Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

David doesn't believe in magic

As scientific, evidence-based fields go, medicine has to rank at or near the top. The best doctors make clinical decisions based on both years of experience and what the newest research has identified as the appropriate standard of care. Yet anyone who’s seen a medical TV show or spent any time on an inpatient ward has probably noticed the prominent role of superstition in what is otherwise a primarily logic-based endeavor.   

One of the more benign examples is the concept of “clouds.” For those unfamiliar, a white cloud is someone who brings good luck and light call nights along wherever he or she goes, while a black cloud puts Murphy’s Law to the test with regularity. These terms are often applied jokingly or even affectionately on the wards, yet it’s not uncommon hear them said with a completely straight face. I’ve also heard students and interns scolded for predicting easy call nights or forecasting uncomplicated patient stays based on all of the relevant admitting information.  

                                         I hope this isn't the MI cloud...                                                                  

Admittedly, a fair amount of this superstition is tongue-in-cheek inside joking. Yet I’ve been repeatedly surprised at how superstitious nurses, residents, and even attendings can be, particularly with regard to call nights and new patient admissions. As another example, during sign-out, when the daytime team gives a quick heads-up to the call team or night float about any pressing patient issues to be aware of overnight, I’ve had multiple permutations of the following exchange:

David: Ok, for Mr. X, I don’t anticipate any issues…

On-call Intern: Gah! Don’t say that! [Scrambles to knock on table]

David: …with him…wait, what?

On-call Intern: Never. Say. That. It’s bad luck.  [Knocks on wood again and prepares to sacrifice small bunny on a tiny altar made of old reflex hammers and adorned with four-leaf clovers]

David: Uh…Ok, sorry. I, uh, hope everything goes to pot and you get called all night about him…?


After a few of these encounters on multiple rotations, I’ve come to take a slightly different tact, at least with those superstitious housestaff members with whom I’ve developed a friendly rapport:

David: Light call so far? No admissions?

On-call Intern: Shhhhh! Don’t jinx it!

David: Jinx what? The fact that tonight guarantees to be a complete admissions shut-out?

On-call Intern: Dude…

David: That this call will henceforth be the standard against which all other easy calls will forever be judged?

On-call Intern: I’m going to slap you…

David: The fact that the Deities of Patient Admissions – may they smite you if they exist – are clearly too impotent to put forward a worthy challenge on your call night?

On-call Intern: Forget the bunny, I’m going to sacrifice you instead.

David: That…

On-call Intern: You do realize I evaluate you, right?

David: Ruh-roh.


Maybe this is why I’m a black cloud…



Friday, February 19, 2010

Kevin and David think you might be interested in some merchandise

Now that David and I have reached our goal of becoming internet hundredaires, the next goal is to be come gajillionaires. After some brainstorming, we decided selling various merchandise at a 10% commission rate is the obvious way to go. So I've gone ahead and started a Zazzle store using the comics on iddx. Feel free to buy one or ninety. This is a pretty preliminary start but theres some mousepads available and a calendar of the comics. If you guys have any specific requests, let me know and I'll make it available (iddx underwear perhaps?). All proceeds do not go to charity. Unless you consider sleep-deprived med students to be charity cases, in which case 100% of the proceeds will be going to charity.

Store link: http://www.zazzle.com/iddxblog

make custom gifts at Zazzle

Monday, February 15, 2010

David and Kevin become internet hundredaires

When Kevin and I first started this blog, we wanted to provoke meaningful thought and discussion about medical education and chronicle the early steps towards physician-hood from the basic sciences to graduation and everything along the baby-saving, Jess-antagonizing, sleep-not-having way. All this, of course, only if the blog failed in its primary purpose of making us wealthy internet blogopreneurs who could quit med school and live a life of leisure for rest of our days.  

Well, friends, that day has finally arrived. Buoyed by a 100% legitimate string of ad-clicks, Kevin and I have reached the rarified status of making $100 in advertising revenue over the course of only two years. Averaged over all of the time spent writing and brainstorming, we’re in the oft-discussed yet rarely realized realm of multiple cents per-hour earnings. 


While we contemplate which Cayman isle to retire to now that this gravy train is going full-bore, we're planning a celebration in the interim, funded entirely by this massive windfall. Expect a spread truly befitting our recent successes; every attendee will get at least 1-2 pretzels, maybe more.

See you there!


What?: IDDx Earnings Extravaganza

When?: Saturday, March 27th, 8PM - ???!?!?

Where?: TBD

Who?: Kevin, David, Julia, you, maybe Jess

                                                           Kevin is Fat Joe...