Monday, November 23, 2015

Spam filter

I really have to question google blogger's spam filters if they did not flag the following comment as spam:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Was I wrong?

A few years ago, I used to supervise residents during an interdisciplinary clinic. The resident would work with me four days of the week. On Thursday morning, the residents would have lecture. Since there was no clinic in the afternoon on Thursdays, they basically had the afternoon off.

On one occasion, the interdisciplinary team was meeting to discuss one of the patients. Usually we had these meetings on Friday, but for whatever reason, we had to have the meeting on Thursday afternoon. This was an important meeting, which was supposed to last about an hour.

As I said, the resident generally had Thursday afternoon off because there was no clinic. But because there was this meeting, and the resident knew this patient very well, I asked her if she would come.

Basically, she looked at me like I was crazy and told me that she had Thursday afternoon off. And acted like I was being unreasonable for even having asked.

We had the meeting without her and life went on. But I was also always kind of peeved that she didn't show up. I'm sure if she was on an inpatient rotation, she wouldn't of got to have Thursday afternoon off. It wasn't like Thursday afternoon was protected time. She just expected the afternoon off.

There was a similar situation that happened while I was a resident. Another resident had a clinic that was ending at 2 PM, and an attending asked if he would stay an extra hour or two to help at an adjacent clinic that was overbooked. The resident refused, saying he had to look at cars or something, and the attending was so angry that he blocked that resident from becoming chief the next year.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I just wanted to let everybody know that based on the revenue for the month of October for 11 out of 10, I was able to donate $1200 to Deworm the World initiative!  Thanks to everyone who bought a copy. I think this is the most money that I ever "raised" for charity.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


In the Amazon reviews of Baby City, multiple people complained about the number of typos. Early on, two people complained in their reviews, one even saying they lowered their review because of it. One of those people was nice enough to tell me that they had kept track of all the many typos they found in case I wanted to fix them. Of course, I said absolutely yes and they forwarded me the typos. I expected at least several dozen.

There were five.

Five typos in over 400 pages. Roughly one typo per 100 pages was terrible enough that multiple people complained and one person lowered their review.

So I fixed the typos, and yet I still get complaints. There can't possibly be more than one or two left. Yet I recently got a review from somebody saying they had never seen so many typos in a novel.

I feel like I'm going crazy. How is it that so many people are complaining about typos in this book? The weird thing is that my other books have typos too, which I've noticed when looking at them later, yet not even one person has complained.

The fact of the matter is that I don't have the resources of a major publishing company to have multiple people going combing through a book. As good as my editor is, she is one person. In light of that, I think my book is very cleanly edited and free from mistakes that I find in a lot of other self published books, like characters' names randomly changing.

So what is the deal with all the complaints about typos? And seriously, would 5 typos in 400 pages really be something you would feel affects the quality of the book and disrupts your "reading pleasure"?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


The other day, I saw a patient who used to be a teacher, and I mentioned that my daughter was in the same grade she used to teach. We got to talking about it, and she asked me a bunch of questions about my daughter, who I of course always love to talk about.

Years ago, I remember reading an article about how doctors shouldn't discuss non-medical things with patient. It cited as an example a doctor and patient who got so caught up discussing the doctors recent trip to Europe that they forgot to discuss one of the patient's medical issues. I obviously really took that article to heart, and I try not to discuss my personal life with patients.

But patients seem to want to discuss me, for some reason. At the end of a visit, when I ask the patient if they have questions, about a third of the time, it's a personal question about me. (Often it's asking me if my hair is naturally curly.)

Is it wrong to discuss your personal life with a patient?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Necklace of Yasagriell

Years ago, when Lord of the Rings was popular, my husband and I wrote a story together that was supposed to be a spoof of the trilogy. I recently ran across it and thought it was pretty funny:

Prosolo gasped as she clawed at the peak of the Halobarad Mountain, her paws slipping on the slick rocks.

