Archives for August 2010

Cops: Calif doctor gets stuck in chimney, dies | KOMO News | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News – Seattle, Washington | National & World News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) – A doctor involved in an “on-again, off-again” relationship apparently tried to force her way into her boyfriend’s home by sliding down the chimney, police said Tuesday. Her decomposing body was found there three days later.

via Cops: Calif doctor gets stuck in chimney, dies | KOMO News | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News – Seattle, Washington | National & World News.


Last Day: FREE Epocrates Essentials for Medical Students

We are giving you Epocrates® Essentials $159 value FREE. Our #1 premium mobile application offers the drug, disease, and diagnostic tools you need at the point-of-care. Act fast and tell your friends – it’s free for the rest of August only!

via FREE Epocrates Essentials for Medical Students.

If you’re a student, this is a heck of a good deal.

iowahawk: Help a Brother Out

Longtime Iowahawk readers will recall my old Ozark hotrodding medico friend Darren “Doc” Lee from Operation Dumb-Vee, where we successfully conspired to plaster Doc’s Army unit’s vehicles with morale-boosting refridgerator magnets from home, during his stint in Iraq. You also may recall that Doc is my go-to supplier of, um, “Ozark hair tonic.”I am sad to report that Doc was recently the victim of a terrible garage accident…

via iowahawk: Help a Brother Out.

Read, and if you wish, give.  Your money could go to worse uses.

Estimate of Deaths in Typical Flu Season Is Lowered –

In presenting the new numbers on Thursday, the centers urged journalists to stop using annual averages like 36,000 or 24,000 and to use more vague estimates like “tens of thousands of people may die.”

via Estimate of Deaths in Typical Flu Season Is Lowered –

Well, good.  That’s good news, and being able to scale the threat against you personally is a good thing.

This doesn’t mean, by the way, that you don’t need a flu shot.  You Do.  (I get mine).

Every driver is drunk – bet your life on it

A mentor recently mentioned, in passing, that he stopped riding motorcycles when cellphones came out, as he noticed the average driver distraction level had gone way up.  He said ‘its like everybody’s drunk’.

There’s lots of ways to be an impaired driver: physical or mental fatigue, chemicals (legal and not), emotional extremes, etc. (this is not an exhaustive list).  What I want to focus on here today is a very controllable risk factor, divided attention.

A quick internet search turned up some original research from Car and Driver on the subject of texting while driving compared with actual alcohol impaired driving, and the results are shockingly worse than I would have thought.  From their (admittedly limited but well done) study, texting is way worse than being at the legal alcohol limit, both reading and writing.

How bad?  This bad (please read the article; it’s short, well written and will fill you with any leftover dread you don’t get from looking at their illustration):

I, like C&D, would like to point out that this doesn’t make driving under the influence okay, it doesn’t.  What it does do is put into perspective the astonishing diminution of skill with divided attention between driving and texting.  It’s 100 times worse when you consider that they knew they were being tested, and still had these results. None of us get into a car and say ‘my reaction times will be severely tested today, I must be hypervigilant’.

Apparently we should, and just drive with this in mind: everybody’s drunk, or worse.  (And pull over, park safely, then text – we’ll all be glad that you did)

NATO Hospital Offers Top Notch Care in Taliban Heartland | Asia | English

Whether a soldier needs a cure for the common cold or brain surgery, the NATO hospital on Kandahar Airfield can handle it. This is one of Afghanistan’s most sophisticated hospitals, and it provides top medical care on the front line. Just minutes by helicopter from most conflict spots in the country’s south, the hospital saves the lives of 98 percent of the injured who come here.

Does it work?


…being so close to the battlefield means if a patient makes it to Kandahar alive, chances are he will stay that way. The hospital has a 98 percent survival rate.

via NATO Hospital Offers Top Notch Care in Taliban Heartland | Asia | English.

I have no idea on this, perhaps one of you knows: is there a NATO hospital and a US facility at Kandahar Airfield, is the US one also called a NATO hospital, or what?

Hospital Bribe Alleged –

In another of the things I had no idea about, there’s a market to assist FMG’s in getting US residencies, which makes sense.  Allegedly this guy was willing to go that Extra Mile for his clients.

Full marks for creativity, but…

Mr. Everest allegedly provided an employee at the hospital with forged letters from a California hospital to show that the applicants had been accepted into a second-year program. And he gave her a check for $4,000, followed by another check for $2,000. She reported him to hospital officials, and later told him she knew the letters were forged. He then allegedly gave her $6,000 for time to get a letter from a different hospital—which was also forged—and gave her $3,000 more before he was arrested.

via Hospital Bribe Alleged –


Dr. Wes: ‘Twas the Week Before School Starts

Dr. Wes: ‘Twas the Week Before School Starts..

Full genius.  Mine is driving to her second year away, and Dr. Wes fully captures our experience last year (this years’ a little more settled, but still unsettling).


