18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Monday, November 21, 2005

This Town is Too Small

Way too small. I ran into one of my patients at my gym today.

"Dr. Lowenstein?" (not my real name)

I turn around. "Mr. Albertson!" (not his real name either)

"Good memory! How are you?"

And hence started our odd smalltalk. Of course I remember the guy -- 54 year-old who had a heart attack about one and a half years ago. I cared for him as a first year fellow on our CCU. He drinks too much, but otherwise is doing ok. Granted, at his last appointment 6 months ago I suggested he join this gym with the tongue-in-cheek caveat that "you might run into your cardiologist", I never really thought about what to say to a patient in the gym, or the grocery store, or anywhere else outside the office.

As I was leaving, I thought of what to say. "Good to see you. Keep up the hard work and have a great Thanksgiving," was going to be my line. But, I looked around for him and he was gone.

Nonetheless, it's good to see patients taking my advice and exercising.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Boycott JCrew

Many companies, including Banana Republic, J. Jill, the Gap, and H&M, do not sell fur. However, JCrew's clothing lines include fur, including fur from China, where there are no real laws regarding animal cruelty and the trade in dog and cat fur thrives. See for more details, and when shopping for gifts this holiday season, avoid JCrew.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Medical Licensure is a Pain

I have to apply for medical licensure in the state that I'll be in next year. What a nuisance -- they want a letter from every malpractice carrier I've ever had, verification from each of my training programs, a validation of my character, a new ID number, a verification of my profile from the AMA, and so on and so on....

What a nuisance.

Am on call again for the cath lab. Went into the hospital for something earlier in the evening... hoping not to have to go back until the morning.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Up All Night in the Cardiac Cath Lab

I think I spoke too soon in my last blog. I get into bed, get comfortable, fall asleep, and no less than an hour later, the pager goes off -- MI ALERT. That means someone is in the midst of a heart attack and we are emergently being called back to the Lab. I throw on scrubs, hop in my car, and speed the ten miles in my car to the hospital.

The case seemed to take forever. And when we were finally done sometime after 3 am, we were requested to emergently do a heart catheterization on a braindead person who would be an organ donor.

Slept at the hospital for 2 hours, woke up and did one more case. Fortunately the case went smoothly, and I went home shortly thereafter to sleep for the day.

Slept for much of the morning and early afternoon, woke up, and called to accept the fellowship position for next year. Then got a phone call from my future program director. Seems like a really good guy.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Got the Job!

Was surprised by a page this morning as I was finishing up a case in the Lab. It was the program that I interviewed at 10 days ago -- while they were planning to wait until January to offer spots, they really liked me and wanted to offer me a position!!!

Put me in a tough spot -- have one more interview 10 days from now, but they want to hear this week. I told them I'd get back to them. I think I'm going to take the position.


Am on call tonight -- home call, that is. Did one acute case in the Lab, will likely have to go back at some point to do another in the middle of the night. But, thanks to ACGME rules, if I get called in again, I can likely take off the afternoon tomorrow.

My hands are so gross! Whenever I'm in the Lab during the fall or winter, they get itchy, crack and bleed. Steroid cream and moisturizer help somewhat. It's not a latex allergy -- I've been tested for that.

Well goodnight... hopefully the Lab will not call me back and all my patients will stay healthy tonight.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Morningstar Farms Steak Strips and other Vegan Eating Adventures

mmmmm yummy!

Found them on my jaunt through the local health food store. Threw them in a wok with eggplant, broccoli, and a garlic sauce. Yum! The steak was a bit mushy since I didn't read the instructions that said to only cook it 3-4 minutes...oops!

Met 2 girlfriends for lunch. After an hour and a half Master Swim workout, I was super-hungry. I got a veggie-filled breakfast burrito with salsa and some home fries, only after my usual barrage of annoying vegan questions: Can you make that without the egg and cheese? Can you add more veggies? Is there any butter used to fry the burrito? What about the home fries that come with it -- any butter? Then after I saw the fruit of the day decided I had to eat that too. I was so full, and that was 3 hours ago, but I'm hungry again! Gotta feed the tapeworm.

Dinner will be sauteed sweet onions/shallots, a bit of canola oil, carrots, white beans, and veggie broth. I throw it in the food processor, and it looks nasty at first, but it is so yummy and full of protein and vitamins and is quite healthy.