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Biomedical Odyssey: Life at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

One medical student poignantly shares his experience of attending a lecture on the biology of the cancer that killed his mother. Another writes of the thoughts going through his mind during a patient interview. A doctoral candidate tells of using historical stethoscopes as a teaching tool in a history of medicine course she helped lead.

Varied and compelling, personal accounts like these abound on Biomedical Odyssey, a blog that offers an insider’s look at life at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine through posts written by medical students, graduate students, residents, postdocs and fellows. A stable of 16 to 20 volunteer authors serve for six-month periods, each contributing two or three posts during that time.

“We really need good science communicators, and the student writers want practice explaining complex scientific ideas for a general audience,” says blogger Lisa Learman, a Ph.D. candidate in cellular and molecular medicine, who recently took over as student editor from Emily Fray. “Some writers are interested in going into policy, some are English as a second language students who want to improve their writing in English and some are just doing it for fun.”

Learman dreams of soliciting and curating articles for a science journal. “Editing is both analytical and creative,” she says, “and I like that.”

After her first pass, content is edited and published by staff members in the Department of Marketing and Communications. Despite the blog’s official platform, readers are advised that the views expressed are solely the authors’.

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