Occupational Medicine Residency

I am now in my 3rd month as an occupational medicine resident and it is everything I had hoped and more.  The transition from a naval flight surgeon to a resident has been quite the transition.  Unfortunately, the overused statement of  “going from a sprint on a treadmill to walk off it” is about what I just experienced.

Life as a flight surgeon was about the best possible thing I could imagine to begin my medical career.  I was able to

Life as a flight surgeon is great!
Life as a flight surgeon is great!

accomplish all my goals and many “nice to haves” while on active duty.  It was busy, rewarding and I made many friends that will last for a lifetime.  I did things I didn’t ever imagine doing and learned many things that I’ll utilize for the rest of my life.  If anyone would ask me if I would recommend it I would wholeheartedly say, “Yes!”

As a more practical note, the transition from a flight surgeon to occupational medicine resident was quite straightforward.  Many of the tasks I was doing daily have prepared me for everything I have seen in Occ Med.  Flight physicals, PHAs, FAA Medicals, etc really prepared me and as weird as it might sound I really enjoy continuing along this path.

As part of occupational medicine, I am required to get a Master’s of Public Health or an equivalent Master’s Degree.  My program at the University of Texas offers a Master’s of Environmental Science to their residents.  As part of this degree program I am taking Epidemiology, Soc/Behav Aspects Comm Health and Indust. Hygiene & Safety.  I am enjoying them and will post interesting information from each class in the near future.

Welcome back to my active blog.

Back again

It has been almost 3 years since I’ve updated this blog.  I’ve had many life changing experiences and have much to catch-up on.  Will post more later but enjoy the site now that it is up again!

Now and Then . . .

So, I’ve been messing around this weekend out here in San Diego.  The weather was wonderful and I couldn’t have had a better time.  I was able to attend Prospect Avenue Baptist Church and meet a bunch of new people.  I always love fellowshipping with Christian around the world and how easily we can just sit and talk like we’ve known each other for years.  

Four years ago I took a personality test and retook it 2 years ago and then yesterday.  Each of the results show a difference in my personality as I progressed through medical school.  I’m not much more open but am more confident, extroverted, empathetic, trusting in others, feminine, spontaneous and stylish.  Yep, I am a more well rounded individual and medical school taught me much more then I could imagine.  Only one more month of medical school and then I have two months off until I graduate on Dec. 10th.  

Well, off to life again.

Time to work

Well, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to complete tasks, work-up new ideas and check items off the todo list when I have free time. Today is one of those days when I’m trying to complete stuff on my todo list and flesh out new ideas.  No matter, I am taking time to enjoy the day as Ronald Reagan said, “It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?”  So far so good for the weekend, however, helped install a garage door opener and fixed two toilets.


I’ve been in Memphis for two weeks now finishing my last rotation at UT.  It is a strange but odd feeling. One might expect it to generally be filled with joy and excitement but in my case it is somewhat anti-climatic.  Similar to a made field-goal in football.  Filled with relief and satisfaction after a long and tense expectation of failure.

So, I’ve only two weeks left.  What am I doing with myself.  I will be studying radiology next week and then palliative care the following week.  I’ve settled on a specialty – Emergency Medicine.  It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to those who have been following my blog for the past year.  After immersing myself in wilderness medicine and then finishing up an Emergency Medicine rotation two weeks ago I finally figured out that it fits me – or I fit it.  Either way, I had a blast in the Emergency Department and learned a bunch.  It fits best in my future career plans and allows for the greatest flexibility.  

So, how is the finger?  It is great.  Today is exactly 1 and 1/2 months after the accident.  I really think healing has been greatly accelerated by a new product I’ve been taking that help reduce inflammation and overall health.  It is distributed by a company called Max International.  I started taking it about 2 weeks before the accident and then after thought – well, I’ll learn a lot about it. It is a glutathione supplement and after taking it and seeing the results – my anecdotal evidence matches their scientific findings (warning it is a pdf).

Day 11So, only ten days after the accident, I had up to 50% mobility and by 14 days I was up to 75%.  As soon as I removed the bandage I was able to type and at 14 days I was able to play the piano and do most everything including pull-ups.  Only thing I haven’t tried is guitar again.  Because of the scar tissue I cannot flex much beyond 80% but I’m continuing to work at it.  I’ve included pictures chronicling the healing of my precious pinky and then some of the last few weeks.

