Why hugging can be useful_other reasons

I am writing a medical article about Heyde’s syndrome and while reading one of the case reports I came across this introduction of the patient background. It is astonishing how this woman got diagnosed with aortic stenosis. After giving her little granddaughter a hug:

In october 2002, a woman aged 68 became dyspnoeic with decreased exercise tolerance and episodic chest pain. Prompted by her 8-year-old granddaughter, who on hugging her had commented that her heart ‘sounded funny0, she consulted her general practicioner, who diagnosed aortic stenosis, later confirmed by echocardiogram.

Hasan, Fyeza, Ciara S O’Brien, Aparna Sanyal, and Harry R Dalton. “Aortic Stenosis and Gastrointestinal Bleeding.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 97, no. 2 (February 2004): 81–82.


This time I will write a short post about thank you note. It was when I was in the USA for the first time that I found these nice thank you note cards. I bought two books without knowing who should I send the first note. I somehow felt that this kind of expressing gratitude will make me fell good. I was right. I soon developed this habit of sending thank you note cards to express my gratitude. If you have not tried it yet I would kindly recommend it.



Few days ago I came across this great speech by Jack Dorsey, Twitter and Square co-founder. When I saw that it is almost 30 minutes long I doubt I will spend more than two minutes watching it. In this era of very short attention span and informatical explosion it is unrealistic to expect from people to take time for 30 minutes long speech. Things turned out differently and I watched it till the last second because it was great. I read about Jack Dorsey before but through this speech he appeared to be really great man. I saved this video for later ‘rewatch’ because I want to learn even more from it. I am sure I will get more of his wisdom after second (third, fourth maybe) watch. Something that I missed in the first session. You know, it is some of these materials that you do not want to miss a single detail from.

However, I suddenly got this idea to send thank you note to Jack Dorsey because he gave such a great speech. And I did it. I ask for his or his company post address on Quora and got one answer. I wrote thank you note where I expressed my gratitute for unselfishly sharing his experiences.

It is a great Friday and I wish u all great weekend.


P.S. My last post Joy of the First ‘Big’ Program and Continue created quite a discussion. Thank you for all great comments. I will try to respond as soon as possible but it may take a while as you commented some things that are higher-level-programming-things which at the moment I do not understand yet. 


I keep going with the Coursera course on Python by dr. Charles Severance. Class is really well constructed and I would warmly recommend it to all programming newbies.

Yesterday It took me quite a lot of time to solve the exercise. I experienced two things:

1. It is important to pay attention to details. I knew that but obviously did not remember lesson well as I was furiously looking for the solution while it was really obvious and would have appear to me much earlier if I would have been more precise. Once again: pay attention to details. 

2. The second experience was a joy of making my longest program so far. For an experienced programmer this piece of code will look very easy but for me it was the top of the mountain. If you have write the right solution, the right code either for given exercise or some problem of your own, you will know what I am talking about.

So here is the exercise:

Write a program that repeatedly prompts a user for integer numbers until the user enters ‘done’. Once ‘done’ is entered, print out the largest and smallest of the numbers. If the user enters anything other than a valid number catch it with a try/except and put out an appropriate message and ignore the number. Enter the numbers from the book for problem 5.1 and Match the desired output as shown. 

This is my first solution which I was so sure it was right but it was not:

largest = None
smallest = None
while True:
num = raw_input(“Enter a number: “)
if num == “done” : break

num = int(num)
print “Invalid input”

if largest is None or num > largest:
largest = num

if smallest is None or num < smallest:
smallest = num

print “Maximum is”, largest
print “Minimum is”, smallest

And this is the right solution. Do you notice the difference. Run the code if you are not sure.

largest = None
smallest = None
while True:
num = raw_input(“Enter a number: “)
if num == “done” : break

num = int(num)
print “Invalid input”

if largest is None or num > largest:
largest = num

if smallest is None or num < smallest:
smallest = num

print “Maximum is”, largest
print “Minimum is”, smallest


P.S. I apologize for writing code without proper identation. If you know how could I write nicer lines of code here in wordpress please let me know. 


