Category Archives: Superhero Alerts (Become a hero!)

#Superheroalert: The American Board of ObGyn IS LIMITING WOMEN’S #ACCESSTOCARE

My dear superheroes, certain members of the American Board of ObGyn ARE LIMITING WOMEN’S ACCESS TO GYN CARE by decreasing the number of ObGyn residencies in the country.

If you decrease the number of ObGyn residencies, you make less ObGyns. That means less doctors to help women through cancers, childbirth, and trauma.

How are some ABOG members hurting women? By adding a new board certification called “Complex Family Planning”. This happened at the Sept 11 ABMS meeting. If this goes national, every ObGyn residency would have to have an expert who performs Complex Family Planning (and every resident may be required to get certified). This will require many residencies to close.

Why?

“Complex Family Planning” is late term abortion, which requires tearing apart a viable fetus limb from limb. “Noncomplex” family planning is the stuff with less side effects: your contraceptives that include pills, IUDs, Nexplanon, everything else that you can actually afford (and might need) as a woman. Noncomplex family planning also includes all of the safer abortion procedures.

“But doesn’t everybody need to know how to perform abortions?”

Actually, as is, any ObGyn resident already knows how to perform a medical abortion, and every ObGyn resident already knows how to perform a D&C, which is the standard procedure needed not just for surgical abortion but also to help women after miscarriages, and to remove some cancers. Every ObGyn has surgical skills enough to remove not just a baby, but actual complex cancerous tumors from a woman’s uterus–I’m a family medicine resident, and even I know how to perform a medical abortion (I choose not to). EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS HOW TO COMMIT ABORTION; there is no board in Europe or other wealthy nations that requires its ObGyns to have a late-term abortion certification. “Complex Family Planning” is just the willingness to perform a late-term abortion on a fetus with an already working neurological system–a fetus who can already feel pain, and is already viable outside of its mother’s womb (a baby).

The majority of ObGyns in the country today do not perform abortions, and the majority of ObGyns who do perform abortions do NOT perform late term abortions due to significant risks to the mother. There simply aren’t enough ObGyns to fill these “Complex Family Planning” spots. By discriminating against residencies that do not have the finances, or do not have the faith background necessary to hire an abortion-performing staff member, we will dramatically decrease the number of ObGyns who graduate residency in the next few years.

This, of course, will make ObGyns rarer, and increase costs of healthcare for women while giving ObGyns more money–which could be the real driving factor in decreasing ObGyn residencies. Make your product rare and necessary, and you’ve got a monopoly, right?

I’m not saying all doctors, or all ObGyns, are money-greedy bastards (although some certainly are). In fact, I’m asking you to appeal to their best quality: their need to satisfy their patients.

Please write to ABOG, and ask them to demonstrate that they care more about access to care than they do about politics or money. Women NEED access to ObGyn care for their complicated Ob or Gyn cancer needs (everything else they can just come to me = P). Decreasing the number of ObGyns because there aren’t enough ObGyns who perform abortions isn’t punishing the pro-life movement–it’s punishing patients.

Because you care about women’s access to care, please make your opinion known now to ABOG and ABMS. For your convenience, I’ve pasted a small blurb you can use, with contact info below:

Subject: “Complex Fam Planning” Cert will limit access to gyn care

Dear _____________,

Thank-you for your concern about women’s access to gynecological care. I am a WOMAN/PHYSICIAN/OBGYN, and I’m writing to you because I’m concerned that a recent ObGyn board certification may severely decrease MY/WOMEN’S access to gyn care. Maybe you can help.

Recently, ABOG drafted the “Complex Family Planning” certification, which requires late term abortion experience. As you know, most ObGyns do not perform abortions, whether due to medical risk, side effect profile, or ethical reservations. Out of the ObGyns who do perform abortions, most do not perform late term abortions due to risks to the mother and ethical concerns regarding a viable fetus that can feel pain. Because of the shortage of ObGyn care in this country, I am concerned that requiring “Complex Family Planning” will cause many residencies to close: there simply are not enough late term abortion providers in the country to fill all the spots if “Complex Family Planning” experts become required at all residencies. Closing residencies means further limiting an already limited specialty, and limiting much-needed access to care.

