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What are the admission statistics for top schools in computer science, information science and computer engineering?

* CS and IT world has changed a lot. New degrees have emerged. I am going to add data from 2017/18 admission season by October 2018. Till then promote and share this answer.*Let's set your thinking first.The Grad School Statistics We Never Had Rankings Considered Harmful!Where you went to college doesn't matter. students start their college research with rankings. That’s all well and good. You’ve got to start somewhere. But overall there is NO ranking system, NO acceptance criteria, no matter how perfect, is going to be able to tell you what university is best for your future. Graduate program prestige is a touchy subject for many people. I recommend that students look holistically, by looking at many rankings and university prestige, cost-benefit analysis, curriculum, post graduation job status, research fit, reputation of advisers etc. Of course you’d like to attend the program with the most prestige. But what if that prestigious university you’re in love with is price gouging? What if you’ll have to set back your life plans to be able to afford tuition, never mind the cost of living?Holistic view of the ranks:Look at different sources before settling in one ranking method.Research interests, fit with the adviser and adviser's reputation in the field (I cannot stress enough how important this is to any PhD applicants. #1 priority over anything. PeriodARWU: Academic Ranking of World Universities in Computer Science - 2015 (Helpful to PhD applicants: based on citations, research, impact factor. Much better than USNEWS for science, tech, CS ranking)NSF grant: Universities Report Highest-Ever R&D Spending of $65 Billion in FY 2011 (Helpful to PhD applicants, refer Table 3; Gives you an idea about research expenditures of the school - you want to end up in a college with continuous supply of fund)National Research Council: NRC Rankings Overview: Computer Sciences (Helpful to PhDs, sort by 'Research high'. This shows the quality of research.) Page on is derived from the NRC ranking.Microsoft Research rank: Page on (Click the link or Copy paste the link, Click the field of your research on left, In the middle pane click 'see more ' in top organizations in [your field], Choose '5 years', and then sort by 'North America' or your continents), a ranking based on top-tier publication output of CS faculty. Unlike US News and World Report's approach, which is exclusively based on surveys, this ranking is entirely metrics-based. It measures the number of publications by faculty that have appeared at the most selective conferences in each area of computer science. However , this does not capture all top conferences for a particular field , so the ranking is based only on top 3–5 conferences. So, there are flaws in rankings particularly in algorithms, systems, HCI etc. But all rankings have them. Good as a preliminary filter to find faculty working on each field at each school.And finally, USNews Computer Science . Unfortunately many applicants and early career assistant professors use it as a primary filter. Comparing schools based only on USNews rank is a common mistake by PhD applicants. Academics don't look at this ranking highly. This is the baseless , subjective, and perception based, yet most common ranking system out there. Be careful.QS University rankings: Page on [The research methodology is mostly subjective based. I recommend using this only for Masters and Business programs, not for PhD). In all honesty, QS and THE rankings overvalue European universities. But no one actually cares about it.(CAUTION- academic rankings are bad) Academic Rankings Considered Harmful!Do I want a Masters or a PhD ?For those who want to go on to graduate study, the first decision is whether to pursue a master’s degree or a PhD. The master’s degree usually consists of additional coursework and will give you a stronger foundation of the same sort you had as an undergraduate. Getting a PhD. is a MUCH LONGER/MUCH HARDER commitment (often five or more years), the core of which is an independent research project leading to a doctoral dissertation, and job in academic institutions or research fields.Is it easier to get admitted as a Masters compared to a PhD?It depends how you define "easier". There is no 'yes' or 'no' answer to this. Generally speaking, all applicants should be aware that the selection process is comprehensive and rigorous for PhD admission compared to Masters since there are generally fewer slots for PhDs, and Masters slots are typically not funded (vs most PhD students being fully funded).Money and degree?Sadly in today economy the ability for a student to pay full tuition has become a factor in some admissions decisions. MBA is notoriously known for “rich gets it all”. But this has definitely been the case in CS and IT in University of California, Georgia Tech, which has seen a rise in admitted applicants. In today marketplace, more and more schools are paying great attention to full paid Masters applicants that explained why so many campuses are packed by international students. This puts deserved and talented students behind the wealthy ones.Masters programs may be easier to get into if for no other reason than because you can pay tuition. Eg, University of Southern California, Georgia Tech Masters, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard (extension schools, professional school, and few Master degrees), Dartmouth, Cornell, Stanford, CMU etc. If the question is whether or not one's ability to pay can overcome deficiencies in one's transcript, the answer is "usually" no. The college will not allow an unqualified applicant to get in, but if there are two candidates, and one is high need (smart) and the other is not (slightly less smart), all other things being equal, the full pay student may be the one getting that fat envelope. This is one of the reasons why you see more Master students than PhD students in any schools. PhD programs are more difficult to gain acceptance to because you also receive a salary, health insurance and somebody in the nebulous world of academia pays your tuition (training grants, PI's grants, fellowships etc). The bar for any PhD school is much tougher than bar for any Masters. Example, it may be equally harder or if not more, to get into a top 30–35 PhD school than Masters at a top 5–10 school. Admission is overly critical and competitive at PhD level, and being able to pay tuition has no influence in PhD admission process. Industries and Academics also look very highly of PhD candidates compared to Masters. In some sense, Masters is an advanced bachelors.To confirm my statement look at the data below.***acceptance rate does not translate to how good a school is in research. Acceptance rate is a factor how many students applied to how many slots are available. But that does show overall strength of the program. YOU be the decision maker***------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MIT EECS, MAThe admission rate of applicants to EECS at MIT is approximately 6%. They only have one application process and it is for the Master’s/PhD combined. There is no separate Master’s degree application.Acceptance Rate: 6.4% , 2778 applications and admitted 180 applicants for 2014-2015Source: Emailed [email protected], CAMS: 667 applications, 123 accepted, 92 enrolled (18.4% acceptance rate)PhD acceptance: This past year we had 692 applicants to our Ph.D. program. We accepted 71, with about 50 of them taking us up on our offer. Now 10% might not seem like terrible odds as compared with, say, getting into Stanford as an undergraduate (7% admission rate). But those 692 applicants were already a somewhat self-selected group.Acceptance Rate: 18.4% (MS), 10.26% (PhD)Source: for admissions statistics section)Princeton, NJAcceptance: 11 % They do not have statistics for computer science alone.Source: Look at graduate admissions for school of engineering and applied science: A Princeton Profile . Also emailed at [email protected] Tech (CS/HCI/OMS), GASource: Graduate Admissions - Table 4.3Page on gatech.eduAs you can see from first link, the admission rate is around 19% - 30%.PhD in GTECH is way harder than Masters to get admission. Impossible to compare quality of applicants at these two levels.Regular Masters CS with thesis option: As you can see that GTech Masters program is not as competitive to get into (Refer to IInd link). There are 3x to 5x more Masters students than PhDs at GTech. That is a quite significant difference and should tell something about quality of PhD students vs Masters students to get into. Email source says PhD admission rate is 10%.Masters in Interactive Computing/HCI: Total applicants: 350 applicants, Admit: 100 admits, and Enrolled: 50 . Only 