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bwang3160

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If the government gave you money for research, what would you choose Cancer or AIDS?
Should one just choose a side and then explain why they would choose it....

or

Emphasize the importance of both as healthcare issues that affect and kill millions.

I was just wondering if I could get people's opinion because I'm not sure which way I would choose.
 

goldenwest

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The question is pretty ridiculous. I'd just give them a bare bones honest answer if they ask this.

"I'd evaluate both areas of research intensely to find out which has greater potential for me to influence as well as interests me. Without motivation I wouldn't get very far, and if it isn't within my means to affect the research my effort and the government's money would be wasted."
 

bwang3160

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yeah it is a pretty weird question. I found this question on the interview feedback place at one of the schools and just wanted to see how people would answer it.

My answer is somewhat similar to yours, but maybe not as blunt


other people?!
 
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TMP-SMX

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Cancer. The disease burden is much higher and it affects more Americans by far than AIDS. Plus, it is likely something that all of us will experience no matter what specialty we are in. Even with individuals with AIDS you can manage them so that they die later due to cancer or infection. If you cured AIDS, they would still die of cancer.

Though "cancer" is a pretty broad term and there are many different causes and types of cancer. The money it will take to cure cancer will be much more than to cure HIV. You can effectively prevent certain types of cancers by getting vaccinated for HPV and by not smoking. 90% of lung cancer is in smokers.
 

RySerr21

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Cancer, simply because it affects more Americans. AIDS is pretty much preventable, but some people get cancer inevitably.

I dont think "its preventable" is a very good answer, and in some parts of the world it really isnt that preventable simply b/c they dont have proper education and there are social and cultural boundaries that make preventing the disease very difficult. I could see one arguing for cancer based on the fact that AIDS (in the US and places that can afford medication, at least) is very treatable. People generally aren't dying from AIDS anymore and can live 30+ years with HIV. But then again, why were the answers limited to just the United States (i dont think thats how the question was originally proposed)? If you expand it so we are thinking about it globally, it could be a totally different answer.
 

alehar

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I'd probably say cancer because of it's non-discriminatory nature. AIDS is, in many cases, preventable via the use of proper protection/precautions. That's just me, though.
 

HurricaneKatt

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If the government gave you money for research, what would you choose Cancer or AIDS?
Should one just choose a side and then explain why they would choose it....

or

Emphasize the importance of both as healthcare issues that affect and kill millions.

I was just wondering if I could get people's opinion because I'm not sure which way I would choose.
I would take the best of both worlds and look more into this...:D:thumbup:
http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/11/07/did-a-bone-marrow-transplant-cure-a-cancer-patient-of-aids/
EXCITING!!!!
That said, if it had to be one or the other, I would pick Cancer just because I am terrified of AIDS (always has been a fear of mine) and I would like to keep exposure to HIV virus minimal. That and Cancer I could work at St. Jude's, a dream of mine anyways. :)
 
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RySerr21

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I would take the best of both worlds and look more into this...:D:thumbup:
http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/11/07/did-a-bone-marrow-transplant-cure-a-cancer-patient-of-aids/
EXCITING!!!!
That said, if it had to be one or the other, I would pick Cancer just because I am terrified of AIDS (always has been a fear of mine) and I would like to keep exposure to HIV virus minimal. That and Cancer I could work at St. Jude's, a dream of mine anyways. :)

just curious, would you refuse to treat a patient if you know he/she had aids? Say if you were doing surgery or working in the ER or something?
 

HurricaneKatt

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just curious, would you refuse to treat a patient if you know he/she had aids? Say if you were doing surgery or working in the ER or something?
Well...technically that is illegal...would I like to refuse? Yes definitely. Would I actually refuse? No. I would be scared as he** the whole time though. Not gonna lie. Though I do think that ppl with HIV still need/deserve treatment, I just don't want to ever be the one to administer it. Unfair and unrealistic I know, but you wanted an honest answer. :shrug: HIV scares the he** out of me. I do not believe that it should be classified as a disability. It is a disease, and a contagious one at that, and should be treated as such. I think that, if practitioners are required to give treatment to ppl with HIV (which again, I think they deserve) that they should be allowed to take exra percautions and so forth. Right now it is illegal.
 