From an outside perspective, it almost seems like this is an intentional increase in the cost of ObGyn care. I understand that if there are less ObGyns, they will become more expensive for patients to access, and individual doctors may indeed profit from the monopoly. However, this seems entirely contrary to the ACOG’s stated mission of improving contraceptive, obstetric, and gynecological access for women. A worsened physician shortage will also increase stress and suicide rates among already strained ObGyn specialists.

The country needs every ObGyn we can get. Please do whatever is in your power to prevent the “Complex Family Planning” certification from becoming a nationwide requirement, and keep the doors open for women to access inexpensive contraceptive care.

Thank-you very much,

NAME

ABMS comment portal: (https://www.abms.org/board-certification/cocert-invites-comments)

(Official comment period closed before the meeting, but you can still send post-meeting feedback to certificationmatters@abms.org and COCERTpublicinput@abms.org)

ABOG Board of Directors (https://www.abog.org/about-abog/board-of-directors)

(Please do not CC all; do a BCC so their privacy is protected)

ralverez@abog.org

mcorton@abog.org

dchelmow@abog.org

mdalton@abog.org

dfenner@abog.org

wnicholson@abog.org

mphipps@abog.org

mpisarska@abog.org

srubin@abog.org

jsegars@abog.org

dsoper@abog.org

fvalea@abog.org

ABMS leadership (https://www.abms.org/about-abms/leadership-team)

(Please do not CC all; do a BCC so their privacy is protected)

rhawkins@abms.org

tgranatir@abms.org

mirons@abms.org

jmandelbaum@abms.org

dprice@abms.org

kruff@abms.org

lskarnulis@abms.org

sresnick@abms.org

ABMS snail mail address:

American Board of Medical Specialties

353 North Clark Street

Suite 1400

Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 436-2600

ACGME Contact information

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2000

Chicago, IL 60611

Telephone: 312.755.5000

Fax: 312.755.7498

#Superheroalert: Does your state bother to examine evidence for rape?

“Women shouldn’t have to hold a bake sale to get justice.”

Does your state actually test evidence after rape?

Did you know many states don’t fund rape kit testing? To translate that, some states don’t pay anyone to examine the evidence collected from rape victims’ bodies for years at a time. Missouri has a backlog of 5000 kits that haven’t been examined; in Texas, women are now crowdfunding rape kit testing. I’m all for crowdfunding, but this isn’t a park or an art fair we are talking about, this is CRIMINAL JUSTICE. This is the entire point of the government; this is what the government exists to pay for, even under the strictest libertarian definition of government.

Are we seriously paying for libraries and public schools and art fairs and monuments while we ignore actual crimes against women because we can’t bother to pay to test the evidence?

Do something about it.

Find out how your state does below, and then submit a letter to your representatives. Feel free to rip off mine.

http://www.endthebacklog.org/backlog/where-backlog-exists-and-whats-happening-end-it

Dear Tallahassee representatives,

Our state has 14,435 untested rape kits, and has enacted only modest reform to change this.

This means we have 14,435 women and men, mostly from low-income settings, still waiting for justice.

It is appalling that funding rape investigation is not our main priority. Even under the strictest libertarian definition of government, government exists to protect people from each other. When we have rapists going free because we can’t be bothered to make rape kit testing our priority, we as a state make the clear statement that we don’t give a damn about Florida women, who suffer the brunt of these gendered crimes. As a healthcare provider and a woman in the military, I am horrified to find that we are behind Missouri and even Texas.

Are we seriously paying for libraries and public schools and art fairs and monuments while we ignore horrific violence because we can’t bother to pay to test the evidence?

Do something about it.

