Month: February 2012

Indulge yourself…..you have earned it…..

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Long shift that never seems to end. Nurses barking at you about other patients that need to be seen…as though you are doing nothing.
ECG technicians that need you to sign off on what seems like hundreds of ECGs……

Don’t stress…..indulge yourself.

Colleagues showing up late for the following shift and strolling in without a care in the world while you are watching them with bloodshot eyes…..

Don’t stress……indulge yourself

Your hair is a mess, you didn’t have time to put on makeup. Can’t even recall the last time you ironed clothes. At the end of a shift you look like a crazy raccoon……..

Don’t stress…..indulge yourself.

That is exactly what I did this morning at the end of my shift……I…INDULGED myself…:)

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With a luscious red velvet cupcake layered with whip-cream on top …..yummy!!!!!!

Patients lie ALOT!!!!

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Sleepy Doc: Hello Ms. teenager, what brings you to us today

Ms. teenager: I have been vomitting constantly for the past 2 weeks.

Sleepy Doc: Well have you had a change in eating habits recently?

Ms. Teenager: No doc

Sleepy Doc: Any fever or diarrhea.

Ms. teenager: No doc.

Sleepy Doc: Are you currently sexually active.

Ms. teenager (in an angry voice): No doc. How could you even think to ask me that!!!!

Her mom who was in the interview room was also shocked and angry by my line of questioning.

So after calming them both down and of course apologising and explaining that I only asked routine questions to get to the bottom of her daughter’s problems, I decided to run a few tests. Of course, I also included a pregnancy test…..to the horror and anger of her mother.

Sleepy Doc: Well I have the results of your tests, all of which came back within normal limits. One thing though, your pregnancy test is positive. So, let me ask you again, ‘Are you sexually active?’

The teenager starts screaming at me that it was wrong and I told her we actually did two separate tests just to be sure. Then she told her mom she was sexually active. The mom starting arguing with her daughter…….Too much drama for 2am……

Basically, the moral of this story is that patients lie ALOT!!!!!! Especially when being questioned in front of other people, like……parents…..

Doctors also get sick

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So there I was at 7am on a Saturday morning thinking about going to the mall with some friends and having a nice brunch…it is my day off after all.

In reality, I am dreaming, because I am sick with the common flu….and maybe some stale pizza that I had in the fridge that I decided to eat…..wrong idea…

Fever…vomitting….diarrhea….I got it. Feeling dizzy and weak…..The worst part is I may have work around 11pm tonight….ugh!

I dont plan on showing up to work in this state. I may lose conciousness and fall face first onto a patient.

So I just roll over, fall back into a nice deep sleep where there are no patients, no gunshot wound victims and no old people trying my patience……

So let me tell you….Doctors also get sick…..and dont you ever forget it……:

I can’t make this stuff up!!!

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I had the pleasure of treating a patient today who had suffered a burn to the buttocks area….she wouldnt tell me how it occurred.

The weird thing was that to cool down the burn she placed a pack of frozen sausages in her underwear and came into the ER.

When I proceeded to exam and was carefully removing the ‘frozen sausages’. She noticed I was going to throw it away. She stopped me and said…

‘Doc, don’t throw that away, I have to use it later. I run a catering business’

She then proceeded to place the sausages, which also had some butt-skin on it into her handbag……

I made sure to find out the name and location of her business…..so I could ALWAYS avoid going there…….

Medicine and Business

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I think that the medical school curriculum should have business integrated in it. Medicine and business are definitely team players, especially if you want to create your own private practice and not lose too much money on that investment. Your medical practice should ALWAYS be profitable. Another important aspect is IT and the connection to Electronic Health Records. You can also decrease loss of income if all your patients’ records are held electronically and the ease with which an accountant will be able to check you finances.

Speaking of finances, I think it is important as a doctor to be able to read a financial statement. Make sure that you have no leakage of funds from anywhere within your private practice and for that matter, your personal income.

I always keep up to date on business from different sources: ENTREPRENEUR magazine and website; Mashable website; INC.com; Fast Company magazine…to name a few.

I listen to business podcasts in my car while driving too and from work.

Read alot on business, accounting, financial statements…..and of course attend seminars when possible.

Most recently, some of my favorite books has been….Start Your Own Medical Practice; The Medical Entrepreneur; Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs….INC yourself (really loved this one). The latter is an eye opener about ways to sort of separate your personal finances from your business.

I also love the books from business gurus: Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki.

Also, I have been trying to get my hands on any books by Steve Jobs…….I have already read the one by Walter Isaacson. Currently reading Inside Apple by Adam Lashinsky…..

Keep you mind open. Dont just focus on medicine…We are smart enough to be doctors. What else can we do if we put our minds to it….Think outside the box.

And the winner for ‘Most Irritating Patient’ on my night shift goes to…..

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1) Doc: Sir, you cannot drink or smoke marijuana/cocaine while on these medication

Mr. Pothead: Why not, I smoke everyday….it is a BUSH…nothing will happen.

Doc: One week without your drugs wont hurt you, in fact, it may do you some good and help you along the road to recovery from your addiction.

Mr. Pothead: I plan to prove you wrong doc, and when I do, I will make sure that all my friends know that you can still smoke your drugs while on medications.

2) Doc: Ma’am, in order for the X’ray to be done, the radiographer will require you to lie flat….so we can get a precise reading.

Ms. Snooty: I don’t ever lie flat EVER!!!!……I want my head up. Now go get me some pillows.

This went on for about 15 mins until the patient’s daughter threatened to leave her at the hospital…..She suddenly complied….

3) 45 yo cigarette smoker who has COPD……came to the ER due to shortness of breath that suspiciously occurred during his weekly poker game…..while smoking…..Please note, we in the ER know this patient on a first name basis….and he also knows our names….

Wow, today was a rush……..

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Interestingly enough, today was another of those terrible shifts where everything and anything was coming at me in rapid succession.

I had a pregnant patient who was pretending to be clueless about being pregnancy. Her abdomen was OBVIOUSLY distended…..and the baby was easily palpated on examination……I mean come on…..

Again, my next patient was a young teenager pothead, whose mother was wearing even less clothes that the patient. She had taken some pills to get rid of baby #2. Strangely enough it actually is alright to be a child and not grow up too fast….enjoy your childhood…dont take on any sort of crazy responsibilities too early.

BUT….the grand finale goes to the 40 yo uncontrolled diabetic patient who takes her meds…’when she feels like it’. She asked me if she could step outside to have a ‘smoke’. Ummm no. Please be destructive on your own time….dont waste mine