Thursday, August 27, 2015


I recently got the following letter in the mail from my former medical school:

This request irritated me on so many levels. Let me present the following exchange:

Friend: "Hey, I really need $160. Could you help me out?"

Me: "I can't, but..." (reaches into pocket) "'s 15 cents! That should help ease your burden."

Friend: (throws 15 cents in my face)

Basically, getting a letter from the school complaining about how much they themselves are charging the poor medical students and can't we help them out with some token amount of money is not going to get a donation from me.

I have no idea how the tuition at a state medical school got so high. It was only $11,000 a year when I started, and I only graduated about 10 years ago. The out-of-state tuition they quoted seems impossibly high. I think $80,000 a year might be a bit pricey for medical school.

But still, my sympathy is a little bit limited. When I donate money, I'd rather give it to somebody who really needs it, rather than some medical student I've never met who will probably be making more money than me in 10 years.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Yesterday at work, we were having a discussion about the big lottery jackpot. I don't play the lottery, because there's a much worse chance of winning than there is a being struck by lightning, but I get it that some people enjoy playing.

Anyway, we were all discussing what we would do if we won the lottery. Everybody had these grand plans. I was the only one who couldn't come up with anything I would do with the money.

It's not like I have the greatest life and I have everything I want, and I can't say I don't worry about money, but I really can't think of too many things in my life that would be fixed with just money. I feel like I have all the money that I need right now.

Would more money keep my kids from fighting? Probably not. It would just spoil them. Would it cure any of the medical issues I've had? Doubt it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hands free

Yesterday a lot of people seemed in favor of big phones with hands-free devices. My hands-free device is a piece of crap. Any recommendations for something decent that won't break the bank?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Weekly Whine: Big Phones

I currently have an iPhone 5s. I really love it. The size is perfect in terms of being small enough to fit in my hand and big enough for me to comfortably see the screen.

My husband has a iPhone 6. He likes it, but he says it's difficult to hold because of its size. And his hand is a lot bigger than mine.

I feel frustrated because if I want to upgrade my phone, I can't, because I don't want to have a giant phone. I just want something small that I can hold in my hand. Is the future of phones really having something so gigantic that you can't even hold it to make a phone call?

My husband claims that nobody wants small phones anymore. But then he admits that he wants a smaller phone. And I want a smaller phone. I can't believe that we are the only two people in the universe who don't want a gigantic phone.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Good news/bad news

Urologist: "I have some good news and some bad news for you, sir."

Patient: "what's the bad news?"

Urologist: "you are retaining urine and we have to put a catheter back in your bladder."

Patient: "And what's the good news?"

Urologist: "Obama is only going to be president for another 14 months."

Monday, August 17, 2015

Extra credit

I was recently reading this story about an extra credit question on a final exam posed to a class of students:

My instant response was that I would pick two points. 10% is not very much, so that seems like the safest answer to get any points at all. But apparently, only one class in the entire time the professor has been asking the question has gotten the extra credit points.

How many points would you pick and why?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Weekly Whine: Advertising

It really bothers me when something that I am already paying for is coated with advertisement. I don't mind commercials on TV, because I know that pays for the shows, but it bothers me when I've already paid a lot.

Movies are a good example of this. If I pay $60 to take my family to the movies, I feel like I shouldn't have to watch advertisement for 20 minutes.

The thing that really baffles me is websites that sell products having advertisements. Like on fandango, I get so inundated with their movie trailers, I can't even use this site to buy tickets sometimes. When your advertisements make it hard for me to buy your product, that's a problem.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


I like Donald Trump. I truly do. Because the guy is just the biggest asshole ever and has no chance of winning the election, which I'm sure he realizes, so I can only assume that he is running for our personal amusement. So I really appreciate that he's spending so much money just to make this election fun for us.

That said, if we were to take his candidacy seriously for a minute, I can't fathom how any female in her right mind would ever vote for him. Is there something I'm missing?

1) The guy sponsors the Miss America pageant, which obviously completely objectifies women.

2) He has publicly referred to women (Rosie O'Donnell for starters) as "ugly"

3) He may have raped his wife. And when his wife accused him of this, his lawyer stated that you can't rape your wife, so he's obviously innocent.

