Posts tagged medicine

Radiologists have the best jobs. If I could use this Coke can as an example, this is their job in a nut shell:

'I'm worried that this is a Coke can. Is it?'

'Yes, it looks like a Coke can. It might also be a Pepsi can…

'Clinical correlation is required.'

A fellow summarizes his experience with radiology.

Essential Anatomy 3 for Android

For a limited time only, Amazon is giving away Essential Anatomy 3 for free for the Android. If you have not had a chance yet to check out this stellar educational tool, go check it out. This is typically a $25 piece of software.


  • Attending: You were on call last night?
  • J: Yes.
  • Attending: How was it?
  • J: It was alright. Steady night.
  • Attending: Are you ready to start the day?
  • J: Yes, let's do it.
  • Attending: You see, everyone, the problem with us is that as members of the medical field, we have selected ourselves out to have certain qualities. We tend to be perfectionistic, dedicated and always aiming to please. We lie to ourselves, minimize the problems when in reality, we all need to take better care of ourselves and each other.
  • Everyone: *Nods*
  • Attending: You said you are ready? How many hours of sleep did you get?
  • J: ...None.
  • Attending: We owe it to ourselves at least that much to be honest of what we can and cannot do.

98 plays

Smile by Aoi Teshima (original by Nat King Cole).

Post-call and post-CTU rotation, I drove home in a different state of mind. It is now the end of my first rotation. So much is changing, and so much has changed. I reflected on the hard situations I have been in, the long nights on call, and the tragedies I was involved in. It has been such an emotionally draining rotation. Let music be my medicine.

Sierra Leone is on the lookout for an Ebola-positive patient on the run

Officials in Sierra Leone’s capital are trying to find a woman who left a hospital with the help of her family after testing positive for the deadly Ebola virus. The 32-year-old woman, whom radio stations in Freetown named as Saudatu Koroma, was being tested for the virus in an isolation ward, then was “forcefully removed” by her family, Reuters reports. That’s led to a hunt for Koroma to keep her from spreading the virus to others.

All joking aside though Tom, you do look different compared to four weeks ago.
A comment from one of my new residency classmates after a block of internal medicine, where he purposely left it ambiguous.

Busy Doctors, Wasteful Spending

There is no more wasteful entity in medicine than a rushed doctor.


The echoes of my steps resonated within the expanse of the hospital garage. As I made my way to the end of the aisle to my stall, a couple caught my eye.

A tall man, his hair only beginning to turn grey, faced a woman of similar age, dressed in a beautiful white summer dress. Next to them a car, its trunk agape, half packed with a box of personal belongings and a white plastic bag full of clothes sat waiting. Still, they stood, pausing, ruminating.

They stared longingly into each other’s eyes, a deep seeded pain overwhelming them as tears trickled down their delicate features. A warm embrace as they held each other tightly and wept.

I wondered what terrible tragedy had befell them. Did a loved one’s health take a turn for the worst? Did a loved one just pass away? Did their mother, father, daughter, or son, just perish from this earth? I could not help but wonder.

But it was not my place to ask.

I watched helplessly as they buried their heads in each other’s shoulders and comforted one other.

I continued walking.

The Problem With Shorthands

I saw a patient on the ward on call recently where the patient’s complaint was some mild shortness of breath. Upon reviewing the progress notes, one of the issues low down on issues list was titled PE.

My heart skipped a beat.

Pulmonary embolus. My thoughts raced at the possibility that this patient had a recurrence. I quickly went back to see the patient but found that his story and physical exam did not quite add up to what I had imagined. I decided to go back and read the chart notes carefully again.

The more I read the notes in its reverse chronology, the less this PE sounded like a pulmonary embolus until I finally found the source, some ten pages back, buried in the middle of their already thinned chart.

Pleural effusion.

Over time, a relatively benign finding had been unintentionally shortened to a grave and emergent issue by the student writer. I breathed a sigh of relief.

It was yet another reminder of how shorthands and acronyms can cause miscommunication.

Knock on Wood.