50% enrolled. About half of students in Interactive Computing track; the rest are divided among the Psychology, Industrial Design, and Digital Media tracks. The acceptance rate is somewhat lower in the Interactive Computing track, but not significantly. Usually unfunded admission in Masters.Acceptance rate: 28.57%Source: Emailed [email protected] Masters: They also have an online Masters in CS program with Udacity. Acceptance Rate for OMS CS: 50% - 60%[Their on-site/in-person program is ranked top 10 by USNews, NOT the online program]Source: Emailed [email protected], ILEach year the Department of Computer Science at Illinois receives around 1500 applications for the MS and PhD programs and admits around 130 recruits between the two programs.Acceptance Rate (MS + PhD combined) : 8.66%Source: Application Evaluation ProcessWisconsin-Madison, WIAcceptance Rate: 20% (MS + PhD combined)Enrollment rate: only 36%Source:, TXMS/PhD: ~ 20%. Nearly the same as Wisconsin Madison (MS + PhD combined)Source: [email protected] replied back they are as close to the numbers ~15-20%.Purdue, INFor Fall 2014 we had about 1112 applications for about 82 slots. For Fall 2013 we had about 980 applications for about 54 slots.Acceptance Rate: 7.3% (MS + PhD combined)Source: also has a CIT (computer information technology) degree with very high acceptance rate and a late deadline. But you may be required to pay a lot as a Masters.Harvard, MAAdmits about 8%-9% of applications across their graduate programs. They do not offer admission into the masters degree in Computer Science- at this time they only admit into their PhD program.For the class of graduate students entering in Fall 2014, SEAS received more than 2000 applications across all Ph.D. and master's programs and accepted just under 10 %Source: Emailed [email protected] Mellon University, PACarnegie Mellon overall is hovering around 15-20% (MS + PhD combined). Surprised (too many CS specializations)?? However, the School of Computer Science PhD only is about 6.8% (2012 Statistics: 5071 applicants, 345 admitted, 138 enrolled)The thing you have to note is that every computing specializations within Carnegie Mellon School of Conputing has different requirements and thus different acceptance rates.The admission intake is pretty high at Masters level - a bit higher than peer schools. Is Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science easier to get into thancomparative programs at top tier schools?Tip:CMU Heinz is relatively very easier to get into for Information Systems degree (but does not enjoy as much reputation as CS)Few (not all) masters programs at CMU are easier to get into for no other reason than because you can pay tuition as long as you meet minimum criteria for admission.CMU has a INI school focused at information technology, networking, security and technology management. Very good job placement but you may be paying atleast USD 80k-120k for your masters without any scholarship.Penn State CS / IST, PAabout 800-1000 applications for fall semester; about 50-75 applications for spring semester. We accept about 30-50 students for fall and about 6 for spring; most of these are PHD students.Acceptance Rate: 6.25% (fall, MS + PhD combined) ; 12% springSource: Graduate Admissions and emailed [email protected] Science and Technology department: Penn State has a highly reputed interdisciplinary department- CS, Sociology, and Psychology mixed together.M.S. Program | College of Information Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of Pennsylvania CIS/CIT, PAPhD in CIS/CIT : 448 applicants to the doctoral program, 50 candidates admittedAcceptance Rate: 11.16%Masters program in CS : 752 applicants, 135 candidates admittedAcceptance Rate: 17.95%[No Aid for Masters "cash cow' masters program]Masters program in IT: 331 applicants, 58 candidates admittedAcceptance Rate: 17.52%Source for all above: Graduate Program Admissions Statistics[No Aid for Masters "cash cow' masters program]Brown University, RIPhD: 300 applications to our PhD programAcceptance Rate: 16%Masters: About 375 applicationsAcceptance Rate: 22%Source: Emailed [email protected][Masters in CS is relatively easier to get into even though it is an Ivy - a "cash cow" masters program]Cornell University, NYPhD: About 11% for the fall 2015 for both CS and iSchool eachSource: Emailed [email protected] University, NYPhD: 710 PhD applicants and 53 admits for fall 2015 Acceptance Rate: 7.46%MS: MS is relatively easier to get into, higher acceptance rate and does not have financial aid. 'cash cow' masters program.Source: Emailed admission committee at [email protected] Ann Arbor(CS/iSchool), MICS/CE: 618 PhD applications for 64 slots. Masters is higher acceptance rate.Acceptance Rate: 10.35%Source: Computer Science and EngineeringInformation Science: 8.27%Acceptance:145 PhD applications for 12 slots - 5 years averageSource: Rackham Graduate SchoolDuke University, NCPhD and MS about 17 % (As you can see the GRE and GPA criteria for Masters admission is lower than peer schools)Source: Computer Science - Duke UniversityDuke Graduate School (more statistics)Yale University, CTAdmission rate of PhD: ~20% (according to an email response) but the link below says 12%Masters: MS program is course work only and unfunded.Source: Department of Computer Science - Yale University in New Haven, CT - Graduate Program Information at Petersons.comAlso emailed cs office at Yale.University of Washington (CS/iSchool/HCDE), WACS: Over 1400 applications and admitted 150 students. Only 56 PhD students in 2014-2015 cohort. Over the past 10 years or so, the acceptance rate has been about 10%.Graduate School StatisticsEnroll rate: 33%. Typically about 1/3 of the students they admit end up comingSource: (recently established program): For fall 2015, there were total of 86 PhD applications that admitted 7 students.PhD Acceptance rate:8.13%Master’s program received 484 applications and admitted 93 students. Acceptance rate: 19.21%Note: Heavily design and UX oriented, and prototyping based----------------------------------------------------------------------------------iSchool:Admit rate for the PhD program is normally around 15-20%Masters (MSIM) programs are less selective and does not enjoy much reputation. Their masters is a cash cow. However, their PhD is competitive.Acceptance Rate: 23% for MastersSource: Page on uw.eduUniversity of Maryland, College Park (CS/iSchool), MDAcceptance Rate: Overall about 20% of applicants are admitted, and about 1/3rd of them enrollSource: Emailed [email protected] for Prospective StudentsiSchool PhD: ~20%iSchool Masters: See below.iSchool MIM: over 600 applications and admitted just over 100 applicants: 16.66%iSchool HCIM: accepted 60 out of 111 applications, 54.4% [Easy Safety. Do not rush because of the Maryland name. Make sure you check available courses, TA/RA opportunities and industry reaction to this degree]Source: Page on and emailed [email protected] Berkeley, CAFor EECS overall, not broken down by degree: "3100 applicants for about 100 slots". Their yield is probably high. They also say the MS CS program "admits very few students."Overall PhD and MS combined: <5%Source: Facts and figuresThey also have an interdisciplinary iSchool. Lower acceptance rate compared to their CS department due to the interdisciplinary nature and high demand of the program. Admits only 5–8 PhDs per year out of several hundred applications. Ph.D. Application InstructionsUniversity of Southern California, CAAcceptance Rate: No [email protected] responded that they do not have that statistic available.[Probably one of the easiest schools among top tiers, to get into for Masters with full pay.]University of California Davis, CAAdmission to the Graduate Group in Computer Science is highly competitive. On average, we receive over 1,000 applications for admission and generally admit the top 10%.Acceptance Rate:: ~10%Source: Prospective Graduate Students - Computer ScienceUniversity of California, Los Angeles, CAAcceptance Rate: 22%Source: Page on new data suggests acceptance is lower than this)University of California, San Diego,CAAcceptance Rate for MS: For fall 2015, 900 MS applicants, acceptance rate of 7.5%,Acceptance Rate for PhD: 375 PhD applicants with an admission percentage of 19%(Notice the higher PhD acceptance compared to Masters. This is because UCSD is a top tier research school and usually focus more on PhDs)University of California, Santa Barbara, CAAcceptance Rate: ~ 10% for PhDs. More for Masters. We receive around 400+ PhD applications per year and admit between 30-50 students. Our goal is to have roughly 20-25 students join the program each Fall.Source: Frequently Asked Questions for UCSB Graduate AdmissionsCaltech, CAAcceptance Rate: Still searchingJohns Hopkins, MDAcceptance Rate: Still searching

What are the best books about education, learning, or schools?