Lately –

My pinkySometimes things happen that are best left to the imagination, food poisoning, C. Diff infections, major trama to an extremity.  Well, 12 days ago at 3:15pm my pinky, yes the smallest of my phalanges, was rendered useless to me for the next week and 1/2.  Yep, my pinky got smooshed.  It was a random collection of events (bad judgment, big part of lake, unseen wake) that ended with my pinky between two boats.  All things considered, however, I was very fortunate to sustain only soft tissue injury.  No broken bones, no loss of motion or sensation just a really nasty wound (more graphic pictures of my finger after the break).  As you can imagine – typing and other activities requiring a pinky have been rather difficult the past week or so.

Group BattleshipOtherwise, I’ve been hanging out with friends playing games, biking Cades Cove and doing a lot of working and reading.  I learned a new game, a group version of the classic battleship game.  Everyone is given a sheet of paper where you mark your ships and after everyone has placed their ships turns are taken lobbing bombs.  It is somewhat a bingo/battleship collage.  It was fun watching and learning.

Opthalmology humorAs to school, recently I did surgical subspecialties (last month) and am currently on Emergency Medicine.  Surgical subs consisted of ENT, Urology, Ortho and Ophthalmology (hence the pic).  I have to say I had expereinces in doctor’s offices I’ve never seen before or probably will never see again.  It was fun and I learned alot.    I’ve really been enjoying the ED or emergency department.  For the longest time I’ve considered doing Family Medicine and then doing a fellowship in Emergency Medicine, however, all the doctors I’ve spoken to have highly suggested I just do the Emergency Medicine residency if that is my interest.

Well, count this as your warning – graphic pictures after the break – and this time they are real.

OuchDay Three and 8 stitches


iPhone 4 Grip of Death?

So, I’ve had my iPhone 4 since the day before launch or July 23rd.  My initial thought was, “This is the way the iPhone was meant to be.”  Fast, able to task switch, really no need for me to jailbreak anymore.  Then there is the plus of great new hardware.  Or so I thought, at least until the “Grip of Death” came along and all the media controversy surrounding it.  After playing with three iPhone 4s since July 23rd and using it in every situation I would have in the past, it is better and has met all expectations I had coming from the iPhone 3G.  Yes, I can hold the phone in a certain way to make the signal drop.  But I have never dropped a call and, in fact, have 5 bars in places I used to always loose signal.  

There is one thing regarding iPhone 4 I’ve not heard discussed anywhere.  It is the one thing that makes me believe Apple that the problem is more a software issue then hardware.  Apple’s “real-world” testing process.  

We know from the infamous Gizmodo incident that Apple did a good job of camouflaging iPhone 4 as a iPhone 3GS, etc.  So, I would infer Apple did almost all of their “real-world” testing of iPhone 4 with a case on it.  Hum, no wonder the “software” (or as I would think the radio firmware) was tuned to work better with a case than without one.

Safari Reader – more than meets the eye

This morning I was getting ready to read an article in Safari 5.0 and decided to give the new Reader function a shot.  Once the page loaded and the reader button came available, I clicked on it and saw the nice callout displaying the article.  However, as I was reading I noticed the scrollbar continued to shrink as if more content was being loaded.  I didn’t think much of it until I finished reading the article and noticed reader displaying a “Page 5 of 5”.  Yep the article was page 1 of 5 and Reader had loaded all the subsequent pages into the same callout allowing me to avoid the infuriating habit of news sites to break-up an article for more ad impressions.  Good going Apple with this great feature of Safari Reader.

A week in review

Well, it has been a good week.  Lots of stuff accomplished and getting my schedule setup for the rest of the year so that I’ll graduate in Dec.  Yeah, it is 6 months late but all in all I’ll still be an MD.  It is different, but, I’m enjoying the life of an M4.  Did Rheumatology last week and am doing it this week as part of my ambulatory medicine rotation.  It has been good and I’ve been able to see interesting conditions.  Looking forward to this week.  Cutting back on extraneous activities and trying to focus on my core tasks to cross some stuff off the list that has back-logged for the past couple of years.  Well, onto the e-mail backlog.  Just noticed I have an e-mail from 2008 I need to answer.