Medical Humor – Compensation

The patient shook his doctor’s hand in gratitude and said, “Since we are the best of friends, I would not want to insult you by offering payment. But I would like for you to know that I had mentioned you in my will.”

“That is very kind of you,” said the doctor emotionally, and then added, “Can I see that prescription I just gave you? I’d like to make a little change…”


101st Post

Well I finally reached my 101st post. Unfortunately I can’t celebrate. It’s been really busy lately. I know my monthly post rate has plummeted recently. Hopefully that has an inverse relationship with my exam scores?

Anyways, this is the last week of lectures. I can’t believe the year is almost over. That’s right, it’s the last week of lectures for the first year! So right now I should be studying. The next two and a half weeks will be exams. Some quarter finals and a couple in-house cumulative finals and a few standardized exams. We are required to score in at least the 7th percentile in the standardized exams. And last year, for Physiology, that meant a score of approximately 60%.

Wish me luck. Or pray for me. Whichever you believe in. I’ve included a copy of my exam schedule below for any curious onlookers. (A few blocks are highlighted to indicate a recent change in schedule).
Finals Schedule 1/3

Finals Schedule 2

Finals Schedule 3


Memorial Service

Last week, I attended a Memorial Service at my school. The service was held for all those who had donated their bodies for use in the anatomy labs. There were three schools in attendance (Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Allied Health).

A couple of musical numbers were performed by students and a handful of students volunteered to speak and express their appreciation. At the end of the ceremony I looked around and saw some wet eyes. It made me realize that donating one’s body is a sacrifice for the loved ones as well. These friends and relatives never got to bury a coffin. And they won’t. In a few weeks we will have our Gross Anatomy final exams and the school will proceed to cremate the bodies.

I’ve heard that some medical schools have ended anatomy dissections. If I remember correctly, UCSF School of Medicine no longer has students dissect in Anatomy lab. They have models that the students can come and look at.

Personally, I have long thought models are the way to go. I think a whole lot of Anatomy lab is wasted trying to pick away fat and and fascia. But once you get through all the fat and fascia, there are benefits to actually finding the Vagus nerve coursing through the thorax, or the recurrent laryngeal nerve coming through the tracheoesophageal groove. It’s not something easily forgotten after dissecting to find those structures.

So to those who have donated your bodies for science, to those who believed in education enough to sign over yourself, to the families who have waited over a year before getting closure in the form of ashes: Thank You.


Wal-Mart and Healthcare

I’ve been hearing a lot about these quick-stop clinics staffed by nurse practitioners. I hear about them in the news or read about them online. They seem to be on the east coast or midwest. Or maybe I’m just not paying any attention to them here locally.

As someone going into a medical career, this is somewhat discouraging. I don’t see how a family physician can compete against an NP based solely on costs. It seems like the scope of nursing just keeps getting expanded more and more. I’m sure the nurses are elated about this. And their paychecks continue to rise as they get more specialized.

I don’t think we need to go back to the days were the doctors were kings of their wards and nurses stood whenever one came in the room. But I do think that scope of practice of nurses and doctors cannot overlap too much. Because let’s face it, the nurses will always be able to offer their services at lower costs. And, more often than not, they (nurses) have less debt coming out of school.

Amy from sent me this post titled 20 Surprising Ways Wal-Mart Clinics Will Affect US Healthcare. It’s a good read discussing the pros and cons of Wal-Mart entering the health service industry by opening up clinics at their stores.


Cross Cultural Differences and Alternative Medicine

I know it has been a while since I last wrote. Been a bit busy lately. And in my moments of downtime I’ve found myself doing a different type of writing. I’ve been writing some fiction. Mostly because it’s a bit therapeutic. Anyhow, back to Medical School related matters.

On Friday we had two guest lecturers for our two-hour session of a class called Understanding Your Patient. During the first hour, a professor spoke about understanding cultural differences among our patients. He primarily focused on the latino culture because there is a huge hispanic population in the local area. One thing he mentioned is that in general, the hispanic population would put up very little resistance when talking to a physician. But that does not give any indication that they agree with what you are saying to them.

And that is a very important thing. In this class we have discussed the idea of getting a patient to cooperate and accept the treatment plan. And this applies to everyone, not just the latino community. In order to have the best results, doctors must team up with the patient for a common goal. The idea of white-coat-wearing-doctor dishing out his wisdom on health and a patient obediently following instructions is outdated and just doesn’t work.

During the second hour he gave the time to a local Mexican woman who talked to us about various herbal and traditional remedies the Mexican people use. She told us that many times they turn to those first, because going to see a doctor is just too expensive. She also brought samples of the things she talked about.

I learned that they use a camomile and spearmint tea for a of different things. She shared remedies for many common ailments. There is one treatment, for headaches, that I plan to try. It involves soaking a pinto bean in rubbing alcohol. In the event a headache, the bean is placed on the temples. Supposedly this relieves the pain. I’m quite interested in trying it out. Cause every once in a while, when I don’t drink enough water, I get some pretty annoying headaches.

Anyways, I hope to be able to post with a little more frequency this month.

Remember the disclaimer. I’m not offering medical advice on this site. So try that pinto bean thing at your own discretion.