Friday, June 29, 2007

Bouncy Bouncy

It’s been kinda fun living in an apartment this summer. The pool is very nice and readily available as a distraction for the kids. I’ve been able to take them down, do some light review of my Boards and Wards books, and increase my vitamin D levels as well. It’s been a good form of exercise for Stepson and Daughter is learning to be less afraid of the water and is trying to swim. The one issue though: bikinis and 20 year-old harlots.

Now, we don’t live near a college, but I’d swear that the majority of people using this pool are college aged and play some sport. They’re toned, tanned, and attractive people walking around the pool at all times of the day and late into the night. I’d say it would be hard for anyone not to notice, especially when most of these comely coeds are wearing very skimpy bikinis.

And there’s the problem. I’m very happily married, to an extremely sexy woman; but I’ve got eyes, an androgenously determined cave-man like need to look, and sunglasses to hide the quick up and down. Crud.

So most of the time I spend in the pool with the kids playing in order to avoid the glances, the smiles, the jumping around, running, and some of the flirtatious demon-bitches who need people to want them for their own agendas. Damn all of you! Damn my stupid need to look! Damn it all!

What’s that? Just stop looking? Well, I would, but it’s hard when you’re reading or walking your kids to the hottub or bathroom and these “temptresses” know you’re alone. Telling me how cute my daughter is, asking me what I’m reading, am I a doctor (since I’m reading medical review books), etc, etc, etc. They ignore the very prominent wedding band, or, as some might suggest, are enticed by the “game” to woo a married man. Can’t a guy get some peace without having to look over his shoulder constantly in case Wife is spying?

So the guilt comes whenever I’ve had a bad day. It’s a male reaction that has been programmed into our genes since the dawn of time, but I should know better. I should be more respectful of Wife and avoid these women like the plague. But then I hear: “Can we go to the pool, dad? Can we go to the pool, dad? Can we go to the pool, dad? Can we go to the pool, dad?” all day long and fear what lies in wait.

***And to anyone who is going to get all huffy over the fact that men look, puuuhhhhllease. Our entire society is based around this well known fact. Why do you think Victoria’s Secret is still in business selling ridiculously expensive bras? I don’t like that it happens, but it does. You’re my support group right now and I’m “getting it off my chest”. ***

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New and Improved?

Thought that I'd screw around with the template a little since I've had the same scheme since I started blogging almost 2 years ago. What do ya think? I always liked this layout, but didn't want to steal Dr. Flea's template. But now, well, let's not go there.

Tell me if you like this one or want the old plan.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cursing My Computer Out

OK, here is the dilemma. My school includes Kaplan for both Step 1 and 2 as part of your tuition. I’ve said before that they “buy it for us” before, but in reality I’m paying for it whether I really wanted it or not. Honestly I think it was great for Step 1. I totally kicked that test’s ass! But for Step 2 I’ve heard mixed reviews. Especially about the Qbank.

People seem to believe that USMLEWorld is a better resource for the 2nd test and say that Kaplan people suck (no you suck USMLEWorldies - you go away now). You can see how the fight gets going, what with territoriality and all.

So what’s my problem besides gang warfare over Qbanks? Simple people. Kaplan has been kicking my ass these last couple days and is apparently the lesser of the two question resources. My test scores were looking good last week - low to mid 70’s - and I felt good. This week? 50’s and 60’s. Below other test takers. That only ever happened twice last year! WTF?

I’m supposed to take this test earlier so that residency coordinators know you've passed, but at the same time you need to be close to your Step 1 score. If your well below then residencies might think that you're a moron who can only read a book and suck at real world medicine.

Couple this with the fact that I’m actually trying to study the review books from last year to help me bone up on Physio, Pharm, and Path and you can see why I’m getting a little miffed. I’m regressing, not improving. I understand the pathophys again, but not the damn diagnostics and treatments. Jeezaloo.

Where’s the love, Kaplan? You’re supposed to encourage me to study, not make me blow a gasket in a “quiet” study room with underclassmen because I’m making ridiculous mistakes! It’s not cool how you made me curse and yell at my laptop in public. Several times. I don’t like you now. You go away.