RySerr21

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Well...technically that is illegal...would I like to refuse? Yes definitely. Would I actually refuse? No. I would be scared as he** the whole time though. Not gonna lie. Though I do think that ppl with HIV still need/deserve treatment, I just don't want to ever be the one to administer it. Unfair and unrealistic I know, but you wanted an honest answer. :shrug: HIV scares the he** out of me. I do not believe that it should be classified as a disability. It is a disease, and a contagious one at that, and should be treated as such. I think that, if practitioners are required to give treatment to ppl with HIV (which again, I think they deserve) that they should be allowed to take exra percautions and so forth. Right now it is illegal.

I dunno how illegal it is. I work in an HIV/AIDS clinic, and the attending tells stories all the time about how she has come across surgeons who have refused to operate on her patients b/c they have HIV. I think this was more so back in the day when we didnt know too much about it and it wasnt really under control, but either way. I think there are plenty of other diseases to be more scared about than HIV (ie cancer). At least you can live with HIV. Its not a death sentence anymore.
 

Rooni

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Like somebody said above, I would do extensive research into both fields, then put my effort and my money toward the field where I felt it would go the furthest.
 

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Cancer. HIV is now a manageable disease, and one which patients can live with for an extended period of time (for those patients willing to comply).
 

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There is no correct answer, since obviously there is plenty of research to be done in both areas. This is assuming the most important thing is helping the most people. If you don't feel that way, then cancer because HIV isn't really a problem in the 1st world.

I wouldn't answer this question by delving into a "which is worse" debate, although in my own opinion HIV is a much "worse" problem than cancer. This is because you can start acquiring HIV as soon as you can have sex, which for many people around the world is age 12-14. Considering that most of these people do not have access to HAART, means the potential for harm is far greater. Very few people get cancer in their teens and die in their thirties, but many people with HIV do.

would I like to refuse? Yes definitely. Would I actually refuse? No. I would be scared as he** the whole time though. Not gonna lie. Though I do think that ppl with HIV still need/deserve treatment, I just don't want to ever be the one to administer it.
There is really no reason to be scared. Needle sticks happen. If you happen to be exposed to an HIV positive patients blood or other fluids for any reason, you will immediately be given an anti-viral cocktail injection that will prevent infection like 99.999%
 
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tabrazinski

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If the government gave you money for research, what would you choose Cancer or AIDS?
Should one just choose a side and then explain why they would choose it....

or

Emphasize the importance of both as healthcare issues that affect and kill millions.

I was just wondering if I could get people's opinion because I'm not sure which way I would choose.

having done research for 3 years now, i think the most important thing in choosing one is which one you're more excited and passionate about. if you're feeling blah towards what you're studying then you're not going to be happy doing it, and it will negatively affect the work. personally, i would choose HIV because the whole thing just fascinates me. cancer research, though important, just doesn't excite me in the same way.
 

Chemist0157

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I dont think "its preventable" is a very good answer, and in some parts of the world it really isnt that preventable simply b/c they dont have proper education and there are social and cultural boundaries that make preventing the disease very difficult. I could see one arguing for cancer based on the fact that AIDS (in the US and places that can afford medication, at least) is very treatable. People generally aren't dying from AIDS anymore and can live 30+ years with HIV. But then again, why were the answers limited to just the United States (i dont think thats how the question was originally proposed)? If you expand it so we are thinking about it globally, it could be a totally different answer.

I answered the question solely based on my own plans to work in the U.S. Also, that's why I put pretty much preventable, safe sex, abstinence, blood testing, whatever; of course it's not 100% preventable, but what is? If we were talking about Africa, AIDS would be the answer for sure.
 

dragonfly99

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OK
that is pretty much a stupid interview question.
And for what it is worth, many cancers are quite preventable too, and many cancers are something that people can "live with" for many years also (chronic myelogenous leukemia, etc.). However, once a cancer patient, always a cancer patient...my 29yo best friend got breast CA and even though she is in remission and most likely cured, nobody ever uses the word "cured" and pretty much all cancer patients live in fear that the cancer will come back.

