International News Desk – At Home: Dr. Personality – Around the World: Imaginary Food

International News Desk – At Home: Dr. Personality – Around the World: Imaginary Food

At Home: Dr. Personality

Is your doctor brusque, rude, or demeaning? Does she blur ethical lines? Does he have the bedside manner of TV’s Dr. House? Good news: in the future, the stereotypical image of the personality-challenged doctor might be getting a makeover, starting with the application process to med school.

As The Globe and Mail reports, McMaster University’s medical school is pioneering an ?innovative online test? for its applicants, in the hopes of accepting ?more students with the character to match their cognitive powers.?

The online test parallels a similar approach used in many med schools during the application interview process: presenting prospective students with time-limited ethical and decision-making scenarios. However, while those situational interviews are only given to applicants who make it to the interview stage, the online test is designed to ?bring identification of those strengths into evaluation of the total number of applicants each year.?

The rationale: while the typical application process focuses on good grades and test scores, it may ?accept people who are not necessarily going to be the best doctors,? since it can overlook negative personal characteristics related to ?decision-making, ethics, communication skills and cultural sensitivity.?

And it makes sense. As Dr. Harold Reiter, chair of admissions for medicine at McMaster, told reporters, ?92 per cent of . . . complaints [about doctors] were because of personal characteristics ? professional qualities, if you will.?

Around the World: Imaginary Food

Craving ice cream, a Big Mac, or some similarly diet-busting treat? Contrary to popular thought, the way to deal might not be to attempt to banish the cravings wholesale. Rather, instead of thinking before you eat, you might try thinking instead of eating.

Sound counterintuitive? Not according to new psychological research from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. As the National Geographic‘s Daily News site reports, ?imaginary chewing and swallowing can reduce cravings . . . [and] imagining eating a specific food reduces your interest in that food, so you eat less of it.?

When we give in to temptation and start nibbling that chocolate bar, our cravings?and the satisfaction we derive from the treat?both drop off dramatically with each bite. This so-called ?habituation? also can occur ?solely via the power of the mind,? according to the study.

Study leaders are hoping that the results might ?lead to new behavioral techniques for people looking to control overeating or other addictive behaviors such as smoking.?