Your question is very, very, very broad. There are tens, if not maybe even hundreds of different fields that would be legitimate answers to your question - and within each field, there are tens or hundreds or thousands of books!Say Keng Lee below has already given a "narrow but deep" answer with books that mainly cover how people learn, and how to learn better. Complementing his answer, I will offer a "shallow but broad" answer by considering many different fields and giving you one or two suggestions in each one.Studies of outstanding teachers. Marva Collins' Way is probably the best here. She set up a small school taking all the elementary school dropouts from the worst part of Chicago in the 1970s. Most of these children were diagnosed as learning-disabled, had behaviour problems, and were illiterate (they were around 8 years old on average). Within a year or two, she had these children reading Shakespeare, Dante, and Tolstoy with glee. Also consider You Haven't Taught Until They've Learned (about John Wooden, the UCLA basketball coach and English teacher whose team won 9 out of 11 years when he coached them) and Escalante by James Matthews (about Jaime Escalante, the teacher on whom the film Stand and Deliver is based).Child development. This is a big field, and I suggest you look at some general text which covers the many theorists in detail. One particular theorist you should definitely know about is Jean Piaget, but his books are quite old now and it might be better to read something a little more up-to-date. I found the first part of the book Young Children Reinvent Arithmetic, written by a former PhD student of Piaget's, to be a very interesting introduction to his theory of child development, and of constructivism. Also, John Holt's How Children Learn (mentioned by Say Keng Lee in his answer also) is a lighter, more discursive book looking at children's thought processes, behaviour, and learning.Adult development (that's also a thing). The Defining Decade by Meg Jay is about how important one's twenties are. For example, people's personalities change more int their twenties than at any time before or after in their lives. She describes how twenty-somethings in modern-day America often waste their time as they think that they're supposed to be on some sort of second adolescence or pre-adult holiday, when they're actually living through the most important part of their lives.Learning disorders. ADHD Does Not Exist is the best I've seen so far. It's mostly a catalogue of things people usually have when people think they have ADHD, such as poor eyesight, sleep disorders, or Asperger's syndrome. The book actually covers about 50+ things that are commonly misdiagnosed as ADHD.Psychology of motivation, habit, willpower, and curiosity. Drive by Daniel Pink and Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn are excellent books on intrinsic motivation. The former is a bit of a lighter read, the latter a more impressive, exhaustive, and deeply researched volume. For habit, try Habit by Charles Duhigg. For willpower, there's Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney. I'm yet to find any good books on curiosity.Psychology - other. I don't know what to categorise these under, but they are such important publications that they have to be in here somewhere. One is Mindset by Carol Dweck, a total no-brainer in terms of what to read - if you haven't read it yet, then drop everything and read that first!! Another is "Picture yourself as a stereotypical male" by Michelle Goffreda, an article on stereotype threat available to read on the MIT Admission blog, a psychological effect that very few people have heard of that has a huge effect on performance.Memory. How We Learn by Benedict Carey covers many interesting memory-related topics. Memory is a topic covered quite extensively and quite well in most general educational psychology books, though those can sometimes be quite dry.Studies of expertise (i.e. how people become good at things). I wrote another answer relying heavily on the book Genius Explained by Michael Howe, which I strongly recommend. Other than that, take a look at Bounce by Matthew Syed, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.Criticisms of schooling in its current form. There are plenty of these. Try anything by John Holt, although How Children Fail is the best and most focussed on this issue in particular. You could also look at Wounded by School by Kirsten Olsen, which is about emotional damage caused by schools; or, for a completely different perspective, The Knowledge Deficit by E. D. Hirsch talks about schools are failing because of a lack of effective knowledge transmission, the basic goal of school. If you want to be taken on a really wild ride, John Taylor Gatto is somebody you might like to read. His book Weapons of Mass Instruction describes how he thinks the school system is a governmental conspiracy to keep people docile and stupid. He makes a similar point, though less coherently, in Dumbing Us Down.Criticisms of universities in their current form. There are plenty of these too! Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz is an interesting pick here. I found myself nodding along half the time, and looking at him funny as if he'd said something preposterous the other half. You might also want to look at Our Underachieving Colleges by Derek Bok.Manifestos or suggestions for how schools should be run. Three completely different points of view for you: The Schools our Children Deserve by Alfie Kohn; The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them by E. D. Hirsch; and World Class Learners by Yong Zhao. The first of these takes a classically "progressive" view; the second might be called "traditional"; and the third focusses on "entrepreneurial education".Manifestos or suggestions for how universities should be run. These are mostly packed together with criticisms of universities, so e.g. Excellent Sheep should be in this category too. However, Minds on Fire by Mark C. Carnes is a book with genuinely fresh ideas that totally blew me away.Homework. I've already written something on Quora about this issue. Basically, it appears that the effectiveness of homework is not very well supported by evidence. For more details, see The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn, The End of Homework by Etta Kralovec and John Buell, and The Case Against Homework by Sarah Bennett and Nancy Kalish. That said, I haven't found any books that support homework as an idea, and I am yet to comb through the academic papers themselves. If you are interested in alternative ways of managing homework (as a teacher), take a look at Mark Creasy's Unhomework.Discipline (or "behaviour management") in schools. Probably the best resource on this topic is the Wikibook Classroom Management Theorists and Theories, which gives you a look at all the major approaches. If you're in the mood for something unusual, try Beyond Discipline by Alfie Kohn.Philosophy of education. The most obvious person to point you to here is John Dewey, though "most obvious" doesn't mean "best" - I read a collection of his essays called On Education and it was a bit too, er, philosophical for me. Some people also like Paola Freire (The Pedagogy of the Oppressed) or Ivan Illich (Deschooling Society), both of whom I find to be unnecessarily verbose, and I'm never sure if their ideas stand up to reality. Well, that's philosophy for you... One author who I would like to read is Antonio Gramsci, an Italian communist with what we would nowadays probably call "traditionalist" ideas about education - something you don't hear about much these days!History of education. Probably the best book I've seen in this field is Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon by Yong Zhao, which describes the history of China's education, in particular the examination system that they invented over 1,500 years ago. For more detail on the examination system itself, see China's Examination Hell by Ichisada Miyazaki.Economics of education. The Beautiful Tree by James Tooley is brain-exploding. Read it. Summary: private schools in poor countries around the world are doing more to help poor people than public schools. Then there's The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, which shows the correlation of inequality with all sorts of social ills. Strictly a book about sociology and economics, I think that it is quite revealing about some educational issues as well. Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities has something to say on this topic as well.Educational technology. A very exciting development here is the work of Sugata Mitra, with his famous "hole-in-the-wall" experiment, which you can find out more about in his TED talks or through his book Beyond the Hole in the Wall. Another book coming from a now-famous educational technology social entrepreneur is One World Schoolhouse by Salman Khan, the creator of Khan Academy. He basically talks about how he envisions that Khan Academy will shape education around the world in the near future.Pedagogy in general. Something that's become very popular recently is Doug Lemov's Teach Like a Champion, which shares the methods of the best teachers in the United States. There's now a new version, Teach Like a Champion 2.0. I was particularly inspired by what I read in Elizabeth Green's book Building a Better Teacher, which I highly recommend. There are also books that compare teaching practices in various countries, such as The Learning Gap by Stevenson and Stigler and West Meets East: Best Practices from Expert Teachers in the U.S. and China by Leslie Grant et al.Pedagogy of specific subjects. The school subject I've spent the most time reading about, as it's the closest to my heart, is mathematics. There are books which talk about how great and misunderstood maths is (e.g. Love and Math by Edward Frenkel); books that suggest better ways of teaching maths based on a better understanding of what it's really all about (e.g. Out of the Labyrinth: Setting Mathematics Free by Robert and Ellen Kaplan); and books that blend both topics into a searing rant (such as A Mathematician's Lament by Paul Lockhart). The latter was originally written as an essay, which you can read here, and only later expanded into book form. I highly, highly recommend reading it - I myself have read it about six or seven times because I find it so spirited and powerful.Types of school. For Montessori education, you can read the author herself (e.g. The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori), and/or get a partially biographical look at her works (like Maria Montessori by Marion O'Donnel). For Waldorf/Steiner schools, try An Introduction to Steiner Education by Francis Edmunds. You can get an introduction to Lancaster schools from somewhere in the middle of The Beautiful Tree by James Tooley, but if you're hardcore enough you can also get it from the horse's mouth in e.g. Mutual Tuition and Moral Discipline; Or, Manual of Instructions for Conducting Schools Through the Agency of the Scholars Themselves by Andrew Bell. (It's quite hard to get a copy of this last book, though, as it's over a hundred years old and out of print.) For more radical unschooling-like "schools", take a look at A. S. Neill's Summerhill School.Homeschooling and unschooling. John Holt is your man here. Teach your Own and Learning All the Time are both very good. Free to Learn by Peter Gray takes a look at how hunter-gatherers approach childrearing and education, and then compares this with modern "un-schools" like Sudbury Valley School and Summerhill School.Play and games. There is plenty to say here. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee more or less kicked off the discussion about the educational power of games, and How Computer Games Help Children Learn by David Williamson Shaffer is almost like a sequel to it, but with more practical, real-world examples. A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster is a book really written for game designers, but I learnt a lot about education and learning from it. Then Minds on Fire by Mark C. Carnes shows how gamelike classroom experiences are making their way into higher education in the US, to great effect (highly recommended). Finally, Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal explains a lot of the psychology of games (e.g. why they're fun, and why people are so motivated to play them), and makes a sort of manifesto for improving the real world based on the insights of game design and game psychology.Neurology. Some call "brain-based education" a fad, others say that it's the future. Say Keng Lee already mentioned Sousa's How the Brain Learns. For a bit of a quicker, lighter overview (without skimping on solid evidence), try Brain-Based Learning by Eric Jensen.Cognitive science. A book to get you up-to-date on the most important findings in cognitive science relating to education is Dan Willingham's Why Don't Students Like School? You'll probably also want to know a little about heuristics and biases, in which case Thinking, Fast and Slow is the go-to book. Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational may also be of interest.Language acquisition. How Children Learn Language by William O'Grady is a fantastic book on first language acquisition. A really great article on second language acquisition was published by the US Foreign Service Institute, but I read it a long time ago and now I'm having trouble finding it - if I do I will edit this answer and add it in.International comparisons of schools and educational systems. Giving you two from very different perspectives: Yong Zhao's World Class Learners and The Learning Gap by Harold Stevenson and James Stigler. The former is a Chinese author talking about how Chinese education is bad, and American education is better (though not ideal); the latter are American authors talking about how American education is bad and Chinese and Japanese education are much better. Another book that is very well-written and approachable is The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley (mentioned also by Allison Hiltz in her answer), which compares Poland, Finland, and South Korea with the United States."Myth-busters". There are a good few books that claim to be "busting myths" (and they're usually pretty good). Bad Education, edited by Phillip Adey and Justin Dillon, is a compendium of evidence-based essays by various authors about educational misconceptions. What if everything you knew about education was wrong? by David Didau and Seven Myths about Education by Daisy Christodoulou are books written by teachers that try to battle progressive ideological overstretch.As you can see, there is A LOT to read on this topic. I don't expect that most teachers or other people interested in education would realistically have the time and energy to read this many books. That's why I started my podcast, Education Bookcast. Apologies for shamelessly advertising myself, but I think that readers who are interested in books on education might also be interested in my podcast.

Can a person with a disability get accepted into a medical school?

