Thursday, June 14, 2007

Staffing shortage

This week we opened a new building... brand new operating rooms, new offices, etc. beautiful place. Still some growing pains as we are somewhat short staffed.

Yesterday, we had an urgent case to start. No residents or CRNAs were available since it was a lecture day and the available people were giving breaks so other people could go to their lectures.

Anyway they had an available OR, and I myself was giving lunch breaks....

So I just went ahead a did the case myself.

I know this doesn't sound too strange to most of you. It's probably the norm in most places. But being at an academic institution I haven't done a case by myself, well ever. In the few years I've been staffing, I always work with a resident or CRNA. Before then I was a resident so I worked with a faculty member supervising me.

It's nice knowing you have your stuff together well enough that you can do a case by yourself at a moments notice.

Yay me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Preop Hijinks

So I'm in clinic today and I'm talking to a patient about his health problems for some surgery or another. All of a sudden he stands up, unbuckles his belt buckle, unzips his pants and starts tucking his shirt in.

Now I've done this before too, but usually it's in my bedroom before I go to work or if I'm in the bathroom or if I'm alone somewhere with no hope of someone walking in.

Weird and unsettling.

I just acted like nothing was happening and averted my gaze.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


As you no doubt have heard by now. A plane with an organ transplant team crashed into Lake Michigan on Monday. All six aboard were lost.

Condolences to the families of the two doctors, two organ donation specialists, and two pilots.

They perished in the quest to save the life of another.

Monday, June 04, 2007


I don't really want to talk about it now but do me a favor.

Go home, kiss your wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, hug your children.
You never know when it's the last time.

More later... maybe

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Everyone knows the name of Andrew Speaker. If you don't he's the person carrying the multidrug resistant tuberculosis(TB) stain all over the world.

First, Tuberculosis. It's a difficult disease to treat... months of antibiotics are required in most instances, and usually more than one type of antibiotic. Because people generally feel fine when they have this diagnosis they often quit taking the medication. This leads to more drug resistance.

I find a few things very funny about the case.

1. He's a personal injury lawyer. If someone else had done this I bet he'd be on TV advertising for people to call him to get their "rightful settlement"

2. His new father-in-law... works for the Centers for Disease Control. Speciality -- tuberculosis. You can't make this stuff up.

3. His name came up when he crossed the border from Canada. "including instructions to hold the traveler, don a protective mask in dealing with him, and telephone health authorities." The border inspector ignored these warnings because they appeared discretionary and the man appeared healthy. Good to know the system works. Good thing he's wasn't a terrorist. I imagine if he had been of middle eastern ethnicity he would have been face down handcuffed in a ditch in twelve seconds.

I'll give the guy some credit. He's probably not extremely infective from what I know about TB. He wasn't coughing, he probably didn't have an acute infection. He also picked it up somewhere long ago. And it was just recently found on an xray for something unrelated.

But also some problems.

1. He states he didn't know the risk of what he was doing, but when he was told not to come home he went to extreme pains to get home. He flew from Atlanta to Greece for his wedding, warned not to travel. Then flew to Rome, Italy. Warned again not travel. Then got to Prague, Hungary flew to Montreal, Canada then drove across the border to avoid authorities. Sounds like someone deliberately trying to skirt the system.

2. I'd hate to miss my wedding and honeymoon. But questions are now arising to whether a wedding took place. One article states "There was no wedding. They came for a marriage but they did not have the required papers." Good planning on his part. If I was the prospective bride I'd be pissed off.