4) He called a female lawyer "disgusting" for wanting a break from a trial to pump milk for her 3-month-old baby.

5) When a woman does something to piss him off, his first response is to suggest she's on her period. I hate Megyn Kelly, but that was still really obnoxious.

6) He seems to believe vaccines cause autism. Well, maybe Jenny McCarthy would vote for him. So that's one woman.

I know he has 18% of the Republican vote right now, but I really find it very hard to believe that any of those 18% are women.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dr. Orthochick: Simple joys

Simple Joy of Surgical Residency #37:

I finally took off the underpants I was wearing for 41 straight hours in 85 degree heat.

(and if you would excuse me, I'm off to really experience sensory overload by taking a shower. And maybe, you know, sleeping. Because it's been 41 hours.)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Code Hair

When I was growing up, I thought I was the hairiest girl in the world. My two best friends were Chinese and Vietnamese, and were virtually hairless. Compared to them, I felt like an ape.

Then when I was in medical school, my best friend was Indian, and after talking with her, I decided that maybe I was just the hairiest white girl in the world.

Lately though, I've been talking to more and more women and realizing that not only am I not the hairiest white girl in the world, I'm probably about average. I really had no idea how much hair removal women go through.

Many times, we will have a woman admitted to the hospital who had some sort of significant traumatic brain injury or stroke, and because she can no longer take care of it, her facial hair gets a little bit out of control. It's not at all uncommon if the woman is elderly, but I feel much worse if the woman is in her 30s or 40s. I'm pretty sure that she wouldn't want her family and friends seeing her with a mustache and beard.

Obviously, these women have much worse problems, but at the same time, I still feel like we should do something about it. We should let these women have their dignity.

But what can we do? It's not like we're some sort of experts in hair removal. And it seems like a weird thing to even broach the topic with the patient or family. "Hey, would you like us to wax your wife's mustache?"

So generally, we just let them be hairy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dr. Orthochick: Confession

I would like to take this opportunity to make a confession:

After my third year med school general surgery rotation we had to take a skills test that involved doing a horizontal mattress suture, a vertical mattress suture, and a couple of hand-tied knots....

Not only could I not do any of that, but I started crying while attempting to tie a knot and the woman in the room who was precepting told me to stop, hugged me, and then told me to try again, sweetie.

I really feel like that should have prevented me from becoming a surgeon, not because I couldn't do it, but because i started crying and quit.

(If I pulled that now, I think I'd get kicked out of residency and they'd be right to do so.)

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Way back when I released Baby City, I mentioned that a portion of the profits would be donated to the fistula foundation, a charity that helps women with childbirth injuries in developing countries. I just wanted anyone interested to know that I have donated $250 to the fistula foundation based on profits from May and June.

Thank you to everyone who bought the book!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Weekly Whine: Road Rage

I think that the Internet has taught us that when people feel anonymous, they will act like jerks. But I think road rage is worse than Internet rage, just because it can potentially be dangerous. When I'm driving, the only thing that matters to me is getting from point A to point B safely. If I'm a few minutes late to wherever I'm going, the world will not come to an end. I can't think of any place that I need to be exactly on time that is worth risking my life over.

Other people apparently feel differently.

There's this really difficult left turn I have to make when I leave work. The visibility isn't great, and of course everybody is speeding in both directions, which makes it harder. But on multiple occasions, I have made the turn with plenty of room, yet somebody has honked at me (and I mean really leaned on that horn) just because maybe they had to lift their foot off the accelerator for half a second. I'm not making a left turn as a personal insult to you, I swear. Honestly, when I see people trying to make what look like difficult left turns, I usually slow down to let them go.

I don't think people should be allowed to honk their horn out of anger. Horns should be used in order to prevent an accident, or possibly as an alert. That's it.

A friend of mine was recently telling me a story about how she was at a light and her car just died. She immediately turned on the blinkers, and most people recognized that she couldn't move the car and went around her. But there were one or two cars that just didn't get it, and kept honking and honking angrily. She said that one guy finally went around her, and gave her the finger and yelled curses at her.

I can't imagine what would make a person behave that way. Oddly, she told me she got out of the car after that, and subsequently multiple people stopped to ask her if they could help. Maybe after she was out of the car, she was less anonymous, so people felt more compelled to be nice?