October 12, 2015

      At the end of an otherwise quiet night, we were paged to the emergency department for a stat trauma. A man with multiple gunshot wounds was wheeled by paramedics into the trauma bay, his blood pressure perilously low. The surgeons searched his body for blood. They cut off his clothes and rolled his body onto… Read more

    • When Words Matter: Medical Education and the Care of Transgender Patients

      Posted on June 16, 2015

      I was only there to learn how to place IV lines. But as my anesthesia attending and I gathered our needles, tourniquet, and gauze, I noticed that our patient, whom I’ll call Jamie, didn’t appear to fit into a narrowly defined version of gender. I wasn’t sure whether to refer to Jamie as she, he,… Read more

    • Learning to Talk Like a Doctor

      Posted on May 13, 2013

      Three years before beginning medical school, I got off a bus in Granada, Spain and met the family I would be living with for four months. My host parents, Carmen and Monolo, introduced themselves and asked how old I was, where I was from, and how many sisters and brothers I had.  Within a few… Read more

    • Unexpected Lessons from the Anatomy Lab

      Posted on December 14, 2012

      We put on navy blue scrubs, plastic aprons, goggles, and gloves and walked into the anatomical dissection rooms for the first time.Three other first-year medical students and I gathered around our assigned table on either side of a black body bag. We unzipped the bag and then peeled away the white sheet that covered the… Read more

    • If We’re Going to Talk About My Reproductive Future . . .

      Posted on May 3, 2012

      When I tell people I’m going to medical school, it’s often not long until the conversation starts moving toward when and how I will have children. When I was 14 and first got the idea that I wanted to be a doctor, one of the first teachers I told asked me how I would do… Read more

    • Pink Ribbons, Wire Hangers, and the Politics of Women’s Health

      Posted on March 1, 2012

      “Pink is the new wire hanger.”  In the flurry of tweets that followed in the wake of the debacle between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood, this one was my favorite. It combined two powerful symbols in women’s health–the pink ribbon of the breast cancer movement and the wire hangers used by women to… Read more

    • Medicine, Motherhood, and Moral Obligations

      Posted on July 20, 2011

      The day I submitted my applications to medical school, Karen Sibert published an op-ed in the New York Times calling on young women to very carefully consider the choice to pursue a career in medicine. Sibert is convinced that with the looming doctor shortage, especially in primary care, our country simply cannot afford for doctors… Read more

    • AIDS at 30: The Epidemic of the ’80s as American History

      Posted on June 3, 2011

      Thirty years ago, on June 5, 1981, the Centers for Disease Control published a report of five “homosexuals” who had been stricken with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in Los Angeles. Before the immune system failure that caused these fatal cases of pneumonia was eventually named AIDS, it was called GRID — for Gay Related Immune Deficiency.… Read more

    • Choosing Tomorrow’s Doctors

      Posted on May 12, 2011

      In recent decades, the qualities that medical schools have looked for in their applicants have changed significantly – and for the better. While in the past being a straight-A science student was the ticket in, recently medical schools have placed an increasing emphasis on the personal qualities of applicants and their demonstrated interest and experience… Read more

    • Endangered Species Alert: Florida Manatees, Siberian Tigers, and . . . Women?

      Posted on March 29, 2011

      A few weeks ago, I took a trip down to the New School in Manhattan to attend a conference called The Body and the State. I didn’t know who Susie Orbach was at the time, but when she earnestly stated that women are an endangered species, I felt the former science major within me stewing.… Read more

    • Pretty in Pink: Is This Women’s Health Activism?

      Posted on October 19, 2010

      “I ‘Heart’ Boobies,” “Pink Pony Charity Event,” “I like it on the _____,” KFC’s “Buckets for the Cure.” These are just a few of the slogans and campaigns that are trying to raise awareness of breast cancer during this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. Many journalists and activists have already issued pointed critiques of such efforts.… Read more

    • The New Frontier of HIV Prevention

      Posted on September 22, 2010

      At this summer’s International AIDS Conference in Vienna, two South African researchers revealed the results of an HIV prevention clinical trial that could herald a new era of HIV prevention efforts worldwide and raise a host of ethical questions regarding resource allocation, health care costs, and preventative medicine. The trial, CAPRISA 004, was the first… Read more