Holy crap. It’s November.

And I haven’t written a darn thing for this blog.

Can you find it in your hearts to forgive me?

My year off is going swimmingly, though! My brothers have dubbed my activities of this year The Four Projects of the Apocalypse…and they’re all proceeding apace.

-I’ve managed to keep As in my MBA program even through midterms, though there are three papers that I really should be writing that I haven’t even looked at yet. I’m having an amazing review of statistics, though, and I’m loving it to pieces. Yes, I’m a geek.

-I’m picking patients for the sickle cell trial; there aren’t as many eligible in the clinic as we were hoping, but I’m sure we’ll get a good group. I’m excited to play with the stats of whatever group we end up with! See previous self-diagnosis of geekitude.

-My novel is at 33,000 words (not exactly where I need to be, but there’s been a lot going on!) I also have four short stories on submission and will be on a radio program this week to talk about my fiction and read a short story.

-I got a question-bank on my new fancy future-phone, and I’m finding I actually enjoy the review. Who knew?

But yeah, everything is super-busy, and everything is going well. If I get all this stuff under control eventually, I’ll start back with the blogging. In the meantime, here’s Spoon Avocado, asking for your patience and forgiveness:

Don't listen to Dr. G.  That bum just doesn't want to write anything.  Lazy.  Lazy-lazy-lazy.

Don’t listen to Dr. G. That bum just doesn’t want to write anything. Lazy. Lazy-lazy-lazy.

……..Thanks, SpAv.

Published in: on November 5, 2013 at 5:12 am  Comments (11)  

Life Post-Residency

It’s awesome.


If you want to truly, deeply appreciate life….torture yourself with a medical residency, and then take time off.

I’m blissing out.

Random fact: Trauma shears are fantastic for cutting stacks of notecards in half. You can do like twice as many at once as with a regular pair of scissors. Really helpful if you’re notecard-plotting an overcomplicated novel!

Another random fact: Needle drivers are the most versatile tools I’ve ever used. We should market them mainstream.

I now return you to your regular Monday activities.

Hope you have a great week!

Published in: on July 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm  Comments (6)  


So, I guess I should let you all know….

I’m done with residency.



Wow.  Yeah.  So, that happened.

I’m also happy to announce that I have accepted an excellent fellowship position at an extremely high-powered institution.  I will be specializing in Palliative Care, which is a relatively new branch of medicine that focuses on pain control, non-pain symptom control, counseling for difficult medical decisions, end-of-life care, bioethics, and minimization of the trauma of hospitalization and critical/terminal illness.  This will all start next year.

What am I going to do with my year?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

I’m going to study for the boards, write a book, take a few classes toward an MBA, and help run a Phase I trial for a potential new treatment for sickle cell disease.  And if I’m alive, I’ll be moving to a new city around this time next year.

What will I not be doing?

I will not be sleeping in a call room.  And I will not be waking up in a panic, trying to figure out which of these objects woke me:

ImageFrom top to bottom: The call room’s phone, the code pager, my personal pager, my personal cell phone (don’t judge), and the ER direct-line cell phone. Picture taken by my iPhone, which was also capable of waking me up.

Oh yeah, and maybe I’ll write an article or two for you guys.  Because you were so patient while I finished up my Resident Evil….I mean Evil Residency.

See you soon!

Dr. G

Published in: on July 16, 2013 at 11:35 pm  Comments (10)  

Not Long Now…..

I’m on the home stretch of the Residency From Hell (Of! DOOM!!!!!!!), and feeling pretty chipper when I’m not being flayed alive at work!

Stand by!

Here’s a picture of Spoon Avocado to entertain you while you wait!

SPAVYou may have already seen this one. But she’s in a sack!

Published in: on May 9, 2013 at 11:19 pm  Comments (8)  

Wanna Help A Wheelchair Fencer Compete?

Hey, let’s help this girl out!  Even if you aren’t in a position to contribute, can you help signal-boost?

Help to send Luticha to her first fencing competition!

From the campaign:

Luticha is a dreamer, a doer and a do-gooder who believes in our community and herself! Now is our chance to give back to her. She spends her time advocating for people of all abilities: finding accessible hangouts, helping businesses embrace ADA policies and raising awareness for inclusive fun like Rochester Rehabilitation’s SportsNet.

