Archives for March 2010

Spring Forward, 2010

My favorite overnight shift of the year! (To be fair, I worked the fall back, and it’s my least favorite…).

From a post a few years ago:

From a prior post of mine on the subject:

“Yes, tonight you either a) lose one hours’ sleep, or, b) get to church in time to shake hands as everyone else leaves. (Sorry if that leaves your religon out, but the joke works better that way).”

There’s a lot to DST, and here’s link to more info.

Also, here’s a “how’d that get past them?” moment, from infoplease:

No More Sunlight in Arizona and Hawaii

Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii and the territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are the only places in the U.S. that do not observe DST but instead stay on “standard time” all year long. And if you’ve spent any time in the sweltering summer sun in those regions you can understand why residents don’t need another hour of sunlight.

(emphasis mine)

Now, you can fiddle with a clock all you want, but messing with a timepiece isn’t going to change the number of hours of sunlight any area gets a day. It will shift the times around, but that’s about the limit.

And, yes, the same weird quote is in there still.

Best movie trailer so far.

Laugh out loud funny.

So, that’s how to do a dramatic movie. Here’s how to report the news feature (mild language warning):

Both via HotAir.  I needed a laugh.

Care does not include sex – Dutch nurses’ union – Yahoo! News

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A union representing Dutch nurses will launch a national campaign on Friday against demands for sexual services by patients who claim it should be part of their standard care.

The union, NU'91, is calling the campaign “I Draw The Line Here,” with an advert that features a young woman covering her face with crossed hands.

via Care does not include sex – Dutch nurses’ union – Yahoo! News.

Hmmm.  Their nursing curriculum must be quite different from ours…

Specialist nurses paid higher salaries than family doctors – Mar. 11, 2010

NEW YORK ( — Despite the growing shortage of family doctors in the United States, medical centers last year offered higher salaries and incentives to specialist nurses than to primary care doctors, according to an annual survey of physicians' salaries.

Primary care doctors were offered an average base salary of $173,000 in 2009 compared to an average base salary of $189,000 offered to certified nurse anesthetists, or CRNAs, according to the latest numbers from Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a physician recruiting and consulting firm.

via Specialist nurses paid higher salaries than family doctors – Mar. 11, 2010.

To be fair, they found the highest paid advanced practice nurses (CRNA’s) and compared them to the average FP salary.

I wonder how many FP’s retrain into a specialty field?

Are most emergency room visits really unnecessary? – By Zachary F. Meisel and Jesse M. Pines – Slate Magazine

Much of the ongoing health care reform debate has focused on unnecessary health care expenses—specifically, medical bills that rack up without demonstrably improving peoples' health. According to Peter Orszag, the director of the federal Office of Management and Budget, about $700 billion, or 5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, is wasted on unnecessary care, such as extra costs related to medical errors, defensive medicine, and just plain fraud. At the center of this discussion are “unnecessary” ER visits for minor conditions—colds, headaches, and feverish babies—that could be handled more cheaply in doctors' offices. If we could only convince patients to take their stubbed toes to urgent-care clinics or primary-care offices instead of ERs, the thinking goes, we could save a load and help fix this whole health care fiasco.

But there are a few problems with this logic. …

via Are most emergency room visits really unnecessary? – By Zachary F. Meisel and Jesse M. Pines – Slate Magazine.

It’s a well-written, short article.

He makes some good points, and (being an EM doc) I happen to agree with most, specifically that a lot of money is spent in medicine on procedures of uncertain (at best) benefit.

The fix is probably correct, too, though I don’t see Americans jumping on changing their sedentary, easy lifestyles.  (That includes me).

Health Care Law Blog: AHLA Connections: Legal Implications of Health Care Social Media

The current issue of the American Health Lawyers Association's Connections magazine features an article I co-authored with fellow AHLA health lawyer, Jody Joiner, on the impact of social media use in health care.

The article, Risky Business: Treating Tweeting the Symptoms of Social Media (PDF version), is featured in the March 2010 issue of AHLA Connections (Vol.14, No. 3, March 2010), a health lawyer magazine for the health and life sciences law community.

via Health Care Law Blog: AHLA Connections: Legal Implications of Health Care Social Media.

Nice overview of the concerns health care lawyers have about social media, twitter, blogs, etc.  Note that while pointing out the difficulties, at the end several common-sense answers are given,  none of which involve suppressing speech.

For which they’re to be commended: waaaay too often in medicine the reflex response to any complex problem in ‘no’ or ‘you can’t do that’, whether that response is the right answer or not.

Worth your time to read.

Disclosure: I met Mr. Coffield at BlogWorld in 2009.  He was a panelist in one panel, and could have had an entire day just by himself: that smart, and that good at explaining complex ideas.

