Last Blog Post #9

In blog post 1 of this semester, I reflected on the idea that everything in this life can somehow be explained by science. For this reason, my career path for the future was to focus in on the specific field of science, which interested me the most. With three years of college experience and after suffering through classes such as chemistry and physics, I noted that mathematical science wasn’t for me. However, in these three years I also learned how fascinated I was with life science classes such as anatomy and biology, which has lead me to pursue a career path in medicine.

Throughout this semester, I have had the opportunity to listen to other students in this class talk about why they are interested in the science of their choice. By conversing with them and getting the chance to read through their projects, I can attest to the level of enthusiasm they have for the career they are working towards. As a result of engaging with these other students, I began reflecting on the reasons why I am excited to learn more about medicine. Writing for this class has also allowed me the opportunity to research more scholarly articles. Some of these articles addressed areas in healthcare with room for improvement that I can hopefully contribute towards someday. Since the start of the year, I can say that I was becoming increasingly passionate about my career path and was beginning to feel more confident in narrowing my interests down to the medical field.

At one point in this semester I was required to have an interview with someone who was within the field that I could see myself participating in professionally. Needless to say, I chose to speak with my family doctor. One of the main reasons why I chose this individual was not just because she is a doctor, but it was also because she is a female. As I became more interested in the medical field, I also began to realize certain setbacks. For instance, one can say that pursing a science career is often more common in men then women. For that reason, I was curious as to how difficult balancing a future life of science as well as raising a family was for women. Speaking with a female medical professional that survived medical school and also successfully raised a family, however, helped me overcome this concern and has allowed me to continuing pursing the science of medicine in my future.

Blog #8: Class Presentation

Popular Informative Science Presentation

What about the tone and organization of this article appeals to the general public?

The tone of this article is informative and encouraging as it goes into detail about the new and advance technology of 3D printing that will revolutionize the way we live. The organization reinforces this excitement as it first addresses how 3D printing can create small and interesting objects then it builds up to the idea that it could also print more important things such as human organs. This article also appeals to the general public by including people such as President Obama, whom everyone knows thus causing curiosity as to why he is concerned with the information presented here.

In what ways do popular-informative articles cite/reference the research that they use?

In this article, information was cited directly in it’s wording instead of in parenthesis. For instance, at one point in the article it said, “As Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired Magazine, writes in his book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, “You don’t need to know how the machines do their work, or how to optimize their toolpaths. Software figures all that out.” Instead of citing us APA or MLA, popular-informative articles reference the information they use by directly giving credit to the research in their paragraphs.

Inform and Inspire Presentation

How does the speaker engage the audience in a way that not only attempts to inform them on a certain topic but as well inspire them to take action?

The speaker in this Ted talk informs her audience to take action by addressing a topic that everyone can relate to. She educates her audience on how to be better prepared and confident by changing their body posture before or during important presentations and interviews. She also gives an antidote to her one life that is not only personal but is also relevant to her point, which further inspires those listening to her.

Do you think the presenter was effective in her rhetoric, attempt to connect with the audience, and her overall message? What elements do you think contributed to the success or failure of her message?

I believe the presenter was very effective in trying to connect with her audience. She is able to relate to them by explaining why we feel nervous or why we make ourselves appear smaller before we go into a nerve-racking situation. She was able to connect with the audience and then provide scientific research to ways that can help them overcome feelings of suppression in their lives. She also made a point to “fake it until you become it” in order to get her message across that we need to change how we feel in these stressful situations for the better.

Internet Presentation

What tone is conveyed by each article?

The tone of this article is informative and encouraging as it goes into detail about the new and advance technology of 3D printing that will revolutionize the way we live. The organization reinforces this excitement as it first addresses how 3D printing can create small and interesting objects then it builds up to the idea that it could also print more important things such as human organs. This article also appeals to the general public by including people such as President Obama, whom everyone knows thus causing curiosity as to why he is concerned with the information presented here.

In which article(s) do graphics play an important role? Why do you suppose this is the case?

I believe the graphics in the earth day article played an important role in grabbing the reader’s attention. Without the graphics, this reading would not have made the same kind of impact on how magnificent the earth really is. With the illustrations, however, readers are able to visually understand where the enthusiasm from the author’s tone is coming from.

What do you think the author is attempting to do in each article?