Very respectfully,

Jen Finelli Veldhuyzen, MD

byjenfinelli.com

To read more about the issue, follow @FeministsforLife on Twitter, and read their update about it here:

Dear Friend,
Rape kits are an essential tool to ensure justice for survivors of sexual assault. Years ago, it became a hot topic during a presidential election, only to find out that this was a widespread problem. When FFL President Serrin Foster looked into it, insurance brokers told her it was the norm. But there appeared to be a push for change.
So you can imagine our shock and disgust that some states STILL appear to treat rape kits as a second-tier priority.
In Texas, rape kits areactually being crowdfunded by allowing Texans to donate to a state account when they renew their driver’s licenses. Texas has a backlog of more than 3,500 untested rape kits, and each kit costs between $500 and $2,000 to test.
“It’s great that people are donating in Texas to get rape kits tested, but it shouldn’t be up to crowdfunding or donations during driver’s license renewals. This isn’t about funding a community park. This is rape,” Foster said. “And victims of serious crimes deserve to have the evidence tested and kept until the perpetrator is arrested.”
Meanwhile, in Missouri, a backlog over nearly 5,000 rape kits finally promptedpassage of a law creating guidelines for testing, processing, and storing rape kits.
The state attorney general found that approximately one-third of law-enforcement agencies destroyed evidence before the Department of Justice-recommended period of 20 years.
“If they aren’t going to do anything with the evidence, what is the point of having a rape victim suffer through a humiliating, invasive procedure, including photographic evidence in front of a police officer as well as medical staff?” Foster asked. “And can you imagine the frustration of the police officer who does everything possible to help ID the perpetrator, only to let the evidence go unexamined or destroyed, knowing the rapist could go on to assault others?”
FFL Speaker and rape survivor Joyce McCauley-Benner also shares Foster’s outrage:
“Words fail me,” McCauley-Benner said upon learning that some hospitals don’t know how long to retain a rape kit after testing or even where to send it.
“This sends a message that victims are meaningless and not a priority. And we wonder why many victims see no point in coming forward. It’s not taken seriously, and I think it’s even more cruel to do the rape kit itself and then just let it sit or destroy it. You make her relive the horror then, in effect, say, ‘Sorry, never mind. We won’t get to that anyway.'”
McCauley-Benner finds crowdsourcing equally appalling: “Asking for donations is used for unique situations beyond one’s control, NOT for evidence in criminal justice cases. Women shouldn’t have to hold a bake sale to get justice,” McCauley-Benner concluded. “We really deserve better than that!”
According to End the Backlog, there are likely hundreds of thousands of rape kits nationwide that have yet to be tested, and over 225,000 untested rape kits have been uncovered thus far.
“THIS is criminal,” Foster said.
End the Backlog is a program of the Joyful Heart Foundation, the national nonprofit organization founded by actor and activist Mariska Hargitay.
Contact your state legislator today and urge her or him to support FULL funding and testing of ALL rape kits. Check out this map to see if your state measures up. Women — and men — who have been sexually assaulted deserve better.
Because women deserve better,
Damian J. Geminder
Media Coordinator and Editor
P.S. “reCLAIM YOUR VOICE,” FFL’s timely issue exploring the #MeToo movement using our unique pro-woman, pro-life voice, comes with membership. Join or rejoin us now if your support has lapsed ($35 minimum/$25 for student).
Other evergreen theme-based back issues of The American Feminist® are also available atwww.feministsforlife.org/covetable-stuff, including “Forward Into Light,” “A Crying Shame,” “Voices of Women — and Men — Who Mourn,” and “MANIPULATION.” Feminists for Life was the only pro-life group in the National Task Force on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence to work successfully for the Violence Against Women Act (as well as the only feminist group to support the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, aka Laci and Conner’s Law). Among other essential measures, VAWA introduced the federal rape shield law and also funded victim assistance services, including rape crisis centers and hotlines.

Superheroalert: 5 Ways YOU can help #PuertoRico TODAY! #dogood via @VargasVidot @BillyTaub & @PonceHealthSU

Aight, Superpeeps, another superheroalert. Bottom line up front: Join me in helping Puerto Rico recover by heading to the PMSFRELIEFFUND.org and iniciativacomunitaria.org.

