Medical blogs for doctors and patients alike – Los Angeles Times

Medical blogs for doctors and patients alike – Los Angeles Times

Here’s a roundup of some of the best-known medblogs. Go to the sites, however, and these doctors might introduce you to even more.

Incredibly flatering to be included in this list of excellent medical bloggers (there are more out there, but this is a good starting list).

For the record, I have never been a Marine Infantryman; I was a Navy doctor assigned to the USMC, and was very proud to serve with the green side.  I identify with the USMC more than the Navy (probably ‘gone native’).

Wasabi Peas: A Word of Caution

A Public Service Announcement:

Recently I was given, by my loving family, a can of Wasabi Peas. They meant it as a joke, and here’s the background to the joke:

When I was in Okinawa with the USMC, a few of us decided that since we were technically in Japan, we should have some sushi. Really touristy, but real just the same. Therefore we walked a few miles to the nearest storefront food joint, and in the great tradition of mixing cultures ordered dinner by pointing at the menu and smiling a lot.

So, there’s three brave USMC flyers and the doc (odd group: over/differently-trained officers in an Infantry battalion) and we’re staring at different plates of variously-cooked things-from-the-sea. (I should say, at this point, that my idea of seafood is Long John Silver’s, breaded and deep fried). I was not the most daring of the orderers.

And, we have food, and some Japanese beer, and a sense of adventure borne of unusual surroundings and occasions. I chose one of the less-scary (from a cooked-uncooked point of view) dishes on purpose. And, I’m looking at some recognizable and unrecognizable bits all at once.

I take some small comfort in the recognizable things: beer, some deep-fried calamari, and avacado. So, a forkful of avacado and some calamari go into the mouth.

Until that exact moment in time I didn’t know your sinuses could melt, or the inside of your eyes sweat. I didn’t know pain, and had no idea the extent to which my tongue would go to get out of my head when things get ugly. I sensed more than felt the lining of my nose sear off and fall out, and it would have looked scary had I been able to focus after forcing my eyes open, which I could not. My sinuses were now trying to escape by leaping out of my skin, through my brain, and the lungs, warned by the treacherous spinal cord, decided the best course was to stop breathing to protect themselves.

My only conscious decision was to drown the entire forkful with the liter or so of beer I’d purchased, and I wasn’t in a half-measures mood then. I now have beer on my shirt and face, mixed with snot, drool and tears, and parts of my nose and sinus lining.

I found out later I was making a noise associated with dying animals, which attracted the attention of my fellow-diners. They looked upon me with alarm, and it was then I realized I was the only one there who knew CPR, and thought about the irony of being the one who needed medical care.

Slowly, the pain ebbed, and I was only modestly incapacitated. Control of my vocal cords was temporarily granted me, and I said “All I had was the calamari and the avacado”.

The uproarious laughter of my cohorts wasn’t the least bit soothing, and should have alerted me that I’d done something stupid, but at the moment I was still trying to keep from sobbing in front of my brave Marine colleagues.

“That’s not avacado” is one of the phrases I never want to hear again, as it began to tell the tale of my self-induced misery. I grew up in West Texas and was innocent of Wasabi, the ‘Japanese horseradish’, the ingestion of which results in, well, the above.

I lived through it, and enjoyed telling the sanitized tale to my family on my return. For humor, they recently bought me a can of the aforementioned Wasabi peas.

I now have a taste for wasabi, though in smaller-than-forkful doses. I like the wasabi peas, but here’s the warning: both ends of the digestive tract are affected by the wasabi-effect. Now you know. Plan accordingly.

So, you want the Navy to pay for your Med School

I went through medical school on a Navy scholarship, through the HPSP Program

AFHPSP offers qualified students full tuition for school, a monthly stipend, and reimbursement for books and various required equipment and fees. In return, students serve as active duty medical, dental or medical service corps officers (for a minimum of three years). Scholarship recipients also attend a 45-day (consecutive days) Active Duty for Training (AT) tour for every year of scholarship awarded. The ATs range from a required Officer Indoctrination School (OIS) Newport, Rhode Island to numerous choices of rotations at military facilities. During AT, students serve on Active Duty in the rank of Ensign with all attendant obligations, benefits and respect of the rank.

Hint: Ensigns don’t get much respect, but it gets better with time.
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LCPL Anthony Sledd, USMC

Lance Corporal Tony Sledd (ap)Lance Corporal (LCPL) Anthony J. Sledd, 20, of Hillsborough, FL was killed in the service of his country in Kuwait. He was one of a company (about 130) of Marines and Sailors training in urban warfare, the correct technical term for which is MOUT (Marine Operations in Urban Terrain). Although LCPL Sledd had a weapon, he did not have live ammunition. His murderers were killed by MP’s, who do have live ammunition. No doubt much will be made of the ‘no live ammo’ issue, but it is correct for those inside, training. I leave it to your imagination what casualties this sort of training could produce were anyone to accidentally load live rounds when blanks are the order of the day. Good security on the edges of the training is a different matter, and usually US units have an agreement that the ‘host’ country will provide adequate security. The host country, Kuwait, has much to answer for.

LCPL Sledd was murdered and LCPL George R. Simpson, 21, of Dayton, OH, was wounded training for a job nobody wants to do, building to building warfare in a part of the world no American wants to live in. They did it because it was the job and it was important. I have never met LCPLs Sledd or Simpson, but it was my privilege to be a doc for many Marines just like them a few years ago, and if their peers are any indication I can tell you that these two Marines were hard working, dedicated young men with a bright future. They gave up a”regular” life for the Corps, asking only to be counted a Marine in return. I do not idealize them, but thank them and their families for their sacrifices to my country. I really do sleep better knowing they’re out there.