OHSU’s most read blog posts of 2012

By Brycie Jones

The next installment in our 2012 year-in-review series features OHSU’s most-read blog posts. These posts received the most unique page views out of all posts on all of our blogs.

Special mention: 2012 Nike Doernbecher Freestyle Collection, Healthy Families

The release of the Nike Doernbecher Freestyle collection is always popular, and it’s easy to see why. Each year, six patients from OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital are selected to work with Nike designers to create six pairs of limited-edition shoes. All proceeds from these shoes benefit our OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

This year we were able to share videos and blog posts on each of our patient-designers. Be sure to head over to Healthy Families, our Doernbecher blog, to read about their stories and fantastic shoe designs.

5. How our brains control pain, On The Brain

This post was one of the first to appear on our blog for the OHSU Brain Institute, On The Brain. An excerpt from the post, written by Mary Heinricher, Ph.D. :

Pain is often a warning that something is wrong and that we need to act to avert impending injury or allow ourselves to rest and recuperate. But sometimes pain outlasts an injury, and sometimes we have pain without any obvious injury at all. How can that be?

4. Why I chose Ph.D., part one, StudentSpeak

StudentSpeak, our longest-running blog, features posts by students from our School of Medicine and our School of Nursing. One of those students, David Edwards, wrote about what led him to work for his Ph.D. instead of aiming for a M.D. The whole story is a two-parter. Here’s an excerpt from part one, which lands at No. 4 on our most-read list:

I wasn’t initially interested in graduate school. In college, I started off, like so many students vaguely interested in medicine or healthcare, wanting to be a physician.

I was serious about it, too. I volunteered at hospitals, worked on medical research, served for three years as board member for our local pre-med chapter. I heard countless presentations from physicians about how they got involved in medicine, and I modeled my college trajectory based on their example.

But something was missing—or, as I later discovered, something was never there. There was some veiled hesitation about my wanting to be a physician that I couldn’t put my finger on.

3. Shifting paradigms in medical education, 96,000 Square Miles

Over the past year, Dr. Jeff Kraakevik, an assistant professor of neurology in our School of Medicine, has shared updates on that school’s medical school curriculum transformation process. In this post, he asked readers to imagine what medical school might look like if it wasn’t tied to learning in standardized blocks of time:

What would the first two years of the medical school curriculum look like without set time-frames for students to complete a course on neuroscience look like? What would it look like if students moved on to the next subject or course after demonstrating they have mastered the skills necessary to move forward, and not because the 8-10 week course is done? What would a curriculum look like if there were no walls between the courses?

2. OHSU President Robertson on the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act decision, 96,000 Square Miles

This post was one of the very first to appear on our institution-wide blog, 96,000 Square Miles, but it still ranks at No. 2 on our most-read list. Here’s part of the post written by OHSU president Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A.:

Today the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on the Affordable Care Act, largely upholding the law. The ruling will require additional analysis but the most vital outcome is that there is now a mechanism in place for achieving universal coverage.

Coverage for all Americans not only improves outcomes for individuals and communities, it’s absolutely vital to address the growing cost of health care. The first and most important of OHSU’s eight essential principles for reform, adopted in early 2009, is universal access to a defined set of health care benefits. Today is an important victory but, of course, the hard work lies ahead, and OHSU and other academic health centers have a vital role to play.

1. Balancing act, Healthy Families

Our most-read blog post in 2012 comes to us from our OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital blog, Healthy Families. One of our residents in pediatrics, Alison Christy, M.D., Ph.D., wrote about how truly difficult it can be to manage the demands of family and residency:

It’s been hard for me to admit how difficult it is to be a resident with two kids. When people ask, I usually tell them it isn’t that bad. My son sleeps eight to 10 hours a night, every night, without fail (don’t hate me – I had the other kind of kid, too). My husband stays home with the kids and his parents drop in for emergency baby-sitting. I really love what I do. I work with smart, friendly, generous, amazing fellow residents. The OHSU residency program has been unbelievably accommodating and helpful. Everyone around me has done everything possible to make this as easy as it can be. I am basically the luckiest working mom you’ve ever met.

All of that is true, but it’s still hard. I finally had to admit it to myself a week ago when my little boy didn’t want to nurse. He wasn’t hungry, and he pushed me away, and it occurred to me that he might prefer a bottle. Why wouldn’t he? He drinks from bottles all day long, every single day. I hate that. What I really want is to be two people at once: one who works all day in the hospital and another who stays at home all day with two kids. I don’t want to be just one thing. I want balance.