Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dr. August is . . . Kevin, MD

I once read where GruntDoc was the granddaddy of medblogs. If that’s true, then Kevin, MD is “Big Daddy”. I love Kevin’s blog. Here’s my daily medblog routine: Open bottle of Diet Coke, click on Kevin, MD and check out his links; then head to the Kevin, MD Feeds page. [umm, that used to be a lot easier when there was a link to the "Feeds" page on the Kevin, MD front page ~ hint, hint]

Here’s my interview with Kevin, MD:

Q.1 What was the last movie you saw?

Iron Man on a recent plane trip. Before that, I saw a camcorder version of The Dark Knight. Both were excellent films.

With a 3-year old at home, I don't go out to the movies much. Having to hire a babysitter makes going to the movies a pricey night. So, the movie *really* has to be worth it for me to go to the theater.

Q.2 If you were trapped on a deserted island, what three things would you need to survive?

Laptop, fresh sushi, clean underwear.

Q.3 Did you play any sports when you were growing up?

Table tennis, basketball, and volleyball. Does rotisserie baseball count?

Q.4 What is the best part of your job? The worst?

The best: Patients who do not take medical care for granted.

The worst: Politicians and administrators who make health policy decisions without truly appreciating or understanding the issues that physicians face.

Q.5 Oh no! Kim Kardashian cut her big toe. You're a doctor. Do you think this will hurt her chances on "Dancing With the Stars"?

If Heather Mills can dance on one leg, Kim Kardashian should have no problem. I'm going to go out on a limb and pick Toni Braxton as this year’s winner.

Q.6 When did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?

In high school. I went to one of those 7-year combined Bachelor's/MD programs in college, so my career course was set early on. Luckily I didn’t change my mind.

Q.7 You linked to this on your blog back in March 2005:

"Imagine you are the only doctor in a small, isolated northern community. You're single. The law says you're not allowed to have sex with your patients. Since everyone in the community is your patient, that means you're not allowed to have sex. Period."

So what advice do you have for this doctor?

Become a priest.

But seriously, that doctor is in a tough spot. I'd like to find out myself what to do in that situation. Is he his wife's physician?

Q.8 How did you meet your wife and what did y'all do on your first

I met my wife in Boston, during my intern year of residency. I used to impress her by taking her to all the pharmaceutical-sponsored dinners at fancy restaurants. Needless to say, that was before the backlash against drug company gifts.

Our first date was at Starbucks. We had hot chocolate.

Q.9 When you first started blogging, you mentioned that you'd occasionally work a shift in the ER. Do you still do that?

Not anymore. As a resident, I used to moonlight more than I worked in residency. I learned just as much, if not more, during these shifts. Nothing gives a doctor more confidence than working without a net.

Looking back, I'm not sure how I managed all that moonlighting. There would be days at a time where I would be sleeping at various hospitals, doing overnight shifts. I wasn't home very often.

Now with a full-time primary care practice, raising a young family, and blogging, time doesn't allow it.

Q.10 Name one habit you have that annoys people.

People say I'm nitpicky - I prefer to call it detail-oriented. No matter how good things look, count on me to find the one thing that's wrong.

Q.11 I see this on the medblogs all the time, but I'm too lazy to look it up. What exactly is “evidence based medicine”?

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) attempts to apply results from scientific studies into the clinical world. This is as opposed to practicing medicine by gut reaction, intuition or instinct.

Not all doctors agree with the concept, since it regulates what physicians do to “cookbook” medicine. Policy wonks like the concept since it removes independent thought from clinical decisions, which makes it easier to reduce the amount of practice variability that is thought to be a cause of rising health care costs.

The problem with EBM is that it doesn't cover all the possible scenarios that doctors face on a regular basis. We're still a long way from medicine being totally evidence-based.

Q.12 Do you watch any reality shows on television?

Yes, because we only have one TV and my wife doesn't like the shows I watch. So, I'm well-versed in American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Q.13 What do you do in your spare time?

Aside from blogging and watching my daughter grow up?

I play table tennis competitively and travel around the country to participate in tournaments.

I'm also a highly ranked historical fantasy baseball player (at Imagine, so I spend time researching and playing simulated historical baseball games.

Q.14 If you could have a super power, what would it be?

The ability not to need sleep. There’s too much to do, not enough time to do it.

Q.15 What was the best "thank you" that you ever received as a doctor?