I was recently asked on Quora this question: What’s the worst way to learn programming?

Even though I am not a programmer but rather someone who is learning Python for fun, I did dare to answer the question. My response was:

Starting to many online courses at once and spending to much time on planning what and from where to learn.

I responded because I went through the same experience. You can get trapped into the false perception of doing progress, while everything that you are actually doing is planning and checking next cool learning site for coding. Codecakes, Udacity, Udemy, Teaching Tree, Learn Python the Hard Way, Codecademy, Code School… To name just a few. Stop planning to much, to precisely. You can easily spend too much time on checking these resources but I do believe this is waste of time.

By my opinion, what you should do is to determine the maximum amount of time that you are willing to spend on planning. Once you ran out of the time you must start learning and following one or two resources until you complete the lessons. Than you should move on, otherwise the learning process is confusing and unefficient.

How much time did you take for making your learning plan ?


Conversion of binary code

I am still not sharp in binary system but slowly things are getting more understanable. Often, you need to look at the problem for slightly different angle to understand it. I came across really nice explanation that I would like to share with you. After reading this you will not understand the whole concept of binary system, however you will be able to tell what number  (in decimal system) represent 11001, which is binary number. If you can already write the answer do not continue with reading, you will learn nothing new.

Here is the explanation:

You should first remember that binary system there are only 2 digits: and 1 ! 



In order to get the number that is represented by 11001 in binary system you must do this equotation:

(1 x 20) + (0 x 21) + (0 x 22) + (1 x 23) + (1 x 24) + (1 x 25) =

(1) + (0) + (0) + (8) + (16) + (32) = 57

The answer is therefore 57. 

To make sure you understood the concept try to convert 101, 1101, 0110, 001. 


I love to read. The first book that I remember was Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. It was a great read and I reread it for three more times. After this book many new came. I do not remember which book affected me most when I was in elementary school, I only remember being regular library visitor.


My reading habit was strong and I continued with reading in high school as well. The real wave came in the second year of high school. Then, I remember I read more book than any year before or after. The reason was intrinsic need to find some answers. I do not have specific questions in mind, you know it is common high school what-it-is-all-about question. I remember that I was interested in what some great people are having to say about this life-question. It is that simple.

From my own experience I would recommend reading to anyone. Start reading as early as possible. It is goood for imagination. It has very inspirational effect. It helps you get ideas. It motivate you to write your own book. It expands your horizons. It gives you an idea what to do in life to name only few benefits. I will cover some of my favourite books in posts that are yet to come. In this post I would like to share the joy upon discovering that these exceptional entrepreneurs are avid readers:

1. Bill Gates

I once read that Bill Gates takes a week each year in order to read in solitude. The other source claimed that Gates takes a week to read twice a year. No matter the details it seems that the Richest man on Earth has been reading since childhood. This is one of his quotes:

“I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.”

2.  Jack Dorsey

This speech by Jack Dorsey that he had at Startup School 2013 inspired me to write this post. In his speech he read parts from his favourites books. Here are first few sentences from his speech:

“I am going to do something a little bit different. I never really done this before which is simply read to you from some books that helped me along the way, helped me along the transition, helped me get started. But also helped me through many things. There are so many lessons from these books. And please, if you get the chance, buy them yourself and read through entire thing. 

3. Elon Musk

 I found out that Musk is an avid reader from Quora. I will copy few answers from Quora users that indicate my assumption:

Q: SpaceX: On 60 Minutes Elon Musk said that he was mostly self taught and learnt most of what he knows from reading books. What books do you think Elon Musk read?

A: Elon: “So I was this little bookwormy kid, and probably a little bit of a smart aleck, so, this was a recipe for disaster. So I just like, read a lot of books, and, uhh, tried to stay out of people’s way during school. I read all the comics I could buy, or that they let me read in the bookstore before chasing me away. I read everything I could get my hands on from when I woke up to when I went to sleep. At one point I ran out of books and started reading the Encyclopedia.”

Elon said “The heroes of the books I read, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and the ‘Foundation’ series, always felt a duty to save the world.”

