Archives for July 5, 2007

45 Muslim doctors planned US Terror raids

Before you get too anxious, I’m pretty sure this is three years old, and got sexed up a bit due to the recent terror strikes in Great Britain by physicians. group of 45 Muslim doctors threatened to use car bombs and rocket grenades in terrorist attacks in the United States during discussions on an extremist internet chat site.

Police found details of the discussions on a site run by one of a three-strong “cyber-terrorist” gang.

They were discovered at the home of Younis Tsouli, 23, Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London heard.

One message read: “We are 45 doctors and we are determined to undertake jihad and take the battle inside America.

“The first target which will be penetrated by nine brothers is the naval base which gives shelter to the ship Kennedy.” This is thought to have been a reference to the USS John F Kennedy, which is often at Mayport Naval Base in Jacksonville, Florida.

The message discussed targets at the base, adding: “These are clubs for naked women which are opposite the First and Third units.”

It also referred to using six Chevrolet GT vehicles and three fishing boats and blowing up petrol tanks with rocket propelled grenades.

Investigators have found no link between the Tsouli chat room and the group of doctors and medics currently in custody over attempted car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.

However, sources said it was “definitely spooky” that the use of doctors for terrorist purposes was being discussed in jihadi terrorist circles up to three years ago.

So, this was in an internet chat room run by would-be jihadists who would actually rather steal credit card numbers and defraud banks.  While it bears investigation, I’m not going to start sweating just yet.


Thanks to reader ‘Medic’ for the tip!

Standard Patients, and learning to be a doctor

Physical examination is both taught and learned in medical school.  Most schools now use non-patients (paid volunteers, and there’s an oxymoron for you) to introduce the mechanics of examination to students.  As with all other things there’s a range of innate competence, and that’s the subject of a piece in Slate from yesterday:

Current events, news, politics, culture, and more from Slate MagazineOver the course of three days recently, I had 23 head-to-toe physicals from 23 second-year students at the Georgetown School of Medicine. I was the first person these would-be doctors had ever fully examined on their own. Some were shaking so violently when they approached me with their otoscopes—the pointed device for looking in the ear—that I feared an imminent lobotomy. Some were certain about the location of my organs, but were stymied by the mechanics of my hospital gown and drape. And a few were so polished and confident that they could be dropped midseason into Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s very well written and amusing, please give it a read.  Also, she has a Q&A about the article at the bottom of this page.

It also reminded me of my ‘standard patient’ (We didn’t call them that, but I can’t remember the actual term).  The one thing I do recall was the proctor in the room smiling the entire time, and his feedback was “you didn’t test his reflexes, and you don’t have to say thank you after each and every test”.  I said thank you about 200 times in roughly 15 minutes.  Seriously.  Overly polite under stress then, I suppose.

Thanks to Mrs. Yoffe and all her Human Guinea Pig colleagues, for helping make real doctors out of medical students.

100 MPH Prius

Not 100 Miles Per Gallon, 100 Miles Per Hour. No, I didn’t try it, but it’s official:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The 24-year-old son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested for drug possession on Wednesday after he was stopped for speeding in his hybrid Toyota Prius, a sheriff’s official said.

Al Gore III — whose father is a leading advocate of policies to fight global warming — was driving his environmentally friendly car at about 100 miles per hour on a freeway south of Los Angeles when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy at about 2:15 a.m.

I wonder how environmentally friendly a Prius is at 100 MPH?

Thanks to Mr. Gore for giving the Prius a sportier reputation. The rest of it, including his arrest, is too bad. It stinks to be related to the rich and famous.

Hat tip to reader Jim for pointing this out.

“This is my doctor…

..and he’s very good looking”…

Occasionally I get to care for patients who have lost their vision late in life, usually due to macular degeneration, and for some reason the vast majority are female. They will nearly always early in their evaluation, tell me this:

“Doctor, I’m sorry, but I’m blind (from Macular Degeneration)” to which I reply “That’s too bad, because I’m very good looking”. They always chuckle, and then we move on with whatever problem brought them to the ED. (The three readers who actually are aware of my appearance are under no obligation to defend my visage. I’m in my forties, and resemble Ren more than Brad Pitt. I’m okay with who I am. The truth is in the rest of the story).

Some time will pass, the patients’ workup will be finished, and I’ll go back to see my sight-impaired patient. After I say hello, this almost always happens: the patient will say, out of the blue: “This is my doctor, who is very good looking”. The patients’ friends all wonder if there is another doctor in the room, or chuckle pleasantly, but the tension is gone, and we have a pleasant conversation about their problem and their care.

I like caring for people, and sometimes wonder if appearances get in the way. If my late in life blind patients are any indication, the answer is yes.