Archive for the ‘Housekeeping’ category

Navel Gazing

June 2, 2009

I’m sure by now, some of you are wondering why there hasn’t been another Hard Conversations post. To be honest, I’ve been struggling about how to handle these posts.

If you’re not interested in a rather navel-gazy post, you can skip this one. The summary: Hard Conversations has been delayed because I’m tired of denialists using this as a forum to look respectable. To even the playing field, I’m changing my commenting policy.  

It’s become abundantly clear that by forcing my commentors to be civil, I’ve handicapped the pro-science contingent. Instead of providing a purely educational forum, every post becomes a haven for uninformed, willfully ignorant individuals to post gibberish.




May 14, 2009

Sorry I haven’t posted more science this past week, It’s been a little crazy, I’ve been on call quite a bit.

I’m happy with the response to Bittersweet. I’m glad people enjoyed it, sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond to comments individually. To those who read it and enjoyed it, I’m curious. Did you come out of it feeling like I reinforced alot of the medical stereotypes you see on TV? I was hoping to tell the story so as to make medicine real, not glamorous. I was little thrown off when people thought it could have been an ER or Gray’s Anatomy script.

For those reading the comments, yes, Papa Tales is actually my father.

I’m currently postcall, which means that I’ve been in the hospital rather than in bed for far too long. I happen to have another couple of stories that will eventually be good posts here (I hope).

For those who have been following OBGYN dreamin’, while I was on call, I did get to deliver another baby. It was under much more normal circumstances, and both baby and mother are doing well today. I don’t know if I”ll be writing about it, but if I do, it’ll be more involved in our discussion about jadedness, and whether or not doctors think of things as “just another procedure.”

In the meantime, I’m happy to point out another sciencey type blogger for you to read. Esa Ttezza writes at Esattezza: Scaling an Ivory tower. He or she is another relatively new blogger, and so far, is an entertaining read. Yes, I was curious about the name too, and my limited google fu tells me that Ezattezza seems to be italian for something along the lines of precision, or accuracy.

For now guys, enjoy,


Later tonight

May 10, 2009

Those who have been following OBGYN dreamin’ will know that one of my goals this rotation was to deliver a baby. I did get a delivery, but it wasn’t exactly how I imagined. For myself, as much as for you guys, I’m blogging about it. If possible, it will go up later tonight – depending on how obsessive I get about trying to get it right before posting.

In an effort to focus better, I’m blogging about this in two posts. One will isolate the science, not of birth, but of a specific medical condition. The other will be my experience. By doing this I’m hoping to keep the science from interfering with the broader questions we’re interested in, and keep the broader questions from interfering with the science education.

As you read,  I’d like you to think about a some of the questions that we’ve been starting to talk about, and a few questions I’ve been wanting to talk about.  How and why do doctors act jaded? Are even major events like birth are “just another procedure” to those in the medical field? How does one cope with the responsbility of effectively having someones life in your hands? How do you balance giving people the best care with educating doctors and nurses for the future?

Hanging up my shingle

March 29, 2009

I never know where to start things so I’m just going to start in the middle, and work my way to the edges. This is what I’d like to do with this blog, and why.

1. I’d like to Teach people about medicine as it relates to their health. I’ve noticed the average person doesn’t really understand what medicines they’re taking why they’re taking it, or why that would even be important.

I want to be clear about this; I will not treat people over the internet. By writing an article about hypertension I’m not giving you medical advice about hypertension, and you cannot print my blog off, take it to the pharmacy and get some pills.

What I am trying to do, is educate you. I want you to read, and then go to your doctor and say “Hey so I read this about hypertension, is that kid full of it, or is this something we should think about?”

This absolutely includes debunking bad medicine, but I hope to do it in an educational way: rather than saying “Honey doesn’t cure cancer stupid”, I’ll try to say “This is honey doesn’t cure cancer, heres the evidence.”

2. Speaking of evidence, I want to introduce science and evidence based medicine (EBM) to people who don’t know about it.

EBM is a movement in medicine away from anecdotes and “this is just how I do it” as a reasons for what we do, towards using science, statistics and the experiences of lots of doctors, as evidence to decide what we do.

I want you to know why this is important, and how this affects you. Rather than get your information about medicine from the 10th ad for Cialis that leaves you thinking “Well I know Mike Ditka likes it, but what the heck does it do?” Everyone should be able to proficiently google, or talk to their doctor, about the real evidence.

3. Debunk ER, House, and even Scrubs: The popular media describes doctors in completely unrealistic ways: somehow all the good doctors are poor and drive beat up cars, and all the bad doctors are flashy Mercedes driving tools. For some reason good doctors usually have bad tempers, bad manners and can’t talk to someone for three minutes without being condescending.

I’d like to bring you a realistic view of medicine, from behind the curtain. I’ll be writing about my personal experiences in medicine and hopefully show you that medicine is harder, stranger, cooler, and far more rewarding than you’ve ever seen on TV.

4. I’d like to write clearly enough that people with a high school education can read it. But I’d also like to be substantive enough that the discriminating blog-reading public will be entertained, and hopefully informed. Along the way, a few laughs would be nice.

To help with all that, I’d love for all you readers out there to contact me directly. Click here to get my email address (it’s only hidden to avoid spam) or leave a comment anywhere on the blog -I’ll make every effort to reply. I guarantee that I will read every email, and I will reply to as many as I can. I will never share your information with anyone without your permission, see my disclaimers for all questions about privacy. If you want to give me permission to blog about your question (without revealing any information about you) please say so in your email.

Just to be clear, I absolutely don’t want you to email me saying “Hey Whitecoat Tales, my blood pressure was 170/100 today, what should I do?” My answer will ALWAYS be “Go see your doctor!” I do want you to email me saying “Hey Whitecoat Tales, I saw this article about Echinacea, is it for real? Feel free to blog about this.”

Hopefully that’s enough of a rundown that everyone will check back again for a real update, or email me questions. For now, Enjoy!

-Whitecoat Tales

This post last edited 3/29/09

Not really my first post

March 16, 2009

Hello and welcome!
If you’re reading this, you lucky dog you, you’re getting a peek before this blog is open for business.
Expect good things. Expect great things. Whitecoat Tales is hard at work getting ready to bring you a great first real post. Expect that to be 3/28/09. Until then, thanks for stopping by!