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.

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!

I was in a Texas kind of mood

when I designed my MacBook Air decorations:

 

 

 

Yeah, my name and email are on the bottom, but they’re a touch hard to make out... A little too easy to see, it turns out. Was a field of bluebonnets (my own photo). Cropped that bit out.

Upside: I will NOT have yet another clone of an Apple computer at the next meeting.

FYI, I got these (quickly and well made) from UniqueSkins.com

Epic Spring Council

I’m off to Epic’s Spring Council in Madison, WI. It’s my first trip to Madison, and my first trip to an Epic meeting.

Looking forward to both.

If there’s anything worth mentioning, I’ll be tweeting those tidbits (over on Twitter, @gruntdoc ).

Just so you know I’m not dead. Merely resting. Pining for the Fjords.

It’s Time For Double Daylight Saving Time – Raw Fisher

Do the Double, then leave it there.

It’s Time For Double Daylight Saving Time

Tonight, the clock shifts forward. Tomorrow, sunset moves from 6:07 p.m. to 7:08 p.m. But our work here is not done. If we really wanted to fill our lives with joy and save energy and money, if we really wanted to move beyond the fiction of our agrarian conception of time and into the modern world, we’d shift to year-round Daylight Saving Time–or, if we really wanted to embrace reality and maximize life, go to Double DST, a big, two-hour push forward of the clocks that would turn our summers into a marathon of gorgeous, endless evenings.

Here, adapted from my piece from this moment two years ago, is the argument for Double DST:

President Warren G. Harding didn’t like daylight saving time. If people want more daylight, he said, they should just wake up earlier.

via It’s Time For Double Daylight Saving Time – Raw Fisher.

Just think about the weirdness twice a year in payroll departments trying to keep track of this oddness. (Also, my EMR locks up on the fall-back, and that’s a problem).

Five Leadership Mistakes Of The Galactic Empire – Forbes

Amusing, and true:

But mistakes are learning opportunities. And in thinking about Star Wars, let’s leave the prequels behind and focus on the original trilogy. It occurs to me that the Star Wars films have a lot to teach us about leadership styles.

In particular, the Galactic Empire strikes me as a quintessential example of how not to effectively run an organization. Let’s take a look at five of the Empire’s biggest mistakes and see how you can avoid them in your own organization.

Mistake #1: Building an organization around particular people, rather than institutions.

via Five Leadership Mistakes Of The Galactic Empire – Forbes.

Really good point about tolerance for failure.

Last Known WWI Veteran Florence Green Dies at 110 – ABC News

Florence Green never saw the front line. Her war was spent serving food, not dodging bullets.

But Green, who has died at age 110, was the last known surviving veteran of World War I. She was serving with the Women’s Royal Air Force as a waitress at an air base in eastern England when the guns fell silent on Nov. 11, 1918.

via Last Known WWI Veteran Florence Green Dies at 110 – ABC News.

I had no idea there were any WWI vets left.

110 years old. Terrific run.

FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists | Reuters

A fisking of a grossly awful article.

(Reuters) – Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday.

These extremists, sometimes known as “sovereign citizens,” believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference.

Well, no! Nobody’s above the law (unless they’re elected).

The extremists may refuse to pay taxes, defy government environmental regulations and believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard.

Wait, defy environmental regs? Like not exactly calculating the amount of fertilizer per hectare to put on their lawn? I can see how that’s an FBI concern.

Routine encounters with police can turn violent “at the drop of a hat,” said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director in the FBI’s counterterrorism division.

“We thought it was important to increase the visibility of the threat with state and local law enforcement,” he said.

In May 2010, two West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers were shot and killed in an argument that developed after they pulled over a “sovereign citizen” in traffic.

That’s awful. Dangerous nutjobs are everywhere. Were Police not aware of that already? This needs FBI intervention?

Last year, an extremist in Texas opened fire on a police officer during a traffic stop. The officer was not hit.

An officer shot at but not hit. Terrifically bad for that officer, but this isn’t evidence of a tsunami of lawlessness. It’s one dirtbag who (fortunately) can’t shoot. I hope the Officer ended him (there’s no information in the article about that).

Legal convictions of such extremists, mostly for white-collar crimes such as fraud, have increased from 10 in 2009 to 18 each in 2010 and 2011, FBI agents said.

Wha? These are White Collar goofballs? So these (scarequotes) ‘sovereign citizens’ are lawyers and accountants and doctors and such? That would explain their not being good shots, but none of the rest of the story.

And, an INCREASE from TEN to (hold your breath) EIGHTEEN in twelve months? It’s a tsunami of lawlessness! Now I see why the FBI is in on this.

