MacGyver Meets Dr. Ruth: Once you get beyond the freaked-out expression on the female avatar, what follows is a very interesting article about the efforts of Dr. Carla Pugh, a surgeon at the Northwestern University medical school who builds low-cost models of breasts and other body parts out of everyday items to help medical students get over their squeamishness. (For the “Who Knew?” files: “Lima beans, it turns out, are excellent facsimiles for tumor tissue,” writes Richard Morgan.)
“Just because you’re smart enough to get into medical school, you’re not smart enough to outwit the social restraints we all grow up with,” Pugh told the Times. “It’s not like med school students are gifted to the degree that they can touch a stranger’s genitals and look them in the eye and have a calm conversation without feeling weird about it.”
Sex, Lies & Stereotypes: That’s the title of a new report (PDF) released by Legal Momentum. Compiled by Julie F. Kay with Ashley Jackson, the report is based on recommendations arising from an expert roundtable Kay hosted on how abstinence-only programs harm women and girls.
Plus: Here’s a column by Courtland Milloy that I’ve kept around for a while on a comprehensive sex education program in place at a Washington, D.C. high school that goes above and beyond most programs.
“While students at the public charter elementary are learning basic skills, they are also being inoculated with heavy doses of self-respect, integrity, discipline, responsibility and teamwork. That’s where you’ll find the cure,” writes Milloy. “This holistic approach to education is known as the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, which was developed in 1984 by Michael Carrera of the New York-based Children’s Aid Society. Clearly, there is more to it than the name implies, and it might well be the gold standard for sex education in public schools.”
Find out more about the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program at StopTeenPregnancy.com.
Baby Care Products and Phthalate Exposure A study in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics points to baby care products as possible sources of infant phthalate exposure. Julie Deardorff has more on the study and why phthalates — chemicals found in plastics and personal care products — are a growing concern.
Plus: Check out Deardorff’s post about taking part in testing to determine her individual chemical concentration levels.
Medicine MIstakes: Here’s something worth thinking about before your next hospital visit. The first large-scale study of preventable prescription errors in community hospitals found that one in every 10 patients admitted to six Massachusetts community hospitals suffered serious and avoidable medication mistakes, reports the Boston Globe. The two nonprofit groups that conducted the study urged all hospitals in Massachusetts to install a computerized prescription ordering system.