Archives for May 2012

Ten Years

Today marks my Ten Year Anniversary at my current ED, in Giant Community Hospital.

It’s been remarkably good. Initially I was a fish out of water, only a year out of training in a system where the ED is noted to Know their Stuff to this system where the ED is the Scapegoat for the Staff. It resulted in several uncomfortable moments with the consulting staff (Consults and Pain) written just 17 days into my tenure.

As time has elapsed (as it is wont to do), the ED  has decreased as the Scapegoat of Record, and I’m happy as a clam in the practice of Emergency Medicine here. Though, times have changed.

When I was brought aboard a decade aboard our ED was seeing about 72k a year, and I was one of two docs hired to go from 7 to 8 Doc shifts a day. This year we’re going to exceed 100K visits easily, and are trying to go to 12 shifts a day. The facility has not changed much over time (a facelift about 5 years ago and the addition of about 7 beds 5 years ago), so we’re in hall beds daily, and sometimes all day every day. This will change within 18 months, as today we held our ED Groundbreaking for an 87 room  ED, each room of which will hold two patients, so no hall patients for at least a week. At the end of 2013.

Professionally, I’m good. It takes a lot to get my pulse up, and our nursing staff remains top flight despite a fairly high turnover rate. The medical staff is good to interact with, and the ED call list is as good as it’s ever been, and way better than the dark ages of a few years ago.

Personally, I and mine are in the same home for a decade, which is a record. The Kids are off on their own (One a mom of 2, one a budding lawyer, and one who walked for Graduation this May and will graduate at the end of June, aged 20). So, we’ve been lucky as parents.

Good news for me: professionally I have new avenues (Medical Informatics) but still get to work shifts, my wife still suffers me with class and style, and I have the best EM job on earth.

I hope the next Ten are as good.

Thanks for playing.

ABEM ConCert prep course recommendations?

This is my renewal year for ABEM, and as you can imagine I just want to take a $1,700 test once (you read that right, that’s my cost to voluntarily take a test to remain Board Certified). (Board Certified rant pending).

What have other ABEMers taken, either as in-home or travel-to courses that you’d either recommend, or scare me away from? I’d actually prefer a travel-to course (fewer distractions), but am open to whatever works best.

Please add a comment, or send me a message through the ‘contact’ form.

I’ll let you know how it comes out.


Turnaround – Think Fast Engineering | Think Fast Engineering

My brother, the Aerospace Genius, has gotten back into racing. Which he does better than me. he also blogs better, which is highly annoying.

Teamwork at the race track is a stunningly beautiful thing to behold, especially when the stakes are huge. I am forever indebted to Jay Messenger, John Fabijanic, and Dave Frietas for giving me far more help than I ever imagined I would need, and for saving me in the process. Without those golden sacrifices, my road racing adventure would have come to a bitter end instead of propelling a meteoric advance. While zigzagging toward the green flag, I told myself “I’m doing this for them, not for me.”

How does this grab you for ambition: Going straight from driver school to professional open wheel racing, with only two test days in between?

via Turnaround – Think Fast Engineering | Think Fast Engineering.

An interesting, and challenging weekend was had, with a happy outcome. Enjoy the Tale, and the Telling.

Coffee buzz: Java drinkers live longer, big study finds; regular and decaf are equally good – The Washington Post

I knew I wasn’t drinking it for the taste:

Coffee buzz: Java drinkers live longer, big study finds; regular and decaf are equally goodBy Associated Press, Published: May 16MILWAUKEE — One of life’s simple pleasures just got a little sweeter. After years of waffling research on coffee and health, even some fear that java might raise the risk of heart disease, a big study finds the opposite: Coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer. Regular or decaf doesn’t matter.The study of 400,000 people is the largest ever done on the issue, and the results should reassure any coffee lovers who think it’s a guilty pleasure that may do harm.“Our study suggests that’s really not the case,” said lead researcher Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute. “There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking.”

via Coffee buzz: Java drinkers live longer, big study finds; regular and decaf are equally good – The Washington Post.

Now, how long until I can take it off on my taxes…

Fort Worth man arrested in theft of DPS patrol car | Crime and Safety | News from Fort W…

Frankly, I’d wee on Superman’s Cape before I stole a Troopers’ car:

CISCO — A 40-year-old Fort Worth man was in the Eastland County jail Thursday, accused of briefly stealing a state troopers patrol car. The car was wrecked after officers shot the tires, authorities reported.

via Fort Worth man arrested in theft of DPS patrol car | Crime and Safety | News from Fort W….

This won’t end well.

Zdogg MD’s Le Mis parody

It’s been out for a while, and I just realized I hadn’t linked it here.

The increasingly entertaining!




This Weekend: The Perfect Storm

Keep us in the ED here in your thoughts this weekend, as our area, along with Mother Nature and some unfortunate timing are conspiring to build the Perfect Storm for ED saturation.

Here in Fort Worth we will have the following:

So, if we’re not seen for a while you’ll know where to find us. Under the people tsunami in the ED.


It’s my Tenth Blogging Anniversary

Every year marks an Anniversary of blogging, mostly to remind others I’m still here.

I started this inauspicious blog in 2002, not knowing really why. I still don’t know why. In people years that’s Ten Years, in the Social Media world it’s a lifetime.

Friends are the biggest thing I’ve gotten out of it, and I thank all of you who’ve taking the time to comment and occasionally critique. I’ve been to BlogWorld and met some terrific med bloggers, and have had fun conversations with others who are only internet buddies. This has continued in the SoMe world, and I continue to enjoy the blog but also Twitter, where rapid-action snark is appreciated/derided in equal measure.

It’s always odd to me that anyone even mentions I’m a blogger and that I have a blog; it’s like people pointing out you have good penmanship or have perfect attendance: it’s just something I do. I enjoy this, I’ve enjoyed the time spent here, and plan to continue.

I’d be lying if I told you I’m the blogger I used to be: clearly not. Re-reading some of my posts makes me realize I used to be a lot angrier, and that’s a big motivator for a blogger. I’m older, more established and frankly happier, which is a nice realization but is kryptonite for the rant blogger.

Professionally I’m doing well, plenty of patients and challenges, and yet: there could be more. I’ve recently been named (surprising mostly me) Director of Medical Informatics (chief tech geek and data dude) for the consulting company to which 130+ of us Independently Contract for the ED’s of the Gigantic Hospital Corporation, which we all like and respect. It’s a terrific opportunity, and a challenge I’m not sure I’m up to. Here’s hoping.

At any rate, as I’ve said before I’m too lazy to quit, so I’ll keep blogging.

Thanks for coming!