Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Episode 22: The Anniversary Issue!

So. A year. Amazing. Both in how long it seems, and how it seems like just last weekend I sat down and wondered "what's this podcast thing all about."

I'd thought about a greatest hits episode, but in the end, with questions from the listeners waiting (very patiently) for answers, I went for new content. Hopefully that will be the theme of Year 2.

The poem I read, Miniver Cheevey, can be found all over the Internet, but here's one place.

My Facebook account, discussed on the show, is "Dashing Docteur." Hope to see you there.

Here is the episode.

And the kittens, well, here are the kittens:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The radio interview

Hi All,

Had a great evening interview with Dr. Anonymous tonight...a good conversation that I hope you'll all listen to. It's linked here.

Also, I was contacted by a guy named Nathosh Relhaak, who's a listener of the podcast and just started a blog of his poetry, inspired, he says, by the Dashing MD podcast. There was only one poem up on his site when I last checked, but I liked it a lot...it reminded me a lot of my last birthday. I linked his blog on the right, or click here.


D, M.D.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Subscribing to the Feed

I've not provided a button for easy subscribing in a while, I realized. Consider that problem resolved:


For all of you who are listening to the podcast, I'd love it if you would leave a rating and comments on whatever service you use to get the podcast, be that iTunes, PodCastAlley, Yahoo, Google...whatever. As you know, I keep this anonymous, which means I can't do a lot of self-promotion. So if you like the podcast, please let others know about it. And if you have thoughts about how it could be better, post them, or let me know! Thanks!

Also, I've just realized that this is the anniversary month for the podcast...how time flies! My next post will be an anniversary issue, I think, so if you have favorite episodes, I'd love to hear what they are (ERDiaries seems to be the most downloaded, along with Episode 8...why is that?)

Episode 21: Rites of Passage

Hi All,

First, some pressing news: I'm going to be on the Doctor Anonymous radio show tomorrow, Sunday the 21st, at 9 PM Eastern. Hope you can join us there...I'm excited about having a chance to interact with the Listenership in real time. The show link is here, and the Doctor Anonymous blog, which is much more prolific than my own, is linked on the right.

Episode 21 tells the story of some recent rites of passage: my completion of the trilogy of board exams (the USMLE Step exams), my trip to the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in New Orleans, and a walk down memory lane in my first home town. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Episode 20: The End of Summer

So...summer was great. So great that I didn't really get to the podcast much. That, and some technical difficulties. But I'm back now, with some great listener mail. Episode 20 hits some big topics:

- Medical school for non-traditional students

- Universal healthcare, and my feelings about it

- Coping with bad days

Hope you enjoy! I'm glad to be back.

Keep your thoughts and questions coming!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Episode 19: Sharing lessons

I'm back, at long last. Now coming to you from the East Coast of America, and living a very different life. There are plenty of stories still to come, but there's still plenty to say about the life I've left behind, too. So I give you the transplant service.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Moving on...

Hi Everyone,

It's moving day...when I next broadcast, it will be from the East Coast of America. Sorry I haven't got an episode to share with you right now, but if residency is busy, residency and moving is doubly so. My transplant rotation was all that I'd hoped it would be, story-wise, so when I'm settled again in a week or two I'll have some tales to tell. And there's been some good mail, too!

Thanks for your patience. Be well.

D, M.D.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Episode 18: Can work be its own reward?

The rewards of medicine are sort of obvious: taking care of other people is one of the great privileges of life, and the fact that we get paid at all to do it sometimes seems like an unexpected, unnecessary pleasure. But the fact is that medicine asks more from us than simple patient care, and making that worthwhile is another question all together. As it is, there's no incentive to do anything more than just get by in medical residency, for instance...no matter how hard you work, you spend the same amount of time training, and get the same pay. The impact of this - a complete deviation, after all, from the American Dream - is underappreciated. I try to appreciate it a little bit this week.

The article I mention in the podcast, about how one hospital is trying incentive programs for surgeons, is here.

Haven't subscribed yet? No time like the present:

Friday, May 25, 2007

Next episode en route...

Hi All,

Look for a new episode on Monday...spare time's been hard to come by lately.

