:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Sunday, July 31, 2005  

Driving in a plane

Today, on a flight back to Los Angeles from San Francisco, where I was visiting my wonderful friend Nicole over the weekend, the flight attendants were cracking me up. Almost every time i've flown southwest, the flight attendants have been hilarious and full of spunk. Today, though, we landed at LAX and the plane was driving around the airport, looking for "parking" as many flights do after hitting the ground. After about five minutes of this activity, a flight attendant announced on the intercom, "See, you get cheap tickets to fly with us, and then we fly you half the way and drive you the other half!"

I almost spit out the water i was drinking at the time.

Another day and night on-call tomorrow, lots of babies to pick up from deliveries and babies to take care of in the peds nursery. I'm learning so much it's outta control. I've got stories from my last on-call night (right before heading up to san francisco for the weekend) and fun experiences to share from my trip to SF (I'm rejuvenated after spending some quality time with my best buddy from medical school, and after enjoying some serious live music). More to come, after I'm post-call Tuesday afternoon/evening...

posted by Anjali Taneja | 7/31/2005 10:18:00 PM | (1) comments |

Tuesday, July 26, 2005  

Do they make t-shirts for this?

So, I am post-post call today (I was on call two nights ago). I survived my first on-call night of residency! Somehow I feel accomplished -- not because I saved any lives, not because I even came close to "managing" the babies in the intermediate-risk nursery overnight, but because...well, I just survived. Do they have t-shirts for this?

When I was on-call, all of a sudden, I was the doctor. The nurses in the pediatric nursery (where I'm now doing a month's rotation) paged me a few times during the night, and I had to make decisions on the spot, in the dark of the call-room while I was on the phone with them, or down in the peds nursery while checking out a baby the nurses had a concern about. I can usually sleep through everything, so carrying a pager on my person while sleeping in a dark call-room was something I was concerned about. Despite my body being so sleep-deprived, I found myself almost out of bed and on the phone calling the peds nursery within 3 seconds of receiving my pages. Concern #1 was easily addressed. Let's see how I do with the ol' pager once i'm even more sleep deprived, a few months more into the year.

Concern #2 related to my decision-making on a peds nursery in the middle of the night. Didn't sweat it too much -- if there was something I could deal with, I did. If I didn't know how to deal with a situation, I had a great 2nd year resident who I could page, who would help make decisions. In one night, I learned so much, and still got almost 3 hours of sleep. And the babies are so damn cute, how can you not love a month of this?

For any residents or post-residency folks reading this, my question to you is this (click on the comments section below to throw down your thoughts): What do you do when you're post call and have an afternoon and evening to yourself but are exhausted? I took a short nap and was determined to enjoy the rest of the day, but I was wiped out. I ended up relaxing and hanging out with my brother, which was definitely sweet, but i'm curious what others enjoy doing post-call. Sleep all afternoon, evening, and night? Shake your booty, drink in the early evening, and fall into a drunken stupor at 8 pm before heading to bed? Have lots of sex? (several of the male residents I worked with on one medical school rotation talked about their seriously increased libido after 36 hours awake and working in a hospital. Weird, huh. After my right ankle is completely healed (still tending to a high ankle sprain), I'm hoping to go running on the beach or work out at the gym after call, as I find there's a small 30min to 1 hour 30 min period of an energy high after call, and then...a serious crash in energy. And now, it's bedtime for me, or else I'll be exhausted on my post-post-post call day (which means my pre-call day since we are on-call overnight every 4th day).

posted by Anjali Taneja | 7/26/2005 10:33:00 PM | (4) comments |

Thursday, July 21, 2005  

Welcome to LA

Facts from Harper's Index, a feature of Harper's Magazine, July 2005 issue:

Number of Americans who spend more than a quarter of their income on health care: 14,300,000

Estimated amount that illegal immigrants pay into Social Security each year: $6,400,000,000

Recent experiences in my Family medicine residency and in Los Angeles:

Number of times that I've seen, in my two weeks of my Emergency Medicine rotation at Harbor-UCLA (a county hospital that does NOT turn patients away because of lack of health insurance), an acute severely painful situation, often requiring EMERGENT surgery, in which a patient was denied quality health care from another hospital's ER that he/she presented to that day or the day before because he/she did not have health insurance: 4 ... and counting ...

Number of times the Minutemen from Arizona and Ventura County have successfully shown their numbers against people of the City of Angels: 0 ... and counting ... (check out Immigrant Solidarity and Indymedia LA)


Anyway, i'm back! back online, back on track, back in the sunshine. It's been a few months since i've posted on To the Teeth... months of debauchery, education, and many new inside jokes with many new friends. More posts to come (hopefully daily), on moving to Los Angeles from New Jersey, settin' up shop (renting a house), settin' up shop (starting my family medicine residency at a great program that's about both clinical medicine and sustainable community health/organizing), and settin' up shop (healing myself and rockin' out in LA). Word.

And I HAVE to share one last fact from Harper's Index from July 2005 (I *heart* Harper's Magazine):

Percent of Bill Frist's medical school class that sent him a letter accusing him of misusing his degree: 18.

posted by Anjali Taneja | 7/21/2005 10:11:00 PM | (1) comments |

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