dr-fizzy

Dr. Fizzy

Freida McFadden is a midwestern physician who has finally finally finally come to the end of her grueling medical training, and at last she has enough time to publish the wealth of cartoons she's created over the years. If you enjoy them, please comment. If you don't enjoy them, then you can just keep your fool mouth shut. Read the rest at Doccartoon.blogspot.com, and make sure to check out her books, A Cartoon Guide To Becoming A Doctor, and The Devil You Know, on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/Cartoon-Guide-Becoming-Doctor/dp/1105091023

Why I Didn’t Do Pathology

In a lot of ways, I would have been a good match for pathology. I’m a huge nerd, for starters. I’m lazy, so I’m sure I would have enjoyed sitting in one place, looking at slides. Plus you don’t have to do an intern year. You don’t have to do an intern year! I mean, why isn’t everyone a pathologist? Here’s why I didn’t do pathology: 1) I am very prone to eyestrain and looking in a microscope was possibly the best way for me to do it. If I were a pathologist, I’d be walking around with a headache 100% of the time. 2) I didn’t enjoy my histology OR my general pathology courses. So… yeah. Pathology was taught badly, but histology was just hella boring. 3) I think it would freak me out having to be so detail-oriented. You miss one cell and that could mean your whole career. 4) It seems like pathologists are people who need to know everything about everything, which is a lot of pressure. Although this wasn’t the reason I didn’t do pathology, but I’ve heard the job market in path is dire right now. But the biggest reason is that if I had done path, I’d probably have gone blind from looking at all those slides. Originally on Dr. Fizzy’s...

What Happens If You Overuse Antibiotics?

I went to med school in a place where Lyme disease was endemic. So when I was on my Medicine rotation and one of my co-students complained about feeling tired and achy for a few days, our attending immediately said to him, “Get tested for Lyme disease.” The student was reluctant. He didn’t have a rash. Our student health plan was crappy with a huge deductible, so he would have had to pay for the test out of pocket. Also, I pointed out (from a personal Lyme scare) that he could get a false negative this early on. “Well, if you don’t want to get the test,” the attending said, “I’ll write you a prescription for doxycycline and you can just treat it.” And then we saw another attending, who totally agreed with this. Even years later, I still find this offensive. The course of treatment for Lyme is 10-21 days of antibiotics. Would you really give someone up to THREE WEEKS of antibiotics because they were tired and achy a few days? I took doxycycline and it made me throw up… not something I’d personally be excited to take for weeks for no reason. And… hello, antibiotic resistance? I’d like to believe that the attendings were just over-treating because it was a colleague and not something they recommend to all their patients. Originally syndicated from Dr. Fizzy’s Blog...

The Perils of Being a Woman Doctor

As a woman doctor it seems like I can’t book an appointment with a doctor anymore without being asked if I’m okay with seeing a man. OK, they didn’t ask me when I booked an eye doctor appointment. But when I recently scheduled an urgent care visit for a stomach bug that was taking a long time to clear up, they asked me. And the OB/GYN office always asks. Personally, my first pap was done by a man, and I really liked him. My second regular ob/gyn was also a man and also great. Yes, I’m a little more uncomfortable being examined down there by a man, but honestly, it’s uncomfortable either way. It depends on the doctor more than it depends on the gender of the doctor. It’s only a recent thing that there are enough female doctors that patients can even get a choice. What bothers is me is that when they specifically ask me, it makes me feel like maybe I *should* request a woman. Why can’t they just mention the doctor’s name and see if I protest? Also, has a man *ever* been asked if he was okay with the gender of his doctor? At work, I have also been put in positions from time to time where I was pressured to see a patient for no other reason than they had “woman problems,” when...

