I was considering Grad School…and then I saw this. HILARIOUS!

This is hilarious and very true for anyone who has done or is considering an MD or PhD. There is no person more unpopular than a girl medic in the science lab, apart from maybe a guy medic who turns up wearing a shirt and tie in his first day.


A new gift idea for your loved ones: Graduate School Barbie (TM).

Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master’s Barbie (TM) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (TM).

Every Graduate School Barbie comes with these fun-filled features guaranteed to delight and entertain for hours: Grad School Barbie comes out of the box with a big grin on her face that turns into a frown after 2 weeks or her first advisor meeting (whichever comes first). She also has adorable black circles under her delightfully bloodshot eyes.

Comes with two outfits: a grubby pair of blue jeans and 5-year-old gap T-shirt, and a floppy pair of gray sweatpants with a matching “I hate my life” T-shirt. Grad School Barbie talks! Just press the button on her left hand and hear her say such upbeat grad school phrases like, “Yes, Professor, It’ll be done by tomorrow”, “I’d love to rewrite” and “Why…

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I think Nicole Scherzinger looks amazing, she is the loveliest thing on British TV by a long shot. I willingly overlook her inability (on The X-factor) to say anything negative directly by her odd technique of wrapping every negative comment in sugar sweet southern positivity; “For me you look great, you are great, I love your outfit but the vocal was weak. I love you though”. If she didn’t look so lovely I’d find her annoying, but I don’t; I just want to know what she does to her hair to make it so big and bouncy and wonderful. Maybe if I had hair like her hair, I would be able to give such excellent feedback “You correctly identified the problem, but for me your management of the patient was abysmal and they have nearly bled to death. I love your look though”

I would love, love, love to spend hours bouffing my hair and going to the gym every single day and planning what I was going to wear on Saturday night. This is of course the problem for normal people who work, have kids, have friends, have obligations, do exercise and try and cram far too much into a day- how can I get Scherzinger hair in 15 minutes? I can’t, she can’t, nobody can probably. Women notice good grooming and we admire it and American women are way better at it than us, if you want to have a quick comparison switch between the Bloomberg channel anchorwomen and the BBC news presenters.

When I mentioned to Mr KBW how nice I thought Nicole’s hair was he replied by saying thoughtfully “her hair…..I usually notice her boobs.” I must email Nicole and tell her to save herself the bother because my goodness that woman goes to a lot of bother.


Nuclear Power Stations

I had to make an unpopular decision today at work involving moving staff about to cover various duties due to sick leave of a colleague. I have inconvenienced a few people and apologised for this but explained that it had to be done. My decision isn’t particularly grand or important but it is part of having some responsibility that sometimes difficult decisions have to be made.
This is a concept foreign to our own Prime Minister and government, though I can’t lay the blame solely at Dave and Nick’s door. They are slowly, slowly making their way to a low carbon economy; so slowly in fact, it is hard to see it happening, a bit like watching a glacier melt…
The public want and need energy, constantly, loads of it. They do not want coal mining, they don’t want to pay for oil, they don’t want fracking (goodness no) they don’t want nuclear (mainly because of Chernobyl in 1983. Yet the same logic isn’t applied to air travel and Lockerbie) they don’t want wind farms anywhere near them, they don’t want hydro electric (they’ll have to buy it from Scotland), they don’t want solar panels on their roofs. In order to deal with this public disquiet about all sources of energy pissing off at least one group of voters successive governments have spectacularly failed to to address the nations energy needs and have made no plans at all so as to avoid making a difficult decision. Isn’t that what leadership is?
So a deal has been struck with China by two dimwits of astronomical proportions George and Boris and never mind that China is as untransparent as they come and as dodgy (Amnesty keeps a list). How they have decided that this is the best option I don’t know, but presumably they’ve realised that economic reality means deals with China have to be made and chances are by the time these new power stations are contributing to the national grid George and Boris will be in opposition.

“the thing is your super holiness, we know that China hasn’t been very nice to you but they’re so rich we can’t say no”


No room at the inn

I am not always mad keen on the general practitioners that I come across on the telephone discussing admissions as you may recall but the ones I have dealt with recently as a patient and a parent are marvellous. First of all I had neglected to arrange a repeat prescription of contraception and appeared in my practice on a Friday afternoon to ask if they could help, I was deliberately a bit vague and stupid as I was after anything helpful; the pills themselves, a prescription or even a promise that I could collect a prescription tomorrow. The receptionist took about 5 minutes to hand me a signed repeat prescription for 6 months of pills. Next up, first born child was mildly unwell requiring non urgent attention, an appointment the same day at a convenient time was given.