Luticha is a student, a volunteer, a rockstar and a volcano climber – and she does it all from a seated position. Let’s help her add fencing champion to that list. Your contribution today will help Luticha buy the adaptive gear she needs and pay the registration and hotel fees for a fencing competition in April.

Twice a week, Luticha has been practicing the sport of sword fighting through SportsNet’s Wheelchair Fencing program in partnership with Rochester Fencing Club. SportsNet offers adaptive sports and inclusive recreation opportunities for people of all abilities. Luticha hopes that she can continue to raise awareness for this Rochester-based program that has made it possible for her to have quality sporting experiences and realize her dream of taking over the world – one sword at a time.



Published in: on January 18, 2013 at 10:57 am  Comments (1)  

Corrupting The Youth Of Athens


After filling in last-minute for a few physical diagnosis teaching sessions…..

I’ve been invited to take on a few teaching commitments at my residency’s medical school.

…..I guess I did okay?

Published in: on January 16, 2013 at 11:42 pm  Comments (4)  

Doing Blogging and I’m Still Alive

So, I haven’t said word one to you lovely party people since July!

Lots of things have happened.

I will not be able to update you on all of it now. So I’ll just talk about the important stuff.

1) Fellowship – I’ve turned in my applications for Palliative Care fellowships. I’m waiting to be invited for interviews. I’m both looking forward to and dreading the interview trail.

2) Major schedule upheaval – I’m not going directly into fellowship after residency. I’m tired. Physically, mentally, emotionally…I’m more tired than I ever thought was possible. So I’ll be taking a break. For a year.

3) Things to be accomplished during year of break – I will do most of an MBA degree. And I will study for and take the Internal Medicine Boards, at my leisure (instead of rushing to get it done right after residency). I will finish my half-finished novel. I will get back to making this blog worth following (I have all kinds of stories to tell you!). And I will try to figure out how to be a medical consultant for TV and movies (because I think it will be absurd amounts of fun.) Also, one of the rock-star guru docs in my system offered me a job in his clinic. Out of the blue. I may take him up on that too. I will also visit many people who I have been neglecting while I’ve been chained to my residency program. So yeah. Nice, relaxing year. I plan to spend a good amount of it in my local tea shop, drinking embarrassing amounts of chai.

4) My little brother is engaged. His fiancee is awesome. He has also started medical school. Which is fun to watch. My big brother is doing well, too. I keep hoping he’ll move closer to me so I can spend more time with him.

5) Spoon Avocado, for many intents and purposes, has basically become my cat for the forseeable future. She may become my brother’s cat again when he moves into cat-friendly housing… but for now, the Pukeapocalypse continues. Still trying new ideas (wet food! pumpkin! petroleum jelly!)….and the QUALITY of the puke has changed……in other news, I’ve turned into that person who puts a vinyl tablecloth over their couch. Don’t judge.

6) I’m writing a bit again (because I’m on elective, which is far less stressful and far less time-intensive than real life). I retried a story that I’ve been trying to get right for TEN WHOLE GODFORSAKEN YEARS, and finally, FINALLY I have a draft I’m satisfied with! Hoo. It’s on submission right now; I’m re-discovering the unique joy/stress that comes with having a story out looking for its place in the world.

7) I’ve updated my blog! Like a responsible writer-with-an-audience! Are you proud of me?

So that’s my slew of updates! What’s going on in your life?

Nice to see you again; thanks for coming back!

Published in: on December 12, 2012 at 3:52 am  Comments (12)  


Hiya, folks.

Nice to see you’re still here.

Yes, I am aware that it’s been a while since I posted, and an even longer while since I’ve posted any writing- or medicine-related articles.

No, I have not forgotten about this blog.

No, I have not lost interest in writing for this blog.

No, I don’t consider myself officially “on hiatus”.

It’s just been hard for me to do much outside of residency these days. When I have the energy, I don’t have the time. When I have the time, I just don’t have the energy.