I remember he mentioned Benjamin Franklin: An American Life* in in his with interview with Kevin Rose:

Most recently he’s spoken about how he’s currently reading about Howard Hughes.



SHAREMAG is expanding

I added new magazine (Scientific American) on my sharemag webpage for sharing 2nd print magazines.  Again this is amateur webpage and its main intention is to practice basics of HTML and to give off magazines that I am an avid reader of. For now this is only mine little personal project but if things will be intereted it can grow in something bigger and more aesthetically pleasing (regarding webpage).

First come, first serve. You can check available magazines here. 



Project – Free Magazine

When I was strating with Python learning my main question was: What is the most efficient way to learn to code. With few exceptions, the answer was: Try to solve your own problem or Make your own little project. 

Since then I accumulated almost uncountable numbers of ideas, mostly in the mHealth or digital health field. On the other hand, I was also thinking about things that are not related to medicine. One idea that occured months ago but still waiting its realization was a result of my passion for reading.

Reading is one of my favourite free time activites. I enjoy buying books and expanding my private library. I am also subscriber to few magazines. After reading I put them on a bookshelf but I believe that somebody else could take advantage of reading them. I will rarely take one magazine for a second or third time. I usually take out what I want to remember and rest of the text is forgotten. This is why I would like to create a web page for free sharing of print magazines. For instance, it was quite a struggle to become a Forbes subscriber as I am from Europe. Forbes is one example of very inspirational and motivational magazine that boost your enthusiasm no matter the field you are working in. This is why I believe other can have benefit from reading it.

As I actually do not know how to code, my ‘web-page’ will be probably very very simple. With the title, pictures of cover magazines that I am willing to send anybody who will demanded them first for free and with ugly url address as it will be hosted on dropbox.

So expect the announcement of web page for sharing used print magazines between readers.


Starting to learn to code was a good idea

I admit, tech-entrepreneur hype took over me when I was in my last year of medical school. I do not remember how I started to read about entrepreneurship, it just occured. I am Forbes, FastCompany, Entrepreneur… magazine subscriber and it is being very inspirational reading through some of the success stories in mentioned articles. Aha, I remember now. it was when I read this article by Vinod Khosla: Technology will replace 80 % of what doctors do. 

As a medical student I was not keen about the idea. After all I spend long years studying medicine and now computers will take over our position. I remember being so absorbed in studies that I barely had time to think or do anything else. I do not regret it but I do think that having broader picture of how world function is not bad idea at all. Let’s go back to the story. So after reading this Fortune article I started to read about tech innovations and this soon lead me to the sillicon valley start ups. Do not be surprised, but for an average med student as myself, this revelation was quite incredible. So, next discovery was that developers are gods. If you want to start a start-up it must be in the tech field and if it is in the tech field you must know how to code.

Before I started to code I made a lot of brainstorming about different problems that could be solved in the field of healthcare. I got many of them and after not so much time I realized that all were already ‘taken’. I said to myself that the best thing would be to learn how to code so I will be able to create something. So I started, at the moment I had some free time, it was just after graduation so I went through some courses and read few books. Now after few months I am still not able to write a decent program. In addition, working as MD does not give me a lot of time for my coding education. But still it was great experience. It gave me valuable insights. Even if I will not be able to write the simplest program, learning to code was valuable lesson (and still is):

1. Learning to code helped me to meet a lot of people from the fields such as entrepreneurship, computer science, programming. It was great learning how they work and think. I think every physician who has enthusiasm for tech, computers, entrepreneurship should met a lot of people from these fields.

2. Learning to code helped me to learn that programming is not that cool as it may be presented in media. This experience, made me reevaluate the privilege that I have being physician. One thing we will always need is a knowledge how to help people feel better. Working as MD can be a good way to do that. Combining that with technology can be even more potent.

3. I learned some basics about computers and can be calm in not believing Vinod Khosla words. At least not in near future as he is predicting.

So if you are wondering whether or not you should started learn coding I think it will be rewarding and valuable experience. Even if you will not turn pro developer.