Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Just Out of Curiosity

Suppose someone gets a knife planted in his neck. If the knife punctured his lung and large airways, how long was the blade of the knife? I don’t know which part of the neck was stabbed. Being a layperson, I don’t even know, technically, where the neck begins and ends. But just assume the knife entered the neck at the place most convenient to hit a lung and large airways.

I’m back to lurking and I had to write this question down somewhere, so it landed here on my blog. No one should feel obligated to answer. But it would be nice to know whether it was a long knife, short knife, impossible to determine from the facts. . .

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Are Surgeons Really Better Looking Than Other Doctors?

“Male surgeons are taller and more handsome than male physicians, according to a study in this week's (traditionally lighthearted) Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal.

Doctors at the University of Barcelona Hospital in Spain noticed that the tallest and most handsome male medical students were more likely to become surgeons, and that the shortest (and perhaps not so good looking) ones were more likely to become physicians.

Observers used the "good looking score" to classify each participant (ranging from 1, ugly to 7, very good looking). The results show that, on average, senior male surgeons are significantly taller and better looking than senior male physicians.”

See BMJ-British Medical Journal, Dec 2006; 333: 1291 – 1293.

I’ve already admitted I’m the researching type, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that when I saw this article, I immediately decided this was an important issue that needed further investigation. Are surgeons more good looking than other doctors?

I have really only known four doctors: my family doctor, my gyno, my former family doctor, and my eye doctor. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that, despite going to him for years, I’ve never actually seen Dr. Gyno. During my visits with him, 80% of the visit is spent with my eyes tightly squeezed shut, and the other 20% of the visit is spent with me looking awkwardly down at my hands while mumbling unintelligible answers to his questions. But I’m still going to include him in my study.

I definitely needed more data, i.e. I needed to check out more doctors. As much as I would have liked to have done this in person, I just couldn’t see myself hanging around a hospital oogling men. Even for an important research project such as this one. Who am I kidding? Of course I could see myself doing that, and enjoying it immensely. Nevertheless, I just went to the website of a local hospital that provides photos of their doctors. (I only know about this because I was researching BF’s orthopedic surgeon for him.)

I saw the website as a kind of online sales catalogue listing each doctor’s specialty, medical school, and special interests: “Hi, my name is Dr. Jekyll. I am a general surgeon. I attended UTMB-Galveston. I enjoy Hernias, Gallbladders, and long walks along the beach” (ok, I added that last one). I noted that in some of the pictures, the doctors had placed their left hand on their chin, conveniently displaying their ring finger. Nice to know because I immediately deducted points for being married.

I clicked on five specialties, and started picking names at random. Three of the secretaries at work also acted as judges. I swear, I am not making this up, one surgeon’s picture looked like a DWI mugshot. The cutest guy we saw was an ENT doctor.  Therefore, I’m not sure I can agree with the BMJ’s findings.

I think that if someone did a study like this in the medblog world, where doctors are read and not seen, you’d find ER doctors, not surgeons, at the top of the survey. They just seem like the bad boys of medicine. And I don’t need a survey to tell me that good girls are drawn to bad boys, or, in this case, their blogs.  Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Blogger Etiquette

I really do need to get a book on Blogger etiquette. I've been accused of being crass in the comment section of someone's blog. I know I've been vulgar and obnoxious, but I didn't know I was being crass. Geez, I knew I should have stuck to lurking. My apologies. It won't happen again.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

No mystery, sugar, it's called Technorati

From a comment by Dr. Flea in the Addicted to Medblogs Comments Section. November 15, 2006.

Thus began my education regarding “links”. Dr. Flea taught me that the people you link to have a way of finding out about your link. Gutless lurkers like me don't like that.

It has been gently suggested that I include links to the blogs that I write about. Some people want me to stop having blind items on my blog. I also received a hilarious, but filthy, now-deleted comment from someone ("Anonymous", my ass. I know who you are) telling me to start linking and stop having blind items.

After receiving some superior tutelage regarding links (who knew that little button on Blogger that said “insert link” was for linking other people’s posts?), I have no excuse for not including links on my blog.

Does that mean that I will always link to a post that I am writing about? No.

Being the gutless wonder that I am, I can’t. I won’t.

If I don’t link a post, it’s because

a. I don’t want the blogger to come to my blog, although I’m probably leaving a trail in some obvious way known to everyone but me. I’m gutless, so sue me.

b. I don’t want you to go to the blog I am referring to. There are some obscure blogs out there. I have never seen the bloggers’ names in the comment section of other blogs. There are few or no comments on their blogs. These are the juiciest blogs. I am afraid if they know I am reading, they will stop being so open. Ok, so I am gutless and selfish.

c. I find the blog “suspect”. There are a few out there that I think might be fakes. Written by someone with a medical background, but not a doctor. Yet. Or, I could just be full of crap. But in my defense, I spend a lot of time at work reading and responding to crap. I don’t analyze blogs the same way I analyze work related writings, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get that same feeling in my gut when I read a load of crap in a blog. (And Fake? General Surgeon, I hope that you stopped writing because of an increased surgical workload and not because I questioned your doctorhood.)