Iniciativa Comunitaria normally works with clinics in the north of the island to help the homeless and reach out to Guatemala and Haiti, but now, with the disaster around them, they’re turning to local aid relief. They work with Puerto Rican Senator Vargas Vidot. I don’t know much about his politics, but I can tell you, having met him in person, his heart’s huge. Please read to the end of this article to read his truly inspirational speech about saving the soul of medicine!

My heart’s got a special place for the PHSU foundation, too. Since the crisis began, the students/faculty have provided medical and psychological support services and have been delivering over 100,000 lbs of privately donated goods and supplies to the residents, most of whom lost their homes and all of their possessions in the hurricane. That’s my alma mater, people!

Other initiatives:

Send nutrition, baby care, and beauty product care packages to Puerto Rico with my buddy Bill Taub. A prolific film consultant, Taub has volunteered his Arbonne business to join LYNC8 Project. He’s shipping these packages at cost free, meaning no profit—so if we can just cover the costs of making the products and shipping them, a Puerto Rican mother can care for her baby and feel a little more like a lady again. Contact him at billtaubarb AT gmail! Of note, iniciativacomunitaria.org is located in the North, and Ponce’s relief fund towards the South, but LYNC8 is located in the WEST, around the dam, where people got hit the hardest. I’d give to all three if I were you.

Sign this petition to deploy 50,000 US troops to help Puerto Rico rebuild. In the words of Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, “Puerto Rico is a bigger and tougher mission than Katrina, and we had 20,000 federal troops.” Yet only 4,400 federal troops have been deployed. What’s wrong with that picture? Puerto Ricans are American citizens. They’re not them or they. They’re us. US. If you search “Puerto Rico” on change.org, you’ll find a number of other petitions worth joining.

Sign this petition to get rid of the totalitarian Jones Act, which even without the hurricane prevents Puerto Ricans from getting food and necessary supplies. It’s a law that means that all ships that go to Puerto Rico have to land in Florida first–even if it would be closer to go to Puerto Rico! Shipping monopolies love this law because it gives them tons of money. Puerto Ricans hate this law because it means everything takes longer to get to them, and is nearly double mainland prices sometimes. End the discrimination against the poor!

-I’m trying to get in touch with my old Social Medicine group, and our sister organization, Amor Que Sana y Casa Ana Medina, in the South of Puerto Rico. Stay tuned. Samaritan’s Purse may also be doing good in the island.

But more than anything, I want you to join LOCAL organizations, by joining iniciativacomunitaria.org, and psmfrelieffund.org.

When Dr. Vidot came and spoke at my medical school graduation, surrounded by brilliant lights and brilliant minds, decked in fine robes and tassels on a stage of tropical splendor, he told us a passionate story about the humble little black case doctors used to carry. It’s a story you need to hear, so Senator Vidot gave me permission to share his speech—and I think now is a better time than any.

Hagamos Sonreir

by J. Vargas Vidot

SPANISH ORIGINAL

Vivimos en un mundo complicado. Ustedes reciben un diploma que se convierte de inmediato en un emplazamiento moral, en una factura por cobrar, en un dilema ético. Y en que consiste?

Este dilema ético consiste en el desafío de escoger entre la gente y usted. Por delante les queda todavía unos cuantos años de una extraña combinación de retos y lamentos—todavía el sistema no los va a soltar a la realidad desprotegida de las paredes fuera del claustro académico. Todavía le quedan años de pasar o no pasar entre los cuales serán enfrentados en forma escalonada con las obscuras realidades que ensombrecen a la medina de hoy en día.

Antes aspirábamos a tener un pequeño maletín negro que no necesitaba bata blanca o nombres de prestigiosas universidades o centros medicos. Era un maletín negro incomodo para guardar las herramientas de rigor, pero con suficiente espacio para tener las herramientas que nos conectaban con la vulnerabilidad del prójimo. El pequeño pero venerado maletín del medico era símbolo de tantos sueños de esperanza, y cuando se llegaba a una casa las personas hasta buscaban donde situar este maravilloso icono de humildad y de reconciliación.

