Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday Night

Your Lucky Underwear is Yellow

You're an extremely happy, laid back, fun soul. And your lucky yellow underwear can help you get even more out of life. In life, you rather play than work. You're apt to quit any task that doesn't nourish your creativity and inner child.

Sometimes your drive for freedom hinders your quality of life. You find it impossible to do anything unpleasant. If you want to have responsibilities and still have fun, put on your yellow underpants. They'll help you make a party out of the most mundane tasks.

Yep, these yellow underwear really make a difference. I can't think of any place I'd rather be, than sitting here at my computer on a Saturday night working on a brief.

And why do these quizzes always come up with this "happy person" crap for me. Just once I would like to take one where the results say "seductress".

Here's another quiz, in case you don't wear underwear:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dr. January Excuses

I’ve been working 14 hour days – great for my billable hours, but not so good for my blog.

I have already started stalking e-mailing Dr. February so, I promise, there will be a very special Valentine edition of the Calendar Docs.

Other blog business. Thank you Disappearing John for the lawyer joke AND for letting me know that my e-mail address had disappeared from my sidebar. Dr. Shroom, I don't think I will ever finish my guide to understanding the BritMeds. How about if YOU wrote a guide? Then we would actually know the information was right. Sisters=nurses? You start medical school when you're 12? And what the heck is a SHO?

Hmm, Dr. Schwab has posted three times (one about scrubs!) since I kicked his ass in my comment section. Coincidence? Of course. I doubt he even read the comment. But am I gonna take credit for his current torrent of posts? Of course!

photo credit: i don't know, but the wet t-shirt photo was photographed for Vman by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You Know You're A Medblog Addict

Well, this is embarrassing. All of these are true.

You know you must be a medblog addict when:

You are planning a romantic weekend getaway to another state and wonder “If we were in an accident and had to be taken to the ER, would I see MonkeyGirl, ER Nursey, DisappearingJohn . . .?”

You blush and inappropriately laugh out loud in Court because you are reading one of TrenchDoc’s posts while you wait for your case to be called.

You hear something on the news and think “I wonder if Scalpel is going to blog about that?

You are in the mood to cook, but instead of looking in a cookbook or searching for a recipe online, you click on The Blog That Ate Manhattan.

Your secret crush on an ER doc changes from Dr. Kovak to Dr. X.

You look at the scar on your belly and think “If Dr. Schwab had done my chole, that scar would be about two inches shorter.”

You walk around the office all day wearing Diet Coke on the front of your blouse because you made the mistake of drinking while reading MDOD.

It’s 10:00 p.m., you’re at work, and all of your friends are pissed because you had to work late AGAIN and are missing ANOTHER celebration. Needing a break, you click on Doc’s Girl’s blog because you want to read a friendly voice.

You read that Charity Doc was on one of those ER shows on the Discovery Channel and ever since then, you have been trying to figure out which doctor is Charity.

And finally,

You feel a little down because another one of your favorite bloggers is calling it quits. I will miss you Amy at Hallway Four.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Didn't Know Doctors Really Used Placebos

I should have one of those counters on my blog that reflects how many days I have gone without reading more than 1-2 medblogs a day, except the ones on Bloglines, which aren't as fun because I can't read the comments. A side effect of not reading the medblogs is that I write more, which explains the sudden appearance of more posts on my blog.

One of my favorite Andy Griffith episodes is the one where the new pharmacist (Andy asks her if Ph.G means pharmacy gal) won’t give a little old lady her “medicine” without a prescription. The medicine costs a dime and the lady goes downhill quickly when she can’t get it. Of course, it turns out it was only a sugar pill, the little old lady gets her medicine and everyone lives happily ever after (except for the pharmacy gal, I think Andy must have eventually dumped her for Helen Crump).

I’m supposed to be working tonight, but I stumbled onto this little article by accident and now I can’t let it go. I’ve heard of the “placebo effect” and I know placebos are used in drug studies. I don't doubt the power of a placebo, I was just surprised to learn that, according to this article, doctors really used placebos in the treatment of their patients.

1: J Gen Intern Med. 2008 Jan;23(1):7-10. Epub 2007 Nov 10
Academic physicians use placebos in clinical practice and believe in the mind-body connection.
Sherman R, Hickner J.
University of Chicago Pritzker
School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.