Q. Can a person with a disability get accepted into a medical school?A. Yes, disabled people get accepted into medical schools all the time. See the article below why it is important. However, they may not be able to enter certain specialties.Doctors With Disabilities: Why They’re ImportantFrom war hero to white coat: A wounded veteran's journey to Harvard Medical SchoolJohns Hopkins Magazine -- April 1999Doctors With Disabilities: Why They’re ImportantCredit Kayana Szymczak for The New York TimesDr. Gregory Snyder discussing patient cases with colleagues during his rounds at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He uses a wheelchair and says that he’s sometimes mistaken for a patient while working: “It reminds us that at some point we’ll all be patients. And perhaps, when we least expect it.”Growing up, my sister never let our family get a blue “handicapped” placard for the car.Born three months prematurely with cerebral palsy, she uses forearm crutches to get around. But she’d rather walk half a mile across a mall’s parking lot than take the reserved spot next to the entrance. (I found this particularly exasperating during the holiday season when a ready parking spot is more precious than the presents inside.)But the prospect of less stigma and greater support for people with disabilities was a central reason my family immigrated to the United States. My sister was born the same year the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) was passed — a law that reaffirmed America’s moral and practical commitment to equality.More than 20 percent of Americans — nearly 57 million people — live with a disability, including 8 percent of children and 10 percent of nonelderly adults. And while the medical profession is devoted to caring for the ill, often it doesn’t do enough to meet the needs of the disabled.People with disabilities are less likely to receive routine medical care, including cancer screening, flu vaccines and vision and dental exams. They have higher rates of unaddressed cardiovascular risk factors like obesity, smoking and hypertension.Compared with nondisabled adults on Medicare, disabled people on Medicare are more than twice as likely to forgo care because of the cost, and three times as likely to have difficulty finding a doctor who can accommodate their needs.The typical response to these types of deficiencies is a call for greater attention to the issue in medical school curriculums. That may be part of the solution. But I’ve sat through enough online modules and uninspired lectures to recognize their limited utility.Far more powerful for medical trainees and the profession would be having more students, colleagues and mentors with disabilities, who understand how a particular impairment does — or doesn’t — affect daily life.It’s Not Even the Disability ItselfOften the barrier to medical care isn’t the disability but a health system poorly equipped to handle it: a lack of transportation, accessible medical equipment and safe methods of transfer. These structural problems can be compounded by cultural ones: stigma, communication challenges and inadequate training for clinicians and staff.In one recent study, researchers called more than 250 specialty practices to make an appointment for a fictional patient they said was partly paralyzed because of a stroke and could not transfer herself from a wheelchair to the exam table. More than 20 percent of offices refused to book an appointment, saying that their building was inaccessible to wheelchairs, they didn’t have height-adjustable exam tables, or their staff wasn’t trained to move the patient. Many practices that did agree to make the appointment admitted they didn’t have the necessary equipment to move the patient, and might need to skip parts of the physical exam.More worrisome is recent evidence that patients with disabilities don’t always receive the same treatments for the same medical conditions. One study compared breast cancer treatment for women with and without disabilities. Researchers found that women with disabilities were much less likely to undergo breast-conserving surgery than full mastectomy — and those who did receive breast-conserving surgery were less likely to get radiation afterward, which is needed to eradicate residual cancer cells. Over all, they were about 30 percent more likely to die of their cancer.Disabled individuals are more likely to feel that their doctors don’t listen to them, treat them with respect or explain decisions properly. Doctors often make false assumptions about the personal lives of patients with disabilities. For example, women who have difficulty walking are much less likely to be asked about contraception or receive cervical cancer screening, in part because doctors assume they’re not sexually active. Disabled patients are also about 20 percent less likely to be counseled to stop smoking during their annual checkups.Dr. Gregory Snyder, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in BostonCredit Kayana Szymczak for The New York TimesDoctors With Disabilities Are Changing the ProfessionMore than 20 percent of the American population lives with a disability, but as few as 2 percent of practicing physicians do — and the vast majority acquire them after completing training. Few people with disabilities are admitted to medical school: Medical students with disabilities also have higher attrition rates than nondisabled students, partly because, despite the A.D.A., they don’t always receive the support they need.A study published last year examined the “technical standards” — expected cognitive and physical abilities — that medical schools require for admission. (Schools are free to determine these standards as they see fit in accordance with the A.D.A.) Researchers found that while most medical schools had such statements listed on their websites, many statements were difficult to find, and only one-third of schools explicitly said they would support accommodations for disabilities. More than 60 percent lacked information on who would be responsible for providing accommodations, the student or the school.Increasingly, though, doctors with disabilities are changing the profession. Dr. C. Lee Cohen, a resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, has a condition that resulted in partial hearing lossin both ears. She uses an amplified stethoscope to listen to patients’ hearts and lungs, and previously used an FM transmitter device to more clearly hear lectures in school.“I’m better at communicating with older patients who have hearing loss,” Dr. Cohen said. “From my experience, I know that when you can’t hear well, your brain parses words and syllables in a certain way. Instead of asking people to repeat themselves, I ask them to rephrase themselves. So when my patients are hard of hearing, I know which sounds they’ll have trouble with. I rephrase so they can understand.”Dr. Gregory Snyder, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has paralysis in his legs after a spinal cord injury during medical school. He uses a wheelchair and says that he’s sometimes mistaken for a patient while working. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.“It reminds us that at some point we’ll all be patients,” he said. “And perhaps, when we least expect it.”Over the course of our lives, most of us will acquire a disability: More than two-thirds of Americans over the age of 80 have a motor, sensory or cognitive impairment.Dr. Snyder remembers the difficulty of adjusting to life as a patient after his accident, and the long road to recovery. But he says his disability and rehabilitation have fundamentally changed the way he cares for patients — for the better.“I would have been this six-foot-tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian doctor standing at the foot of the bed in a white coat,” he said. “Now I’m a guy in a wheelchair sitting right next to my patients. They know I’ve been in that bed just like they have. And I think that means something.”There’s good reason to believe a more diverse work force — one that includes doctors with disabilities — would be good for patients and doctors. Patients of various backgrounds tend to feel more comfortable with physicians like them, and that’s true for people with disabilities as well.Having mentors and colleagues with disabilities fosters understanding of different abilities and perspectives, and creates an environment that challenges negative biases about those groups. My sister, as just one example, was the beneficiary of policies (the A.D.A.) and a community that have allowed her to thrive: She recently graduated from medical school and is now training as a radiation oncologist.Dhruv Khullar, M.D., M.P.P., is a physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and a researcher at the Weill Cornell Department of Healthcare Policy and Research. Follow him on Twitter at: @DhruvKhullar.From war hero to white coat: A wounded veteran's journey to Harvard Medical SchoolAug 14, 2017, 1:06 PM ETMichael Koenigs/ABC NewsArmy vet comes back from massive bomb injuries to start Harvard Medical SchoolSeven years before Greg Galeazzi put on a white coat at Harvard Medical School, he wore Army fatigues while serving a year-long deployment in Afghanistan.In May 2011 a roadside bomb tore off Captain Galeazzi’s legs and much of his right arm, just a month before he was expecting to return home.“It felt like I was an empty coke can on train tracks getting hit by a freight train moving at 100 miles per hour,” said Galeazzi.Without a medic on the ground, there was no available pain medication.