I think I’m done studying for today.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Broadband Doctor

This letter is to a certain person who, while at a community function, asked me why I was becoming a doctor. Enjoy:

To Mr. Hair-Plug Extraordinaire,

I find it interesting that you feel a career in the medical field is worthless. Simply because you think medicine is bogus and most doctors don’t know shit. Your love for the herbal remedies and accupuncturist you regularly see amaze me. Maybe you think that being all cool with WOO is the way to go. Maybe you’re a dumb ass.

The fact that you told me about the time you diagnosed yourself with some rare blood disease (which you weren’t even pronouncing correctly - it’s von Willebrand’s disease, not von Winter brand like Wintergreen - it's not gum) after using your high speed internet connection made me feel all warm inside - like I was going to hurl. Oh, by the way, just so you realize how silly you appeared - VWD is NOT a rare disease - it’s one of the most common coagulation disorders out there. And you did not have the disease. Getting bruised while doing manual labor does not a platelet deficiency make.

Perhaps you hold some feeling that you are special. I could sense the narcissism rising during our conversation as you elaborated on the countless ways in which you’re smarter than everyone at the “function” and that all of your doctors have gone away learning from you. You’ve told docs how to treat you and have always been correct. Sure. Whatever.

Maybe it was your own insecurity rising as my eyes could not resist looking at your new hair plugs over and over. God, where did you get those things? I guess with your vast knowledge you probably did the procedure yourself.

Whatever the reason you need to clearly get some help. You’re an asshole. A 40 year old bastard that no one likes. Because I was watching my kids play and was around you does not mean that I was interested in your life choices and feelings. You, my friend, are the reason that I decided against primary care medicine. You’re wrong, plain and simple. Unfortunately you're probably too stupid to know any better.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Adult Situations

Found this at ATM and thought it was fun. Apparently I'm rather hardcore because:

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

So please, read at your own risk and no one under 17 years of age will be allowed admittance without an adult.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Parenting 101

Being a single parent is hard. I can’t even imagine how some people put up with the crap that they have to in order to get anything done when I sure as hell can't handle my kids without some support. Being home with Stepson and Daughter for most of the day yesterday just about killed me. By the end I was moody, quick to anger, and had just “had it” more times than I could count. I finally took them to the pool for the 2nd time that day just to get some peace. I can sit and watch as they play, Daughter swims with her arm floaties, and they leave me in relative peace.

Now, by themselves these two are fine and I’m quite happy to with them for most of the day, but as soon as they get together it’s WWIII. They pick on each other, yell, cry, fight, argue, and flat out annoy the shit out of me. Basically they’re being brother and sister.


I see other people with 3 or more kids - single moms/ dads with multiple children - and have to wonder how in hell they don’t end up driving their cars into utility poles while the demons fight in the backseat over some piece of paper or similiarly trivial object.

By the time Wife came home from work yesterday I was mad, at the kids as well as at her - simply for working extra hours to earn some additional income. Mad at her for the same thing I do when I’m on hard rotations with the exception being that when I stay late I'm not making any extra money. Talk about being a hypocrite.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fat Ambulance

News story about Canada's first "Bariatric Response Team" with an ambulance capable of transporting people weighing anywhere between 400-1000 pounds. Unfortunately when they arrive at the hospital I'd bet they'll still have a hard time finding a CT or MRI machine geared up for their "largess".

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Not Just Shaq

There’s a new TV program that will feature Shaquille O’Neal and centers around his efforts to get some morbidly obese kids thinner. It’s got a good message, but I think these kinds of programs are missing one of the real problems when it comes to obese children.

Stepson has a weight problem. He’s not grown very well, is smaller than most boys in his class, and has packed on the pounds in the last couple years like he was planning on hibernating. When I’ve reviewed some pictures from the beginning of med school and look at the changes in him I’m amazed and saddened. Truly something needs to be done.

Exercise and eating right are about the best options for him; yet this is truly not an easy undertaking in our current state-run educational system. School ends at 3pm after which he goes to an after-school care program where Daughter has preschool where he actually does get some time outside. Stepson is there until either one of this 3 parents (mom, dad, me) can pick him up. Then he has homework. TONS of homework since he’s in advanced classes. By the time he’s finished it’s time for dinner and bathing. Bedtime is 8:30pm and he’s had almost no time after school to get some good quality time outside.

