Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Harvard Class Report

Every few years, Harvard's dedicated class secretaries will send emails. Most of the time, these contain some form of panhandling, but today I received an email from the class of 2005 about submitting essays for the Class Report. One of the amusing things about Harvard is that the Institution loves its obscure, time-honored rituals and idiosyncrasies (the old incompatible 16-point grading system which was abolished sophomore year comes to mind), most of which are unknown to me until someone tells me that it's time to do it.

Today, I received an email about the November deadline for the Class Report. I have never heard of this "Red Book," a collection of updates on the lives of my classmates to be written, published, and disseminated every five years until at least the 50th reunion. As the article suggests, it does seem to function as a "collective personal diary" or glorified class reunion paper bound in red leather (very dark ages, charming).

Several things came to mind:
1) i have a writing assignment from a school that i already graduated from?
2) is it almost 2010 already?
3) good thing that i changed my alum status to class of 2006 so that i can worry about it next year!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Valuable Teaching

Currently on neurovascular ICU at Moffitt and enjoying it. The residents are amazing, the faculty are wonderful and the teaching is impressive and inspiring. In fact, everything about the neurology program at UCSF is inspiring. Tomorrow will be my third day off in 3 weeks, but neuro has been a very formative experience that will help me be a better doctor.

Valuable teaching:
1) from neurovasc fellow: stop using algorithms to treat patients, use them as guides but remember that every patient is different with different treatment plans. being able to manage complex patients and make complex decision-making is the difference between a great doctor and a mediocre one.
2) a good history and physical is the foundation of any good management plan
3) stop giving patients multivitamins, it's just one more pill (again, see rule number 1)
4) always localize the lesion first
5) learning how to sift through information is more important than coming up with the diagnosis when you are learning
6) diagnosing patients early can still help them plan their lives, even if there is no treatment
7) enjoy your life
8) Find your platform

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

evolution lite

ironically, from the NYT
"The results underscore the importance of avoiding the breezy generalities of what might be called Evolution Lite, an enterprise too often devoted to proclaiming universal truths about deep human nature based on how college students respond to their professors’ questionnaires."