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Rosa Morena by Kurt Elling.

This is the relaxing start to a Monday evening. Enjoy the mood music.

Mailbag

This time, I answer questions about alternative medicines, the challenges of medicine, the feelings of inadequacy, the unease of dissections, disclosures of personal illness, and late blooming interest in medicine.

To everyone who has sent me a question,

I apologize for the delays in replying. I have been very busy lately in my personal life and have not had as much time to read and answer them. I will try to get to them as quickly as I can. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,
Tom of the Medical State of Mind

The Effect of Non-Vaccination.
This year the United States is experiencing a record number of measles cases. From January 1 to August 29, there have been 592 confirmed measles cases reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the highest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.
The majority of the people who got measles are unvaccinated.
Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

The Effect of Non-Vaccination.

This year the United States is experiencing a record number of measles cases. From January 1 to August 29, there have been 592 confirmed measles cases reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the highest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

  • The majority of the people who got measles are unvaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

Jesus H. Cox, M.D.

Sadly, every one of my colleagues has met at least one person like this in their lifetime. I recently had to work with someone like this and it was not the most positive learning experience. As a learner, I do not have all of the answers, though I do my best to have one; then again, that is what this residency is all about: learning from my mistakes and learning to be better. Perhaps it was allowable in some bygone era to behave like this but not now.

Take a moment and reflect. Do you know someone like this?

On the Same Wavelength

In the span of twenty minutes while seeing a child in the emergency department, we had bonded over a variety of characters including Spongebob Squarepants, Transformers, Toy Story, Wall-E, and Justice League. 

Suffice it to say we spoke the same language and operated on the same wavelength.

Plate V from Handbuch der Anatomie des Menschen, 1841 by Dr. Carl Ernest Bock.

Plate V from Handbuch der Anatomie des Menschen, 1841 by Dr. Carl Ernest Bock.

As a European non-med (Faculty of Medicine - Speech and Hearing Pathology) student, I was wondering if you have any thoughts about the European system of not having pre-med, high school graduates going straight into 6-or-7 year med school instead. — Asked by Anonymous

I think there are pros and cons to both systems. I feel that it certainly streamlines the process for people who already have an inkling that they are going to pursue medicine in the future but I feel that it comes at the cost of exploring other experiences, youth, and just overall maturity level. 

Medicine is a physically and mentally demanding field. I think that having a certain amount of life experience and maturity that only comes with age can give you some level of resilience. 

While the more indirect admission system can take longer to complete, I think it works to the benefit of people who may not have realized they were interested in medicine until later on. The age demographic for my class is quite broad, with some members being in their 40s. That level of flexibility and that understanding that not everyone has that epiphany at a young age normalizes the experience. In addition, their added wisdom and experience becomes quite apparent once the educational journey begins.

Catching Up

Yesterday was special. A classmate and dear friend of mine who has been out of province for her residency came back for a weekend getaway. We had an opportunity to meet and catch up on how our respective residencies have been thus far.

While war stories were exchanged, the focus was never about the medicine side of things. It was more about how life has been and what we were up to. It was a nice change of pace from my regular conversations nowadays.

For four hours, we were able to disarm ourselves of our ward personas and talk about regular, “normal” things. From the movies we watched, to my recent vacation stories, to her relationship challenges.

At four hours, that mental vacation seemed too short.

The Dangers of Working within Paediatrics

Just when I thought I was out of the woods, I was re-exposed to the most dangerous paediatric affliction of all:

Let-It-Go-itis.

Contrary to its name, this troubling and traumatic condition is just damn hard to let go. It infects the motor and memory recall systems and results in people unconsciously humming or singing to its tune. It has the potential of infecting other people. Prognosis: Very contagious. A full recovery is possible but in the order of weeks so long as you are not re-exposed to it.