But what of recess? Don’t even get me started on this apparently antiquated notion. Schools all over the nation are removing recess and PE as they continue to cut down on "extracurriculars" in favor of cramming more and more education down kid’s throats. The kids are restless, have little to no outlet, and are being drugged up the wazoo for ADHD. WTF is wrong here?

Stepson is allowed 10-15 minutes for the entire day to be outside. THE ENTIRE DAY! His PE classes are a joke. I’ve actually seen video at his graduation ceremony where the kids were holding sticks and trying to twirl rubber plates on them. And this is not just a singular occurrence – apparently it’s part of a “friendly” PE regimen where kids aren’t made to feel inferior through competition.

Now some people state that video games are the issue along with poor nutrition - as this seems to be the main focus seen in that TV show. I agree with these issues in part, but when there’s really no time to play anything due to increasing educational loads then we’re missing the bigger picture. Education is important to our youth, but sacrificing their health in order to “make the grade” is not an option. I don’t know why it ever became acceptable for children to be locked up in classes all day without recess in the first place.

We can blame the video industry, fast food culture, and the increasingly popular idea that “fat is not ugly”, but we have to address the fact that our children are not getting enough exercise. An hour a day – is it really that hard? Our children are getting fatter, sicker, and have poorer self-images of themselves due to these problems. Hell, we, as a nation, are the fattest we’ve ever been. Perhaps more parents and teachers need to get out and play with the kids, rather than just lecture to them.

So, since I’ve rambled on and preached about what you should be doing, it’s only fair to let you know what I plan to do. My plan for this summer includes going to the pool daily and swimming laps, having a physical and labwork done by his pediatrician for a nagging belief that there’s possibly a hormonal imbalance, and eating more fruit and veggies. He’s just finished up baseball (which is really not a good sport to loose weight with) and has camp during the day which will enable me time to study for Step 2 CK. Hopefully we can shed some pounds before he starts school again. I know I need to loose a lot as well and together we might just do it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fresh Fish

The new crop of 1st years have arrived. Hurrah!

I can hear the fellas now: running over to the fence, yellin' and hollerin' whilst the new prisoners make their way through the entrance gate. They're trying to not show they're scared, but their feet shuffling in hurried, small steps always gives them away. That and their new black doctor's bag purchased by mommy and daddy in hopes that they can buy buy some favors with it and to lessen the initial pain.

"Fresh Fish, we're realing them in!" A cellmate of mine yells as he mimicks the universal sign for angina pectoris.

"Hey Fish! I got some biochem love for ya, right here! What's tha matter? You don't like oxidation reactions? Ahahahaha." Laughs a hypomanic prisoner ending his 2nd year of incarceration with only the hurdle of testing for work release to get through.

Yeah...kinda like a scene from any prison movie the new meat has made their way to the penitentiary AKA med school and has begun their processing. Soon they'll be known as The Bitches of P=MD block... 'er...I mean Class of 2011.

“Like lambs to the slaughter.” I said to myself, grinning as I walked past them while they milled about, anxiously chattering in the atrium of the basic sciences building. “They’ve no idea what they’re in for.”

I don't know what to think of them, other than being rather obtuse about keeping quiet in study rooms while others are working, but I'm sure I'll really never know. It's not like I'll have much contact with them as a 4th year, but whatever.

All over the United States people are making the transition from real life to medical student with Doe-eyed dreams and ideals of what medical school must be. I hope that they've done their homework because this ain't no fairy tale. People get hurt and we all don't live happily ever after...Bambie fucking dies.

But, with that being said:
Good luck to all you freshies out there! It’s gonna hurt, but stick to it and you’ll make it through – eventually.

Friday, June 15, 2007

MS 4


It is fucking OVER! I'm finished with 3rd year rotations, tests, quizzes, bullshit - FOREVER!!!! No more shelf exams, no more class days, no more stupid classmates who think that submitting their review of a few research papers for publication automatically makes it publishable. No more.


