Thank you to KevinMD for cross-posting one of my articles.

If you haven’t read this article yet, please go read.


One of the ways I get exercise is by having three garden plots in different locations instead of a single huge garden.  There is one garden directly behind my house.  That’s where I plant my zucchini and other high-maintenance veggies.  A second garden plot is further from the house, about half a mile away, at the end of the driveway.  My pumpkin and watermelon just need space to grow, not constant attention, so they don’t need to be quite as accessible and that’s a good location for them.  The final garden plot is 3/4 mile from the house, and it just has corn and pole beans.  I go visit it a couple times a week to check on the plants and pull weeds.  Except for the times that I decide to drive to check on the pumpkins, going to visit my gardens provides a good way to get a little exercise.

This past week I got the crazy idea that I would ride my bike to check on the corn and beans.  My younger sons love riding their bikes, and I thought they’d enjoy going with me if we biked.  They did.  Unfortunately, when we finally got to our destination, I parked my bicycle and tried to dismount.  Note the tried.

My foot caught on the bike and I fell sideways, crashing the bike down on top of me.  Thank God I narrowly missed cracking my head on the tractor bucket!  It scared my poor sons, but I was able to get up.

It would be nice if this was a simple case of clumsiness, but I’ve been so stiff lately that it was hard to lift my leg up to straddle the bike frame for the ride to the garden, and it was just as hard to lift my leg again to get off the bike after we arrived.

I think I need to add some flexibility stretches to my exercise routine!

Thanks for reading.  If you have favorite stretches that you feel are helpful, please share in the comments.


What is Professional?

Would you see a doctor who denigrates patients online?  I wouldn’t.

A few medblogs are all abuzz – again – about what constitutes professionalism in social media.  The latest was prompted by a specific posting on twitter.  It amazes me that people can look at identical information and come up with very different interpretations as to whether or not it’s appropriate.

(Warning:  adult content):

  • Tweet1:  On call.  Resident told me there’s a 36 hour priapism that will likely need to go to OR
  • Tweet2:  I’m dreading having to go talk to him.  Poor thing must be freaking mortified.
  • First Commenter:  sorry had to say it… ru sure the patient wasn’t staring at you for 36 hours
  • Tweet3-responding to 1st comment: I’m not that mean- would’ve fished or cut bait by now
  • Second Commenter: Holy. Cow. I don’t even have a penis and that makes me hurt.
  • Tweet4-responding to 2nd comment: I know like right?
  • Third Commenter?:  (gone from feed, can’t find this tweet but it looks like there was one)
  • Tweet5-responding to 3rd comment: Apparently he has no risk factors (sickle cell, cocaine, etc) except for having a penis 😦

What a thing for people to be up in arms about.  The “unprofessional” accusation seems to come from the response to the juvenile first comment.  It was probably not the most well-thought-out reply someone ever made, but it doesn’t say anything bad about the patient.  It’s not lacking in compassion.  There’s no foul language.  It doesn’t violate anybody’s right to privacy.

I appreciate doctors who are willing to put themselves on record and educate patients about the world of medicine.  I don’t necessarily care whether they use their real name, a pseudonym, or are anonymous.  It’s much more important that the person convey caring and respect toward patients.

A good example is Dr. Grumpy, the Mongolian yak herder.  Anonymity isn’t a problem.  He’s able to share some of the insane situations that occur in his practice – and there are some doozies – without sounding like he hates all his patients.  People do some crazy things sometimes, but he comes across as caring about his patients despite the shenanigans they occasionally pull.  If I needed a neurologist yak herder (thankfully, I don’t), he’s someone I’d want to consult.  A few other anonymous bloggers who conduct themselves professionally are Whitecoat & A Country Doctor.  It’s really not the name that’s on the blog; it’s the attitude behind the content.

What are some of the things that make a doctor sound professional online?

  • Being respectful of others (nurses and other doctors, as well as patients)
  • Sharing patient stories to make a point (not as gossip)
  • Keeping language clean (which I consider part of being respectful, but have discovered that many people need this spelled out)
  • Recognizing that while blogs/tweets can be entertaining, there’s always a little bit of education taking place
  • Refraining from spewing anger/derision about patients

Comments welcome.  What criteria do you consider important to presenting a professional online image?

 Also see Blogging Guidelines for Physicians

*Since doctors often claim to change identifying information, it’s entirely possible that this series of tweets was about a completely different situation (maybe even a her instead of a him).  I take everything with a grain of salt and look more at the big picture than the little details when I’m reading things online.

Patients Appreciate Good Doctors

Search stats can be interesting, funny, and illuminating.  Obviously I get many many hits related to RA, but the top google search bringing people to my blog comes in a variety of phrases all having the words “thank” and “doctor.”

Every physician blogger should have a post (or two) addressing this topic.  It’s something people want to know.

From blog stats:

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People search this topic every day.