In the earth day article, I believe the author is trying to get his readers to be more appreciative and excited about how great our earth really is in order for us to better appreciate earth’s day. In the Godzilla article, the author’s point may be to inform his readers about the true origins of Godzilla in order to remind us of the detrimental affects Japan experienced from the radiation poisoning we exposed them to. Finally, the last article, regarding global warning, could have been written to inform readers about weather patterns and climate changes as a possible result of global warming.

Class Presentations- What Can We Learn?

The last two weeks in class I had the opportunity to learn about different types of scientific writing styles through presentations given by my classmates. Since I was part of the “Popular Informative” group, I will not be responding to my own presentation.
The internet writing group proposed the following questions for the class to answer:

1. What tone is conveyed by each article?

2. In which article(s) do graphics play an important role? Why do you suppose this is the case? What do you think the author is attempting to do in each article? (What is his/her purpose?)

Responding to question number one, popular internet articles have a very distinct tone that allows readers from all different backgrounds and levels of education to enjoy the information they are presenting. The authors don’t use overly technical grammar that would confuse a casual reader and usually follow an “hourglass” shape of the essay. And for question number two, the article that talks about Earth Day relied heavily on graphics to intrigue the reader and keep them interested about the information they were trying to convey. Using graphics heavily throughout the article also gives the reader some time away from purely reading text, which can aid in the overall understanding of the article.

Another group presented about popular writing and how popular style writings can appeal to a wide range of readers. They proposed the following question for the class to think about:

How does this online article maintain its audience’s attention?

After reading this article, one of the major things that kept me glued to the article was the use of an attention grabbing title that makes me want to read on. “Electric Stimulation to Spine Gets Paralyzed Patients Moving Again” invokes an emotional response within the reader and naturally we want to know how in the world electric stimulation can get paralyzed patients moving around again.

Finally, I learned about ways of formatting a document in order to inform and inspire the reader to take action towards an issue. This group offered the following question to aid in their presentation:

How does the speaker engage the audience in a way that not only attempts to inform them on a certain topic but as well inspire them to take action?

When you think of a famous speech that has in some way informed or inspired you to take action on a cause, the speaker is usually a well-known person that holds power to influence actions of the public. These figures can include politicians, leaders, and social activists. Speeches should always have an issue that people care about, a thorough background on the subject, and can appeal to many different audiences. These speeches challenge the audience to make a difference and typically offer some sort of movement to join or a project to help with.
-Chase Stanker

Blog Post 9 – Optional Replacement

When I wrote Blog Post 1 at the beginning of the semester, much of the only science I really focused on was astronomy and space science. For instance, the prompt was to write about what science means to me and I wrote solely on the topic of astronomy. Granted, this still is a large passion of mine and can partially define who I am, but after listening to future scientists of different fields in Writing on Science and Society, I have definitely become more open to these other fields.

Topic ranged from space to health/medical science to physics to biological studies and industrial research. I felt that I had a very narrow minded view of science at the beginning of this semester and didn’t care too much about other areas aside from my own. After examining many different readings, listening to my classmates’ passions in their fields, and doing research of my own for my writing projects, I have come to realize that every field in science helps each other. This is one of the great things about science: its ability to connect and intertwine with different areas far and wide.

If I were to rewrite my first blog post, I would be more inclined to include many different areas of science. In my original post, I wrote “That idea of Earth being the only place to support life is a very crazy and conceited thought to me.” I find a bit of irony in this statement now because, like my accusation of those who believe we are the only life in the universe, I believe I was being a bit conceited as only caring about astronomy as opposed to any other scientific area. Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t believe having a passion for one area of science is a bad thing at all, but I just believe I could have done better in including more areas of science.

Overall, I would agree that this class has helped me grow as an individual. Not only has it opened my mind to more aspects of science, but I’ve realized that I can do something to make advancements in scientific research. I have learned that writing has a ton of power in informing and inspiring, persuading, or even attacking different issues in today’s society. Using this tool, anyone can gain significant support and momentum in their respective studies and hopefully, I will be able to do just that someday in years to come.

-Bryan Doyle

Blog Post 8

Popular Informative Science

What about the tone and organization of this article appeals to the general public?

After reading the article on 3D printing, I was immediately drawn to the idea. The author had a strong way of organizing the article into small paragraphs in order to keep the attention of the reader and not allow them to drift off. Another strategy the author uses is setting an image for the reader through the tone of the article. Colorful language is used to put the reader in the place of the author to the point where they can visualize what the 3D printer look like and how they work. These two strategies allow for a successfully written popular informative science work.

In what ways do popular-informative articles cite/reference the research that they use?

