Saturday, October 04, 2008

let's talk nuclear

Hey folks. I know this might seem harsh and nit-picky, but it's not a's a nucleus. It's not nuc-u-lar, it's nuclear. Governor Palin (and W.) clearly did not pay attention in high school biology class.

I might go a little batty if I have to listen to four more years of someone repeatedly using this botched pronunciation.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

long hiatus

blogging requires motivation to write. i have been lacking this in this strange transition that i've been going through. i've uprooted my life from the quiet and solitude of new england and moved into the maelstrom of new york city. i now live in manhattan. i'm letting this sink in and settle.

for those who are still checking this website and wondering where the heck i've gone, thanks for sticking around.

a question to ponder in light of sarah palin's emergence into the spotlight...
is the term "conservative feminism" an oxymoron?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


GirlTuesday may eat Oreo's for breakfast, but I prefer peanut butter and nutella sandwichs first thing in the am.

Truth be told, I usually have coffee for breakfast, but when post-call, I need more sustenance. Luckily, our resident call room is stocked with huge tubs of peanut butter and, occasionally, a small jar of nutella.

(For the uninitiated, nutella is chocolate hazelnut butter and the reason why so many girls from the U.S. gain 20 pounds when studying abroad in France.)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

finding your limit

indoctrinating oneself into the culture of medicine is literally and figuratively like jumping through a series of hoops, each hoop slightly higher and more challenging than the first. just when you jump through one, the next hoop comes into focus. supposedly, there's a carrot dangling magically at the end. or so i've been told. i've never actually seen it, but everyone says it's there.

the next logical questions would be: what is the carrot? why do you want it? why do you keep jumping through these hoops in order to get it? how many damn hoops are there?

i, like many in my profession, am a bit of a perfectionist. it was recently pointed out to me how crazy this is. one of our noon conferences was on medical malpractice. the speaker, an engaging lawyer whose father was a surgeon, gave the following example to highlight the stark difference between lawyers and doctors:

(at a deposition)
mr. lawyer: mr. doctor, would you say that it is likely that the crash caused this man's injuries?
mr. doctor: well, i don't know if i could say that...
(mr. doctor's lawyer whispered to mr. doctor, "he means 'greater than 50%', not 'greater than 95%' ")
mr. doctor: ... oh, yeah, i could say that!

voltaire said, "le mieux est l'ennemi du bien." roughly translated, "the best is the enemy of the good." are we forever doomed to seek the best and never find it? can we ever really reach the best? or is it like an asymptote, forever approaching but never actually intersecting? if we can't ever reach it, could we be content with just good?

does P really = MD?

over the next two days, P (for me) = passing step 3 = medical license = fellowship. i'm hoping that it's not a mathematical impossibility.

is it likely that i will pass? well, i don't know if i could say that. if i were a lawyer, i might be able to. but for now, i'm just a doctor.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

how do you spell that???

as a pediatrician, i'm always amazed at some of the names i encounter. there are some that are associated with a particularly poor prognosis. they should tell parents that when they are filling out the forms for the birth certificate. before you name your child nevaeh, for instance, you should really make sure you have good health insurance. 

seriously. do not name your child nevaeh. heaven spelled backwards? it's just begging for trouble. 

some others that future-parents should be warned about, variations in spelling not withstanding:


the more creative the spelling, it would seem, the poorer the prognosis.  also, combining these names seems to increase the odds exponentially that something horrible will befall these children.

to any readers who carry these names or have already named their children these names, you, and they, are likely exceptions that prove the rule. so please do not take offense.  some of them are actually really cool names. 

Friday, January 04, 2008


lately, i have felt like i've been juggling about 5 different things and that if i looked away for even for a second, everything would crash, unceremoniously, to the floor. 
this illusion of self-importance was the thing that came crashing, mercifully, to the floor. i left for 6 whole days. i went to a land without internet (and, therefore, without email), without reliable cell coverage, without reliable electricity for that matter. i played in the snow. i went for long walks with my dog. i baked cookies. i tried out the ice cream maker that my brother got for me for christmas. i spent 5 blissful days with my family, whom i haven't seen since july.
i came back to the hospital yesterday and found everything just as i had left it. 
i guess i can look away after all.
this is an object lesson in humility that i think all residents must learn. i'm just glad i learned it while i still have 174 days left to enjoy it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

random thought for the new year

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
Albert Einstein