- D, M.D.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Medicine and Literature

In advance of my next podcast (probably this weekend), this is a nice story in the New York Times about why doctors want to tell stories, and about some of the ones who do so better than most. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Medicine on TV

This is the best medical TV program I've seen in a long time...it's at least as accurate as Grey's Anatomy.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Episode 17: You Grow Accustomed To The Smell

Here's the story of how a young doctor-in-training learns to keep standing...and at what cost.

As always, I love hearing your thoughts.

New to the podcast? Want to subscribe? You do? Great! Click the button below:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Episode 16: Questions you should ask

Here's Episode 16. We start with some letters from the Listenership, then take a quick trip to the newswires, where we check on the medical accuracy and completeness of recent stories about Tony Snow's cancer diagnosis and Jon Corzine's car accident. Then, at long last, we arrive at the stated topic: questions you should ask your surgeon before having an operation, and things you can do in the hospital to be sure that you're getting all the treatment that you should.

Of course, I'm not your doctor, and you should take my medical advice the way you take any advice from a complete stranger who won't tell you his name...

For convenient reference, I'll put the main points here:

1. Be sure your attending is going to be in town while you're recovering, not heading to the airport from your operating room.

2. Is your attending surgeon going to see you every day while you're in the hospital? I used to take that for granted. No longer.

3. What's the patient to staff ratio going to be? If you're going to be in ICU, will you have 1:1 nursing, or at least 1:2 nursing? And what sort of physician coverage is going to be present at night and on the weekends? Will there always be a senior-level doctor in house, or are the interns sometimes left to their own devices?

4. How many cases like yours has your attending done - AS AN ATTENDING?

5. When you get to the hospital, ask about the following...and keep asking:
a. Prophylaxis against Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)
b. Peri-operative antibiotics
c. Beta-blockers (not everybody needs them, but be sure your team is thinking about it)

Hope this proves a useful reference. If you have things that you think should be added to this list, please, let us know!!

Letter from Denise

Here's the letter from "Denise", as read in Episode 16. What do you think?

-D, M.D.

Dear Dashing MD,
I haven't listened to many of your podasts yet, but I'm so glad I've found you. Thankyou so much for sharing your world and your point of view with us, for crossing that barrier. What you're doing is something seriously lacking in the medical profession, and very much needed.

I'll try to cross the barrier in the other direction.
I've recently had an experience that has radically changed the way I view doctors. It should have been for the worst, but there's no way I can see it that way.
In November, I went into hospital with a fracture. Things went wrong over a very busy weekend, I was not seen, complications developed and have been ongoing. Forgive me for not being more specific but it isn't important to the story anyway.
I should be blaming the doctors for not coming to see me post-op. I should be blaming those that did come for not diagnosing the complications and letting them develop. I should be blaming them for not prescribing antibiotics afterwards. But I can't. I should be furious at the injustice of it all. I should be saying "why me?" But I'm not.
Instead, I've learnt some really valuable lessons about what it means to be human.
Now I've seen that doctors are allowed to be humans, to have emotions, to make mistakes and be forgiven, I'm really inspired. I'm ready to be one. I was previously holding off going to medical school because I was afraid of the responsibility that comes with being a doctor, but now I see that only the most inexperienced registrars are afraid to ask for help. Surgeons consult each other all the time. And that's the way it should be. You're not supposed to shoulder that burden all by yourself.

Another reason I didn't want to be a doctor is that I was afraid of being too cold and impersonal. Now i've seen the alternative.
You said something along the lines of "doctors don't have the time to be there and hold hands". I'm not entirely certain about that.
I've had interactions with many doctors during this experience. My respect for them doesn't rank with who was and wasn't responsible for the lack of communication that allowed things to go wrong, nor does it rank with who was the most senior, who operated on me and solved the problems. It ranks with who took the time out to reassure me. I think the most important role of the doctor is to control fear. Without fear, things can heal. The doctor has the power of information. We patients thrive on information. Even if it's the same information over again. Also, just knowing that someone out there is keeping track on you so you don't get lost in the system, that means the world.

And metaphors aside, hand holding itself is so important. Just touch. In that big sterile impersonal place, a hand on the shoulder just means so much.

It seems to me that there are two types of doctors, the ones who give out their mobile phone numbers and those who don't.
I hope I'll be one who does. I have no idea how they cope with the emotional burden they take on from each patient they engage with, but I'm going to have to find out. The hospital system wouldn't function without them. If they let me become a doctor, I pledge to devote my life to the battle against Lack Of Communication.

