Archives for May 2006

Vacation, and a Guest Host Introduction

I’m taking a vacation.  A real one.  I’m not taking a computer, won’t be checking my email, etc.

Now, just because I’m relaxing in the sun doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned you, gentle reader.  Three Emergency Medicine colleagues have volunteered to occasionally post here, to keep the place interesting.  No restrictions have been placed on their posts, so this could be fun.

The pinch-hitters, in no particular order:

    Symtym, a BC EM doc in California.

    Blogborygmi (Nick Genes), by an EM resident in New York City. 

    Dr. Mark Plaster of EP Monthly, the only one who’s not a ‘blogger’ but is a terrific writer.


I thank them for stepping into the void, and hope this works for all of us.  See you in a week! 

Homeowner tales

I did a home improvement project the other day.  It required three different materials, in different quantities.

And, I didn’t have to go to Lowe’s once.  That felt very odd.  I’m used to having to go at least once to get supplies, but I had enough leftovers that a trip for more was unnecessary.

It did make the project go very quickly, which was nice.  But I’ve resolved to go to Lowes today, to restore balance and order to the panet. 

MedBlogs Grand Rounds 2:36

RIP, Lingual Nerve.

I was one of several bloggers that joined a group blog headed by a Singaporean EM Resident, Lingual Nerve.  Don’t bother searching, there’s no answer there.

I feel a little bad about its demise, as I jumped ship several months ago and didn’t even notice it was gone until just recently.  My own participation in it waned, as I barely have enough time to keep this one busy, and never had original content there, it was all just stuff I did for this blog that I cross-posted.

Farewell, Lingual Nerve.

Wanted: People who can identify and then solve their own problems

Recently, I seem to be approached by more and more people with what amounts to "I have this problem, and I want you to fix it".  This is usually medically related (IV access, meds), but is often just personality-conflict in action, or occasionally plain sloth.

 Yes, you have identified a problem: Congratulations!  However, that skill is not terribly unique.  You want to be unique with your quiz?  When you find a problem, come up with a solution!  It doesn’t have to perfect, but should be plausible ("We’ll give them a million and a new identity" would be a good soultion for many folks, but isn’t really tenable).

I know my job exists essentially to solve the problems of others, but that doesn’t mean I want to solve every problem that can occur.  (I don’t know about validating parking, and, truthfully, I could care less)(I’m sorry your patient is unpleasant, but as there is no pleasant-pill, and if there was I couldn’t force them to take it, you need to get over it).  Yes, I’m pretty good at what I do, but I’m not indispensible, and would like for You to show me how good a problem-solver you are.

Stumped?  Bring me the question.  I may not have any ideas, but I’ll try.  However, I’ll bet with just about 15 seconds of cogitation you could come up with several ideas that would solve the current problem, make you look a little smarter, and frankly expand your problem-solving horizon, ultimately making you a better caregiver.  Occasionally, the question won’t even be necessary!

 So, think: then ask.  I’ll be glad to answer.  If needed.

How to crash a Predator

via the NTSB, the Border Patrol has a Predator crashed : CHI06MA121

 Hat tip to the AG for the link.

A Very Happy Memorial Day to you all

As I write this there’s a nice Military / vet tribute at the beginning of the Indy 500.

Thanks to all of those who have served, contiue to serve, and their families.


Now, quit reading the computer and go spend time with your family!

Physicians and Rejection

from: Notes on a Physician’s Life

When it comes to unanticipated rejection, where our application has been with expectation, the wind goes completely out of our sails and we struggle to persist.

Accustomed to sequential success, physicians are not optimally equipped for the rejections, false starts or dead ends that are part and parcel of life for most of humanity. Practicing medicine today has its woes but we are to an overwhelming degree in demand, valued, respected and well compensated especially in comparison with individuals in most other occupational fields.

It’s been a while since Dr. Drury was seen here (then as a sponsor), but this is good insight. 

Bloodletting, MD

Today one of the more interesting medical bloggers graduates from medical school in Houston. He blogs as Doc Russia, he’s an enthusiastic blogger and he’s going into Emergency Medicine.

We have a sorta-bond beyond those similarities: he was a Marine grunt who served his country well, then decided to go to school. He’s done well.