In order to be a science article, the article still has to contain evidence/citations. It can be done as formally as a scientific report, though, in order to maintain a popular and easy-to-read article. In the assigned reading, it seemed that the author used facts from credible sources and inserted them in the article just as a normal sentence. Instead of quoting and citing the source, the author used the actual fact in the article and gave credit to whatever entity originated it.


Popular Writing

What tone is conveyed by each article?

Each of the assigned articles has a tone that attempts to relate the reader to the topic at hand. In order to keep the audience interested, the popular articles try and show that their issue affects the reader, no matter who it may be. For instance, the Godzilla article’s author states appeals to the majority of the population’s love for a hero and fear of the seemingly indestructible villain. The article also made it a point that the villain is usually created as a direct or indirect result of mans’ flaws. This kind of relation that each article uses is what draws a reader into the piece because it appeals to them personally.

In which article(s) do graphics play an important role? Why do you suppose this is the case? What do you think the author is attempting to do in each article? (What is his/her purpose?)

In the Earth Day article, the author relied heavily on graphics. I believe this is due to the fact that talking about the magnitude or size of the Earth and the importance to preserve it is a difficult topic to keep a reader interested. Using different satellite images and photos that really explain the point, the author was able to allow the reader “breaks” from the reading and focus on the importance of the issue through visualization. Each article has, generally, the same purpose: to get the reader interested in their respective topic. Using these different strategies for each article, they were able to take average and boring articles and turn them into something that anyone can find interest in.


Informing through Internet Sources

How does this article appeal to a popular audience?

Firstly, the title is what draws the reader in: “Electric Stimulation To Spine Gets Paralyzed Patients Moving Again.” After seeing this, and with basic knowledge of the impossibility due to paralysis, the reader will already be hooked. Secondly, this article takes the story of four paralyzed men and shows that there is technology being developed to help them move again. A popular audience means that, most likely, they have experienced similar situations (just maybe not to this scale). The article, in a way, tells a story of triumph over the seemingly impossible odds.

How does this article maintain its audience’s attention?

Throughout the article, the author uses quotations and imagery of how disadvantaged these young men were. It describes their reason for being in this situation and the difficulty in overcoming it. Once a popular audience hears a story like this, they want to know how it turns out for the people involved. Because of this, they continue reading the article with interest. This kind of “hero’s tale” is something that popular audiences love to see.

In what ways does this article educate, inspire, and entertain?

Again, just the stories that the author uses in the article about the four men allow for all of these elements to be achieved. It gives a brief explanation of the technology that allows for the movement (inform), shows that the seemingly impossible can be overcome through movement after paralysis (inspire), and both of the previous two elements are causes for the entertainment aspect.

-Bryan Doyle

Post #7: A Talk on Pharmacy School

Recently, I attended an Integrative Physiology presentation on the study of pharmaceutical medicine provided by Candido A. Chacon III, a current Director of Admissions for the Anschutz Medical Campus. When I walked in, I noticed that the presentation was held in a small classroom and the chairs were arranged around a circular table with the speaker at the front. Due to the fact that there were no more than twenty people who attended, the environment of the classroom had a personal feel to it, which allowed for more audience interaction.

Before Dr. Chacon began his speech, I noticed his attire was professional. He not only wore a suit but also included his badge, which established his authority in the medical care community. Once he finished introducing himself, he took a seat and began to talk through his presentation using a power point, displayed behind him. While the content of the presentation was slightly advanced for an audience of undergraduate students, Dr. Chacon made sure to avoid using confusing medical terminology and made several pauses in his discussion to allow for questions. I also noticed that he maintained eye contact with everyone in the room demonstrating his efforts to avoid losing our attention.

 My expectation of this presentation before arriving was that it’s only purpose was to excite and inform students about pharmacy school. However, Dr. Chacon’s speech ended up heading in a different, and in my opinion a much more interesting, direction. While he did mention for a few minutes about what it takes to succeed in a pharmaceutical program, the focus of his talk was primarily teaching us about drug resistance bacteria and the impacts it can have in the medical field. Each of his slides was titled with different bacteria and was accompanied with a graphic yet intriguing photo of an individual who had been infected by the disease. His overall presentation focused mainly on five different types of bacteria and how they have been able to evolved throughout the years in order to resist medications pharmacy professionals are providing. 

