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Mr Epidemiology

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November 2012

Movember ends, but the message lives on

https://i2.wp.com/ca.movember.com/uploads/images/Home/About%20Movember/ABOUT_3.jpg

I’m going to get up onto my soapbox and rant a little.

Friends. Movember is drawing to a close, and I thank you all for your support, financial and otherwise. And for those of you mocking me for growing such a glorious Mo, well, you’re just jealous.

But there’s more to Movember than just growing a Mo.

There’s the issue of Men’s Health, which sometimes gets lost in the messaging. While women are very proactive and supportive of women’s health issues, men have a level of indifference that is concerning and don’t seek out help (see references below). One of the major reasons Bros don’t seek out help is due to embarrassment. Why? Because we’re afraid of being made fun of? Because we figure if we ignore it it’ll “just go away”? Because we don’t want to appear “weak”? The consequences of not seeking help could include cancer, depression or worse. What’s weak about tackling those issues? Those are incredibly tough things to deal with – if anything they require more strength. If you’re a Mo Bro, get your annual physical. Get checked out. Go see the doctor if you need it – don’t wait. Talk to a healthcare professional if you need it, and make an informed decision on your future. Many health issues are curable and treatable if caught early – the longer you wait the worse they can get. For all the Mo Sistas and Mo Bros out there, support your Bros. Mo Bros are likely to put off seeing the doctor and ignore health concerns, but with support this attitude can shift.

We’ve all had a good laugh over this month, and it’s a fun month for sure. But let’s not forget the serious health consequences that this month highlights.

For more information, check the Movember page on Men’s Health Issues.

Thanks to Michelle D for the idea for this post and Vanessa V for feedback.

References:
Tudiver F, Talbot Y. Why don’t men seek help? Family physicians’ perspectives on help-seeking behavior in men. J Fam Pract. 1999 Jan;48(1):47-52.
Winerman, L. Helping men to help themselves. Available online.
Vogel, DL, Heimerdinger-Edwards, SR, Hammer, JH, Hubbard, A. “Boys don’t cry”: Examination of the links between endorsement of masculine norms, self-stigma, and help-seeking attitudes for men from diverse backgrounds. Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol 58(3), Jul 2011, 368-382

Mr Epidemiology is moving to PLoS Blogs!

Super exciting news! As of this week, I’ll be a PLoS Blogger!PLoGGer! Or a PLoGster! Yay!

This is very exciting, and I’m looking forward to moving onto the PLoS network. For some perspective, I’m going from my blog (3-5k visits/month) to PLoS Blogs (>200k visits/month). I’ll be writing for their brand new Public Health blog and their Science Education blog, together with some incredible writers, including the very talented Viet Le and Beth Skwarecki on Public Health, as well Jean Flanagan and Cristina Russo on Science-Ed, as well as others (including frequent Mr Epidemiology guest, Lindsay Kobayashi!).

The blogs go live tonight (so if the links don’t work, check back later), and will be available at:

http://blogs.plos.org/publichealth/ and

http://blogs.plos.org/scied/

I’m going to continue to use Mr Epidemiology to aggregate my work on these sites and Gradifying, and will continue to update Mr Epid with other posts and thoughts that don’t fit those three blogs.

As always, I welcome your comments, and hope you’ll join me over at PLoS! And above all, thank you all for your support!

New Post on Gradifying: Higher Education Humour!

While the tradition of oral storytelling has been replaced by the email forward or Facebook message, the idea remains the same. We pass down stories from generation to generation, from postdocs to PhDs to Masters students and onwards. And now those stories take the form of websites, blogposts and cats doing silly things.

I’m going to end the year with some of my favourite funny reads. It’s a stressful time of the semester, and most people have exams and assignments and projects to finish. If you’re really lucky, you also have a bunch to mark before you can leave too! Yay!

And so, in the spirit of the season, I’m going to share some of my favourite links with you to try and lighten that load.

Click here to continue reading!!

A great post illustrating selection bias using the 2012 US Election and Twitter.

normally distributed

According to the Guardian Data Blog, Obama is heading for electoral success, on the basis of a Twitter-based analysis.

It’s all very nice to see mapped out, and the use of geocoding is cool (though possibly flawed), but underlying the approach is a massive potential for selection bias.

The problem is quite simply this: if Democrat supporters use Twitter more frequently (or are more likely to tweet about their political preferences) than Republicans, then the number of tweets supporting Obama over Romney is of course going to suggest that Obama is in the lead. On the other hand, if Republicans are more Twitter-active than Democrats, then there could be an underestimation of the level of support for Obama. Essentially, we’ve got a reasonable estimate for a numerator, but no clue about the denominator.

To answer a question well, the design of the study is crucial. It’s so…

View original post 765 more words

New Post on Gradifying: Reference Letters: Who to ask and how to ask for them! Liz Lemon helps us out

At some point in your graduate education you’ll have to ask for a letter of reference. It might be for a funding application (see my previous post) or it might be for another program (med school, law school, PhD programs etc). But you’ll need to ask people to write wonderful, glowing praise for you in their free time. Which is a daunting, and intimidating task.

But the good news is that your profs and supervisors are expecting this. They’ve done it before, and know the process. So don’t be afraid!

And of course, because it’s me, I’ll bringing in a friend to help with the post. So without further ado dear readers, Liz Lemon.

Liz Lemon!

Click here to continue reading!!

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