Sunday, March 25, 2007

don't get sick in july

There's a piece in the NY Times Week In Review that details the worst days to do certain things. To sum up:
  • Don't have a heart attack on a weekend, as you are more likely to die from lack of aggressive treatment.
  • Don't go to the theater on a Saturday night, as you are likely to be surrounded by snoring, drunken couples who wanted to have a night away from the kids.
  • Don't go to a nice restaurant on Monday, as you are likely to be served left-over fish by second-string staff.
  • Don't have a baby on a weekend unless you can help it, as the hospital is more likely to be under-staffed and your baby is more likely to die (the author's contention, not one that I agree with).
  • Don't send email on Sundays or late at night; apparently spam goes out between 2-5 am and your email will be mixed in with offers for cheap Viagra or notices that somehow they lost your personal identifying information on that order you never placed (under the rock they think you were born under) and would you please re-send your SSN and bank routing number?
  • Don't buy a car on a weekend day in the fall (try weekday in July or August).
  • Don't fly in the late afternoon (or anytime in December if you can help it). Duh.
  • Don't get arrested on a weekend, as you will likely find yourself in a holding cell until the judge gets back from his golf game or hunting trip.

I would add the following:
  • Don't get really sick in July unless you want an intern taking care of you who has no idea what they are doing.
  • Don't make appointments in clinic for late in the afternoon (early morning or first appointment after lunch are better bets for not having to wait).
  • Don't go to the emergency room for anything that isn't an actual emergency (bleeding, broken, not conscious, can't breathe...well, you get the point).

Any other tips from readers out there?


Liana said...

I would amend one of your additions as follows:

Don't get really sick in July unless you want a) an intern taking care of you who has no idea what they are doing or b) a second-year resident who thinks they know what they're doing.

When I started residency last July, I was so scared of making a mistake that I triple-checked everything and my preceptors were so hypervigilant that everything got quadruple-checked. I think second-year residents obviously have more experience but they also tend to be more complacent.

girl MD said...

excellent amendment! complacency invariably leads to substandard care.

Sara said...

But but... if people listened to you, what would I have done all day in the ED? Isn't "back pain for 3 weeks" a *perfect* reason to come in? ::headdesk::

Moof said...

Very good advice! Believe me, I will keep it in mind! *LOL*

SeaSpray said...

Seriously? About the residents? I may have surgery in April or not - I don't know and it will be in a teaching hospital. My current surgeon wants me in a hospital that has care 24/7 because he is concerned about the 20 hr peri-operative time.

Irish Doc said on her blog that the monkeys run the asylum in May and June and don't ever get sick then.

This is all amusing but then seriously?? If you were going to elect when to have a surgery, knowing you have risk factors - when would you really choose to do it? This inquiring mind really does want to know. - Thanks! :)

girl MD said...

If I had to pick, I'd pick April or May. You've got interns who know their stuff, senior residents who are used to supervising interns and spring in the air, which just puts everyone in a better mood. I'm not familiar with your particular situation, or Irish Doc, but that's just my general opinion.

But this line of commenting does bring up the point that this post is quite U.S.-centric. It also compels me to point out that the initial series of articles in the NY Times was likely meant as a humorous piece, not as real advice on when to get arrested or have a baby. Some things are out of our control and sometimes that's a good thing.

Here's hoping you never get sick ever again.

I'm sure we can come up with things for you to do that are more satisfying than back pain x 3 wks...i mean, drug seeking...i mean, my tooth hurts. yeah, that's it. my tooth hurts. i mean, my back.

VeganDoc said...

Amen on the last three! But really, having a heart attack on the weekend isn't good. Certain types of heart attacks are treated best with angioplasty. During the daytime in the week, the cath lab staff is already in the hospital, and you're treated rapidly. On a weekend or at night, you have to wait for them to arrive, and during that wait time, more heart muscle can die.