Can you tell I'm a little excited?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


So I have had some trouble determining the actual readership of this blog. The images that I've used have been hot topics for Google "Images" and many of my referrals have been from these searches. Therefore I've removed all pics and will no longer post any along with my posts unless they're from my own camera.

If anyone has an idea who to stop Sitemeter from recognizing these searches I'd love to hear it. I do like having something to look at when reading - because I'm a kid.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Enough Already

I’ve noticed something that has developed within me towards the end of 3rd year. My tolerance, as little as I have, has been almost completely eliminated. Mostly my intolerance of members of my class has begun to become far more evident the closer I get to being away from them. I look forward to 4th year for this reason - a long vacation from the laziness and abject stupidity that multiple people have evidenced throughout this year and the 2 previous.

I’m done with them. Thankfully I’ve had very little contact with Worst Medical Student Ever and have only interacted with him for a short duration during morning rounds (when he’d actually show up that is) and the one day a week class. During that time I’ve told him to shut up, grow the fuck up, damn near turned around and bitch-smacked him for comments he was making during lectures, and developed a very fun game with some friends related to Chewbaca. I can’t really explain it because you just won’t get how hilarious it is to mimic his “Ohhhs” with a Chewy purrrr. Hey, I already warned you about not getting it.

I’m not the only one who has just had it with our peers. A friend of mine told me recently of being bullied by another poor student. Unfortunately I’ve not had a rotation with her and have only received this information from the few and far between contacts we have. Mostly I get updates from her blog (which I will not share here as it’s not anon and would only help to out me as well as her) as to the recent insult received by this ass. She’s close to taking it to a physical level with the punk and I whole-heartedly agree with this line of action. No reason for that type of behavior.

So as this week comes to a close I believe that I’ll take a long and much needed breather from classmates. I plan on studying for Step 2 CK which I'll take in August, but I’ll steer clear of the various forums where classmates may be found.

On another note, I think I’m becoming an alcoholic. Daughter saw a beer bottle under the stairs of our apartment last week and told Wife “Daddy’s home! There’s daddy’s drink!” I think that says something - like perhaps it’s time to stop having a beer with every dinner (OK 2 or 3 beers, sheesh).

Saturday, June 9, 2007


So, with one week left in OB/GYN and no more clinical or floor work required (fuck yeah) I thought I’d capture the craziest and just plain bigoted statements I’ve heard on this rotation. With that being said, enjoy:

“You have to have a vagina to do that. You can’t do that without a vagina.” (nurse telling me I can’t perform a certain procedure on a patient)

“The uterus and vagina are incredible. Amazing. Truly God knew what She was doing.” (attending discussing the changes made during pregnancy and afterwards)

“The womb is sacred and should be worshipped. Bow down!” (resident screwing with me)

“I hate fat people. Can’t see shit and it smells.” (ARMY doc after speculum exam that took a little too long with a rather ripe patient)

“Anesthesia? Really? But you can’t do cool cutting people up.” (ARMY doc during a hysterectomy)

“My mom usually goes to a male OB/GYN because back in her home country most of them are males. She’s seeing one now and told me: He’s gay, but a good doctor anyway.” (friend telling me about the differences between American women wanting to see mostly female OB/GYNs and his home country)

“I had my hand deep inside her vaginal orifice” (worst medical student ever discussing his examination during morning rounds - I truly hate this jackass)

“I thought the hater-nation was over after 2nd year ended” (worst medical student again trying to fight back tears as all the medical students on service turned against him and his incessant laziness before morning rounds)

“So you put it against the os-hole?” (Another ARMY doc discussing a tool with a rep)

"I'm taking that for my Bipolar Disorder. Oh yeah (stares blankly at ceiling and then head slowly turns back towards physician) I also take it for my multiple personalities." (various patient encounters where a history was being taken)

One more week and then it’s all over. This week’s going to be fucking hard as hell - at least 5 or 6 exams, reports, presentations, etc. Just breath and get through it. It’s almost over. I had a friend tell me that she thought I'd enjoy it because there's a lot of procedures. I did like the OR, but everything else just was painful. I truly had the easiest out of most of the students and am thankful for that. God I hate OB/GYN.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sex in Medical School

WAIT! Before you go running to Blogger to flag this blog as inappropriate let me state a couple things here: I will not be discussing my sex life or anyone else's encounters in the hospital here. Rather I want to discuss the decline in sexual desire and relationships during medical training.

