Why do we yawn?


WebMD recently had a cool little article about yawning.  All humans (and most animals) do it, but why?  Does it serve some physiologic purpose (like cooling off our brains or increasing our oxygen levels when they get too low) or a social one (like sending some type of important communication signal through a pack, or herd or math class)?  Why is yawning contagious?  Why do you feel like yawning right now just because you’re reading the word ‘yawn’?  Who knows? 

The most obvious answer is that we yawn because we’re tired.  This is pretty much standard operating procedure for most college, grad and professional students – not enough sleep, too much stress, no regular schedules, etc.  If you’re feeling more tired than usual, come in and see us.  Just please, stop saying yawn…

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

200 Year Old Condom Found in a Book!

A recent video posted on MSNBC shows a couple of 200-year-old condoms that were discovered in a book in Spain.  Pay attention, OSU librarians – with bookmarks like this, Thomspon library would be the most hopping spot on campus!  

Just a reminder to always check the expiration date before you put on your “raincoat”.  These are “animal skin” condoms, actually made from the lining membranes around the intestines of sheep.

BTW, don’t be too intimidated (or too proud if you’re from Spain) by the size of these condoms – they were held on with a string or ribbon around the base. 

Good Health! 

Roger Miller, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

How to prepare for a zombie apocalypse!


As you’re finishing up finals and heading off to enjoy a well-earned summer break (except for you poor grad students, who will not get a break for the next 5-7 years depending on funding), it is our job to send you off with health and safety in mind.  Sure we could talk about sunscreen or poison ivy or other summer-related health issues again, but there is a more serious threat to your health that we need to warn you about.  Zombies.

Yes, you’ve seen the movies and read the books, but would you know what to do if you were confronted with a zombie apocalypse in real life?  Well thanks to the CDC, now you do.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – your online source for credible health information! – has an outstanding series of emergency preparedness guidelines, and has recently published a guideline for how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.  We encourage you to read this vital health information closely and make all the recommended preparations.

For real?  Yes, your tax dollars and mine helped write the Zombie Blog.  What is the worst that can happen if you follow their recommendations?  You’ll have some water you can drink, some peanut butter or canned tuna (don’t forget the can opener) you can eat and some warm blankets tucked away for a VERY rainy day.   

Make sure to allow some extra time if you would like to come in for a consult regarding zombie preparedness – or any other prospective public health emergency. 

Jo Hanna Friend D’Epiro, PA-C, MPH
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Buckeye Flash Mob at Race for the Cure!

On Saturday (5/14), a flash mob featuring more than 200 people affiliated with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) started dancing in the streets shortly before the start of the 19th annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

The goal was to do something special to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer and the importance of research in helping us find a cure, and ultimately to create a cancer-free world. The flash mob featured physicians, researchers, nurses, staff, students, cancer survivors and friends and family of Ohio State employees.

Check it out and join your fellow Buckeyes in the fight to beat cancer!  Go Bucks!!

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Nothing says “I love you” like peeing in a cup!

Love - Fear

Order-It-Yourself Testing

The Student Health Center

Stumped as to what to get that special someone in your life this Valentine’s Day?   A box of chocolates is so ‘been there done that’.   Those handmade “coupons” for a free back rub or carrying her books to class were cute last year, but she ain’t falling for that again.  And while checking out The Mechanic would be a blast with your buddies, it just doesn’t set that romantic tone you’re looking for.

Well, fret no more my friends.  Student Health Services has the perfect gift for your valentine this year – Order-It-Yourself lab testing!!

What says “I love you” better than a pee-in-the-cup Chlamydia test? 

Feeling tired, honey?  Well why don’t you go to the Student Health Center and get screened for anemia and diabetes?  It’s on me.

The man in your life putting on a few extra pounds?  Well nothing will get him more motivated for Speedo season than a quick peek at his cholesterol levels.

All of these wonderful tests and more are available at the Student Health Center.  And the best part is that you don’t need an appointment or even have to see a health care provider to get them.  Check out our information page for prices and other information.

Just one word of caution.  Nothing lights the flames of passion like a visit to the Student Health Center so be careful that you don’t get burned by those fireworks tonight!

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

What cats can teach you about staying healthy


Are you stressed out?  Have you ever noticed that when things are the most hectic in your life, darn it if you don’t end up with the sniffles? 

