I do patient advocacy work and occasionally, write about medical research and research science. I have a scientific training, as well as training in scientific philosophy and research design.
Sickly as a kid (asthma and allergies), later diagnosed with an intersex condition (46/47 XY/XXY Klinefelter’s), I’ve always had to be medically literate and be an active participant in my own diagnoses and treatments. I do patient and medical advocacy for friends and loved ones, and I am an Agent for more than one Advance Medical Directive. It’s not med school by any stretch of the imagination, but I do need to know in general how the body works, and how medical research and medical science works. Lately, having turned 50, and working to figure out why my blood glucose got high, and working to figure out how to lower it, I’ve been doing more than my usual work to offsets effects of getting older, and of getting less fit by getting more fit, more conditioned, and following most (but not all) medical recommnedations. I also have a lot of scientific training. I got a B.S. in Chemistry and did some graduate work in Research in Physical Chemistry. My father was a Biochemistry professor at UC Riverside, trained as a Physical Chemist at UC Berkeley, and my mother was a Registered Nurse. My training included statistics, experimental design, survey research (by which I mean going through and analyzing and normalizing and compiling results from multiple studies to get an idea of average or cohort findings), the scientific method, scientific experimental design and interpretation, data handling, and avoidance of experimental fallacies. All of this background has helped me avoid (what I consider) unneccessary treatments and treatment fads and mostly led me down reasonably good diagnostic and treatment paths in medicine as a patient, and as an observer or medical agent for other folks.