Archives for February 2008

When Nations Act Like Adolescents

I read this on CNN:

Russian bomber buzzes U.S. aircraft carrier –

WASHINGTON (CNN) — American fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers, one of which buzzed a U.S. aircraft carrier in the western Pacific over the weekend, U.S. military officials told CNN Monday.

One of them twice flew about 2,000 feet over the deck of the USS Nimitz Saturday while another flew about 50 miles away, officials said. Two others were at least 100 miles away, the military reported.

U.S. Defense officials said four F/A-18A fighter jets from the Nimitz were in the air.

The Russians and the U.S. cartrier did not exchange verbal communications.

First, they’re Bears, and turboprops aren’t pure jets. CNN should know better, but apparently don’t.  This isn’t the first time they’ve gotten something basic wrong.

Second, on reading this, it strikes me this is very much like kids taunting adults, sure in the knowledge that adults will act with restraint while they ‘show the man’ their power.  If the Russians thought for a second we’d shoot them down they wouldn’t take such a deliberately provocative action, but a) they’re impotent, know it, and it bugs the heck out of them and b) they can count on the US ‘adults’ to not shoot them down for acting out.  Restraint is the hallmark of the modern warrior, popular opinion to the contrary.

Impotence and strength aren’t always what they seem at first glance.

Physician Evil (Alleged)

Innocent until proven guilty, but here’s the first look:

Hospital boss arrested over al-Qaeda attack by human boobytraps

Iraqi security forces and US soldiers arrested the man at al-Rashad hospital in east Baghdad on Sunday. They then spent three hours searching his office and removing records. Sources told The Times that the two women bombers had been treated at the hospital in the past.

“They [the security forces] arrested the acting director, accusing him of working with al-Qaeda and recruiting mentally ill women and using them in suicide bombing operations,” a hospital official said.

I believe in hell. I believe there’s special place reserved there for whoever did this. If it’s this guy, I hope he gets there rapidly.

via Hot Air.


“If you’re going to do something, be good at it.”

Random thoughts

I just finished 12 shifts in 13 days, which is a really nice way to make your brain soft and mushy.

When I told the consultant the patient had EKG changes and an abnormal troponin, I didn’t expect “does he have risk factors?” to be the question.

I am very tired of reading political diatribes on otherwise worthy medical blogs. If you’re going to do them, please tell us in big letters that a) it’s political, not medical, therefore out of your area of specialized knowledge and just a muddled recapitulation of what others of your particular political bent have already said (and have said better), and b) tell us if you’re kidding. The one I read tonight I had to read twice it was so bad. I was sure it was a joke. Apparently not, which is a pity. Do us all a favor and just comment in the forums at your favorite “me, too” political place. That’s what I do, as a service to you, my dear readers. Nobody comes here to see what I think about any politics outside medicine, and I respect all my readers enough to not insult the half who won’t agree with me if I did. Oh, and my presidential endorsement remains.

Listening to a lecturer with one of the ubiquitous verbal tics (umm, ahh, etc) can be annoying. Have the tic be an exact recreation of South Park’s Mr. Mackey saying “M’kay” repeatedly is at first amusing then amazingly distracting. He did it 136 times today before I stopped counting.  Yes I’m learning, and paying attention, but that’s an unfortunate tic.

I’m a lucky guy.  And I have the nine smartest readers out there.

ERs fail as the nation’s safety net – Los Angeles Times

It’s official: there’s an ED crisis!

ERs fail as the nation’s safety net – Los Angeles Times
The long waits that government inspectors say endanger emergency room patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center can also be found in backlogged hospitals across the country, according to emergency care experts who have been trying for years to draw attention to the nation’s overloaded safety net.

“Overcrowding in our emergency departments is a national crisis,” said Dr. Linda Lawrence, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, an advocacy group based in Washington D.C. “We no longer have the capacity to serve as the safety net for society.”

The perfect storm continues.  In any other sector of society increasing demand and decreasing supply would increase prices, and reimbursement.  Increased profits could be used to provide for more supply (or not, it’s not a perfect world).  But ‘Medicine is Different’.

A guaranteed way to lose is to have a business that must give away their product, facing continual and grinding decreases in all payments, with increasing mandates and regulation.

You get what you pay for.  And vice-versa.