What I took away from Dr. Chacon’s talk was the fact that though his purpose was to inform and spark students interest in pharmacy school, he inadvertently succeeded in doing so without talking about additional school work we would eventually have to endure. Instead, he provided us with an idea of how exciting learning about drug resistant bacteria can be. I also appreciated the fact that he sat down with us instead of standing and addressed his audience as equals that share a similar interest in the medical field.

Post #7- Not Your Ordinary Internship Opportunity Presentation

I recently attended a presentation during an Integrative Physiology club meeting in which members had the opportunity to hear from Amanda Wilson, who is executive director of the Spinal Cord Recovery Project located in Denver, Colorado. I initially thought that this would be another run-of-the-mill internship opportunity speech and that I wouldn’t have much interest in what she had to say. Boy was I wrong.

Amanda began her speech by using a PowerPoint presentation while giving us a background of her time as an undergraduate at CU Boulder, and the struggles that she faced while trying to find her niche within the Integrative Physiology world. Since Amanda was giving this presentation to a room full of pre medicine and physiology majors, we all could connect to what she had to say. It turns out that her time at CU was not as straight and narrow as she would have liked it to be—funding her own way through school, potentially facing academic probation, and enjoying the Boulder night life too much. She lectured about how she didn’t know what to do with her degree, and was discouraged with her efforts in school. It was at this point in her presentation that she put the following quote up on the screen:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
-Michael Jordan

It was after the showing of this quote that really lured me into what she had to say. She told us how she discovered the Spinal Cord Recovery Project in its beginning stages of development, and quickly started to make a name for herself within the company. Since the project was in the early stages, she had to drive around with therapists to patients’ houses in a beat up old pickup truck with physical therapy apparatuses in the back. After years of providing treatment for patients at their own homes, they had enough funding to set up their own space in a warehouse and purchase the most high tech equipment available on the market.

Later on, Amanda talked about how undergraduate students like myself could become part of the Spinal Cord Recovery Project, what we needed to do to apply for a position, etc. But my favorite part of her presentation, and the point that stuck out to me the most was how she overcame what seemed like major roadblocks in her life to excel and succeed in the physiology field of study. It does in fact seem at times that there are too big of roadblocks in the path of life that we cannot overcome, but if we listen to Michael Jordan and Amanda Wilson, we know that nothing can stop personal success if you want it enough.

-Chase Stanker

Blog Post 7 – A Review on Public Speaking

In hopes to better myself in the area of public speaking, I attended the colloquium “Solar Wind – Magnetosphere – Planetary Core Coupling at Mercury” hosted by James Slavin and the Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences department in the JILA auditorium. In addition to listening to the content of the presentation, I tried to study the strategies used by the presenter in order to keep his audience interested and convinced.

It seemed to me that the purpose of Mr. Slavin to inform his audience, which consisted of mostly graduate students, about a more specific topic in space research: Mercury’s Magnetosphere. Mr. Slavin was able to establish his credibility fairly easily given his history in space research and used that credibility to direct his talk to the given audience. In other words, as an average undergraduate college student not involved much in this area of study, a handful of the presentation went right over my head.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I tried to see what the presenter did physically to create a successful talk. Slavin used a Powerpoint presentation that looked professionally done. The slides weren’t too wordy and involved various diagrams and figures to support his research. He also used body language which gave me the impression that he was comfortable in this environment. As a result, this created a convincing presentation and aided to my belief that he knows this topic very well.

All in all, this presentation was very traditional. Although it was meant to be a colloquium, it felt as if the audience was supposed to agree with the presenter in the end. Small exchanges of views were thrown out into the air by a few of the assumed-to-be graduate student audience members but all views were just formed to be additions and agreements to the original research by Slavin.

When it came to a presentation on recent research in this field, it seemed that Slavin was confident and involved. His talk was a traditional presentation and followed much of the standard procedures to create a successful public presentation. Although I don’t think the seminar/colloquium aspect was fully achieved, I still think I was able to pinpoint strategies used by Slavin to interest and convince his audience including tone, body language, and technology that established confidence and credibility.

-Bryan Doyle

Blog Post 5- Tips From a PA on Getting Into PA School

When I tell friends that I’m an Integrative Physiology major, one of the first questions that usually follows is, “Are you going to medical school?” Well, to be honest, I’m not sure yet. I would absolutely love to go into some sort of post-graduate schooling, whether that is Physician’s Assistant (PA) school, Physical Therapy (PT) school, or Chiropractic school. I think it is essential to have post graduate schooling in addition to an Integrative Physiology degree. With these ambitions I have a lot of questions about the process that need to be answered not by an academic advisor, but by someone who endured the trials and tribulations of post graduate school and came out victorious. I briefly interviewed Bryan Myers, PA at Kaiser Permanente after a regularly scheduled appointment and hoped he could help me answer some of these questions.

