Friday, January 25, 2008


My two month vacation is rapidly coming to an end. After a beautiful month in the balmy climes of that sunny and joy-filled land (California), I have just returned to the ice-pit in which I go to school. Fortunately, I'm going back to California for an away rotation very soon. Hopefully it will provide me with something worth posting. Unfortunately the price of something worth posting will be my having to get out of bed between four and five AM every day (after two months of sleeping 9-10 hours every night--why surgery, again?)

I constantly go back and forth in my opinion of where I am currently living. While I'm inside my car or apartment, I find the snow to be very beautiful, and somewhat exotic (having only seen snow a handful of times before moving here). When I go outside my car or apartment my optimism rapidly plummets and I can't help pondering the striking similarities between this city and the ninth circle of hell.

Today I dropped by school and found that it was an interview day for pre-meds. I realized with a jolt that by the time they get to their third year of medical school I'll be their senior resident. By the time they're interns, I'll be their chief, about to graduate and get my first attending job. Crazy. Time has gone by so fast. And I'm starting to feel very old (no comments from those who know my age please:).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Way I See It part II

The Way I See It #232
You simply can’t make someone love you if they don’t. You must choose someone who already loves you. If you choose someone who does not love you, this is the sort of love you must want.
-- Israel HorovitzPlaywright/screenwriter, from his new play, The Secret of Mme. Bonnard's Bath.
But if someone already loves you then that person is loving someone (you) who doesn't love him or her. So if you choose him or her then essentially that person is making someone love him or her who doesn't. So really this means either that this statement is completely false or no one can love anyone.

The Way I See It #235
In three decades of polling, I’ve found that while individuals make mistakes in judgment, America as a whole rarely does. A collective wisdom emerges from a poll or vote that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
-- John ZogbyPollster, president and CEO of Zogby International.

The Way I See It #236
Scientists tell us we only use 5% of our brains. But if they only used 5% of their brains to reach that conclusion, then why should we believe them?
-- Joseph PalmStarbucks customer from Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Actually if you've ever talked to a scientist you would know this 5% thing is hogwash. But even if true it would beg the question if Joseph Palm is only using 5% of his brain then why should we listen to what he says?

The Way I See It #242
Children are born with such a sense of fairness that they will accept no less than equal treatment for all. I know – I have three. I hope that as they grow, they keep that sense of justice and learn to challenge the old adage that life’s not fair. It should be, in so far as we have control of it.
-- Beth Vanden HoekStarbucks assistant manager in St. Louis, Missouri.
I think she's mistaking selfishness ("his cookie's bigger than mine"--"is not"--"is too!") for desiring fairness. If that's how she defines a "sense of justice" I don't think she needs to worry about her children losing it as they age.

The Way I See It #247
Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.
-- Bill ScheelStarbucks customer from London, Ontario. He describes himself as a "modern day nobody."
You're a figment of my imagination.

The Way I See It #250
In reality hell is not such an intention of God as it is an invention of man. God is love and people are precious. Authentic truth is not so much taught or learned as it is remembered. Somewhere in your pre-incarnate consciousness you were loved absolutely because you were. Loved absolutely, and in reality, you still are! Remember who you are!
-- Bishop Carlton PearsonAuthor, speaker, spiritual leader and recording artist.
I'm remembering my preincarnate consciousness-- I thought you were irritating then too.

The Way I See It #276
Anger is contagious.
-- Sandra CisnerosAward-winning author of Caramelo, The House on Mango Street and Loose Woman.
And can also be induced along with sheer disgust by reading her works--such as Woman Hollering Creek--in a location--such as an ethnic American literature class one must take in order to graduate...yeah...still a bitter taste in my mouth over that.

The Way I See It #230
Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring. Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can’t wait to go, like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but Heaven has to step it up a bit. They’re basically getting by because they only have to be better than Hell.
-- Joel SteinColumnist for the Los Angeles Times.
Is it humanly possible to miss the point more than this?

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Way I See It

Question of the day: Where does Starbucks find all the imbecilic quotes they put on their coffee cups? Here for your viewing pleasure is the quote I had on my cup the other day:

The Way I See It #279

Beware of turning into the enemy you most fear. All it takes is to lash out violently at someone who has done you some grievous harm, proclaiming that only your pain matters in this world. More than against that person’s body, you will then, at that moment, be committing a crime against your own imagination.
-- Ariel DorfmanNovelist, playwright and essayist.

Perhaps later I'll post more and proceed to mock them with my customary scintillating wit.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I have not done anything terribly exciting--as I currently am on a month off I have pretty much been relaxing continuously. I have been trying to read from Sabiston or from surgery journals a couple times a week to keep from completely vegging out. I found one very interesting article looking at the attrition rate in surgical residencies two years before and two years after the installation of the 80 hour work week (before a few years ago there were no work restrictions for residents so it was commonplace for surgery residents to work 100-120 hours every week, and be on call every other day--now residents cannot work more than 80 hours/week or their program can be put on probation [interestingly I just read that residents will be limited to 48 hrs/wk in the UK starting in 2009--I find that kind of scary]). Surgery residencies have traditionally had a pretty high voluntary drop-out rate of about 20%--residents tend to leave for more lifestyle-friendly residencies such as anesthesiology, emergency medicine, or family medicine. One would thus think that the attrition rate would decrease now that work hours are restricted. Surprisingly the rate has actually increased--the study I read showed the the typical surgery program lost 0.6 residents per year before the 80 hour work week, but now the typical program loses 0.8 residents per year. Granted this study only looked at a period of four years, and most likely the programs were not as compliant with the 80 hour work week two years after its installation as they are now, but I thought it intriguing nonetheless. The authors' hypothesis was that people who previously would not have applied to surgery due to its lifestyle thought that with the 80 hour work week residency would be more manageable--only to find out once they started that even with only 80 hours/week it was still quite rigorous.