Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jargon Deciphered

Because it was 3:30 am and I had exhausted the contents of cute kittens on the Internet, I found myself on PubMed.  Just for fun, I decided to type in the name of a common medical condition that a family member has to see if anything interesting had come out on it.

I couldn't believe how much I could glean from the dense titles.  Not only did I recognize individual terms, but I understood larger concepts about why those terms could and should be related in the first place.  All of a sudden, I had context.  I could recall a few characteristics about a certain physiologic condition, a few underlying mechanisms about a cell signalling pathway, a few cytokines, a few relevant diseases.

This is the first time I have ever understood anything on PubMed unrelated to very narrow research projects.

"Leukocyte adhesion deficiency."  "Subclinical left ventricular dysfunction."  "Population-based cohort study."  "Fumarates."  "Hyperkeratosis."  "Thrombocytopenia."  "Ankylosing spondylitis."  "Serum IL-16 levels."  "Suppression of VEGFR2 expression in human endothelial cells."

Now it is 4 am and I feel that--despite the doubts--something indeed has happened to my brain this past year.  My classmates and I moan how much we have forgotten about the little we seem to have learned--and that there is still so much out there that we don't have the slightest clue about.  This may still be true.  But the frustration over the details I have forgotten is now outweighed by sheer amazement as I interpret the cumbersome jargon-y titles that had been out of reach to me mere months ago.

Interestingly enough, this insight did not come after an exam, during a lecture or discussion, or even during regular hours.  It snuck in, on the tails of cute kittens on YouTube, on a quiet Monday night/morning.

I still cannot fathom the day when I will ever be an authority on anything.  But then I consider the 16-year-old me who began her first research experience in a laboratory while taking AP Biology.  I committed hours of (often fruitless) background research on PubMed--wading through foreign and incomprehensible knowledge and concepts, lost and lacking any way to distinguish what was relevant and the big deals from the smaller ones.  From that vantage point, breaking into a literate scientific circle seemed decades away.

Thinking about that version of me, I still cannot quite believe where I am now either--breaking in.


  1. Great reflection Shara. I remember that feeling from a couple years back. It's so reassuring to know that there is some improvement along the way and that all the hard work is paying off. It just keeps getting better, so keep at it!

  2. There are times when I have a few moments to myself here at work when I browse through some of the papers and abstracts the people I work with have published. It really is amazing, even as an admin in the medical world how much jargon I have already learned and take for granted! Like when I go home and tell my fiance about what I discovered that day and use terms that I just assume he will understand.... It is amazing.

  3. The purpose of this page is to identify various easy essay sites that have plagiarized essays from this site, Advanced Composition for Non-Native Speakers of English.
    Clipping Path

  4. I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here.

  5. This is a nice post. Very good work. Just keep the standard and quality of your work going!

  6. It is a sad commentary that this early on you are learning how to divorce yourself from the patient, who they were and who they are.Quality iBeacons Online

  7. Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments.aspextechnology.org |

    qrgl-technology.org |

    accessibletechnology.org |

    istechnology.org |

    su2technology.org |

    computersforfutures.org |

    gtscomputers.org |

    computerisfun.org |

    solocomputerservices.org |

    computeroutlets.org |

    squarefood.org |

  8. There are times when We've moments to be able to personally hassle-free function as i search through a lot of the forms along with abstracts the people My spouse and i assist have got printed. Its amazing, holographic projection whilst a good administrator in the health-related globe just how much lingo We've previously figured out along with miss! Such as as i proceed residence along with explain to my own future husband in what I came across that evening along with employ terms that we merely assume he's going to fully grasp.... It can be amazing.

  9. This post is very motivating to read this article I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this remarkable post.