Sunday, January 30, 2011

Revolution fever

A lot of people are excited about the overthrowing of dictators in the middle east. Tunisia did it and Egypt is in the process. Some (idiots) are crediting the U.S.'s policy of trying to "spread democracy" in the middle east (starting with Iraq). A called on NPR wanted to credit Bush for Tunisia's revolution, but luckily, the guest shot him down quickly. The guest said that it actually proves the opposite of what Bush was trying to do. You get effective regime change when you don't interfere (Tunisia) and you get failed regime change when an outside force is interfering (Iraq). Whatever the cause, these revolutions are exciting. Although, I fear that something very similar to Iran in the late 1970's will happen. A popular, largely secular uprising will pave the way for an Islamic Theocracy. Let's hope it doesn't.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Not another "miracle"!

Crazy interview season has kept this blog quiet. Well, I'm done with radiology interviews and only one more intern year interview left. I'll have an update soon. I'm sure no one is left to read the blog, but whatever... I'll vent about the latest "miracle" I heard about. This is from NPR:

BRADY: At times during today's briefing, Drs. Rhee and Lemole were almost giddy. And in undoctor-like fashion, Lemole said Giffords' progress may be partially attributable to outside forces.

Dr. LEMOLE: Miracles happen every day. And in medicine, we like to very much attribute them to either what we do or others do around us. But a lot of medicine is outside of our control, and we're wise to acknowledge miracles.

Dr. Lemole, sir, you are an idiot. A lot of medicine may be outside our control (especially when it comes to recovery from brain injury), but there is no such thing as a miracle. Just because you don't know how something works, doesn't make it a miracle. This is an even less appropriate thing to say when you have no idea what her long-term condition will be. I move that any doctor who attributes the recovery of any of their patients to a "miracle" should not receive any monetary compensation for taking care of that patient. Clearly, they admitted that they didn't do anything.

It's bad enough that an imaginary deity gets all the credit when the hard work of a physician saves someone's life, but it really upsets me when physicians go around accepting that.

(A real miracle would be if the right wing nuts who have been spitting out violent rhetoric for the last few years actually admitted that what they say can affect what another nut does.)