So, I will link to posts that I think will be of interest to someone (and whose author’s don’t scare me). And I won’t leave any more blind items.

And, please, if I write about a blog, I am not endorsing its content. What do I know? I’m just a lawyer.

Last blind item ever: You are still my favorite blogger and one of your posts last week and your post today made me an even bigger fan, if that is possible.

Update: Sometimes I don't link just because I'm lazy.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Weird: My First and Last Response to A Meme

I used to see these things on blogs called memes and think to myself, boy, I am glad I am a lurker and don’t have to participate in those things. But now I have been tagged by Frectis. According to the rules: Each player of this game starts with the “6 Weird Things About You”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rule clearly. After you’re done, tag six people by listing them on your blog and leaving a note in their comments section.

Let me start by saying this. I set this blog up in July but didn’t get the courage to write anything until October. Right now, I delete half of what I post and, in the remaining posts, I am usually apologizing about something I just wrote. I'm not sure I can reveal six weird things about myself on this blog. But I don’t want to offend my new blogger friend Frectis, so I am going to try.

1. I think the fact that I have this blog is a little weird. I am fascinated by your jobs as healthcare professionals. I want to know what your job is; what it entails, how you learned to do it; why you do it; whether you like it. I want to know about your relationships with your co-workers; how your job affects your personal life, etc. And let me just take this opportunity now to thank you for letting me, a clueless layperson, have a glimpse into your world.

2. I can’t keep an ATM card. Tonight I just activated my 4th card this year. The first card was left in the bank’s ATM machine (grabbed the cash, left the card). The second card was in my purse that got stolen. (Free advice, always take your purse with you. Do not try to hide your purse by stuffing it under the seat, even if it is broad daylight, you are parked in front of a ritzy dress shop in the rich neighborhood, and you’re only going to be in there a few minutes.) Third card, don’t know where it is.

3. My nails (fingers and toes) must be perfectly manicured at all times. I hate it when they don't look nice. I never wear nail polish on my fingernails; they are always buffed. Toenails are always a shade of red; never any other color. And since I never mastered the art of the home manicure, I spend an inordinate amount of time and money at the “Nail Place”.

4. The place where I work is kind of weird. Today, junior partner stops by my office, tells me to meet him in the conference room, then heads in the opposite direction. I see this as an opportunity to make a pit stop, so I head for the ladies room. Right when I get to the restroom door, junior partner, in the lobby surrounded by other attorneys, yells out “Hey M.A., I didn’t mean that conference room, I meant the other conference room.” If he had been alone, I would have flipped him off.

5. I've been told I have weird eating habits. Tonight I was on my own for dinner. It consisted of half a pint of Haagen Dazs strawberry ice cream, eaten in bed while I watched Survivor. The weirdest part is, I had been happily looking forward to doing this all day and couldn't wait to get home.

6. I am deathly afraid of turtles, large or small. I’m not too comfortable around clowns either.

I just don't have the heart to tag anyone else. But please feel free to list all of your weird traits in the comment section. I mean, it's only fair.

I think I am going to go visit Dr. Dinah at Shrink Rap now.

Update: A Lurker's Dream Come True

I think I have been banned from making comments on other people's blogs (I apologized, what more do you want from me?). Or else I'm having technical difficulties. Blogger won't let me log into the comment section of other blogs.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

No Answer Expected

I just read on a doctor’s blog that “. . . there is a generally accepted rule that one surgeon does not clean up another surgeon's mess. It's a bad idea for many reasons not the least of which is a liability one.”

How many chances does one give a surgeon to clean up his own mess?

I don’t expect an answer.

I'm not really picking on surgeons. I'm just in that kind of mood.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Further Wandering Through the Medblogs

I’ve been in a little bit of a medblog rut lately. Not that I wasn’t enjoying my regular reads, I was just craving a little variety. So I ventured outside the U.S. and found me a med student, an ER doc, and I think a surgeon, but I'm not sure.

I don’t know anything about the UK (except for Celebdaq, which is what occupied my time at work before I discovered the medblogs), so I don’t understand half of what these guys are talking about. But I love the way they turn a phrase. Plus they can be kind of moody and dark.

The Angry Medic is a medical student at Cambridge. Very enjoyable reading, but I will be more interested in his take on the upcoming "The Apprentice".

Dr. Shroom is an ER doctor. I read him so I know what colour I don’t want to be, i.e., blue, yellow, parchment white.

Hospital Phoenix is a surgeon (I think), unemployed at the moment. Damn NHS (whatever the hell that is). If you are offended by Nurse Quacktitioner, you’d better skip this one.

What I agonized over whether to delete or leave in this post: ["I thought I was developing a little crush on one of these guys, but reconsidered after reading a headline declaring there was a serial killer on the loose in England. With my track record . . ."]

In case you ever wanted to know what lawyers talk about while eating birthday cake in the conference room:

1. Dead rock stars
2. Autoerotic asphyxiation
3. Rising property taxes.

Note to HospitalPhoenix: I am going to miss you and nurse quack.