I have a confession: I’ve been risking my life

Yes, still driving a Prius.

I do buy that accelerator pedals can be mechanically jammed by a floor mat (though there’s clips on my car to hold it in place), but this unintended acceleration ‘panic’ is just that.  (If for no other reason that there’s now a flurry of cases of this, and none before it was the freak-out du jour).

Sorry, I do intend to keep risking my life by driving a Prius.  If I die in an unintended acceleration incident in it, I’ll refund your yearly viewing fee.

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs

Update: I couldn’t find this link last night, but here’s Popular Mechanics explaining why the ABC ‘news’ story on unintended acceleration requires a lot of kludging of electronics in a very particular way.

Also from PM: things to do if you do have a Sudden Acceleration incident.

First nonstop around-the-world flight began, ended in Fort Worth in 1949 | Nation | News…

On the morning of March 2, 1949, Lucky Lady II, an Air Force B-50 Superfortress, touched down at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, becoming the first airplane to fly nonstop around the world.Lucky Lady II had departed Carswell midday Feb. 26 with a crew of 14 under the command of Capt. James Gallagher. The plane traveled 23,452 miles in 94 hours and 1 minute, flying an average ground speed of 239 mph at altitudes ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 feet.

via First nonstop around-the-world flight began, ended in Fort Worth in 1949 | Nation | News….

I did not know that.  Neither did you! | Cataract surgery for me!

I’m having cataract surgery in the morning, so I covet your prayers for a successful procedure.

I guess it’s what happens when one’s beard begins to turn the color of a hillside with light snow.

via | Cataract surgery for me!.

Best of luck to Dr. Leap (and moreso to his surgeon).  Prayers for one of the very best EM writers extant.

AP News: Patients try to keep appointments with jailed doc

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Patients of a northern Kentucky psychiatrist jailed on a charge he stabbed a woman with a sword have tried to keep appointments with him in jail. Kenton County jail Chief Deputy Scott Colvin said deputies have had to turn away several patients of Douglas Rank, charged last month with first-degree assault in an attack on 32-year-old woman.

Colvin told the Kentucky Enquirer that some patients have asked if they could drop off Rank's prescription pad at the jail so he could write their prescriptions.

via AP News: Patients try to keep appointments with jailed doc.

Wow.  That’s some crazy doc loyalty.

Oh,  Psychiatrist.  So, not “crazy”, just, umm, overboard.

HT: TravelerHeffe

Better Health broadcasting from HIMSS

Better Health (Dr Val’s organization, of which I am a small idler wheel) is at HIMSS10, doing interviews.

It’s entertaining, you can ask questions of the interviewees through the chat stream, so it’s interactive.

Broadcasting here: USTREAM.

Doctor Anonymous

Greetings from Atlanta, Georgia which is about 800 miles from Doctor Anonymous World Headquarters in Northeastern Ohio. What am I doing here? Well, I'm attending my first HIMMS conference (which stands for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems) annual meeting.

These are the 37 best posts that the medical blogosphere has to offer this week. In my editors picks, I wanted to highlight what I think are well-written stories. There is also a short excerpt from each of my picks this week.

via Doctor Anonymous.

The nearly-perfect Grand Rounds.

Emergency Medicine Bloggers | Life in the Fast Lane

Prompted by a series of tweets and buzzes pertaining to the knowledge base of Emergency Medicine bloggers we felt it was time to overhaul our ‘BlogRoll‘ and create a separate table for the Emergency bloggers, their twitter handles and RSS feeds.

via Emergency Medicine Bloggers | Life in the Fast Lane.

Nice list!  If you find an omission, please leave it there, and not here.

Dubai police chief: Mossad should be ‘ashamed’ over Hamas killing –

Jerusalem (CNN) — Dubai’s police chief said Sunday the secretive Israeli foreign intelligence unit Mossad “needs to be ashamed” after the January killing of a Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel.

via Dubai police chief: Mossad should be ‘ashamed’ over Hamas killing –

I concur.  Really, 26 people to smother one guy?


Better Health Coverage of HIMSS Starts Today

HIMSS10, one of the world's premier conferences on medical information and technology management, begins today in Atlanta, Georgia. Better Health, a community of medbloggers we are proud to be a part of, will be providing extensive coverage of the event. Dr. Nick Genes of Medgadget, Dr. Val Jones, CEO of Better Health, and Dr. Mike Sevilla who writes at Dr. Anonymous will be taking interviews, checking out the latest gear, and giving access to the vendors and presenters at the conference.

via Better Health Coverage of HIMSS Starts Today.

I’ll be tuning in, hope you do, too!