“All I could do was scream,” Galeazzi recalled. “It’s hard to put into words that sickening, nauseating feeling to see that my legs were just gone.”Due to his unit’s remote position in northern Afghanistan, Galeazzi had little hope of receiving timely medical support.“I put my head back and just thought, 'I’m dead,'” he said.He passed out. Upon waking just minutes later, he discovered that his soldiers had successfully applied tourniquets to both his legs and right arm, which had been nearly severed at the shoulder. A half hour later a Medivac helicopter arrived to take him to the trauma bay.“What I found out then was that the real nightmare was really just beginning,” said Galeazzi.Michael Koenigs/ABC NewsGreg Galeazzi is training to become a doctor at Harvard Medical School after a 2011 roadside bomb in Afghanistan tore off both his legs and much of his right arm.more +He endured over 50 surgeries, hundreds of hours of physical therapy, and numerous months as a hospital in-patient.But the traumatic experience and new limitations did not diminish Galeazzi’s dream of becoming a doctor.“Not only did I still want to practice medicine, but it strengthened my resolve to do it,” explained Galeazzi.Over the next few years, Galeazzi took more than 18 pre-medical courses and achieved his desired score on the MCAT entrance.Galeazzi was accepted into Harvard Medical School this past year and is the only student who uses a wheelchair in his class of 165 students. He has not yet decided what type of medicine he’ll eventually practice, but is leaning toward a primary care field.“You’re that first line of defense. You need to know a little bit about everything. I like the idea of being a jack of all trades,” he said.Galeazzi also looks forward to marrying his fiance Jazmine Romero next year.“Even though I’ve gone through this journey, it’s not lost on me how unbelievable this ride has been,” said Galeazzi.Johns Hopkins Magazine -- April 1999H E A L T H A N D M E D I C I N EAiming HighBy Melissa HendricksPhotos by Mike CiesielskiIf Michael Ain believed in playing the odds, he never would have become a doctor. Rejection letters from more than 20 medical schools--as Ain received--would have convinced most people to change career plans.But more than anything else, Ain wanted to be a doctor. He was smart and knew he could do the job. Being only 4 feet 3 inches, he staunchly believed, should not affect how his dice were cast.Fortunately, the odds do not always prevail. Which is why now, on a rainy day in January, Ain slips on a pair of sterile surgical gloves, climbs up onto a step stool, and calls out, "Scalpel."Proving the naysayers wrong: Ain was rejected by two dozen residency programs on the basis that he wasn't physically up to the job. Today at Hopkins, his surgical card is full. The adjustments have been minor--a stool in the O.R. and specially tailored surgical gowns.FROM A DEMOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE, Ain, 38, is remarkable. A pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he is one of only a handful of physicians in the country who are dwarfs. He may be the only dwarf in the world who is an orthopedic surgeon, a field that has the reputation of being the rough and rugged medical specialty.But to Ain, the day-to-day adjustments that enable him to do his job and thus be remarkable are really quite simple. "To be very honest, the only special things I need are a stool in the O.R., and I have special gowns tailored that are shorter."On this particular day, Ain is straightening and fusing the severely crooked spine of a 10-year-old girl named Stephanie. The girl has congenital scoliosis that is progressively getting more pronounced. Fusion will prevent her spine from curving into a painful deformity. "We're doing an anterior and posterior," explains Ain, meaning that he will access her spine first through her chest and then through her back.Ain made the first incision at 9 a.m. He now removes Stephanie's right sixth rib, gaining access to the spine. The rib will also provide the implantable material that he'll use to promote the spinal fusion. Reaching through the chest, Ain removes five of Stephanie's disks, the cushiony material between vertebrae, and inserts slices of the rib in their place. He and visiting resident Michael Mann then stitch Stephanie back up.Ain's hands are muscular. He works with concentration, alternately offering instruction to Mann and punctuating these lessons with banter and bad jokes. At one point, I ask whether the patient will live comfortably without one of her ribs. His eyes twinkling above his surgical mask, Ain replies, "Adam lost a rib, didn't he?"By noon, the first half of the operation is complete.What are the odds?A few years ago, geneticists determined that achondroplasia results from a mutation on the fibroblast growth factor receptor-3 (FGFR3) gene on chromosome 4. "This site seems to be the most mutable in the entire genome," says geneticist and pediatrician Michael Wright, acting clinic director of the Greenberg Center for Skeletal Dysplasia. The mutation is dominant and occurs in about one out of 25,000 births. It is passed from one generation to the next, or may result from a new mutation. In Michael Ain's case, where neither of his parents is an achondroplast, the mutation seems to have occurred anew.If an achondroplastic dwarf marries a person of average stature, there is a 50 percent chance that their child will be a dwarf. If two achondroplasts marry, there is a 50 percent chance that their child will inherit a single copy of the gene for achondroplasia, and thus be a dwarf. There is a 25 percent chance that their child will be of average stature. And there is a 25 percent chance that their child will inherit two copies of the gene. Such "double-dominant" offspring die in utero or before age one."Okay, like we've never been here," says Ain, ordering his O.R. staff to change scrubs and surgical gloves. After putting on a fresh gown and gloves himself, Ain climbs onto his step stool. He and Mann turn Stephanie onto her stomach and begin phase two of the operation. They will fuse Stephanie's spine using small surgical hooks and rods, inserting more slices of the rib between adjoining vertebrae. "The rib helps the fusion because it is bone," explains Ain.It will be nightfall by the time Ain completes the operation.MICHAEL AIN TREATS PATIENTS who have a wide variety of orthopedic illnesses and injuries, from fractured tibia to club feet, but he specializes in the orthopedic problems of dwarfism and related disorders. He fuses painfully curved spines, reduces bones that compress the spinal cord, and performs other procedures for complications that can result from these disorders. In medical terms these conditions are called skeletal dysplasia--literally abnormal growth or development of the bones. Skeletal dysplasia is a grab bag of more than 100 different disorders, most of which cause short stature.The bulk of people with skeletal dysplasia, including Ain, have a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia. Achondroplastic dwarfs have an average size trunk, but their limbs are shorter than average and often their head is enlarged. Many also have bowed legs and swaybacks. On average, they grow to about 4 feet to 4 feet 3 inches. (In contrast, people with dwarfism stemming from an endocrine dysfunction are extremely short-statured but have limbs that are proportional to their trunk size.)While achondroplasia does not affect intelligence, it can contribute to a host of medical problems ranging from chronic ear infections to potentially fatal compression of the spine. Hopkins is one of the world's leading medical centers for patients with achondroplasia and other forms of skeletal dysplasia. Dwarfs from all over the world visit Hopkins for medical care, which is coordinated through the Greenberg Center for Skeletal Dysplasia, named for philanthropists Alan C. and Kathryn Greenberg.Healthcare providers from 23 clinical specialties are affiliated with the Greenberg Center. These include medical genetics, genetic counseling, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, neurology, nutrition, pediatric pulmonology, and, of course, Ain's specialty, orthopedic surgery.Ain is upbeat and friendly and adept at explaining medicine in plain English, traits that endear him to many patients. But he means something special to his patients who are dwarfs, like 26-year-old Heather Davis. "I'm glad he can get beyond the barriers and has dedicated his life to helping people," says Davis, who was Ain's surgical patient two years ago and is now a graduate student at the University of Minnesota.Marie Bieniek, mother of 5-year-old Andrew, says her son "adores" Dr. Ain. Andrew has traveled with his parents to Hopkins several times to be treated for complications of dwarfism. In September, Ain straightened Andrew's severely bowed legs."Some doctors think they can try to make him normal," says Bieniek. "Dr. Ain knows Andrew is normal already. He wants to keep him healthy."A visitor meeting Ain for the first time almost expects to encounter a saint. So it is somewhat refreshing to find that he is an unpretentious mortal with a Long Island accent.Being cast as a role model, says Ain, makes him uncomfortable. "I try to downplay it," he says with a shrug.Ain grew up in Roslyn Heights, Long Island, where his parents still live. His father is a lawyer, and his mother is a travel agent. Neither