"The necklace of Yasagriell," Prosolo breathed, as she gazed upon the shimmering circle of light that was illuminated by a ray of sun.

For thousands of years, the necklace of Yasagriell had been protected by a worthy member of the tribe of Beaudeindalf. The Beaudeindalves were winged creatures that sacrificed one castrated male each year to defend the necklace of Yasagriell. This had been the purpose of the Beaudeindalves in Middle Earth since the beginning of time.

But in the last century, all of the Beaudeindalves had been slain by a gypsy tribe of Tirithiomirs. Tirithiomirs were a particularly fierce breed of elves that Prosolo had come across only once in her life, when she was only a child wandering through a forest, and it had made a tingle go through her thick fur. Prosolo was later told by her grandmother Legoladaine that the Tirithiomirs had led a secret attack on the Beaudeindalves in the Valley of Malahthiel, killing all but Ondodo, Grandolier, Nobb, and Vanaroond, their eldest members, who were later sacrificed to Andumeeh, the elfin god of the Tirithiomirs.

It was uncertain if the Tirithiomirs had slain the Beaudeindalves with the intention of swiping the necklace of Yasagriell. But if this was the case, Prosolo could not let this happen. She had to protect the necklace of Yasagriell herself at any cost.

As Prosolo edged toward the necklace, she was suddenly blinded by a creature that leaped in her way. She fell back upon her hind legs, and watched the blue animal with thick fur snatch up the necklace with his paw. The creature held up the necklace of Yasagriell in the air triumphantly.

Prosolo felt her stomach sink. "Who... who are you?" she stammered. He didn't appear to be a Tirithiomir. "What do you want this necklace for?"

"I need this necklace to get to the next level," the creature explained. "My name is Sonic."

Monday, November 2, 2015

Current events

Every time I see a patient with cognitive deficits, I ask the same questions:

"Who is the President?"


"Who do you think is going to be the next President?"

It's my own little unofficial poll.  I'm not really getting any reasonable answers yet though. Most people just look at me, shake their head, and say, "I have no idea."  Which is probably a reasonable answer right now.  Most people who hazard a guess usually say Trump.

In terms of assessing current events knowledge, it would be just as easy to ask them to name a few candidates. But that's not as fun.  

Although I do worry that at some point somebody will complain that I'm trying to talk politics with them.  Which is why I'm careful not to give any sort of opinion of my own. I just listen.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Psyching

In honor of Halloween, for a short time, my short story The Psyching (included at the end of "11 out of 10") will be available for free in the Kindle store!

Download a copy now!

Here is the blurb. Obviously, any similarity to The Shining is completely and utterly not not coincidental.

Jack Lawson's job as the psychiatric resident at the Overlook Hospital is perfect for him. As the overnight resident on call at the psychiatric ward, he'll have plenty of time to spend teaching his medical students, Danni and Wendy, and working on his writing. And most importantly, sleeping.

But as the evening wears on, the idyllic psych ward feels ever more boring… and also more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook Hospital is Danni Gerard, a uniquely gifted 24-year-old medical student.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Write a sentence

The Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) is a test given to elderly patients as an assessment of their memory and cognition. One of the questions on the test asks the patient to write down a sentence of their choosing. I recently performed this test on a patient who is 90 years old, and I think they wrote my absolute favorite sentence in all my years of performing this test:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Photo day

Photo day at school has definitely taken on a new meaning in modern times.

When I was a kid, my parents agonized over how many copies of which picture to get. Or I'm sure they would have, if they were interested in pictures. Anyway, what I'm saying is I'm sure it was important in those days.

Now all I want is one copy so I can make my own damn prints. I'm paying for somebody to take a nice picture of my kid, that's it.

Somehow the packages don't reflect that:

I don't know why anyone would pay so much money for a bunch of prints that they can order on their own for 1/10 of the price. I feel like these companies should just recognize that and basically just email us the one print at whatever cost is reasonable.