A handwritten note by the daughter of a patient who passed away, thanking me for taking care of her mother during her last years. Very moving and reminded my why I became a doctor in the first place.

Q.16 And the usual "Calendar Doc" questions:

a. Any piercings or tattoos? No.
b. What color scrubs do you wear? Baby blue.

Q.17 Quickfire Questions:

a. Any pets? No.
b. Any kids? One, and another on the way. [Congratulations!]
c. Favorite junk food? Cheesy poofs.
d. Pet peeve? Tardiness.
e. Favorite song of all time? Let it be.

Q.18 New feature! Questions suggested by readers. These were submitted by Roxie.

a. What's your favorite candy bar?

Twix. Can't resist the cookie and caramel.

b. If you could go back in time for one day, what year would it be and why?

1999, the year I met my wife.

Thanks Kevin, MD for being my Dr. August!

Photo credit: Crap, I can't remember where I found it. I just know that when I saw him, I had to have him.

Kim's toe came from TMZ.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hint for Dr. August

That is way too easy. I was late getting the questions to Dr. August, so it might be September before Dr. August appears. (Ok, I'm late again. So sue me. I can't help it if I work in a sweatshop.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Caffeine Quiz for Monday Morning

The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?

Go here if you want to take the quiz. Really, it's more of a test than a quiz.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Can't Write Crap

cartoon from

I am going through one of my semi-annual blogger identity crises, hence so many quizzes and timekillers. There will be a Dr. August, but more about that later this week. What? Whining about not being able to write and Dr. August are two different topics. I'm in a blogging dryspell, I'm not going to have one post covering two separate topics. See the Official Big Book of Blogging.

Okay, here's a lawyer joke for you, courtesy of Dr. Artemis. (Which reminds me, Dr. Artemis is one of the moms who blogs at Mothers in Medicine, one of my FAVORITE new blogs.)

While visiting Bejing for the Olympics, a man stumbled into a tiny curiosities shop in a quiet section of town. Looking around at the various items for sale, he spotted a brass statue of a rat. He picked it up and asked the owner of the shop "How much for the rat statue?"

The owner smiled mysteriously and replied, "5 dollars for the statue; 1,000 dollars for the story that goes with the statue." The man tossed $5 onto the counter. "Forget the story, I'll just take the statue." He walked out of the store with the statue under his arm.

As the man walked down the street, he noticed that a few rats seemed to be following him. He shrugged it off as a coincidence, and walked a short distance further. The rats that had been following him seemed closer and there were more of them, as well. The man started walking faster, but more and more rats began following him. Now rats were crawling down walls, coming out of sewers and even darting out of open doors to follow the man. Almost running, the man headed toward the harbor. Rats ran down gangplanks and crawled along ropes to join the crowd surrounding the man. Finally, in desperation, he flung the statue of the rat into the center of the harbor. All of the rats plunged as one into the harbor after the statue. The man was left alone in the center of a pier.

After a moment, the man turned around and retraced his steps back to the little shop. As he walked through the door, the owner smiled in recognition. "Ah, I see you have returned to my shop. Are you ready for the story?"

The man replied "Story, schmorey. Do you have any statues of lawyers?"

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Medblog Disasters - Sorry Dino and Scalpel

Dr. Dino's latest post begins:


This is the sound of a very angry dinosaur approaching.

This reminded me of another one of my timekillers: Netdisaster. I love this site. Here is a picture of Dino's post getting attacked by dinosaurs.

Go here for the animated version.

That Scalpel is always stirring up trouble when he writes about pain. I think the crazy angry commenters should consider a formal protest, maybe something like this. I think Scalpel would like it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thanks for the Medblogs

Before I discovered the medblogs, I purchased a few books written by surgeons, so now my recommendations from Amazon include “doctor” books. Amazon seems to think I would like the following books:

Now, I have no doubt I would enjoy all of these books. I read excerpts from each book and they were pretty good. However, I can read the same, if not better, stories for free on the medblogs. In case I haven't said it lately, thank you doctors and nurses for sharing your stories and allowing me to have a glimpse into your lives.

P.S. Trying to make some changes to my Blogger/Google accounts allowed some of y'all to get a glimpse into my life. Damn, I hate when that happens.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Vacation Note #1

I’m trying out that new Blogger schedule your post in the future thing. So, if you’re reading this, it must work.