is a dwarf.Five-year-old Andrew Bieniek "adores" the upbeat Dr. Ain, according to his mother, Marie. The little boy has traveled to Hopkins several times to be treated for complications of dwarfism; last fall Ain straightened Andrew's severely bowed legs."When I was growing up, I didn't have role models who were dwarfs," he says. "My mother and father were good role models, great role models. They were very wonderful, always encouraging. Being short could never be used as an excuse--if I came home and didn't make the basketball team or get an A. They always instilled in me I could do anything I wanted to."As a child, Ain saw a fair share of doctors and made a trek every year to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be examined by medical geneticist Victor McKusick, who diagnosed Ain's condition. Ain did not require serious medical interventions, aside from having ear ventilation tubes implanted, a procedure prescribed for many achondroplasts. (Having a smaller throat and nasal passages appears to impede ventilation, which raises the risk of middle ear infections.) However, young Michael spent enough time in examining rooms to experience a callous side of doctoring. Some doctors, says Ain, "used to talk in the third person: 'Michael's drainage output this, this, and this.' They'd kind of talk about you."In school, he experienced the teasing that most "little people" go through. But he has always been outgoing and made friends easily. He and eight childhood friends get together every year for a reunion.After attending Andover Academy in Massachusetts, Ain went to Brown University, where he decided he wanted to become a doctor. "I thought medicine was a fascinating field, a chance to help people." Having been a patient himself, he felt, would also be an advantage. He was determined to have a better bedside manner than many of the doctors who treated him when he was a child.At Brown, Ain built the solid academic and extracurricular record that medical schools seek in their applicants. He majored in math, earning a better-than-B average, did research in a physiology lab, and earned good MCAT scores. He also played second base on the varsity baseball team, co-directed the university's Big Brother program, and was an officer in his fraternity. Ain sent out 20 to 30 applications to medical schools all over the country including Hopkins. On the advice of a guidance counselor, he noted in the personal letter each school required that he was a dwarf. "Because I am," Ain says simply. "It shaped me."At first he thought he had a good chance of getting into medical school. But then his optimism began to fade. During several of his admissions interviews, officials told him he'd have great physical difficulty performing the duties of a physician. When Ain pressed them to explain, they told him he would not be able to reach his patients' bedside. To Ain, the solution seemed obvious. He would use a footstool. Others worried that he wasn't strong enough. Ain, who had been lifting weights and working out regularly, fired back, "I'm stronger than anybody you're interviewing today." He suggested he could match any of them in the weight room. What about gaining the respect of his patients? asked some interviewers. Ain thought that was a lame excuse. His classmates at Andover had chosen him to receive the coveted "End of the Year Award," signifying their respect and admiration. He had proved his leadership skills time and again. "You don't have to be intimidating to be respected," Ain says.But Ain's fears were confirmed. One by one, the thin envelopes bearing rejection notices arrived, until eventually Ain had received one from every medical school to which he had applied.Ain was devastated. Although none of the letters mentioned his height, he had no doubt that some or all of the admissions offices believed a dwarf could not or should not become a physician."I was scared. I was angry. I was hurt. It was the only time I hit the wall," he says. "It was the only time I felt trapped."The experience challenged his whole outlook. "I was being denied this for no good reason, for a reason I couldn't do anything about. It goes against everything I was taught. My parents told me I could do anything I wanted as long as I pushed myself. If this was going to happen, then during the first 23 years of my life, this lie was being made."Ain decided to try again. He returned to Brown the year after he had graduated to try to improve his chances of getting into medical school. He took two advanced science courses, earning two A's with distinction. He continued his research and got his work published. He applied to about 20 medical schools, including some of the same ones he had applied to the first time, again frankly revealing that he was a dwarf.Again the thin envelopes began arriving. But this time, one envelope was fatter than the others. It was an acceptance from Albany Medical College in upstate New York.One of the Albany faculty members who interviewed Ain was B. Barry Greenhouse, then an associate professor of anesthesiology. Greenhouse and Ain hit it off. Greenhouse was a baseball fan and was impressed that when Ain played for Brown he had batted against Ron Darling, the Yale player who went on to become a famous Mets pitcher. Moreover, says Greenhouse, "I just felt he was a good student. He impressed me immensely with his intelligence. He was a compassionate, decent young man who would be a credit to the medical profession. If I were ill, I would like him to be my doctor."Getting a straight answerWhen Michael Ain was 19, he underwent a surgical procedure known as an osteotomy to straighten his bowed legs. It involved breaking and resetting the legs. The procedure caused Ain a good deal of pain, and he lay in a body cast for several months.A wrestling injury prompted Ain's surgery, but doctors recommend the procedure to many achondroplasts with bowed legs to reduce their chances of arthritis.Now that he is an orthopedic surgeon, Ain suspects that this medical premise may not apply to all achondroplastic dwarfs, about half of whom have the condition. "I think many [achondroplasts] do not need any type of treatment," he says.The link between bowing and arthritis is based on research involving patients of average stature, Ain notes. Bowing may increase pressure at the knee joint, setting the stage for arthritis. But because achondroplasts have shorter limbs, they may not have the same degree of risk, suggests Ain.To test this theory, he and biomedical engineer Edmund Chao are creating a biomechanical computer model of bowleggedness. Ain is also conducting clinical studies in achondroplasts older than 40 to see whether the amount of arthritis the patients have correlates with their degree of bowleggedness.--MHAin did well at Albany and decided while he was there that he wanted to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. He was an avid woodworker and had always enjoyed working with his hands. And he liked the immediate gratification such surgery provided. Ain applied to 14 residency programs, had nine interviews, and was rejected by every program. He then applied to nine or 10 general surgery residencies, including some "bottom of the barrel programs" to which a candidate with inferior credentials would have been admitted. Again, they turned him down.The gatekeepers of the residency programs were blunt. "Every place one guy said, 'You can't do it physically' or 'Patients won't respect you,'" recalls Ain.Ain spent the next year doing a pediatrics residency at the University of California at Irvine. Though he enjoyed working with children, he still yearned to be in the operating room. So Ain wrote to John Hall, a renowned pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Children's Hospital in Boston, who had done surgery to straighten Ain's bowed legs when Ain was 19. When Ain was in medical school, he had done a rotation at Children's under Hall's supervision. In his letter to Hall, Ain asked what his chances would be of getting into an orthopedic surgery residency. Hall was encouraging, and Ain applied to two residencies. He was considering a third, but the chairman at that program told him, "There's no way you're going to get in. You should be quite happy doing pediatrics," Ain recalls.Mary Kaitlyn Hadley with her surgeon Michael Ain and todayBut the chairman at Albany Medical College did not see it that way. Richard Jacobs, who is now retired, told Ain, "If your record is as good as everybody else's, you'll get in. It doesn't matter whether you're 4 feet 3 inches or 6 feet 3 inches. We will take you." After examining Ain's record, Albany accepted him.In entering the ranks of orthopedic surgery, Ain was indeed standing certain assumptions on their heads. Of all the specialties, orthopedics has a machismo reputation--not without some justification. It takes a fair amount of strength to push and pull fractured bones back into place. When a patient has dislocated a hip, for instance, an orthopedist has to lift the patient's leg and push against muscle and soft tissue to force the hip back into the socket. The tools of orthopedic surgery are bold and serious affairs. An orthopedic cart parked in the Hopkins operating suite resembles a medieval hardware store: drills, saws, reamers, mallets, hooks, rods, and screws--tools for cutting bone, reducing fractures, drilling holes for screws.During his five-year residency at Albany, Ain proved he could do the job, says Allen Carl, an associate professor of surgery at Albany who