What's that? Doctors and medical students aren't hot and bothered stud and studettes who are humping each other and patients at a rabbit-like pace? Well, no. I’ve heard several times recently and within the last year or so how people have no energy. They have nothing left once they are released from duties and subsequently go home only to fall flat on their faces with exhaustion. Daily routines are disturbed, bills left unpaid, family and friends become strangers while the student or resident recuperates. Couple that with a relationship of any level in which physical intimacy is expected and you can see where hard times can result.

Case in point involves a resident who took it upon herself to discuss married life and residency training with me (I guess as a teaching tool since I’m married and all). She stated that there had been plenty of times where her husband and she fought over a multitude of items including their bawdy behaviors (or lack thereof). All of these were related to her extreme level of fatigue. She was in her 3rd year and had been dealing with this her entire residency and she worried about the impact it was having on their marriage. She had 2 more years to go and her husband had mentioned divorce more frequently as he became more and more frustrated with the life. I’ve heard this same sentiment echoed by numerous residents (both male and female) in various forms.

Medical students as well talk about their normally “impervious” libidos being sapped whilst on arduous rotations – i.e. Surgery, Internal Med, and OB/GYN. Many students who had what they thought were strong relationships found their partner lost because of their sudden asexual behavior. Coming home or waiting patiently for weeks or months (depending) for someone to have the desire to attempt sexual intercourse is enough to bring any relationship aground.

Call it ridiculous, call it chauvinistic, call it shallow, call it implausible, but sex is a real problem for residents and students. We’re a population of young, vibrant, energetic, and intelligent individuals who should be at their sexual prime. However, the rigors of training cause many to become devoid of any such ability. It’s just too much effort when all you want is to rest. Think about that the next time you discuss improving your sexual function or desire with your doctor. Just like sleep, good eating habits, and reducing stress levels, we're as or more guilty when it comes to these unhealthy behaviors.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Selfish Love

Scutmonkey has a great post about the trials of being medical student. I’ve only recently uncovered his blog and believe it to be a great asset and hope that he finds the readership he deserves. His post got me thinking about something I’ve discussed in the past, but are now lost to that damn delete error a while back.

Training to be a physician has got to be one of the most exciting, excruciating, and mind-numbing processes out there. In order to succeed through this mess known as medical school one must be inordinately self absorbed. It takes a true narcissist to look at the time commitment, mountains of books and information requisite, the destruction of personal enjoyments, and the numerous physicians who warn against applying to medical school and still believe they’ll get through it smelling like roses. Frequently a feeling of "being the best student in the school" pervades the egos of students.

Often there is someone with you as you traverse this system, either from pre-med school or they arrive sometime during. If they are not embroiled in this system they are too often lost to it. Casualties of the war between professors, peers, administration, nurses, attendings, and oneself.

Marriages seem to be the harder battle to lose, but all too often a once happy union is dissolved as one of the partners navigates the storm-tossed waters of medical training. Infidelity often is a reason, but far more common is the complete loss of self. The fact that the partner has changed and is no longer recognizable to someone who once loved them unconditionally.

Personally I think there should be adjustments to wedding vows once someone enters medical school: Till death or medical training do us part.

The demands of the profession allow for nothing short of a life of solitude. Expectations of superiors are of the self-less, ubiquitous, omniscient resident and/ or student. A life outside the hospital is for the weak. Your own loved ones are secondary to the “call of medicine” and therefore are not your primary concern. I have actually heard an attending say that family comes second to patient care.

To increase the discord between partners is the fact that many people will never understand the process, failures, victories, and absolutely demanding nature of medical training. It is an enigma to many: how can you be tired after sitting on your butt for 9 hours when I worked hard all day long?

Anytime there is a partnership where one person takes on a task that becomes incredibly demanding of their time you can expect failure. It’s natural to want to be appreciated, loved, touched, and have feelings reciprocated. It’s also natural to feel wrath and disgust towards anyone who, once so willing, no longer exchanges emotional currency.