(When Dr. Vargas told this story on stage, he told us about how when he was a little boy, and the doctor came to his house, they made him move out of his chair so the little black doctor bag had a place to sit—it couldn’t be on the floor! He regaled us with stories of the famous, highly-esteemed doctor who still respectfully greeted/saluted his poor, lower-class grandmother when they passed on the street. Dr. Vargas then told us that achieving that little black doctor bag wasn’t expected for a boy like him. When he told his doctor he wanted to practice medicine when he grew up, the doctor asked him, “what neighborhood are you from, boy?” Upon hearing Dr. Vargas’ answer, the doctor shook his head. “You should consider nursing instead.”)

Mi papa, un hombre trabajado, aspiraba, mas que a otra cosa, a regalarme ese pequeño maletín en donde cabina tantas ilusiones, en donde no sabia un pet scan o un sofisticado lap top con miles de digas capaces de transportarnos a la medicina moderna pero tristemente desafiliandonos de la mas intima relación de transmutación con la persona que requiere mis servicios. Y hoy ganamos diplomas y reconocimientos que definitivamente son la mas intensa manifestación de tus logros, pero de ahi, en adelante, el maletincito se perdió en la inmensa complejidad irreducible de los que hoy es la medicina.

La sociedad espera grandes cosas de ustedes, pero las mas excelsas, las de mas transcendencia, las virtudes que este mundo hastiado de burocracia, pedantería e indiferencia basada en la ambición de protagonismos, espera, es que tu seas tu, es que puedas ademas de haber memorizado miles de algoritmos diagnósticos, puedas abrir el mas importante espacio de tu corazón, de tus emociones para recibir con solidaridad amorosa a prójimo.

(At this point, Dr. Vargas told us a story about one of his missions to Guatemala. He was running a clinic of children, and reporters came by to interview one of the boys he’d examined and treated. He ran up to the camera to explain to them, with great pride, all he’d done for the boy—but they said, “no, let the boy talk.” So they asked the boy, “what did the doctor do for you?” The boy stood quietly, and Dr. Vargas became stressed: the boy didn’t talk about how he listened to the boy’s heart and examined his abdomen and found the right medication, and instead just stood there, silently. “Did the doctor do anything for you?”

“He made me smile,” said the boy.

That was what the patient wanted.

“En cambio,” or on the other hand, Dr. Vargas told us of a rushed ER doc who said the patient’s lungs were clear…and the patient looked, and noticed the doctor didn’t even have the stethoscope in his ears. Was this a problem of a system that overworks the doctor in the name of higher pay, to exhaustion? Was this a problem of an individual who in that broken system no longer had the heart to care? Was this the future doctor we, sitting in that audience, would become? Or would we have our stethoscopes in our ears, and listen?)

Los haitianos que fueron parte de mi misión en Haiti a tres o cuatro meses de su tragedia, parecían alegres y se proponían con verdadera pasión volver a soñar, ya mi me resoluto extraña esa actitud tan alegre cuando todavía el mundo lloraba el terremoto. Ante mis preguntas, preocupado de que sus alegrías fueran interpretados como insensibilidad, fueron contestadas de la siguiente forma,

“Nosotros los haitianos hemos sufrido siempre, mucho antes del terremoto, ya sufríamos y a través del tiempo aprendimos a superar el dolor rápidamente porque de lo contrario el dolor nos mataría. Y la forma en que lo hemos logrado es cargando muy poco. Y le damas las gracias por lo que usted nos enseña, porque el día en que ustedes tengan que pasar por lo que nosotros pasamos, les va a ser imposible levantarse, porque ustedes cargan mucho, porque ustedes dependen de tantas cosas, porque ustedes le llaman éxito a tener lo que no necesitan.”

Antes el medico solo necesitaba una pequeña maleta, porque la mas grande virtud, la cargaban en su alma, en su espíritu de servicio, en su humildad y entrega.