was one of Ain's mentors. "He's just a wonderful person who exudes the positive," notes Carl.While at Albany, Ain also began dating a nurse named Valerie Frinks, who, at 5 feet 6 inches, is of average stature. They married and now have a 2-year-old daughter, Alexa. Their daughter is a little person, says Ain, and he does not want to discuss her size in any more detail than that. "She is the most delightful, beautiful person," he adds.At first, Ain thought he might become a hand or joint surgeon. He never considered specializing in bone disorders such as achondroplasia. "It's the last thing in the world I wanted to do because it's like looking in the mirror every day," he says.That feeling changed one day in the operating room, when Carl mentioned to Ain that he had read a newspaper article about a couple from southern California who had an achondroplastic daughter. The parents were worried about the limitations their child would face. (After all, notes Ain, "Where do you see most little people? On TV, at the circus.") But the father had been encouraged when he met a physician at a party who was an achondroplast. If this man could become a physician, the father reasoned, then his daughter could have many opportunities in her life.Ain suddenly realized that he was the physician at that party.An improved outlookToday, physicians know a lot more about some of the more serious complications of dwarfism than they did a decade ago, when 8 percent of children with achondroplasia died before age 5. Many of these children died suddenly, and the cause was a mystery. But researchers now suspect that undersized bone structure set the stage for many of these deaths, says Hopkins's Michael Wright. The culprit appears to be an opening at the base of the skull, called the foramen magnum, through which the spinal cord connects to the brain. In some achondroplastic babies, the foramen magnum is so narrow that it clamps down on the spinal cord where it meets the brain stem, compromising the nerves that control breathing. In the worst cases, babies stop breathing and die.Through a surgical technique refined by Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, many of these babies are now spared. Carson enlarges the foramen magnum to make more room for the spinal cord. It appears that the improved surgical technique, in addition to better diagnosis of babies at risk for foramen magnum compression, is saving more babies, says Wright. Today the mortality rate for achondroplasts under age 5 is just 1 percent.Ain and Hopkins neurosurgeon Daniele Rigamonti perform a similar surgical procedure on the lower portion of the spine, where undersized vertebrae can impinge on the spinal cord. This condition affects adult dwarfs more than it does children, causing back pain and in the worst cases preventing mobility.--MH"So at that point, without sounding corny," says Ain, "I thought, there are a lot of good hand and joint surgeons. If I could have an effect, help people, or be able to sympathize and understand certain issues, then maybe that's why God wanted me to become an orthopedic surgeon. Maybe this is it."So Ain applied for a fellowship in orthopedic surgery at Hopkins, where director of pediatric orthopedics Paul Sponseller was eager to build a program in skeletal dysplasias. Sponseller had no hesitation about hiring Ain. "We thought Michael would be a good candidate," says Sponseller. "I was reassured to my satisfaction by people in his residency that he was capable of doing surgery."AIN SEES PATIENTS at the Hopkins orthopedic clinic on Mondays. One recent Monday, at least 30 patients visit the fifth floor clinic in the Outpatient Center. Anything that could possibly go wrong with a bone--breaks, infections, wasting conditions--is seen in the clinic's warren of examining rooms.Ain's patients include a 7-year-old child with a leg problem known as Perthes avascular necrosis that is dissolving the head of her femur; a chubby 5-year-old named Jason who fractured his tibia and femur in an auto accident several months earlier; a young boy with an arm fracture that is healing nicely; a 2-year-old girl whose cerebral palsy freezes movement in her left leg; and a toddler who was born with club feet that Ain surgically realigned several weeks earlier.In this age of sophisticated medical technology, an orthopedist's hands are still an important tool. One of Ain's patients in clinic this day is 5-week-old Emma, a pink-cheeked, healthy looking baby. Clasping one of Emma's legs in each of his hands, Ain gently moves them from side to side, sensing through his touch whether Emma's hips are properly aligned. Emma was born with developmental dysplasia of the hips, meaning her legs slip in and out of the hip sockets. She is wearing a special harness over her legs and tummy that is designed to fix her hip joints in place over the next several weeks. The baby's mom asks Ain why her daughter was born with this condition. He replies that for some unknown reason, developmental dysplasia of the hip occurs most commonly among first-born girls who are breech babies, as Emma was. "It's the way God smiled upon her," Ain says.Ain gently teases nervous children and their parents, and sharpens the edge of his banter when the target is a colleague.Occasionally, a child will ask him why he is so short, says Ain. His standard reply: "I never grew as fast as everyone else." Most adults do not remark about his height."I really have a lot of confidence in him," says Jackie Scott, the mother of one of the patients Ain sees that day. "He is personable and funny and does put you at ease. He doesn't make you feel he's pressed for time and has got to go. That's very important."One of the last cases of the day is the most complex. Two brothers and their sister have OSMED syndrome, a rare genetic form of skeletal dysplasia reported in only a handful of cases. The children, along with their parents and a sister who does not have the disease, have come from the United Arab Emirates to be seen by a retinue of Hopkins experts.The children have abnormally weak collagen, which contributes to a slew of medical problems including cleft palate, knobby joints, and a dip in the chest that could pose a danger if it presses on the heart. They are small for their age, though within the normal range.Even on the craziest days, Ain loves what he does. "I'm able to foster caring for people," he says. "I like the immediate gratification of surgery."The syndrome is not life threatening, but it predisposes them to premature arthritis and scoliosis. It also impairs hearing. The three children with the syndrome are wearing hearing aids. They have developed their own sign language and gesture to each other while waiting for Ain to examine them. When Ain enters the examining room, they stop gesturing and look at him timidly."Hi. Hello," says Ain, looking around as though he doesn't know where to start. "From an orthopedic point of view, what are your concerns?" he asks the children's father."Their joints. All. They are painful sometimes. And will they grow?" the children's father replies through an interpreter.One by one, Ain examines each child, asking gentle questions as he goes. The process is tedious, involving two sets of translations, from sign language into Arabic, and from Arabic into English, and vice versa.Ain orders an extensive set of X-rays for each child, then tells the family he'll see them in a few hours after the films have been taken.Back in his office, he shuffles through patient files. "I have a headache," he tells a nurse. "A huge headache." The family with OSMED syndrome has pushed his schedule way behind. In the meantime, there are two more patients with complex cases of skeletal dysplasia waiting to see him. He needs to see X-rays of another patient, but that patient's HMO refuses to cover radiation charges incurred outside its own offices. Frowning, Ain picks up a patient file from his desk and walks into the next examining room.The next day, Ain apologizes for being irritable. "That's about as cranky as I ever get," he says. Even on the craziest days, says Ain, he loves what he does. "I like being at Hopkins. It's a center of excellence. I like working with the people I work with. I'm able to foster caring for people. I like the immediate gratification of surgery." He has arrived, he says, where he wanted to be.For a long time Ain saved all the rejection letters he had received from medical schools. Perhaps one day, he thought, he would write back to those schools to tell them that he had defied their odds. Over the years, however, his anger faded. He mellowed and lost track of the letters. It's no longer important to tell people he can do the job. Now he just shows them.Melissa Hendricks is the magazine's senior science writer.people.comThe Little Couple TLC Star Dr Jennifer Arnold is no longer seeing patientsThe Little Couple - Wikipedia

Feedbacks from Our Clients

What I like the most about CocoDoc is that it made it easy for us to create office-wide surveys. Before, we were using google forms and it is a pain in the neck because it has a lot of runabouts for you to create a simple survey. It made it possible for us to create extensive surveys for less than 10 minutes which is cool because in other survey platforms, it will consume a good 30 minutes of your life creating those simple survey forms. Good thing as well is that you can easily export the survey answers to a simple CSV file or Excel file so that it will be easier for people to data crunch the answers.

Justin Miller