Paying for It

Recently there was a week in which the hospital staff were shown how much their work was appreciated through various means. These included cake and ice cream day, free lunch, day, game day, etc. You know, feel good stuff that mostly consisted of feeding people.

I thought it a good idea since many of the people working in the hospital feel undervalued by the current system and this could boost employee moral. However, what I didn’t anticipate was getting my self-esteem beat-down a couple notches during the week.

One day when I’d forgotten my lunch I decided to take advantage of the free food being served in the cafeteria. I entered the long line of various colored scrubs and talked with some of the nurses with whom I’d worked with in various rotations. As I tried to collect the food being offered the server gave me a rather hesitant look. She then asked, clearly displaying her annoyance:

“You’re a medical student?” (said very slowly and with disdain - try's fun)

Curious as to the reason behind this unnecessary interrogation I answered in the affirmative with a brilliant smile. After all, a smile always works on these types of assholes -right? Almost instantaneously I wished that I had replied differently.

The server proceeded to launch into a full blown rant about the reasons for the appreciation week, the people it catered to, and that, as a medical student, I was not one of those people. With this stunning, newfound, and ridiculous knowledge I was summarily excused from the line and told to purchase my lunch from the cafeteria with all “the rest of the patients and stuff”.

This infuriated me. Not part of the hospital staff? Hmmm. Do I not work here? Do I not pay to take care of patients and other items that other staff members get paid to do? How then am I not considered worthy of your free hamburgers for lunch? Honestly. I want to know.

Truly there was some distaste left in my mouth from that experience. Medical students, apparently, are not considered part of the “team” or “personnel” or even the dental students (as many were receiving their food while clearly displaying their dental school logos on their khaki scrubs) of the hospital. Rather I’m right there with the people I get histories, physicals, and rectal exams on – except I’m paying for the honor without the blanket of insurance to pad the damage.

So I purchased my lunch with borrowed money that I will pay back at a later time with accrued interest. Because, clearly, I don’t need to be appreciated for the work I perform - smirk.

I really feel appreciated now! Thanks!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

My Take

There has been a great deal of discussion related to the soon to be infamous "Flea Incident" of which I posted about here. My disgust comes from the apparent reasoning behind the case being settled as well as the comments being left related to Dr. Flea. Some of the beauties I've seen include calling Flea "arrogant", "foolhardy", "asshole", and others. How were these expressions conjured up in the writer? Did they know Dr. Flea or have they had any interaction with him outside of his blog and the newsreports? Probably not, but damn if they're not quick to call him out for doing something that I'm doing right now - writing about my take on a subject based on my perspective.

There has been some rather interesting Anon comments circulating that are shedding some light into the legal world and the validity of the blog concern. I appreciate those as they are well thought out, purposeful, and inciteful. The comments that I'm quite disturbed by are from people who just found it arrogant for someone to blog about their experience - as if he thought he was too smart to get caught. Whatever.

I wrote a comment on Dr. Dino's blog related to these accusations that went something like this:

Is it arrogant to write about experiences and frustrations, victories and defeats, and to ultimately express oneself with the written word which Flea did so eloquently? If it is then call me arrogant as well. If anything it's just sad that people instantly dubbed this intelligent man as being arrogant based on very little information. I wonder if these were some of the same who would whole-heartedly agree with him on his blog only to turn against him so quickly.

The facts of the case are unknown to us, what is known, to me at least, is that Flea was a tremendous asset to the Pediatric blogging community and is now lost. We shouldn't forget that.

I'm pissed about the reaction Flea's mishap has brought up in the blogosphere. I understand that the lawyers want to win their cases and that if they feel they have an advantage they'll take it. That's life. Unfortunately physicians will often find it impossible to be judged by a "jury of their peers" because of the extreme divide between our profession and the laypeople. Lawyers are in the same boat. But what I'm really upset about is the almost universal dismissal of a very intelligent and courteous blogger who was also a physician.

I loved the Flea blog. I keep the URL up to this day hoping he'll return. I fear for his health and his ability to continue practicing medicine after being "outed" by a newspaper source. But what I hope quickly dissipates is the hate-fest going on by people who have no fucking clue what's happening.