Anyway, I can't wait to hear more of your podcasts. I know there will be some answers there.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Episode 15: Three Patients, Three Families

As I finish a three-week rotation in the Intensive Care Unit, three patients with three families stick in my memory. Not so much for their individual cases, though each was memorable and heartbreaking in its way, but for how their needs and ours worked together - or failed to. Also, a trip to the mailbag for more questions from Nancy! Enjoy!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Episode 14: From the Newswires

In this week's episode, I go to the front pages of the last week, trying my hand at a little bit of political commentary from the medical perspective and trying to put some scientific sense into our reading of news headlines.

The two issues I talk about are based on articles about Dick Cheney's blood clot and the Walter Reed Scandal.

As always, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this week's episode!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Future of Cardiac Surgery

The podcast has spent a lot of time on cardiac surgery, between my experiences and other people's questions. So many of you might be interested in the New York Times story today on the future of cardiac surgery...it's a bright one! To say this issue is high-stakes for medicine is putting it lightly indeed.

Episode 13: From Our Own Correspondents

You wrote, I read, and now here we are: an entire episode devoted to answering the questions of loyal listeners Cody (aka ZeroRocker) and Nancy, who wrote in with some great questions that I had a lot of fun answering. Want to know about why we need scrub techs? What's the relationship between surgeons and internal medicine doctors? Do you need calculus to be a doctor? And, of course, what are the romantic prospects for the modern single surgeon?? This is what I dream this podcast will become...an interactive place where we can have a real conversation about what it means to become a doctor in Modern Medicine. This is a great beginning!

One interesting tidbit given the recent podcasts on resources in medicine: in Episode 11 I talked about how we treat kids to the maximum of our abilities under all circumstances except for some very specific cases, such as babies born before 24 weeks gestation, who have no chance of survival. Well, that should teach me to speak in definitives (again): here's a story about a baby born even earlier that that...something of a one-off miracle, I think, but a good reminder that there's more to heaven and earth than is dreamt of in our philosophies.

Be Well!

Monday, February 19, 2007

A note regarding advertising

Hi All,

Just a quick note: Google has pulled the ads from this site because of some overzealous clicking on the part of the loyal listeners. Thanks for your loyalty to the podcast, truly and sincerely, but should ads reappear here, I hope that you'll click on them only if they interest you, and only once. Thanks!

Episode 12: If you pull out all the stops, when do you end? (Part 2)

When Enough is Enough:

Continuing last week's theme of resource allocation, I talk about some times when doing everything we can is probably doing too much.

Next week, we go to the mailbag for a full episode of listener's questions. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Episode 11: If you pull out all the stops, where do you end? (Part 1)

Resource allocation is a bloodless term of art for a question that's often very bloody. How do we decide which patients deserve the full force of modern medicine, and which do not? It's one of the perennial questions in medicine today, especially in a time and culture that cannot accept the principle of rationed health care.

I don't pretend to know the answer to these questions, but I take a shot at a couple of examples. This is the first part in what I imagine will be a two part series. In this episode: doing everything we can. Plus, a trip to the mailbag!

Look for Part 2, When Enough is Enough, next week (or so).

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Episode 10: Where do I go from here?

Sometimes I feel like I'm at the end of my tether. Sometimes I wonder what exactly I'm tethered to. A special "inside my head" edition of the podcast!

Do you like what you're hearing? Subscribe by clicking the button below. And tell your friends, please! The podcast listenership has reached a plateau, and, being anonymous, I can't tell anyone about it. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Episode 9: Back in the Saddle

Hello all,

At long last, I've recovered from illness and New Year's Eve and produced Episode 9. Look forward, as always, to your comments, questions, and answers! Can't wait to see where this podcast takes us in 2007!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Back for '07!

Happy New Year and the very Happiest of Holidays to all of you. And my apologies for failing to follow through on the ER Diaries...things went badly off track with the combination of family in town and a nasty illness. Both kept my non-work time pretty well filled...as my family spent their vacation spooning me diluted Gatorade to keep me vertical in the ER. I'll condense the remainder of my ER experience for you soon.

In the meantime, you should all read this essay from the New York Times...it's Truth.

Be well.