Movin’ Meat: Lego iPad Stand (hardcore geekery)

What I do when I am bored:

via Movin’ Meat: Lego iPad Stand (hardcore geekery).

Astonishingly good!  He’s apparently good at something.

Saudi judge considers paralysis punishment – World news – Mideast/N. Africa –

CAIRO — A Saudi judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man’s spinal cord as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him, the brother of the victim said Thursday.

via Saudi judge considers paralysis punishment – World news – Mideast/N. Africa –

Every time I think my country is screwed up, I read this sort of thing, and feel better about it.  And kudos to the hospital that just said no (apparently).

via HotAir

University of North Texas regents OK plan for M.D. school at Health Science Center | Health |…

FORT WORTH — The vision of an M.D. school in Fort Worth took another big step Thursday when the University of North Texas regents voted unanimously to proceed with plans to establish a program at the UNT Health Science Center.

Already, $25 million has been raised for start-up costs, said Dr. Scott Ransom, president of the health science center.

“This is a win, win, win,” he said, adding that about 90 donors have contributed to the program and many more commitments have been made. “This is a huge deal for Fort Worth, Texas.”

via University of North Texas regents OK plan for M.D. school at Health Science Center | Health |….

Fort Worth’s worst kept secret marches onward.

So, what’s the over/under on FW still having a DO school in 10 years?

My car threw a fit this morning

My leased car is at the end of its time, and its replacement is on the way. I’ve been very careful not to speak of The New One in or around my current car, as I believe in Carma (yes, stupid pun).

Apparently it found out, and today threw some attitude. First, the garage door closer lost its mind and had to be reprogrammed, then just as I was leaving the house the low tire pressure sensor lit up. All four tires needed just a little air.

I said nice things to it on the drive out and back, but this cars’ time is done. Cars still have some kind of feelings, though, and I never intended to hurt this ones’.

Thanks, Inexorable Lexus, and farewell.

Stimulus sign of the times

From Woody’s Place:

More on the Kermit (Winkler County) Nurses

Two nurses in Kermit, Winkler County, Texas felt a Physician had done wrong, and did their duty (which is protected), under the law: they reported the doctor to the State Medical Board.

Then, things got bad, but not like any sane person would think. The nurses were eventually charged in Criminal Court for “Misuse of official information“, the flimsiest of pretexts to punish them for their whistleblowing, which the Texas Medical Board said was both good and correct.

This mattered not, and they were forced to go to trial to defend themselves from imprisonment; They were very quickly found not guilty, then came the civil suit, which catches us up for today’s addition to the story…

First, imagine keeping your job as Hospital Administrator after this kind of public derision. No, it doesn’t end as you’d expect:

Via CBS 7:

A week after it was posted at the Winkler County Courthouse that Winkler County Memorial Hospital Administrator, Stan Wiley, would announce his resignation, he changed his mind.

In what board member, John Walton, is calling “the shortest meeting in the board’s history”, Wiley did not resign.

The resignation was put before the board members as a motion.

John Walton seconded the motion to “accept Wiley’s resignation” but none of the other board members did so.

Wiley then acted as if this were a dramatic show of support and decided to not resign.

Quite the vote of confidence…

That was on August 10th, by the way, the same day, again from CBS 7:

After their original concerns about Dr. Rolando Arafiles were substantiated by a state fine levied against Winkler County Memorial Hospital and an official complaint lodged against the Dr., the “Winkler County Nurses” were “compensated” today for their damages.

The nurses will split a nearly $1,000,000 settlement but nurse Anne Mitchell says this case was never about any money.

Vickilyn Galle and Anne Mitchell believed their anonymous report to the state in 2008 would be just that: anonymous (as is prescribed by nurse reporting laws).

There’s no way they could have predicted that standing up for patients’ rights would get them arrested, then prosecuted, then vindicated and now, more than two years later, leave them hard pressed to find a nursing job.

The four Winkler County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon, to settle the civil suit filed against the county and numerous other defendants.

The move means they are agreeing to pay $750,000 dollars to nurses, Anne Mitchell and Vickilyn Galle.

The county only has to pay $150K, the rest is covered by a risk management pool, which appears to be how Texas Counties self-insure.

I’d like to have seen the trial on this. It’s not enough for two nurses who will have to move a long way to even possibly continue their careers, and the behavior of the Sheriff and Prosecutor in all this is bafflingly ugly.

The lesson? 1) Don’t live in Winkler County, their public decision-making seems atrocious on every level and 2) if you’re going to report someone anonymously, don’t do it from a County owned computer, lest it be ‘investigated’. (Feel free to add your lesson in the comments, but I’m not interested in getting sued, so let’s not libel anyone, shall we?).

HT to Glenn, my West Texas news connection.

How was my night?

Only sorta busy until the 16 EMS’s in an hour.

So, yeah.