“We are being inundated right now with requests for training from state and local law enforcement on sovereign-related matters,” said Casey Carty, an FBI supervisory special agent.

FBI agents said they do not have a tally of people who consider themselves “sovereign citizens.”

So far you’ve described two dangerous morons and 28 non dangerous idiots. One killed two cops, and here’s for his dying in prison, dunno about the other ones. So, 30. 30 of these ‘sovereign citizens’ in a citizenry of about 300 Million. It should be easy to make a tally of them. Just sayin’.

J.J. MacNab, a former tax and insurance expert who is an analyst covering the sovereign movement, has estimated that it has about 100,000 members.

Sovereign members often express particular outrage at tax collection, putting Internal Revenue Service employees at risk.

Let’s give then that 30 of 100,000 are bad people. 3/100k= .0003 which means a 0.03% risk from these people.

via FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists | Reuters.

Okay, I have family in Law Enforcement. I’m not Anti Law.

This doesn’t mean this alleged group (which they cannot even describe in a way to identify anyone in it) is a danger more than the general population.

Reuters fail. Weird there’s time spent putting this out.

Save 50% at XYScrubs.com

I recommend these. They’re terrific. Get ‘em while they last.

XY Scrubs, a premier provider of men’s scrubs and medical work apparel is having a 50% Off Sale on all Men’s Scrubs. Providing eco-friendly, anti- microbial, durable and fashion forward scrubs for Men, XY Scrubs (XYScrubs.com) has established itself as the New Leader in Men’s Scrubs, introducing three unique lines of medical apparel.

To take advantage of the 50% off sale enter the promotional code “HALFOFFSCRUBS” at the checkout window.

via Save 50% at XYScrubs.com.

I have some (Full disclosure, I got some gifted to me by their designer/owner, and I like ‘em. A lot.)

Not Running a Hospital: Carrying a lot of baggage

What he said…

Query: Why hadn’t they notified me upon arrival — or even before arrival when I was aboard the plane? They knew what plane I was on. Why have me go through a long fruitless wait at the airport? If you have such a powerful information system, why not use it to the benefit of your patrons? Especially your so-called “priority” customers.Indeed, why can’t all customers gain access to the baggage information system on their computers or iPhones? Sounds like that would be better service and possibly save money for those companies, too.

via Not Running a Hospital: Carrying a lot of baggage.

Benjamin Siu, doctor at Cook Children’s Medical Center, dies at 51 | Obituaries | News f…

Awful.

FORT WORTH — When Dr. Benjamin Siu saw patients at Cook Children’s Medical Center, visits began and ended with hugs, handshakes and prayers.

In between, “Dr. Siu would patiently go through what he had seen in the tests. He wouldn’t bombard you with mumbo jumbo,” said David Faulk, whose son Jonathan, now 3, was born with three chambers in his heart.

Dr. Siu, a pediatric cardiologist, died Jan. 3 after falling off his bicycle as he rode near South Z. Boaz Park in far southwest Fort Worth. He was 51.

via Benjamin Siu, doctor at Cook Children’s Medical Center, dies at 51 | Obituaries | News f….

 

Medgadget Partners with The Atlantic

Wow! Many congrats to the MedGadget people!

We’re excited to announce that The Atlantic has launched its brand new health channel and Medgadget is now a partner site of the venerable publication. We’ll be sharing our content that is interesting and informative to the wider audience of The Atlantic.

via Medgadget Partners with The Atlantic.

70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

If you meet a Pearl Harbor vet, thank ‘em. They’re pretty rare (an 18 year old then would be 88 now…).

Thanks to our Pearl Harbor vets.

edwinleap.com | Attention emergency physicians: great job available!

Want to work with the best EM writer in the business?

Doctors, you’ve worked for years to learn the skills of emergency medicine. You’ve struggled and learned. You have stayed awake at all hours, caring for the sick, the injured, the ridiculous and the demanding. You may be finishing residency or out in the work world. Wherever you are, I have something to ask you.

Are you tired of leftist academic nonsense? Are you weary of being told you should ‘just give a little more’ to people who take from you all the time? Are you sick of administration keeping you continually under its thumb while you feel entirely powerless?

via edwinleap.com | Attention emergency physicians: great job available!.

(No, I got no remuneration for this post).

Charles Prize: Winners of the 2011 Charles Prize for Poetry

It is with great pleasure that I announce the winners of this year’s poetry contest.

via Charles Prize: Winners of the 2011 Charles Prize for Poetry.

I’m a little slow on this one, so go and see who won the Limerick contest.