Friday, October 29, 2010

How do you draw a bunny?

My favorite fringe benefit of doctordom is that we have convinced everyone that one of the most professional things we can wear is pajamas and slippers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"America On Line Instant Messenger", every word of that is outdated.

I just accidentally signed on to AIM.  I had no idea they made it through the Y2K crisis*

*Note: Alternative jokes ...I had no idea I could log on without a DOS prompt.
...I had no idea AIM made it past my Commodore. 
...It started a virus called, "small pox".
...Luckily I just bought call waiting, so I won't have a problem tying up my apartment's phone line.
...AIM is still on my computer for the same reason my appendix is still on my colon.  I hope it doesn't get infected.
...let's keep this party going, feel free to post your own, "your fad product is so old..." jokes

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Portrait of an Artist Whining

The one thing that makes me regret my decision to go into medicine is to look at a lot of art.  Doesn't matter what kind, oil, charcoal, movies, comedy, magazine journalism, blockbuster reviews, bathroom stall wit; if I look at enough of it, I get nostalgic and think that I made a poor choice. Or that I've been in the bathroom reading wit for too long.

I know what you are going to say, "Meat, you are on this path to medicine, but you aren't excluded from making art.  You can maintain a shitty blog occasionally when you have time.  You can keep up 140 characters on Twitter to entertain Justin Bieber.  You can even make it two paragraphs into an essay or get the outline of a painting put on a canvas and then stuff it in your closet.  Is that not good enough for you?  Are you too good to get 1/3 of the way through a novel before winter break ends and you go back to working 12-18 hours a day?

"And what about the art in medicine?  You know, the times when you ignore data and evidenced based medicine and do something completely different for a patient because of a hunch?  Isn't that art? Isn't that enough?"

It is, you're right.  But it just get's me all philosophical.  What's the point?  Of philosophy that is.  Doesn't seem to accomplish much, just a bunch of questions and thoughts.  But that's what I miss, questions and thoughts. Provocation.  Product devoid of point. Thought devoid of goals.  Work devoid of "means", comprised only of "ends".  I love those ends.  I miss those ends.  Sweet delicious ends.  Like a cupcake, but where the ends are delicious.

But it is "means" that I have chosen.  Huge, long, winding, tortuous means to a theoretical end that is supposed to be awesome.  And it is.  The end is awesome and the means are most assuredly fun in and of themselves.  They absolutely fuel me and make me feel complete.  Taking care of patients, and learning about disease, those things make me feel complete. Almost.  Almost because they are decidedly devoid of art.

The questions I have for myself then, is can I work art into my career?  It's been done.  With poor outcomes mostly (Atul Gawande's literary talents would be the limping one picked off by the lions first, and don't get me started on that doctor turned stand-up who was in "Knocked Up".  If you do get me started, I'll probably make a bunch of shitty jokes, but then say how much I love "Community".  So don't do that), but I'm not sure I have to be awesome.  I think I can just be productive (i.e. adequate, mediocre).  I think I can be satisfied just producing art alongside my medicine. I just have to figure out how. Maybe I'll start a blog.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shave and a taped butt*

How many times have you had your butt cheeks shaved and then taped open?  None? Once?  Yeah, I agree.  But recently I have shaved and taped open the butt cheeks of several, well intentioned, upstanding, contributing members of society.  The kind of people who are diligently watching the plight of those miners.  All in a days work on the colorectal surgery service.

*two bits.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gum slinger

A thin stick of gum will never be as good as a shorter, thicker piece of gum.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I am...NPH

It's always weird when a patient asks me how old I am.  Do I tell them?  I don't think that's completely appropriate.  I guess I can say, "I don't think that is an appropriate question for me to answer", which will emphasize both that it isn't important to their care and that I am a complete cheesedick.  I'm just going to start saying, "Me? 16.  Have you ever seen Doogie Howser?  The show was based on me.  Now give me your arm I have to do stuff to it."