Change of Shift – Nursing Voices Forum

Change of Shift – Nursing Voices Forum

Welcome to the Nursing Voices edition of Change of Shift! We’ve never been hosted by a forum before, so this should be interesting! If you haven’t registered to be a part of Nursing Voices, take some time to look around and then register to join in the discussion!So…grab a Pepsi and let’s get started!

Did Change of Shift get a corporate sponsor?

Tech’s El Paso Medical School Accredited

Interesting. And I don’t get the need:

Tech’s El Paso Medical School Accredited
Texas Tech University’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso is now the first accredited four-year medical school on the Texas-Mexico border. University officials were notified Tuesday that the school has received accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

The LCME told Texas Tech officials they can begin recruiting students for the fall of 2009. The school is expected to eventually accept some 80 students per year.

Texas Tech has a nice medical school in Lubbock, where the class all does their MS1 and 2 years together. Then the class splits into thirds: 1/3 goes to Amarillo, 1/3 stays in Lubbock and 1/3 go to El Paso for their MS3 and 4 years.

Tech (Lubbock) accepts about 125 students a year, so sends about 40 students to El Paso for their 3rd and 4th years, to be added to the 80 they’re going to eventually get up to? I wonder where they’ll put them all?

Perhaps someone better acquainted with the Tech master plan can enlighten me…

MedBlogs Grand Rounds 4:20

Diabetes Mine – the all things diabetes blog: Grand Rounds, Vol. 4, No. 20: The Health 2.0 Explosion

Welcome to the 4th volume, 20th edition of Grand Rounds, the weekly roundup of what’s happening in the health and medical blogosphere.

Very Nice.

And, for the most intriguing theme, see the request from next weeks’ host at HealthBlawg:

I’m soliciting topical submissions from all you medbloggers out there, in the following categories:

  • Goats
  • Wolves
  • Dermatology
  • Birds
  • Skulls
  • Roses
  • Fertility
  • Love
  • Anything cardiovascular

If not immediately apparent, the relevance of these topics will be explicated next week, so be sure to tune in again.

Movin’ Meat: Malpractice and John Ritter

Movin’ Meat: Malpractice and John Ritter

A really nice summary of the EM and the risks of a famous case.

retired doc’s thoughts: Three years and a birthday

Happy Birthday to Resired Doc!

retired doc’s thoughts: Three years of blogging-a look back and a happy blog birthday to me
Some of things I have learned about and written about in my blog over the past three years I would have never imagined three years ago let alone forty years ago when I was handed a MD diploma. Here are some of them.

Last man in iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo dies

Last man in iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo dies –

REDDING, California (AP) — Raymond Jacobs, believed to be the last surviving member of the group of Marines photographed during the original U.S. flag-raising on Iwo Jima during World War II, has died at age 82.


Our WWII vets are leaving us. I doubt our generation will be missed to the same degree.

[Read more…]

Emergency Emm has moved

Backboards and Band-Aids

New URL, I’ll explain later, but probably not.New posts coming soon!

Thanks for changing your links, I’ll put up my new blog roll soon!

Make your changes!

My Third TV Appearance

It’s about influenza, which we’re seeing a LOT of this year (payback for last years’ light flu season no doubt).

Click Here

It seems like the local stations all have a ‘go-to’ site for their “I need a doc to talk about (insert TV medical issue of the day)”, and my hospital is a main site for the NBC affiliate. The ED docs are asked to do the Lion’s share of these interviews, which are arranged through the Hospital PR department; it’s not a requirement, and there’s always someone else who will do it, but when asked I say yes as I see it as representing my joint as well as I can. Also, I think “GruntDoc never helps out” won’t help me with admin during an inevitable ‘Oh, heck’ event, while “GruntDoc is on TV for us a lot” might keep them from kicking me to the curb quickly. Job security by PR? I hope I never have to find out.

Oh, and if you’re asked to do this, remember: this is not gotcha journalism. As one interviewer told me: “we’re going to make you look good, it does us no good to do anything else”. Typically they’ll ask you several questions they’ve told you they’re going to ask (so you can think of some answers), and then they’ll (maybe) use one of them.

[Read more…]

Grand Rounds: Volume 4, No. 19 // Emergiblog

Grand Rounds: Volume 4, No. 19 // Emergiblog

Welcome to this week’s edition of Grand Rounds, compiling the best of the medical blogosphere into one post for your reading pleasure!

It was up on time, my linkage wasn’t.

BTW, is this weekly linkage and the sidebar link to this week/next week useful? If not I’ll knock it off.