Hoy ustedes están obligados a ser la mas revolucionaria transición entre una medicina que los viejos hemos prostituido convirtiéndola en una vergonzosa medicina corporativa, y la necesidad de regresar alas raíces solidarias de esta noble profesión. Recuerde la nobleza de nuestra clase no ni residía en el pasado en la maleta negra, ni en el presente reside en la brillante bata blanca, ni en el futuro inmediato residirá en una tecnología que desafía el ciclo natural del humano; la nobleza de nuestra clase reside en los actos nobles que usted logre evidencia en su conducta profesional y personal.

Los niveles de depresión, ansiedad, el alcoholismo, y el uso de drogas, e inclusive el suicidio y el rompimiento de familias por divorcio es una realidad que sirve de contra punto paradójico a la ilusión de que el medico es el mejor que esta. Es a ustedes a quienes les toca volver a encontrar una senda de paz que sin rechazar la ciencia y los avances, pueda devolver al medico la sencillez del maletincito negro.

Y create, la inversion en el bien no es una característica de los débiles—es la virtud de los verdaderamente fuertes. Los vientos de futuro soplan hacia la incertidumbre y es en esos vientos en donde usted debe de navegar su nave. Le puedo garantizar, como dice Facundo Cabral que, “lo que se pierde en nombre, se gana en eternidad.”

El amor que nos trajo, es el que nos va a permitir sobrevivir.

Ustedes no reciben mete diploma gratuitamente—este diploma es un contrato social en el que usted debe, por encima de cualquier cosa, redimir la mediocridad del pasado, abriendo puertas de esperanza, entendiendo que no es necesario cargar mucho. Nuestro maletín es interno con intension de brillar a lo externo.

Seamos la puerta al amor, seamos el candado que encierra a la desesperanza; el Dr. Izquierdo Mora, mi maestro, decía que mas que un buen medico, seamos un medico bueno. Seamos buenos, no perdamos la capacidad de indignarnos, no perdamos la capacidad de soñar, no perdamos la capacidad de alcanzar el camino que en la sencillez nos devuelve al principio del amor.

Hagamos sonreír.

~Jose Vargas Vidot

LOOSE ENGLISH TRANSLATION

We live in a complicated world. You receive a diploma that immediately becomes a moral ground, a bill receivable, an ethical dilemma. And what does it consist of?

This ethical dilemma consists of the challenge of choosing between the people and yourself. Ahead there are still a few years left of this strange combination of challenges and regrets–the system doesn’t allow you yet into the unprotected reality outside the walls of academic cloister. There are still years to pass or not to pass before you become confronted in a staggering way with the dark realities that overshadow medicine today.

Before we aspired to have a small black briefcase that did not need a white coat or names of prestigious universities or medical centers. It was an uncomfortable black case to keep the tools of rigor, but with enough space to have the tools that connected us with the vulnerability of others. The doctor’s small but revered briefcase was a symbol of so many dreams of hope, and when people came to a house they even gave up their seats for this wonderful icon of humility and reconciliation.

(When Dr. Vargas told this story on stage, he told us about how when he was a little boy, and the doctor came to his house, they made him move out of his chair so the little black doctor bag had a place to sit—it couldn’t be on the floor! He regaled us with stories of the famous, highly-esteemed doctor who still respectfully greeted/saluted his poor, lower-class grandmother when they passed on the street. Dr. Vargas then told us that achieving that little black doctor bag wasn’t expected for a boy like him. When he told his doctor he wanted to practice medicine when he grew up, the doctor asked him, “what neighborhood are you from, boy?” Upon hearing Dr. Vargas’ answer, the doctor shook his head. “You should consider nursing instead.”)

My father, a working man, aspired more than anything else to give me that little briefcase where I had so many illusions, where I did not know a pet scan or a sophisticated lap top with thousands of gigas capable of transporting us to modern medicine–but sadly disaffiliating us from the most intimate relationship of transmutation with the person who requires our services. Today we win diplomas and recognitions that are definitely an intense manifestation of your achievements, but I fear briefcase has been lost in the immense irreducible complexity of what today is medicine.