I’ve just flipped into my third year, which is apparently the hardest year in my program. My schedule cuts me off from family, friends, and hobbies. I have learned that two days off in a row feels equivalent to the way a two-week vacation used to feel. A large proportion of my daily thought process is devoted to optimizing my sleep schedule, and figuring out what and when I can eat next. I haven’t read a novel for months. I’m shocked at how excited I get when I have the time to load and run my dishwasher, and how even more excited I get if I can do it when it won’t wake up my neighbors. Any leisure time I do have, I’m much more likely to spend unproductively, rather than making headway on my novel (sitting untouched and lonely at 50,000 words) or this blog, or any of my other non-work-related projects. It’s just hard to muster the energy or the enthusiasm, knowing I’ll just have to drop it again after an hour or so, not to be revisited for weeks or even months.

The good news is, it’s only one more year. I get to start counting down the months. I’m working on my fellowship application tonight; I’m going for a Palliative Care fellowship. (All of my writing time in past weeks has gone into my personal statement.) I’m still committed to Internal Medicine as well as underserved populations, although I’m having trouble figuring out exactly how to fit my life together in a satisfying way in the current environment. I’ve started daydreaming about giving physiology lectures, though, so I guess I’ll end up somewhere where I can teach as well as doctor. (I’m clearly my parents’ child.) I’ve also started thinking about medical consultation for film and TV as a side project, because that just sounds like fun. Also, the cat is still alive, and still merrily puking her way through my apartment.


Back to the point.

People tell me there’s life after residency. I have decided to believe them. I do hope to make this blog a part of it, because I have a lot of fun with it and people seem to like it well enough. So please don’t give up on me if I don’t post for long stretches…

It’s only one more year.

Twelve. (11.75, if we want to be super-technical.)

PS: Fourth-of-July stats: 100% confused-little-old-lady dump. 8 out of 8 admissions.

Published in: on July 7, 2012 at 4:55 am  Comments (9)  

Because There Were Awesome Parts of College That I Miss Sometimes…..

Published in: on June 15, 2012 at 1:09 am  Comments (1)  

Baby Steps To The Elevator

Personal milestone:

I pulled up my novel and worked on it at the hospital today.

Depending on the rotation and who I’m working with, I occasionally have downtime, which I often spend sitting in front of a computer.

It seems like it would be good time to fit in some writing.

But I have a personal hangup regarding writing at work. It’s hard for me to strike a healthy balance between my two careers, because for me a healthy balance means that I focus mostly on the one that has to do with life and death. The non-fictional kind. I always get really nervous if I take my mind off my patients at the hospital, even if there’s nothing going on.

Plus….let’s face it, even though I’m (purportedly) an adult and have a level of self-confidence I never would have believed possible a few years ago, elementary-school-through-high-school has never really left me completely unscathed. Yes, those were the days when just a glimpse of the title of a book I was reading on the bus could give my bullies a new days- or weeks-long theme around which to make my life miserable. I still can’t comfortably read a book without hiding the covers on my lap….and I can’t write in public without the (now) completely irrational fear of brutal, extended ridicule. Especially among doctors, who Just Don’t Get fiction. Even though they’re my friends. Even though they’re great people. Even though they support my writing, to the point of trading shifts with me occasionally so I can make it to an event.

But today it was a little different. I’m on at the cardiac intensive care unit, which is known as a DVT rotation…..there are so few patients and so many residents that you just sit there and do nothing until the blood clots in your legs.

And one of the CCU computers is tucked back in the corner, with the screen facing away from most casual traffic. (Occasionally the nurses pass behind me to grab supplies, but usually they don’t need anything from the cabinet directly behind me.)

On top of that, somehow over the past two years I’ve managed to befriend most of the ICU/CCU nurses at County. And the residents I’m rotating with happen to be excruciatingly nice people. (One will be one of the Chief Residents from my class, once we graduate.) So I know that even if someone does glance at my screen, they’ll probably just smile and say something encouraging.

On top of that, we only had one patient, and he spent most of the day in the operating room. So I had no real responsibilities. And hours to fill. (Through a scheduling vagary which can be blamed on a checked-out, eleventh-hour chief, I was given all but eight of the 12-hour shifts for this month.)

Plus, most of my time-wasting internet sites are blocked by my hospital’s firewall, and all of the proxy sites I’ve used before have also been found and blocked.

So today, I took a deep breath.

And opened my manuscript.

And fiddled with format a little.

Okay, no new content made it in. I admit.

But it’s a start.

And it didn’t kill me.

I wonder if I’ll be able to actually write some words tomorrow?

Published in: on June 5, 2012 at 12:05 am  Comments (5)