Archive for October 2009

And If You Don’t Know, Now You Know

October 29, 2009

Here’s what the White House has to say about health reform. Here’s info targeted to med students and healthcare providers.

Also, for extra-credit reading, check this out.

What do you think about the public option and health care reform in general?

<<a note for visitors – when people visit my actual house, I usually ask them to take off their shoes. It’s a quirk I picked up in Japan; it helps me keep my floors cleaner longer and really, it’s just how I like things done in my personal space. I don’t mind if people don’t take off their shoes in their own house because that’s really their choice, but in my domain,  shoes are left at the door – that’s how things go. If you’ve happened upon this blog, which is kinda like my virtual house, thanks for stopping by! With that said, I’m going to ask that if you’d like to comment on this particular post, please limit your comments to the parameters set by the question I asked.  I’m not the government and I’ve expressed neither support for nor aversion to the bill in its current incarnation. I’m just presenting a piece of information that I found interesting (to further the マイホーム analogy, think of it as a coffee table piece) and posing some questions about it. If you think the public option is ridiculous crap and can back up that opinion with other pieces of information (links, articles, inside info, etc.), feel free to share it. I’d love to know more about both sides of the argument. But no random rants, please. If your comment suggests you just stumbled in to track dirt all over my floor and not actually have an informed conversation about the public option or healthcare reform, I’m not going to approve it. よろしく!>>

<<p.s. grammar is a plus – English teachers (even former ESL ones) always notice.>>

Half Crazy

October 27, 2009

A note to my Ross 後輩*: Miami might occasionally be breezy but don’t let anyone tell you that 5th Semester is a breeze. It’s week 7; we are officially in the latter half of the semester, and things have started to get crazy. After being brutalized by the midterm yesterday, I’ve been at my wit’s end trying to prepare for the slew of assignments due in the next week: a SOAP note (with a to-be-determined presentation date), a literature review (for which I am still scouring JAMA and NEJM to find research articles) and a 15-20 minute presentation on preeclampsia and eclampsia. Ahead lies the 45 minute full physical exam, the final and the Step. It’s enough to drive a person insane, or drive a person to doubt. Can I handle this? Am I smart enough for this? Can I make it through this? (more…)

All Night Long – ER、その2

October 4, 2009

Last night’s ER shift was about a thousand times more awesome than my first. Over the course of the 9 hours we spent there (we were set free at 6 AM), we dealt with 2 car accidents, 4 sick infants, a volcanic abscess, a hernia, saw three pelvic exams, two ultrasounds and my rotation partner got to remove a catheter! The doctor in charge (Dr. F) was ridiculously cool and he showed us so many awesome things. He allowed us to watch him perform a lumbar puncture on a tiny, mysteriously febrile 3 month old (the poor thing!). I even got the chance to brush up on my fundoscopy (I finally saw a vessel! Hallelujah!). Our next shift is on Thursday and I think the same doctor will also be in charge, so I’m really looking forward to an excellent learning experience.

Even though I was exhausted, that wonderful, giddy ‘I’m going to be a doctor!’ feeling was with me all night. Dr. F would instruct us to go see a patient and I’d practically skip to their bed, grinning with excitement. I know the grins would start to fade if I were working every night, having to stick babies with sharp needles and push herniated bowels back through fascia and all of the other things that come with helping the ill and injured but at least for now, that wonderful glow of certainty that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life is there and it makes me so happy. I can’t wait for Thursday.

Just for fun, here are some lumbar puncture videos. Our poor little baby didn’t even get lidocaine.

The volcanic abscess patient actually asked us to tape the lancing on his Blackberry. I wish I had that video to post too…

The Real World – ER、その1

October 1, 2009

On Tuesday, I began my ER rotation at North Shore Medical Center (not to be confused with North Shore LIJ). Although my rotation partner and I are assigned to this rotation for 2 weeks, we’ll really only be spending about 36 hours in the ER. We started with a 7 to 7 twelve hour shift which we spent taking patient histories, performing basic physical exams and trying to get our assigned doctor’s attention. Only a few doctors and a handful of nurses and techs run the ER; patients are triaged according to how life-threatening their injuries/complaints are and tended to accordingly. Mostly, we were left to our own devices so we periodically visited the patients, listening to their stories, assuring them that the doctor would be coming around soon and trying to make them feel less neglected.

Although it was a daytime shift early in the week, we did see some interesting cases: a mangled finger, a pelvic exam, a case of lupus, and a code blue, as well as a thrillingly belligerent patient brought in by police handcuffed hand and foot and yelling curses non-stop! (They didn’t let us get near that one). Quite a few patients were in the ER due to cardiovascular complaints, which shouldn’t have been surprising, since heart disease is actually the leading cause of death in the US. We also saw a few with respiratory complaints and got to hear some crackles and a real live murmur.

Even though I hear my classmates in Michigan are going to be giving out flu shots (so! jealous!), being in the ER was still pretty cool. Every now and then, I have these random, giddy ‘I’m going to be a doctor!’ moments and I can’t help but grin. Even though I was exhausted after my shift (which I better get used to, stat, ’cause twelve hours is nothing!), I felt that way the whole ride home, and fell asleep reflecting on my awesome experience. I’m really looking forward to our next shift, a Saturday overnight. I suppose it’s kinda wrong to hope for excitement in the emergency room but if we’re going to be there all night, I hope we at least get to see something educational. People get up to some crazy stuff on Saturday nights. But who knows, maybe my excited smile might help a patient feel a little less miserable to be there.