Society expects great things from you, but the most exalted, the most transcendent virtues, the ones that this world really awaits as its blasted with bureaucracy, pedantry and indifference based on the ambition of prominence–the greatest virtue is that while you memorize thousands of diagnostic algorithms, you can also open the most important space of your heart, of your emotions, to receive your neighbor with loving solidarity.

(At this point, Dr. Vargas told us a story about one of his missions to Guatemala. He was running a clinic of children, and reporters came by to interview one of the boys he’d examined and treated. He ran up to the camera to explain to them, with great pride, all he’d done for the boy—but they said, “no, let the boy talk.” So they asked the boy, “what did the doctor do for you?” The boy stood quietly, and Dr. Vargas became stressed: the boy didn’t talk about how he listened to the boy’s heart and examined his abdomen and found the right medication, and instead just stood there, silently. “Did the doctor do anything for you?”

“He made me smile,” said the boy.

That was what the patient wanted.

“En cambio,” or on the other hand, Dr. Vargas told us of a rushed ER doc who said the patient’s lungs were clear…and the patient looked, and noticed the doctor didn’t even have the stethoscope in his ears. Was this a problem of a system that overworks the doctor in the name of higher pay, to exhaustion? Was this a problem of an individual who in that broken system no longer had the heart to care? Was this the future doctor we, sitting in that audience, would become? Or would we have our stethoscopes in our ears, and listen?)

The Haitians who were part of my mission in Haiti three or four months after their tragedy seemed happy and proposed with real passion to dream again, and that happy attitude struck me as strange when the earth was still crying over the earthquake. I questioned them, worried that their joys would be interpreted as insensibility. They answered:

“We Haitians have always suffered, long before the earthquake; we already suffered and over time we learned to overcome pain quickly because otherwise the pain would kill us. And the way we have achieved it is by carrying very little. And we thank you for what you teach us, because the day you have to go through what we go through, it will be impossible for you to get up, because you carry a lot, because you depend on so many things, because you call it success to have what you do not need.”

Before the doctor only needed a small suitcase, because the greatest virtue, loaded in his soul, was his spirit of service, in his humility and dedication.

Today you are bound to see the most revolutionary transition between a medicine that we old people have prostituted, turning it into a shameful corporate medicine, and the need to return to the roots of solidarity of this noble profession. Remember the nobility of our class did not reside in the past in the black suitcase, nor in the present resides in the bright white coat, nor in the immediate future will reside in a technology that challenges the natural cycle of the human life; The nobility of our class lies in the noble acts that you achieve, evidenced by your professional and personal conduct. The levels of depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug-use, suicide, and divorce among doctors serves as a paradoxical counterpoint to the illusion that the doctor’s way is the best one. It is up to you to find a path of peace so that without rejecting science and advances, you can return to the simplicity of the little black suitcase.

And believe me, investment in good is not a characteristic of the weak-it is the virtue of the truly strong. The future winds blow towards uncertainty and it is in those winds where you must navigate your ship. I can guarantee, as Facundo Cabral says, that “what is lost in name, is earned in eternity.”

The love that brought us here is the one that will allow us to survive.

You do not receive a diploma for free-this diploma is a social contract in which you must, above all, redeem the mediocrity of the past, opening doors of hope, understanding that it is not necessary to carry a lot. Our briefcase is internal with the intention to shine externally.

Let’s be the door to love, let’s be the lock that locks the despair; Dr. Izquierdo Mora, my teacher, said that more than becoming a “buen medico”–or good doctor–we need to be a “medico bueno”–a doctor who is good. Let’s be good, let’s not lose the ability to be indignant, let’s not lose the ability to dream, let’s not lose the ability to reach the path that in simplicity returns us to the principle of love.

Let’s make smiles.

~ Jose Vargas Vidot

Meditate on this a little, even if you aren’t a doctor. How is your life a social contract for good? When you’re done pondering, join Dr. Vargas at Iniciativacomunitaria.org, and join my fellow medical students and teachers at PMSRELIEFFUND.org. Puerto Ricans like Dr. Vargas aren’t victims who need your pity; they’re heroes who need your action. And we can be their supporting cast as they rebuild.