Why I Didn’t Do Research

You may or may not be aware from reading my prior writings that for a time, I was considering a career in research. I worked in labs during every summer through college, and even though I didn’t do any research during med school and not a whole lot during residency, I actually ended up doing a research fellowship. Also, I have research in my blood. My father is a physician who gets a chunk of his salary from research grants. My mother didn’t go quite so far as that, but did publish around a hundred peer-reviewed articles during her career. My father especially encouraged me to incorporate research into my career, saying that it was interesting and also provided extra career flexibility. So anyway, I did this fellowship. And it sucked. I mean, it was pretty much The Fellowship Where Everything Went Wrong. I know what you’re thinking, that it’s not possible for a research fellowship to go that badly. Well, what if your research mentor is arrested and goes to jail midway through the year? I’m not saying that happened. But I’m not saying that didn’t happen either. Bad fellowship aside, I did get a taste of what it was like to do research. There were some parts of it I liked very much. For example, I really liked when the article I wrote came out, and I...

The 8 Types of Medical School Professors

Going to medical school soon? Here’s a comic from Dr. Fizzy that will tell you just what type of medical school professors you will encounter, one way or another. They are all unavoidable and annoying, but at least they will help you get your medical degree, right? These are the types of medical school professors you will run across in medical school. The Enthusiast: will do your dissection for you but anatomy is not fun! Maybe he should drop the act… The Drone: he’ll allow you to catch up on sleep during class, but you’ll start to miss Powerpoint, even if he reads off it. The Party Animal: you will finally learn the effects of beer on kidney sections, but he will encourage you to drink beer under the table. Talk about peer pressure and second-hand drinking! The Comedian: she’s occasionally funny, but may cry if a pity laugh isn’t given. Might be insecure. The Sexist: great if you’re a female, but you may not be a female. Great if you’re a man, but may not be if you’re a woman. The Dummy: he’s easy at writing exams, but his board exam will be written by someone with actual medical knowledge. The Omniscient: kind of cool how he knows so much; however, the glass will shatter once you see the final exam. The Unmemorable: not memorably horrible and will make up most of...

Why I Didn’t Do Emergency Medicine

When you get to your fourth year of medicine, there are a lot of different paths you can take and each one probably would change your life entirely. This entry is about why I didn’t do emergency medicine. If people like this entry, I can talk about other fields I was considering as well. EM has a lot of awesome things about it, and in many ways would have been a perfect field for me. I really love procedures. I work quickly. The hours are very reasonable. The pay is great. Here’s why I didn’t do EM: 1) For some reason, I really hate shift work. I like having a specific amount of work to do and know that I can leave when I finish it. Looking at a clock makes me physically ill. 2) I can’t sleep when the sun’s out. I’m like a reverse vampire. Or a human being. Anyway, those night shifts aren’t going to work for me. 3) I actually like continuity of care a lot. I even like the annoying patients when I get to see them continuously and build a relationship. 4) If there’s some new horrible killer virus out there, who’s going to get exposed first? Certainly not the physiatrist. 5) Although I like the idea of knowing everything about everything, I realize that it’s actually impossible. And that would eventually make...

Why I Didn’t Do Psychiatry

In some ways, psychiatry is sort of similar to PM&R. For one thing, psychiatry and physiatry sound really similar. They are both pretty laid back, have good hours, not too competitive, great pay. When my psychiatry rotation started and the hours were 8 to 5 with weekends off, I thought, “Hey, I could get used to this.” I thought most of the psychiatrists I worked with were really cool. And there was an abundance of great stories. I was never bored on my psych rotation. And I actually had a knack for it, I think. So what went wrong? 1) I like procedures and psychiatry is one field where you really don’t get to do any procedures. 2) My father is a psychiatrist and told me repeatedly, “Don’t become a psychiatrist.” 3) I don’t know if I believe in a lot of the medical interventions psychiatrists do. Unlike physiatrics interventions like TENS units, which are, of course, rigorously supported by randomized controlled trials. 4) Maybe it’s because it was my first rotation, but I just found psychiatry really sad. I remember calling my mother crying one night because I felt sorry for my patients. I suspect I would have gotten over this though. 5) When I was on my psychiatry rotation, I spent much of the rotation scared that I was going crazy. Actually, #5 was probably my most...