Southwest Virginia

a Richard Scarry moment in the Children's Hospital

Last week, when I was attending on the in-patient unit for just a couple of days, I had one of the most joyous experiences ever. I need to share it with you.

A little 2 year old boy, who had been in the hospital for several days with a perplexing disease process, was starting to get better (always a joyous experience in and of itself). When I brought the team into his room that morning, he was sitting with his grandmother in the window seat,  eagerly looking out of the window and pointing to vehicles, people and other items he saw there.

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what I learned this week

I wrote my last blog post on Sunday morning,

and have spent bits and pieces of this week (so far) checking in on Twitter whenever I had a moment or two. Because I was on-service on Monday and Tuesday, there was really no block of "desk time" when I could sit in front of my computer and compose a full post.

So I tried to keep up with things happening on Twitter,

and tried to send out or re-tweet (indicated in a twitter message as RT before the @ sign that indicates the twitter name of the originator of the tweet) items that seemed to be of importance or interest to my "followers."  By using some services either on my computer or on my blackberry (TweetDeck and HootSuite) I can also post tweets to my facebook page or my LinkedIn accout).

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whither the white coat?

Does being professional require wearing a "white coat" or other symbol of being a doctor?

You have inevitably heard about "white coat syndrome" where patients have an adverse reaction to seeing people dressed in the typical doctor's garb. This adverse reaction can be crying by a child, hypertension by an adult, or otherwise not being at one's best. It is generally assumed to be related to fear of the person wearing the white coat, and perhaps the coat has gained some living attribute, some intrinsic property that compels this adverse reaction, and has no relationship to the person (student or professional) wearing the coat.

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I can dream....

...of a world without tobacco...this is world no tobacco day

It seems we have a "day" week, or month to celebrate just about anything and everything these days. Today, and every year on MAY 31, is a day declared by the WHO as a 24-hour period when we can and should forgo our use of ANY form of tobacco. For most, that form is cigarettes, for others it is chewing tobacco, cigars, pipes or hookahs. No form is safer than another. All contain nicotine which is addicting, and tar, which will eventually kill you (someone dies every six seconds from tobacco use).

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why don't we practice cost-effective care?

An editorial published in this week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, asks the question: "Why does cost-effective care diffuse so slowly?" In other words, if we (the medical profession) have demonstrated ways in which we could provide the best care at the lowest price, why don't  more sectors of our society adopt such practices more rapidly?

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tweet, tweet

So, it seems I am now really "connected."

I have entered the world of Twitter, and I may not return. I have resisted for many years becoming entwined in what truly seemed like a complete waste of time. Why in the world would anyone want to hear from others 24x7x365. What is so important anyway? Twitter, it seems is THE WAY that news travels now. People post information on twitter long before it gets to the news outlets; in fact, journalists keep track of the minute-by-minute changing "trends" in what folks are tweeting about, as this information tends to come directly from those who are affected.

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bath salts can kill...???

I know, I know, it's a bit unusual for me to post twice in the same day, but you have just got to know about this.

I just saw a notification from the  CDC about a relatively new form of designer drugs  available in head shops, convenience stores, gas stations and elsewhere, labeled as "Bath salts." Only they are NOT meant for adding to the bath. They are used to inhale, inject or swallow and have brand names such as "White Rush,"  "Cloud Nine, "White Lightning," and "Sextacy" among others.

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lyme disease in Virginia

I know its been a long time since my last post.

You are not interested in the reasons, which are many, but not worthy of discussion here. Anyway, I was moved to post this short note about lyme disease, since I know that many of you are interested.

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more on autism and vaccines

This past Sunday the  NY Times Magazine published a story about Andrew Wakefield, and his rise and fall in the field of autism research, the connection between autism and vaccines, and the response he has received from the medical community, some autism advocacy groups, and his home country of Great Britain.

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did you know.....

that this week (April 23-30) is National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)??? Well it is!

Bet you didn't even know there was such a week

Well the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the United States will join about 100 other nations world-wide in events that educate and encourage immunization. I have written about immunizations here before, and would like to continue to urge my readers to make certain that your children are appropriately immunized against preventable communicable diseases.

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