Archive for April, 2013



April 28, 2013

A few weeks ago, this piece was in the NY Times about emergency care and doctors being available 24/7. It seemed to spur a lot comments from the healthcare community – specifically about doctors giving out personal contact information.

I’ll admit I have this fear of going to an emergency department because I know it’d be ridiculously expensive. I also know, in most emergency rooms, if it’s not a real emergency (ie, I’m having trouble breathing or chest pains or something like that) – I’m most likely going to be sitting in the waiting room, which isn’t all that different from me sitting at home. Also, I don’t see the point of going to see someone about generic symptoms (headache, stomach ache, vomiting, dizziness) unless it persists for days.

However, being someone who doesn’t get sick very often, much less emergency sick, I really have very little knowledge about what to do when I do run into an issue. The emergency room is one place that I know is open, has doctors, and most likely will take my insurance. It requires not too much thought or research and it’s always an option. But wouldn’t it be great if people were more aware of urgent care centers and nurse hotlines? Seriously, nurse hotlines are the best thing. They’re very helpful in trying to determine if you actually have an emergency or if you can wait until Monday to see a doctor.

But let’s get back to having personal contact information for doctors. It’s a very split opinion. Would I love this as a patient? Yes. If I emailed or texted my doctor would I expect a response within at least a few hours? Yes. Do I recognize that it’s totally unreasonable to expect my doctor to be on-call all the time? Yes. Doctors deserve time off just like everyone else. And I know I don’t want to be checking my work email on the weekends. Another a major concern for doctors seems to be the liability that could go along with this kind of communication. What if they don’t get the message in a timely matter? What if something is difficult to communicate through email? It’s one of those things that as a patient and not a physician, I’m probably just really biased about how great this would be. I’ll just stick to not getting sick on weekends.




April 26, 2013

I haven’t written about books since last summer. This is partially because I went on a kick of reading really terrible chick lit romances and mystery crime thrillers. Let me just say – reading easy crime novels is a lot like watching Law and Order in book form. You already know how the book is going to go, there’s usually a pretty happy ending, and the plot moves really fast. But given that I read on my plane rides every week and almost every night and sometimes when I’m being lazy on the treadmill – I’ve been moving through books at a pretty good pace.

I read the entire series of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel – which was essentially YA fantasy. It was quick but somewhat repetitive after 6 books. It was kinda like getting episode recaps constantly. I also read the entire Thursday Next series except the newest one that recently came out. This series was a lot better, but definitely lost steam by the sixth book too. Thursday is a pretty cool female heroine.

World War Z – This is my book of the year and the movie doesn’t look anything like it (disappointing). What I like about the book is it’s told documentary style. Little individual stories from around the world about how the zombie war started and progressed. It’s surprisingly less a book about zombies and much more about war and crisis and humans reactions to that. So good. I will recommend this book to everyone I know.

Ready Player One – I enjoyed this book a lot. It moved fast. It was kinda nerdy in the hipster nostalgic pop-culture way (not in the “I’m a real nerd” kind of way). But the storyline of people basically playing a real life game is pretty cool. And it reads really fast – I think I read it in two days.

Fast Food Nation – This book started out awesome discussing how fast food got it’s start. I felt like I was learning a lot about how fast took off, the people who started these restaurants that are now huge, and the curious bits about these chains (like franchising and crime and unions). Then it became pretty much what I expected. Deplorable meat industry, agriculture industry in general, obesity. I understand how the fast food industry helped all these along, but for half the book it felt a little preachy.

Foundation – How have I not read this before? No idea. But I definitely see why it’s one of THE science fiction books to read. It’s the kind of science fiction that really needs a suspension of disbelief (which I’m so good at) and it’s really an epic story. But it’s very unique. So if you already like science fiction and you haven’t read it, I’d recommend it.