Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Exams That Never End...

Yes they go on and on, my friend...
Someone started writing them not knowing what they're for
And now we'll keep on taking them forever, asking them for more...

Exams that never end...

I'm taking my in-service exam this Wednesday. It's in the neighborhood of four hours long, and is all about emergency medicine. The best part is that it happens to be in the midst of the New Haven portion of my vacation! Thankfully, the number of exams has diminished to the frequency that makes them useful for self-improvement. I expect that there will be plenty of room for improvement between this year's and next year's installments.

And you thought exams ended with graduation. Medical residents in all specialties take in-service exams once yearly, and generally in the same week.

But wait! There's more!

We also must take the third installment of the licensing board exam at some point. It is a general topic exam that covers all specialties. Fortunately for ER doctors, there is not a lot that we don't see walking through the door.

When it comes time to be board certified in emergency medicine, however, there is a whole new round of EM boards, which include oral exams in a hotel in Chicago!

When I think about it, though - keeping myself sharp enough to pass these difficult exams is just another way to do justice by my patients. Who wants a doctor who forgets (insert important medical fact here) when said patient experiences (insert relevant medical condition here) in the middle of the night?

For any of my EM colleagues who happen their way to these parts, good luck this week!

And for other New Haven residents (i. e. my neighbors), we know that the tests that we sometimes complain about actually make us better docs!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Color Career Test

Working nights for five weeks does a number on the circadian rhythm!!! What do you do when you wake up at 2:30 AM and cannot get back to sleep? Tonight, I studied a bit, watched part three of the excellent Masterpiece Classic presentation of "Emma", and surfed the web. I'm more prone to take online tests in the middle of the night! Anyway, have you read about the non-verbal personality test using colors?

It's called the Dewey Color Test. If you take it, answer the question asked. Don't pick your favorite color, pick the one you most prefer to look at...

This is a short test, but I think worked pretty well for me. As expected, the top two options have a bit of built-in conflict...

Best Occupational Category



Independent, Self-Motivated, Reserved, Introspective, Analytical, and Curious

e investigative types gather information, analyze and interpret data, and inquire to uncover new facts. They have a strong scientific orientation, enjoy academic or research environments and prefer self-reliant jobs. Dislikes are group projects, selling, and repetitive activities.

Suggested careers are College Professor, Physician, Psychologist, Pharmacist, Chemist, Marketing Research, Inventor, Sales Forecasting, Project Engineer, Dentist, Identifying Consumer Demand, Chiropractor, Dentist, Medical Technician, Optometrist, Research & Development Manager, Respiratory Therapist, Real Estate Appraiser, Chiropractor, Veterinarian, Geologist, Physicist, Science Teacher, Medical Technologist, and Author of Technical Books.

Task-oriented careers where you can become absorbed in the job, be original and creative, and not conform to rigid company rules will work best for you. Unstructured organizations, for example, that allow you to sail your own ship are vital.

Suggested Researcher workplaces are universities and colleges, home office positions, medical facilities, computer-related industries, scientific foundations and think tanks, research firms, and design laboratories.

2nd Best Occupational Category

You're a CREATOR


Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or whether they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

I am a physician first and then a writer, and will probably end up in academics... go figure.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The better to see you with...

One of the great things about emergency medicine is the ability to incorporate ultrasound as an extension of the physical exam. Ultrasound is not just for babies folks! We can use it to see clearly through the skin to diagnose numerous conditions.

After getting this image, the patient went back for emergency laser surgery. Any guesses about what this person's problem was?