How will you build your #superheroalert response today?

I know a hero when I see one. #superheroalert #dogood

This guy knows a hero when he sees one!

It’s another superhero alert–this one jokingly, to talk about how to warn people of danger. Don’t be a pretentious douchebag: if you believe in hell as an actual reality, for example, you should totally warn people about it, but there’s more than one way to have that conversation. If I don’t believe in it, you screaming at me probably won’t back my spirit away from the cliff I can’t see. It’s the same with suicide, alcohol abuse, or a brick on the street that might make a guy stumble. You come off as a jackass when you think you’re somehow special, somehow better than someone else.

Read More…

You Boycott Halloween to Save Black Cats (#superheroalert for @blackcatrescue #adopt)

from buttersafe.comThought that was pretty cute, huh? Buttersafe’s cool, you should check them out.

I wanted to bring up black cats for this #superheroalert because we’ve got Halloween coming up. More black cats are tortured and killed around this time of year than any other month, and that’s pretty messed up. The stereotypical activity of a superhero—rescuing a cat out of a tree for some little old lady, right? We should do that.

This year, I’m “rescuing” by boycotting Halloween.

“Wait, what? Why you gotta hate on Halloween? Why can’t you just NOT torture cats?”

Great point, imaginary person I invented for the sake of argument. Here’s the deal. If you look into the history of Halloween across multiple Western (usually Catholic) cultures, you’ll find it almost always revolves around people placating some dead spirit (benevolent or otherwise) or demon, which is actually kind of anti-humanist. You know, like we have to bow to cruel forces, rather than rebelling, because of fear. Fear’s a great thing to talk about, as hero-wanna-bes, because it’s a healthy way for us to remember our place in the Universe. We’re not the biggest thing. We’re not even the best thing. Fear is healthy sometimes. But when our fear becomes a celebration of, and a submission to, the tyranny of evil, we have a problem.

“Oh, silly Jen, you’re over-exaggerating. Dressing up as ghosts isn’t a ‘submission to the tyranny of evil.’”

Read More…

Michael Timm programs “#PokemonGo for water” to save his city! #superheroalert

Michael programmed a “Pokemon Go for water” to teach local Milwaukee natives how to protect their water—and to connect them with the history of the Great Lakes around them. He also made a board game for kids to learn about invasive quagga mussels–it helps them think practically about how to protect their environment from invasive species. Here, he gives tips on grant-writing, water conservation, and using your creative capacities for community good. All this and more in the above water stories with Michael Timm: using apps and games to improve environmental sustainability!

What will you do for your #superheroalert?

Check out other #superheroalerts at http://becominghero.ninja (search for superheroalert), where I talk about how to become a superhero!

Download Water Story Here: http://refloh2o.com/water-story/

Check out Michael’s other stuff at matimm.com

What I’ve learned about heroes by playing one (#actor @RickyDaVision) #superheroalert

I have a lovely treat for you Superpeeps today! Wanna become a superhero? This is kind of an interview/guest post by superhero film actor @RickyDaVision: what can we learn about heroes by pretending to be them?

There are a lot of words that people often use to describe a superhero. Courageous, brave, sincere, compassionate, determined just to name a few. To be all of those things ultimately doesn’t require having the strength to move mountains or ability to read people’s minds.

(Although that definitely helps.)

Read More…

You live in a #scifi! How will you save the world? #superheroalert

I’m writing from the past to tell you that YOU live in the future.

I don’t mean that metaphorically. You live in a wild science fiction world that many people can’t even imagine, and you can impact and change that scifi tale if you want. Let me show you. Or, as a freaky man once put it, “I’d like to play a game.” Tell me which of these three technology scenarios is in development–or already working!–right now.

Home-grown Pancreas

Read More…

follow us in feedly follow on instagram

Click to put YOUR ad here!

I print my comics with Ka-Blam!
Buy me a drink!
BookViral