BACKGROUND: The placebo and the placebo effect are often investigated in the context of clinical trials. Little data exist on the use of placebos in the course of routine health care. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to describe a group of academic physicians' use of placebos and their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about placebos and the placebo effect. DESIGN: A 16-question anonymous web-based survey of physicians from Internal Medicine departments of 3 Chicago-area medical schools was used. RESULTS: There were 231/466 (50%) physicians who responded; of these, 45% reported they had used a placebo in clinical practice. The most common reasons for placebo use were to calm the patient and as supplemental treatment. Physicians did not widely agree on the definition of a placebo and had a variety of explanations for its mechanism of action. Ninety-six percent of the respondents believed that placebos can have therapeutic effects, and up to 40% of the physicians reported that placebos could benefit patients physiologically for certain health problems. Only 12% of the respondents said that placebo use in routine medical care should be categorically prohibited. Regarding "placebo-like" treatment, 48% of respondents reported giving at least 1 type of treatment in a situation where there was no evidence of clinical efficacy. CONCLUSION: Nearly half of the respondents use placebos in clinical practice and most believe in the mind-body connection. The results of this study, based on retrospective self-reported behavior, are subject to recall bias and may not be representative of American physicians. PMID: 17994270 [PubMed - in process].

I don't know, though. I think I would be pissed if I found out a doctor gave me a placebo, especially if I had to pay more than a dime for it. [What? No one asked me why I would be pissed, since I was "cured"? and, if I were cured, why would cost matter?] So now, instead of researching “lien stripping”, I want to research placebos. If physicians use placebos in their medical practices, then that must mean there is a placebo industry. Do the pharmaceutical companies manufacture placebo pills or does the pharmacist just go to the backroom and break open a box of TicTacs? Is there an official name (or better yet, a secret code name) for placebos, or does the doctor write “sugar pill” in Latin? How much do the pills cost? Or do doctors just hand them out as "samples." Do doctors ever openly admit to prescribing placebos or is this one of those deep dark doctor secrets? What do the medical schools teach about placebos? Can they use Splenda instead of sugar? Liability issues?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dress Code

Since I've been working so much, I haven't had time to do much perusing of the medblogs. I guess that's why I keep coming up with these work related posts.

I had to go to Court in another federal district this week, so I checked out the Court's website to see if the Judge had any special rules or preferences. I learned that this is always a good idea since I would be the "outsider". His dress code is as follows:

All attorneys shall dress in appropriate business attire preserving an atmosphere of dignity and respect to the Court.

While no formal dress code exists, all persons entering the courtroom are to dress in a manner respectful to the Court. Attorneys are responsible for conveying the proper attire to their clients and staff members.

While I was on the website, I thought I would check out the rules and procedures for the other judge. Her dress code is as follows:

All persons present in the courtroom must dress and conduct themselves in a manner demonstrating respect for the Court.


All persons entering the Courtroom shall refrain from chewing gum, drinking, eating, smoking, wearing hats, or reading newspapers, books, etc. in the courtroom. Counsel shall turn off his/her cell phone and instruct all parties and witnesses to do the same. All counsel and parties are expected to stand at the lectern when addressing the court or examining a witness.


Attorneys and their staff are required to wear standard business attire. Parties, witnesses and spectators shall dress appropriately and respectfully for the courtroom. No shorts, tank tops, midriff-baring or other revealing low-cut clothing, extremely short skirts, sunglasses, flip-flops, or hats shall be permitted in the courtroom. Counsel are responsible for ensuring compliance with these rules by their clients, party representatives, and witnesses. Counsel should contact the Court in advance if special accommodation is desired for a client, party representative, or witness. (emphasis added)

First, I thought it was interesting that she was so specific in her rules. Second, I thought that last sentence was funny, i.e, counsel should contact the court in advance to make special accommodations for a client that wants to wear a low cut tank top, extremely short skirt, and flip flops to Court.

I'm surprised she didn't mention perfume. I was in Court one time when the courtroom deputy stood up and announced (right after a woman left his desk) that the Judge doesn't allow any fragrances to be worn in her Courtroom. It doesn't really matter to me because I rarely wear perfume when I am working.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Wanted: Ethics

I am trying to complete my continuing legal education (CLE) requirements for 2007. I am doing it online. I actually registered to attend a "live" out-of-town seminar, but for the second straight year, something came up and it was decided that I shouldn't go. Yep, I am so important that I can't leave the freakin' premises for two days to attend a seminar. It's true, no one else around here can sit on their ass for hours on end researching crap like I can. And who else would they call on to attend a hearing at the last minute just because they "don't feel like going." But it's mighty nice of them to pay for the seminars anyway, even if I can't go.

We are required to rack up a certain number of CLE "ethics" hours. I had a hard time trying to find ethics hours in my area of practice, so I decided to be adventerous and look in the medical/health law sections. I saw some familiar names--HIPAA, EMTALA. Only one problem . . . none of the medical/health law seminars included ethics hours, so I had to settle for a nice seminar about legal malpractice. Only 3 more hours to go. This means I'm going to go home and listen to some old fart trial attorney talk about jury selection**. And then after he goes to bed, I'm going to find an online seminar so I can meet my CLE requirements.

