Sunday, May 18, 2014


The third definition of edgy on is: "daringly innovative; on the cutting edge" I have been a little on edge recently and I hope I am about to be daringly innovative.

Some of this edginess is just my age, I will be fifty nine and a half in a little over a month. For those of you too young to realize this, that is the age when you may, penalty free, drawn money from your retirement account.

Another aspect of my edginess is the time of year. June is when the current resident class will graduate, take their written boards, and enter the world as practicing obstetrician-gynecologists. Yes, this is a time of pride for these physicians and for all of us who hopefully contribute in ways great and small to this accomplishment. The patients contributed in great ways and we professors relatively small ones. I hope these young physician realize that to be successful they will have to keep on learning from patients. That is why we call it practicing medicine and not knowing medicine.

But the reason residents graduating makes me edgy, besides all that they don't know yet, is the fact that everyone moves up a level on about June 15 and some newly minted MDs arrive on July 1st.  That along with the fact that graduate nurses, respiratory therapists, surgical technicians, new social workers, and just about every other type of provider you can imagine will be in a brand new position on July 1st. Some seasoned nurses and administrators take the month of July off.  The problem is illness will not.

Luckily, September, the ninth month after the winter holidays will still be two months away. For those that do not realize it, human gestation is 9 months, and in celebrating the winter holidays most couples hold the belief that their god of creation will not allow them to make another human being despite the lack of effective contraception during this time.  I digress.

Other than my age, and the coming season of healthcare madness, my edginess is most likely due to the blatant bitterness I see exhibited on a daily basis toward the patient that I treat.  I deal with it in myself.  Delivering a set of twins to an eighteen year old mother of a toddler and wondering how she will take care of herself and these three children without a high school diploma is overwhelming.

Rick Santorum and I agree on one thing: A girl having a child before she is educated enough to be able to support herself and that child is a ticket to poverty.

I have watched this played out hundreds of times in the past five years. My city is the national leader of teens having more children before they reach majority.  My edginess is from the fact that I am not seeing much hope for change here.
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