It was all marvellously satisfying. It didn’t take much to make me very happy with my GP and I only saw one for 2 minutes whilst she advised on which ear drops to try. The infrastructure that allowed a same day appointment and the helpful receptionist were just as important as any medical care.

Some of my patients are irritated this week with the care they are getting in the Big Hospital. I have spent time every day apologising for delays in scans being done, scans being reported and scans being cancelled due to more important ones being needed. Also, due to patients waiting endlessly for rehabilitation beds two of my elective operations didn’t get beds on the main ward and were boarded out. This is totally appalling and something us doctors are not allowed to publicly complain about. I have four elderly but well patients who need rehabilitated prior to getting home. I have patients coming in for elective surgery but my ward is full. So the crazy situation occurs that the new operative patients are sent to the far corners of the hospital and are cared for by non specialist nurses (though still good nurses) and by any old ward junior doctor. Up on my ward with the highly skilled and experienced nurses and my team of juniors who I know and trust and crucially know and understand this sort of operation and the post operative course, lie four well and lovely old people who need help getting dressed and washed and are a bit wobbly but ARE NOT ILL. I am not saying that the elderly should be moved and boarded, of course not. Should we cancel elective operations on the grounds that the right bed isn’t available? Maybe, it would certainly make management listen and take action. It’s like going to an Italian restaurant and on arrival being told you are going to be sitting next door in the Indian restaurant and someone will bring your dinner through to you. Wards are wards and restaurants are restaurants management must think and although you’ll get a knife and fork in every restaurant, you’ll be offered mango chutney and a poppadom instead of Parmesan if you’re having linguine in the wrong place. I know my patients that have been boarded will get on ok and be looked after just fine on a different ward but it is far from optimal.

So, General Practice: score 1 for a satisfied mother and another 1 for a satisfied patient. Big Hospital: score -2 for boarded electives and -3 for scans delayed, cancelled and not reported.
Number of times I apologised for our rubbish service: too many to count.


Hello my name is

You may have read somewhere or seen in the press the campaign commenced by fellow wordpress blogger Dr Kate Granger, “Hello my name is”. The campaign is to encourage medical staff to introduce themselves to each and every patient that they encounter and she is quite right too. Nowadays I am very good at the introducing myself part, but I have to admit that the rest of the ward round get referred to as “the ward doctors” or “the team” or “the doctors and some medical students”. The reality is that the ward round has to be over by 9am so I can get to theatre and there is no way that I can introduce the 10 people on the round to the 30 patients we whizz around. I hope though that Kate would forgive me for this as I am the one doing the talking and the touching and the others are learning or writing down the jobs, I hope.

In defence of medical staff everywhere I wonder if Kate remembers what it was like to be the most junior member of the team and feel that you are the “fucking house officer” or the “useless F1”. You are at times not treated by all of your colleagues as worthy of having a name and so to introduce yourself to a patient whom you are not going to see again can seem unnecessarily confusing and time consuming. I often said “hello I am one of the doctors” and left my name out of it when I was having chance encounters in the night to take blood, site IV’s and attend to the demented and distressed. Mrs Goggins doesn’t need to know your name when she’s puking blood and has a BP of 70 systolic and it can muddy the waters somewhat especially for us girls as quite a few patients who are acutely confused will begin arguing that this “daft wee lassie” cannot be the doctor. I suspect that there are circumstances that we wold be excused the introductions in the interests of administering life saving care.

I was thinking about the “hello my name is” campaign today as it was mentioned in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) yesterday which I finally have caught up with, mainly by throwing out all the unopened BMJs and deciding to make a fresh start with the most recent one. It was jolly good actually with a nice article on the treatment of gout and quite a bit of controversy about the MRCGP exam being racist. The BMJ has something for everyone most weeks, and it is readable and very magazine like. The same cannot be said for the BJS (British Journal of Surgery) which is so boring and dry and sterile that you really need to psyche yourself up for it. So far I have taken the same three unopened BJS magazines to Italy (twice) and Spain (once), I shudder to think of the carbon footprint but I shudder more when I look inside and begin to read the thing. So, clever old me has come up with a rule, no other magazines until I read those BJSs, no Grazia, no Vogue, no sneaky peeks at heat magazine in the gym, no Red, no Marie Claire.

I am also going to stop optimistically taking the BJS abroad and introduce it into my reading habits this week at some point. Not now though, obviously.