Archive for January, 2010

Sunday, January 24th 2010

Pete Carroll Leaves USC

I’m a Trojan alum and a huge college football fan. I was sad to see Pete Carroll leave for the NFL but unlike some Trojans (and Vols) I’m happy to see Kiffin return, even without Norm Chow on the staff.

Funny or Die has a half bizarre of a skit Pete Carroll participated in after he decided to leave USC.

Pete Carroll’s Trip to Seattle Delayed from Rob Riggle

Now Pete has always been playful and something of a kidder and the skit is somewhat humorous but I’m not sure I’ll ever understand in full what Pete was thinking when he decided to participate in making it.

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Friday, January 22nd 2010

Who Those Dems?

Much has been made of Senator-elect Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, especially concerning its effect on the future of health care reform.

Their options are few, and extremely complex, mostly involving legislative tactics that would be difficult to pull off in the best of circumstances, let alone at a time when members are worried they could be the next Martha Coakley – a seeming Democratic shoo-in laid low, in part, by health reform.

And already Tuesday night, Democrats were being forced to come to terms with the prospect that their decades-long goal of health reform might once again fall short, despite getting closer to becoming law than ever before.

Since the initial shock of the loss things have not significantly improved. That’s a stunning admission, that Democratic majorities in the House and Senate may not come through to muster anything of health care reform. Their options are well spelled out across the blogosphere but essentially include the House passing the Senate bill as is, reconciliation or scaling down health care reform to something that could attract a bipartisan vote in the Senate.

Pelosi has been public and clear that she does not think she has the votes in the House for the Senate bill.

That in and of itself should be stunning and dismaying to Democrats and liberals. When history is finally written the political story of my generation is going to be the indecisiveness, incohesiveness and just plain terrible political game played by the Democratic Congressional caucus. In power and out of it Democratic Congressional leadership has been a sham. Gentleman Sam, who?

The fact a generational President, who stepped in with broad support and a Speaker who led her party to historic gains in the House can’t coerce groups like the Blue Dogs and Stupak’s gang into support what is, at least percieved, as once in a lifetime legislation is nothing short of political failure.

Even as the horror of the loss of Kennedy’s former seat wears off the Democrats remain divided and confused and generally thunderstruck. From the DCCC chair to Senator Dodd to comments from Republicans (mp3), there shouldn’t be a lot of hope from liberals.

As John Stewart says, “See, it’s not that the Democrats are playing checkers and the Republicans are playing chess. It’s that the Republicans are playing chess and the Democrats are in the nurse’s office because once again they glued their balls to their thighs.”

Democrats have to elect some actual politicians to leadership roles.

I continue to be of the mindset that meaningful reform was dead long ago. The Senate bill doesn’t offer a lot of hope for cost containment, and thus in the long run, improving access to care. That’s for another post however. I’m merely perpetually surprised the Democrats can’t even get the minimum the Senate managed to squeeze out onto the books.

It goes beyond the Capitol, to Democratic allies who have done just a terrible job with the message to the public.

I’m hardly crying over such; I don’t support reform. But I’m surprised I’m getting my wish.

Thursday, January 21st 2010

Annoyed To Be In The Operating Room

It’s sacrilege to not want to be the OR if you’re a surgeon, or a wannabe.

I’m guilty of it this rotation. Not only am I not actively seeking out the OR, I’m attempting to avoid it. And today, spending the day in it against my wishes, I’m peeved.

My disdain is multifactorial. Some of the reasons for avoiding scrubbing in are personal and beyond discussion here. But, in part, the fact is I’m tired of general surgery. I want to be a neurosurgeon and if I never see the inside of an abdomen ever again I would be beyond comfortable with that. Even agreeing that any operating time is good learning experience I can’t shake that sentiment.

Toss me anything with a neurosurgical faculty, an osteoma or a shunt or a trauma crani, and I would be there with glee. But I just cannot shake my distaste for what I’ve been doing over the past seven months or for what I had to do today.

Despite my own misgivings about scrubbing in, I can’t understand future general surgeons refusing general surgery (or its subspecialties) cases. I faced such today.

There was a single OR running today with four cases.

There are five residents on my service. It is highly over staffed. Four of the residents want to be future general surgeons. I’m the lone outcast. One was on call, I understand him not wanting to drive across town to scrub in. That left three others, all of whom are seeking to impress the faculty, to garner a good evaluation from this rotation. I’m alone in having my evaluation bear no impact on my future. I’m alone in not wanting to be a general surgeon. And yet I was sent to scrub in.

My response was frank annoyance, hardly professional, but I figure hardly misplaced in full.

It’s true I’ve managed to avoid the OR but for a handful of times and left the responsibility (and may I opine, privilege) to the general surgery wannabes on the services. I imagine them figuring I needed to shoulder my share of the ‘scrub in burden’. But what a ridiculous notion. The fact general surgery residents figured scrubbing in as a burden; essentially refused several general surgery cases out of what I can’t help but call laziness is bizarre and worth criticism.

My own avoidance of operating experience is something of laziness although my reasons on this particular rotation, as I said, are complex. But if anyone could be afforded an excuse for such it’s myself; with nothing at stake on this rotation unlike all the others.

And while throwing ones fellow residents under the bus is something of a shameful act I have to ask about today, “What the hell?”

The one guy with the most legitimate (at least I feel so) excuses for not going into the OR is prodded in so everyone else can take a lazy breather?

I’m annoyed.