[**For the record, I really do enjoy listening to him talk about his work.]

Sunday, January 06, 2008

You See Possum; I See Cat

I swear it looked okay on my monitor. The fireworks were to the left of the post.

Look, y’all know I have no technical knowledge or skill when it comes to my blog, so I have a favor to ask. The next time I have some kind of weird ass layout with pictures covering the text of my posts, please leave a "WTF" in my comment section.

I realize that after my Christmas layout, when it looked like an elf exploded on my blog, it might be hard to tell the difference between intentional and mistake. I promise I won’t be offended if you leave a comment telling me I screwed up. I may write crap, but I would never intentionally cover it up.

Thank you and Happy New Year (without the fireworks).

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Lawyer Joke Resolution

I've been told twice this year that "you must have gotten up on the wrong side of 2008." I don't even know what the hell that means, but I'm guessing these people think I've been a bitch for the last three days.

In an effort to improve my disposition, and avoid writing more posts wherein I call other bloggers "little shits," I have decided to start updating Lawyer Joke of the Day on a daily basis again (or whenever someone sends me a new joke).

credit: Charles Fincher

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year, Same Me

I am going through another one of those identity crisis blogging phases. Don't know what to write or why anyone visits. blah blah blah. I did something different this time. I told that little voice inside me to shut the fuck up (as long as I'm just talking back to one of the voices, it's okay, right?) and I went back to read over some of my older posts. That led me to remember something I stumbled across when I needed to translate my questions to Russian for Dr.X on the MDOD calendar post. I'll bet you thought those weren't real Russian words.

Yeah, even I know you can translate anything to another language on the internet. But I learned you can also "convert English text to any of several comic dialects," including redneck, pig latin, moron, Elmer Fudd, etc.

I converted my blog description to Redneck (The Dialectizer):
It is as though someone has drilled peep holes into th' walls of emerjuncy rooms, operatin' rooms an' docko's' offices. ah cain't look away.

Ok, I'll admit it. It doesn't sound much different from the way I say it.

Here's part of Dr. Schwab's latest post Sampler in Redneck:

ah present a samplin' of whut this hyar blog has been about. Occashunal rant aside, it's been mah goal t'let varmints into th' operatin' room, an' into th' life an' thunks of a surgeon; t'share mah take on some surgical corndishuns, an' sometimes jest t'git a laugh.

Memo'able Patients: I've told sto'ies about varmints who made a trimenjus impresshun

har, (the dawgoned-est stool I've evah see in a belly)
har, (when mah partner got sick)
har, (she killed her caregivah, an' almost killed herse'f)
har, (thirteen years old, an' ah c'dn't save her)
har, (until th' end, she kepp brin'in' me grub)
har, (kidney kincer in his pancreas, an' he kepp on truckin')
har, (bleedin' so fast, ah c'd hear it)
har, (no stomach, kepp eatin' steak)
har, (breast-heart cornneckshun?)
an' hyar. (a screw-up in a great guy)

Here's part of Dr. Dino's The Wiseass on the Elevator via Smurf the Web:

Our local mall has two levels. Darling Spouse and I headed over there this afternoon to get a few gifts and enjoy some smurfy people-watching. Smurfilicious! At one point, we were on the bottom level and needed to go to the upper one; the most direct route was smurfily the elevator.

(well, just be thankful there was no mention of Itchy Smurf)

One more, in Pirate talk (The Voices of Many) from MDOD's The Naked, the Fat and the Dead:

Here’s some free advice: Don’t get so fuckin' fat that when ye die, yer family has t' deal with yer ginorm'us whale-carcass.

One o' me local pathology colleagues had a gastric bypass patient die today – he be 45 years old an' 780 pounds. I think his BMI be, like, a trillion! Avast!!

Listen, I be havin' nothin' against fat people. First o' all, fat chicks love t' be havin' sex, an' be good at it, because they be so grateful fer the attention! Avast!! Second, fat people get sick an' die m're often, which be great fer business. Third, an' most important, fat people be great t' make fun o'.

(I make it a policy not to criticize other people's posts on my blog, but Eto-whatever's post kinda pissed me off when I read it (and, no, you little E-shit, I'm not fat). However, I just finished off a pound of fudge in four days and now I plan on reading E's post every day until I lose the holiday weight. Although I did like that part about being good at sex...)

If you have some time to kill and want to play with your own blogs:

Smurf the Web
The Voices of Many
The Dialectizer