Friday, February 6, 2009

Health Economics.

As I sat in Pendleton Atrium reading about the difference in death rates for white males vs. black males for heart disease, lung cancer and DIABETES, I finished an entire box of Girl Scout Caramel Delight Cookies. Fail.
[reading: "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status" by James P. Smith.]

Anyway, before I came to college, I remember feeling sorry for my dad whenever his beeper would go off in the middle of the night. (He's an anesthesiologist) I haven't had that feeling in a while b/c I've been away from home, but immediately after his b'day dinner two weeks ago, his beeper made that stupid broken up G flat chord noise and I felt so bad for him. I had always thought my dad's life sucked, so when he was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago, I wasn't all that surprised when he said he just wanted to die. However, he seems to have beaten some very impressive statistics.

For example, the probability of an individual staying at work after being affected by a major disease is -0.06 during the first two years of the disease's onset, and has a t-stat of 2.24. The probability of that individual staying at work the following two years is -0.16 with a t-stat of 7.67! Not gonna lie. I'm pretty impressed by my dad.

Thus, as I look for jobs, I am resigned to thinking that maybe I will have to get someone coffee everyday. Maybe I won't get paid as much as I feel I deserve. But if my dad could do med school twice (once in S.Korea and once in the States) and has continued to stick to this job that he hates, then I can suck it up and deal with picking up phones for a year or two. Besides, beggars can't be choosers. Unemployment hit 7.6% (its highest in 16 years).


  1. Dude I totally know what you mean about your dad. My dad caught Hep C from a patient when I was younger, and it is totally a miracle that he continued working throughout. The disease can be pretty debilitating. He was constantly tired. Obviously hepatitis isn't as bad as cancer, but you know what I mean.

  2. ok wait i'm rushing home now, but i'm going to read this and make my good friend read it.

    you might remember him, Andrew Cheong - you bitched at us both regarding the status of females in society.

    now he's changed his mind after reading Ayn Rand.

  3. haha indeed. but actually, for the record, i'm pretty sure esther and i were never in disagreement! (go ahead, search your gmail!) i think we agree that the principles of science, statistics, etc. are _right_. if we agree on that, then that's sufficient to say that we are in agreement. it just happened so that esther stumbled upon one of my "girls are so stupid" rants. and it just happens so that we apply the facts a little differently. if it were time-efficient (enough) to be able to compare everyone objectively regardless of their race, gender, etc. then of course, there is no rational reason to discriminate. however, it's not always possible to be so concerned over equality. i mean, all it comes down is to a time-constraint vs. rational-information problem. the benefit is getting more accurate information, and there's a cost to getting that information. if i had to go by my guts, then i can only rely on my experience and my observations. esther, you stated that experience and observations ("sample set") were really limited. well, you're right. i never encountered a female mind like ayn rand, for example. i mean, i don't have an "excuse", since there is no one to blame; this is simply the environment i grew up in (apparently around a bunch of retarded girls haha). nonetheless, it is completely fair (and expected) of you to judge me as ignorant, since i did not make an effort to go find data and better sample sets in order to justify my belief. (i guess i did not see enough benefit in the act to justify the cost in time/effort learning about it.) anyway, i digress. POINT: i don't think we were in disagreement. (and i was joking about the "bitch" thing but i was too lazy to clarify the potential miscommunication. it didn't seem like you were too bothered by it anyway.)

  4. i <3 your dad. i miss him.