I think the point of this question is that there is not black-and-white "right " answer, and they would want to see how you react to such a question.
 
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Dulcina

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having done research for 3 years now, i think the most important thing in choosing one is which one you're more excited and passionate about. if you're feeling blah towards what you're studying then you're not going to be happy doing it, and it will negatively affect the work. personally, i would choose HIV because the whole thing just fascinates me. cancer research, though important, just doesn't excite me in the same way.

holy crap tabrazinski, your avatar is so cute
 

umean2tellme

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Well regardless of which you'd choose you'd be doing something very good for society. I'd pick AIDS b/c it's more interesting to me.
 

MattD

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If the government gave you money for research, what would you choose Cancer or AIDS?
Should one just choose a side and then explain why they would choose it....

or

Emphasize the importance of both as healthcare issues that affect and kill millions.

I was just wondering if I could get people's opinion because I'm not sure which way I would choose.

I would discuss both options, and mention good reasons for the importance of research in both fields.

Then I would answer the damn question. Discussing both sides proves that you thought about it. The question IS asking you to make a choice though, so freakin make a choice. You're going into a profession that will require you to make lots of hard choices, start with this one. Discuss why you made the choice that you made, but please, don't just list good reasons for both and then waffle on actually picking one. You're expected to pick, and to have a good argument for your choice.

There is no right answer of course. As long as you're thoughtful and give a solid reason for your choice, you can pick either answer.
 

MattD

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I think that, if practitioners are required to give treatment to ppl with HIV (which again, I think they deserve) that they should be allowed to take exra percautions and so forth. Right now it is illegal.

In what way is it illegal to 'take extra precautions?' Are you telling me you think it's illegal to double glove when working with an HIV patient? I'm not sure what specific 'extra' precautions you're referring to, but unless those precautions consist of 'abandoning the patient' then there's nothing illegal about protecting yourself from potential infection. In fact, you SHOULD be using 'extra' precautions with EVERY patient (ever heard of universal precautions?) The best attitude to take, in fact, is to assume that every patient has undiagnosed HIV/HepC and protect yourself accordingly. This isn't discriminatory at all.

That said, I'd impress upon people to be honest and discuss things like precautions with their patients. We had a patient in the hospital awhile back who was there for primary syphilis, but also happened to be colonized with MRSA. Well, the MRSA = instant contact precautions, gown and glove when in the room, the whole nine yards. Problem is, no one explained this to her, and all she knew was that everyone was space suiting up for her and not for all the other patients, and felt VERY hurt and stigmitized as she thought we were treating her like she was 'unclean' due to her syphilis. Granted, that's exactly what was going on, it was just because of the MRSA and not the syph, but regardless she felt much better and understood the deal once it was explained to her. Always respect people's dignity, and make sure they KNOW you respect their dignity. Remember that the disease has a person attached to it :)
 

RySerr21

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I answered the question solely based on my own plans to work in the U.S. Also, that's why I put pretty much preventable, safe sex, abstinence, blood testing, whatever; of course it's not 100% preventable, but what is? If we were talking about Africa, AIDS would be the answer for sure.

i guess, but if you find a cure for cancer (or AIDS) are you really gonna only share it with the US? Its a global question, seems kinda silly to base an answer on one specifics area of the world when the overall picture looks much different.
 

MattD

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i guess, but if you find a cure for cancer (or AIDS) are you really gonna only share it with the US? Its a global question, seems kinda silly to base an answer on one specifics area of the world when the overall picture looks much different.

I actually don't think it's a global question. The stem states that the government is funding the research. Using the reasonable assumption that this is the U.S. government, I think it's valid to expect that money to be spent to solve problems facing U.S. taxpayers.

I'm not saying that taxpayers shouldn't fund research on tropical diseases, I actually think we should, but the fact that this is government money DOES inject that bit of politics into the discussion.
 

RySerr21

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I actually don't think it's a global question. The stem states that the government is funding the research. Using the reasonable assumption that this is the U.S. government, I think it's valid to expect that money to be spent to solve problems facing U.S. taxpayers.