Stress has been tied to a number of health conditions in humans, and now researchers at our very own College of Veterinary Medicine have shown that even cats respond to stress in their lives with an increased incidence of chronic illness.  The less stress the cats in the study had, the less sick they got.  So how do you de-stress a cat?  By providing a comfortable living environment, a consistent daily routine and attention from a caregiver. 

So take it from the kitties.  Try to find a healthy, consistent routine in your life (regular meals, regular sleep and regular exercise), share some TLC with a good friend or partner and always keep your litter box clean.  It’s the best way to stay away out of the vet’s… I mean doctor’s office.

Roger Miller, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Dane Sanzenbacher makes the REAL decision in Ohio!

If you want to see a star athlete from Ohio who’s making a real decision, forget about Le-you-know-who.  Ohio State’s very own Dane Sanzenbacher, with the help of some of his football Buckeye teammates and Coach Tressel, has made an outstanding video about a decision that’s really important – signing up to be an organ donor.

At this time of year when we’re all thinking about the gifts we’re going to be giving and receiving, we should take a minute to think about giving the gift of life.  If Dane and his pals can do it while they’re busy getting ready to feast on the Razorbacks in the Sugar Bowl, then we can too. 

Go Bucks!

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Play the Medication Matching Game!






Last June, we did a post about generic vs. brand name medications.  Our point was that the generic (or “store brand”) version of a medication is identical to the brand name version, so all you are really paying extra for is the name on the box.  

So as promised – and in honor of finals week – here is a quiz to test your medication education.  Match the name of the generic medication below with the picture of its brand name counterpart to the right. (key below) 

Sure, unlike your real exams this test won’t help your GPA or get you into grad school or land you that job at a Big 6 accounting firm.  But it will save you a lot of money, which is practically just as good. 

Jason Goodman, PharmD, RPh
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

1. Loperamide

2. Naproxen

3. Acetaminophen/Aspirin/Caffeine

4. Loratadine

5. Omeprazole

Answers:  1-D, 2-C, 3-A, 4-B, 5-E

Check Your Manhood in the Mirror!

I just came across a pretty funny video created by ZDoggMD, a physician in California who is really into making music video parodies about health topics.  He’s kind of like what would happen if Flavor Flav and Weird Al Yankovic had an illicit love-child who went to med school.  (Man, I’m dating myself with that reference…)

Speaking of dating yourself, ZDogg just created a video spoof of Michael Jackson singing about (and performing!!) testicular self-examination to the tune of “Man in the Mirror.”  Yes, it’s a little corny but it’s actually kinda funny and it has a good message about checking out the boys on a regular basis.  All in all, not a bad way to kill a few minutes.

We’ve covered testicle cancer on BuckMD before, and that message still stands.  Check yourself regulary, and if you find anything that doesn’t feel right, be sure to come in and see us.  I promise – we won’t sing.  And our exam gloves don’t have sequins on them.   

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Would you really pee on your cell phone to see if you had an STI!?


Just came across a very interesting article (with some of the best comments I’ve seen in a long time) on MSNBC’s technolog:

Got a funny feeling in your nether-region but too embarrassed to ask your doctor what it might be? If a group of British researchers have their way, your mobile phone will soon be able to tell you if you’ve got an STD.

So scientists in England are developing kits – kind of like home pregnancy tests – that you buy for a couple of bucks at the grocery store or in a vending machine at your favorite bar.  You just put a little saliva or urine on this computer chip, plug it into your phone (or computer) and voila’ – within a few minutes it’ll tell you if you have an STI, which one, and what you need for treatment.   

Who knows if and when this technology will become a reality, but it’s exciting because it addresses a very important issue in young people.  STI’s can be a serious threat to your health, but many students are too afraid/embarrassed/busy/broke to come in and get checked out.  

We are trying to tackle the same issue here at the Student Health Center.  We now offer “OIY” (Order It Yourself) lab testing.  You can get tested for STI’s and certain other medical conditions without having to make an appointment or even talk to a health care provider.  I admit it’s not quite as convenient (or cheap) as the “Dr. Who Hump Drive” but at least we actually exist and the results are monitored by a real live doctor.

Of course, if you think you may have a sexually transmitted infection (or any other medical problem), the safest thing to do is to come in and see us.  We know it’s a little embarassing, but believe me, we do this every day – there’s nothing we haven’t seen before and we don’t have a judgmental bone in our building.  We can answer all of your questions, check for other problems, diagnose and treat you all at once.  And so far, there ain’t an app for that…

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University