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 Family Medicine

Family Medicine might have been a better choice for me. I liked outpatient medicine much better than inpatient medicine. I like procedures, even pap smears. The hours are generally regular. Several people suggested family medicine as a good choice for me. Here’s why I decided against it: 1) Family medicine is very regional. In some parts of the country, many of the docs are family practitioners. In other parts of the country, there are few and they are not well respected. I trained in an area of the country where family medicine was not as common. Our family med sub-I was a disorganized joke. Almost all the people in my med school class who were interested in primary care did internal medicine or primary care residencies. Only a couple of people matched in Family Medicine. 2) I never wanted to deliver another baby for the rest of my life. 3) If I was overwhelmed by the idea of having to “know it all” in primary care, it’s even worse in family medicine, where you’re taking care of an even larger spectrum of patients. (Yes, you could restrict your practice, but you don’t always have that option.) 4) I worried that family med residency would be like a repeat of third year of med school, where you’re always in unfamiliar territory, always fumbling, and always the one who knows the...

Physician Suicide and Mental Health

I was talking to a medical student recently who said he didn’t want to do a residency in NYC because “everyone there kills themselves.”  I think that’s a little dramatic, although I do recall several years ago there was a rash of suicides in residents. I just read an excellent article on physician suicide. What’s sad is that if a physician really was feeling suicidal, I guarantee there’s no way they could seek counseling quickly that wouldn’t jeopardize their career and confidentiality–the only effective way would be to threaten suicide, which would take them to the ER and give them a record of suicidal behavior… a fate many proud physicians would consider worse than death. I’m going to take a step further and say mental health treatment in this country is really bad.  This is not a jab at mental health professionals, who are probably fine individually… just saying there aren’t enough of them. The system is bad. If someone is feeling depressed or suicidal, they can call their local behavioral health center and maybe get an appointment in a month or two.  Hopefully they’re alive by then. I had a few really down periods during my medical training, so I can speak to all this from experience. There were no mental health services available. At one point, when I was having a really hard time, I called some student health...

Why I Didn’t Do Neurology

Neurology was my last rotation of my third year of med school, and you guys, I Loved It. I found it so fascinating that for the first time ever, I didn’t mind staying long hours at the hospital. When I did the consult service, it was like solving little puzzles all day. And the residents and attendings were my favorites… I fit so well with them (being Nerdy McNerderson and all). So why didn’t I do neurology? I could list reasons, but there was one big reason that pretty much explained everything: In the area of the country where I wanted to live to be near my husband, there were a total of eight neurology spots. Four of them were at a highly malignant program. And I felt that I wasn’t competitive enough to win one of four spots in a very desirable region of the country where I had zero connections. So I didn’t bother to try. That said, here are the reasons I’m glad I didn’t do neurology: 1) The job market is tight right now in neurology. 2) Not much in the way of procedures if you don’t do a fellowship. 3) I think neurologists are much better at diagnosing than treating, especially in the area of stroke. I’m not impressed with the medications prescribed by neurologists. A neurologist friend of mine is convinced that neurontin...

My Thoughts on Fluoride

We live in one of the freak towns that doesn’t have fluoride in the water. My kids have both already had cavities, so I want to make sure to follow our pediatrician/dentist recommendation to get them fluoride pills, but it hasn’t been so easy. So we don’t have to wait in line at the pharmacy every month, we had been getting our pills from Express Scripts, but we changed insurance, so now we can only use Walgreens online pharmacy. This has proved to be quite the challenge. Walgreens would not allow me to add the kids to my pharmacy account until I placed an order with physical pharmacy, so I did this first. The local pharmacy would not fill the medication because they covered only drops but not pills unless they got “extra info” from our pediatrician. After a week, this was not received. Our giant peds practice did not know somehow that this info was being requested. Finally, we just paid $11 each out of pocket for the month’s worth of pills. I was still unable to add the kids online to the pharmacy and had to call to do it. I then asked the pediatrician to call in the pills to Walgreens online. They assumed that was the same as Express Scripts and called it in there. I assure you, they are not the same. I called...

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...