Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Med-staffing Coachella

Coachella is like a giant exhibition of Roomba vacuum cleaners, where restless young beings motor along toward one end of the giant field, bump into someone or something at the other end, and then head in a different direction, continuously for three days straight. Occasionally, one might stop to check out a band, buy a tofu naan sandwich, or take a puff of something. But mostly you just kind of amble around, smiling with kinship at each person whom you passed by a couple of hours earlier.

This seemingly underwhelming activity is actually quite joyful, and I do plan to one day attend as an actual ticket-holder. This year, I served as a med-student-helper-outer-to-the-EMTs, (but not officially as an EMT, as my license expired a few years back). The Company (not HIPAA) forbids us from speaking even generally about the cases we saw, but I'd say that the biggest progress made involved my riding of an awesome John Deere Gator everywhere. Thus, the lingering childhood resentment over my lack of Power Wheels (Miskeena!) is now officially resolved, sans therapy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grand Rounds is Up Again!

Brought to you by Dr. Guzmán at Pharmamotion. My submission addresses the pressing issue of med student apparel.
Guzmán has a very Canadian post about Gp IIa/IIIb inhibitors (a class of anti-platelet function drugs) over here. I mention this because tonight is the magical night where the fairy godmother comes and I transform into a Canadian at the stroke of midnight. So I'm channeling all my Kafkaesque energies into becoming the pharm video narrator with the pleasant voice, rather than this guy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weird Medical Etymology of the Day

Fornication comes from the word fornix, which means "arch." In Roman times, customers used to identify the brothels by a prominent archway at the entrance. (Coincidentally, we refer to the anterior, posterior, and lateral fornices as components of the uterus, but we also have a fornix in the brain, so interpret that as you will).

HT: My Gross Anatomy Prof

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the possibility that this is all urban legend.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Doctors and Speeding

“The officer proceeded to pull out his gun, point it at my face, and told me to lay face down on the ground, which I did. At this point, my ID card dropped on the floor and I remember him stepping on me, probably putting his knee on my back, and then cuffed me.”

This is how a Dr. Ziworitin of UMC describes his encounter with a cop, after the physician was stopped for speeding, while rushing to hospital for an emergency.
Radley Balko writes, "Even if the cop doubted this guy was a doctor, the cuffs, gunpoint, and a boot in the back all seem more than a little excessive, no?"

The shear theater and spectacle of the violent assertion of power certainly makes ones bristle. However, the outrage over this incident, as well as the outcome of the DPD PR disaster, both make me a bit uncomfortable. Certainly, cops ought to exhibit some common sense. However, people should know that one's emergency does not confer an implicit right to put other people's lives in danger. If we express only populist outrage, (which is distinct from genuine sympathy for the driver's misfortune), we may forget to communicate that it is perfectly reasonable for a cop to stop a car, and tell the driver to slow down (pulling out the gun is...unnecessary).

I don't know how things work here in the U.S., but when I worked as an EMT for the Red Star of David in Israel, we were explicitly forbidden from going beyond a particular speed, even if the patient was in cardiac arrest. So if people facing tragedy deserve to not be harassed and threatened by the cops, the police, in turn, deserve increased public awareness that sensible traffic rules aren't conditional to one's personal, or even tragic, circumstances.

Medical Research Fraud

Because of "Scrotumgate,", my favorite medical resource, The Thackery T Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, requires an update.
HT: My Pharm Prof

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Grand Rounds is Up!

Leslie at "Getting Closer to Myself" did a fantastic job of organizing all the posts submitted by a motley crew of medical bloggers. The theme is "Reflections on the way life used to be."
And I got a star next to my name! If I still got stars for doing good work, I'd be on dean's list.

In other world wide web-related news, I have a post up about medical licensure at the "Students for Liberty" blog. It features a sweet parking spot (these things matter to L.A. girls).