Saturday, March 24, 2007

How I feel this month

My residency just matched with six great interns for the coming year, but not all program directors feel the same about their prospects. Many directors have called for reductions in the number of spots available for training in Family Medicine, thereby (so the theory goes) increasing competition for the remaining spots.

I'm all for high quality students entering my specialty, but think reducing the number of training slots is the wrong way to go. The country needs primary care badly. But just as we need to lose weight and fix the mess in Iraq, some things are easier said than done.

I have two different patients in two different hospitals slowly dying of cancer and substance abuse, respectively. My experience with each provides a sobering contrast with our recent successful recruiting year, a contrast echoed by Sandra Miller's excellent essay "Endangered Species" (pdf 40k) from last week's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The choice

The first comment is the one that resonates in my household.

Jon Haloto: Macbook it is.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

Is the US ready for the Smart Car?

A co-worker of mine owns Philadelphia's only 'legal' Smart Car. She lives in the city's Art Museum area, driving it around to commute when she's not riding her bicycle. Unfortunately it's been vandalized twice while parked on her street. Clearly not all the attention it garners is positive.

She's reported the latest smashed windshield and driver's window to the police but there have been no leads. Look closely and you'll see that's plastic on the driver's side held in place with duct tape - you'll also see the smashed windshield just below the inspection stickers.

Can you help find out who did it?

Write your play

Robin is a new co-worker of mine. She enters charge entry data and reconciles payments against charges for our busy residency practice at Penn. But her real ambition in life is to win a Tony for best new play. While talking to her I was reminded of my former life with Actors' Guild of Lexington (as president of their board many moons ago) and also my love affair with Actors Theatre of Louisville, whose Humana Festival of New American Plays continues to feed new material to Broadway and elsewhere. Actors' Guild is easily the more grass roots and exciting to me, in part because of their mission to present compelling modern american theater. Seeing their production of Angels in America is still a highlight of my live performance watching experience.

The discussion with Robin also reminded me of a question I once had during a job interview: "Do you write every day?" The wisdom of this being that if you didn't now you were unlikely to do so. No need to wait for an assignment, a job, or for more time. The barriers (for me anyway) were all internal.

Robin: Write your play. I'll come to see it - even if it's only a reading.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Smell the Moussaka

Walking to an early morning meeting yesterday I walked past the spot that sealed the deals - both my marriage and our honeymoon. Walking by one morning in the Fall of 1987 my future wife and I smelled food and walked in to a greek glendi in progress. Being introduced to spanikopita, baklava, and moussaka and shortly thereafter being *forced* to dance. No sitting was allowed. Now that's a culture we just had to explore further.

This is a poor phone cam picture but I couldn't resist. There are too many memories in this town!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Compact Parking - not

Wish I'd orderded some of the bumper stickers Leo pointed to last month.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Stopping for Life

Clark DeLeon posted a shot from Fairmount park's Belmont Plateau last
Fall. Ever since I've been telling myself I'd stop along the drive
south on 34th street in front of the Philadelphia Zoo to get a shot
of the boat basin under the Art Museum. Today I brought in my camera
to catch some pictures of my new doctoring class, which meets for the
first time today. Having the camera with me, I stopped for the shot but the light was better for this one - a tunnel of trees waiting for spring. I need a higher resolution camera to catch the details in these branches.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Test picture. Cute dog, huh?


If daylight savings time starts, baseball is on the radio (Phils give up 4 in the 7th inning to lose the lead - will they get it back?) and the temperature is 45 degrees warmer than five days ago is it spring yet?