I asked Bryan what advice he would have for future PA school applicants regarding cover letters, letters of recommendation, and résumés. The first dish of advice that he issued me was to take the cover letter seriously. Without a meaningful and well directed cover letter, schools will not consider you immediately for an interview. He also mentioned that cover letters are what the reader sees first, and it must have focus and clarity directed to the school that we want to apply.

I was also interested in how he chose people to write letters of recommendation for him when applying to PA school. He advised me to choose friends and colleagues you are confident will write a strong and meaningful letter that will highlight your personal strengths and display your achievements. He also told me that if we don’t get accepted initially into a program to go and meet with a faculty member to discuss your application and how to address the weak points and how to fix them.

I wish that Bryan had more time to answer more of my questions that I had prepared for him, but after hearing the screaming child next door, I couldn’t blame him for having to leave so suddenly. It was very helpful to hear firsthand from a PA school graduate some tips and tricks for applying. As for the question I proposed earlier, “Are you going to medical school?” I’m still not entirely sure, but I hope to incorporate some of the advice that I learned from Bryan into my current resume and cover letter to become more appealing to post-graduate schools.


-Chase Stanker

Interview with an MD

Like many college students, I am not entirely sure what I want to do with my future. Even when I come up with an idea it usually changes within a month or so. Even though my career goals have been varying, however, I do know for certain that I want to graduate from medical school. In these past couple of years working towards a pre medicine degree, I have learned that gaining acceptance into a medical school is notably challenging and often times stressful. For instance, the CU Medical School in Denver receives over four thousand applicants a year, yet only has enough space for two hundred students. For that reason, those that gain admission and go forward to become doctors are prestigious and hardworking candidates.

In order for me to grasp a better understanding of how to be a competitive applicant for med school, I have been shadowing and talking directly to doctors. One of these doctors is my family practitioner, Dr. Lindy Gilchrist at DTC Family Health. Three days ago, I interviewed her, asking questions regarding what she does specifically on a regular day as well as how she communicates with other doctors and certain challenges she is often times faced with regarding communication.

 In this interview, my first question for Dr. Gilchrist was regarding her job responsibilities. In her reply she told me, “I see patients everyday from two years of age up to 100. I see patients if they have a concern about something that has just come up, or see them for a physical or chronic care such as high blood pressure and diabetes”.  

One I had a clear understanding about her job description; I then ask Dr. Gilchrist questions regarding how she communicates with other doctors. What I learned from her response was of the importance of her capability to contact specialty doctors if her patients had specific illnesses she couldn’t address. Dr. Gilchrist informed me that often times, doctors of certain specialties were responsive about her patient’s conditions, however, at other times they can become too busy to reach through phone or email making her job even more challenging.

Another significant aspect of communication, which is important to her career, is keeping contact with her patients. At DTC Family Health, they have a patient portal system where every patient had a personal pin number in order to access previous and upcoming appointments, lab results, current vitals, and messages from their physicians. After a patient submits a message to their doctor or has a test done, their doctors write back to them within two days. At this point in the interview, Dr. Gilchrist told me, “Writing takes up a large amount of my day for sure. It is an important part of my career as I also write many personal notes on the patients I see throughout the day.”

Normally when talking to doctors about their careers, they inform me about the types of patients they see or the treatments and medications they prescribe everyday. However, after this interview, I walked away with a deeper understanding of they types of communication within the medical field. As with many careers, good communication is important. However from what I learned about working in the medical field was that communication is a necessity. Every day, physicians write personal notes about their patients, read and write emails to other doctors and patients, and are obligated to keep up on latest findings by reading research documents and publications.  Most importantly, doctors are required to communicate efficiently with their patients in order to inform them about their health and what they can do to improve their well being. This implies taking complicated topics such as diabetes or high blood pressure and explaining it in a manner that is understandable to the general public. In my project, I plan to take this concept and apply it to a field of medicine I am interested in- sleep physiology. Like patients, many people want to know how to better their health, which includes how to fall asleep faster and longer. For my project, I will take the topic of sleep and write to the general public about the physiology behind it as well as how to overcome sleeping disorders in a manner that it understandable to those who may not be familiar with the science.  

-Natalie Eidson