I'm not saying that taxpayers shouldn't fund research on tropical diseases, I actually think we should, but the fact that this is government money DOES inject that bit of politics into the discussion.

Ive been trying to think of a way to counter your argument for like 5 minutes, and all i can come up with is........touche.


Okay okay, new question: A random person (no US government affiliation)gives you unlimited funds to research Cancer or Aids. Which do you choose.
 

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Then I would answer the damn question. Discussing both sides proves that you thought about it. The question IS asking you to make a choice though, so freakin make a choice. You're going into a profession that will require you to make lots of hard choices, start with this one.

Damn right. Pontification is nothing more than that.

"Answer my question you jerk!"
John McEnroe
 

MattD

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Ive been trying to think of a way to counter your argument for like 5 minutes, and all i can come up with is........touche.

Nah, I just read into the question differently. You're right in that ideally we would treat healthcare as a global problem. I personally think that even global health is effectively a local problem, as the repercussions of poor healthcare in the third world certainly impacts us here. Not that I require that to care about the third world, but some do ;-)
 

premedrod

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neither, its all about fighting obesity...
putting the money into good programs to teach children to eat healthier and be more active is better than treating the problem once it occurs. everyone knows that a persons diet and lifestyle seriously alters their future health.
so in other words...PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE PROGRAMS....DEAN ORNISH ALL THE WAY


If the government gave you money for research, what would you choose Cancer or AIDS?
Should one just choose a side and then explain why they would choose it....

or

Emphasize the importance of both as healthcare issues that affect and kill millions.

I was just wondering if I could get people's opinion because I'm not sure which way I would choose.
 

TMP-SMX

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You don't take extra precautions with HIV+ patients because you take universal precautions with every patient. HIV is not that transmissible. If blood you get from a needle stick is suspected to contain HIV then you can receive prophylaxis treatment.
 

Chemdude

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Cancer.

AIDS is relatively easy to stay away from. It could be preventable. If you don't have unprotected sex/share needles the chance of you getting AIDS is very minute. Less unprotected sex/sharing needles= Less AIDS.

On the other hand, cancer is pretty hard to stay away from. You can't really control the toxic carcinogens you are inhaling. Someone once told me that 30% of the men in my city will develop some sort of cancer in their lives. That's a big chunk of society. The number of people affected by AIDS(~45 million) is much less than the number of people affected by cancer.

I don't think this is a valid comparison. "Cancer" is an ambiguous term. I'm under the impression that we can't find a general cure for cancer; we can only find individual cures for specific types of cancers.
 

Chemdude

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I just thought of a question:

If curing(getting rid of) a deadly disease required that you quarantine everyone infected and wait for them to "die", would you support this method?

By deadly disease, I mean full blown pandemic.
 

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What about the AIDS related cancers like Kaposi's Sarcoma?

lol Nice :thumbup:

This question really isn't set up to compare the technical merits of AIDS vs Cancer research. Take for example the reference to "Cancer" in the singular, like it is just one condition. It is really a pretty uninformative term. Likewise "AIDS research" as compared with anti-retroviral pharmacology or some more specific type of research. I think the point of the question is probably to just get the applicant talking, evaluate the way he or she can reason through a decision and convey their ideas in an effective way.
 

MCP1

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Cancer for sure.

AIDs can be prevented through the proper cautions. Cancer cannot be prevented to the same extent, you can not smoke and still get lung cancer. If you are not having unprotected sex, you are not going to get AIDs.

In addition, curing cancer would not just be curing one disease but be curing many. Cancer is a very heterogenous disease and a cure for one cancer may be ineffective in treating another. Plus, curing cancer would requiring discovering a whole lot of new things about the body which would help out future research.
 

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doctors-smoke.jpg
 

MattD

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I just thought of a question:

If curing(getting rid of) a deadly disease required that you quarantine everyone infected and wait for them to "die", would you support this method?

By deadly disease, I mean full blown pandemic.

Mike Huckabee and I say Yes!

Utilitarianism, unfortunately, has it's place now and then
 
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