(Amusingly, we were first introduced by email: his home computer was fortunately named his last name, which name is more than a little unusual, and I was getting roughly 50 virus-laden emails with spoofed medblogger addresses from a account per day. Completely shooting in the dark I did a google for EM and his last name, and guess who’s the president of the Houston Med Student interest section? A polite email was sent, and 12 hours later the onslaught stopped. He emailed a few days later and took responsibility: someone had clicked on the "Anna" screensaver, and that was that: zombie box.)

We’ve been emailing, keep intending to get together someday, and no doubt we will.

Congratulations to you, Doc Russia! I’m sure your future EM colleagues will appreciate your background, and your personality.  And please keep blogging!

Wounded Marines spend time together in Camp Lejune

A nice article from CNN:

CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina (CNN) — At a first-of-its-kind barracks at Camp Lejeune, Marines wounded in Iraq share their recoveries with the one group of people who understand — each other.

They live at Maxwell Barracks, named for Lt. Col. Timothy Maxwell, who suffered a serious head wound in 2004 and almost died near Iskandiriya, a city in Iraq’s notorious “Triangle of Death.”

When the injured Maxwell got back to the United States, he asked his superiors if he could use a building to help his wounded comrades get through the final phases of recovery. The Marines at Maxwell Barracks go through this battle together rather than being sent back to their units.

The lieutenant colonel is still an active duty Marine, and his closely cropped hair reveals a scar that runs in a circular path from his left ear to his forehead. He struggles slightly with his speech, yet he still speaks with the authority of a senior officer.

“The transition from being in your unit, being wounded, going through hospitals, and then either phasing back to their original unit, or back to civilian world, this would be the last stop,” Maxwell said.

In WWII the services had ‘convalescent hospitals’ where wounded servicemen would go to recover before being released home. This served a valuable medical purpose, as well as an emotional one for the servicemembers and their families.

I’ve read about Vietnam vets being ‘back in the world’ 72 hours out of combat, and wonder which genius thought that was a good idea. Decompression is good after that environment, and this is another attempt to recreate it.

BZ to LCOL Maxwell!

New BiPartisan Congressional Bumper-sticker

Congressional Double Standard on Warrants ? Outside The Beltway | OTB

As he says, “heh”.

via Instapundit.

Medlogs: anyone else not getting feeds in?

Medlogs, also known as Medical News Feeds used to be one of my biggest referrers, and has the potential to be one-stop medblog shopping.


I’ll give it’s not easy to follow my (several) blog-software changes over the years, and that does change my RSS feed address (because I’m not too smart, that’s why). I’ve emailed Dr. Reider (who runs Medlogs) several times, and so far there’s no inclusion of my feeds. (I’m linked in the sidebar, twice, which is nice but not getting the feeds in).

Is anyone else having problems getting their feeds included, and does anyone have a better / more effective way of contacting them?

Update: from the first comments, I’m not alone.

B-52 Model Airplane

Completely non-medical.

Another of those email-forwards, here’s a (really huge) video of an RC model B-52 (which is really, really huge for a scale model).

How huge? A picture, 1K words, etc:

Here’s the link, just be aware it’s as big a file as the model.

New MedBlog alert: Tundra Medicine Dreams

Tundra Medicine Dreams

Call me The Tundra PA. I have been a family practice physician assistant for 14 years. After seven years practicing rural and suburban medicine in the Pacific Northwest, I came to southwest Alaska and immediately fell in love with the place and the people. This is the southwestern Alaskan bush, land of Eskimos, caribou, salmon, and wide-open tundra. Medicine—and just about everything else—is different here. It is The Last Frontier.

For most of my life, I have also been a writer; but I never managed to “realize my potential” in that direction. I suspect a serious lack of “bum glue” as the root cause, but closely connected is the sense that I’ve never found the story I wanted to tell. Until now. This place, these people, and my life among them is the story I will tell in this blog.

I got that out of one of his earlier posts, and there’s another true writer in the medblogosphere! Have a look when you have time.

Medscape discovers Emergency Medicine

One of my biggest gripes with Medscape has been that Emergency Medicine wasn’t represented as a specialty.

That has finally changed. Medscape Emergency Medicine Homepage is where to start (and I got an email link from Medscape that’s currently dead (, so we’ll see what happens there.

Looks like a good start, and now I have, well, less to gripe about. No, really.