Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Exploration 7: Cardiac Surgery & Women in Journalism

I've always been interested in Literature, and still continue to question whether I would be more suited to  career in Journalism rather than in in medicine. So, for my exploration I did a bit of research on women in Journalism and expanded further on my existing knowledge of cardiac surgery.

Cardiac surgery is all about the heart, and because of the importance and how delicate the muscle is heart surgery was one of the last major areas of surgery to be explored. There are "Fathers" of cardiac surgery just like in any other major area of study. However, this guy never interested me, instead I have always been fascinated with Dr. Alfred Blalock - who in fact performed surgery before the so called "father" of heart surgery. Dr. Blalock is famous for his research on shock and for developing the Blalock-Taussig Shunt: a surgical procedure which relieves the cyanosis from Tetralogy of Fallot or blue baby syndrome.  This operation is what ushered in the modern era of cardiac surgery. Aside from his brilliance with the scalpel, Dr. Blalock is also know for helping a young man named Vivian Thomas; a young African American surgical technician working for Blalock, he actually developed the surgical techniques used to treat blue baby syndrome. Without any education past HS he rose past poverty, and racism to become a cardiac surgery pioneer and a teacher to many of the countries prominent surgeons. He is also the first African American to perform open-heart surgery on a whit patient in the U.S.

Women journalists are mainstream now, we see (or read) them every day, but before Nellie Bly came along women in journalism was just another fairy tale. Nellie Bly was the pen name of Elizabeth Jane Cochrane who became famous for her "trip around the world" inspired by Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg, and her expose in which she faked insanity in order to study a mental institution from within.

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