Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Don't Have a Job!

Meh. I knew it was too good to be true. The doctor who initially loved me doesn't have the heart to fire his current team. Oh well, back to the search.

My only beef is that he informed me of his change of heart via text message. Let me repeat that:


I rarely if ever use this, but FML.

(Edit: I still have my awesome job in Washington. I just didn't get the California job)

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Have a Job!

Well, let me qualify that and say that I think I have a job. Until I actually start working and get my first check, I won't breathe that first sigh of relief.

Searching for a job was never something I thought I'd have to do. It's a humbling experience. For years I've felt like a rock star. I get job offers weekly - sometimes daily - that would make your head spin. Unfortunately, they are usually in out of the way places. If I was the sole bread winner, we'd already be in Texas where they've been begging me to come for the last 4 years. Well, life had different plans and we are Palo Altoans. If you've ever been here, you know how beautiful this place is. You can also understand that, since it's such a desirable place to live, no one ever leaves. Plus, with uncertainty about Obama-care, hospitals just aren't hiring.

I enlisted the help of a recruiter. As recently as two to three years ago, this was the job to have. Recruiters get between $20,000 and $50,000 to place a radiologist and the good ones could place at least one a month. Well, these days some of them are looking to get into real estate, to give you an idea how bad it is. The first recruiter was a bust, so I got a second. And a third. At last count, I had 12 recruiters "working" for me. Just today, I had another recruiter call. He agreed to work for me as long as I paid him a $1000 retainer. I was almost desperate enough to do it.

A couple weeks ago I decided to take matters into my own hands. I googled for imaging centers around Palo Alto and just started cold calling. A couple places were so unprepared that I actually had to print out my CV and fax (!) it to them. Believe it or not, it was one of those faxed resumes that did the trick. We met today, had lunch and we really hit it off. I'll let you know in the 30 to 60 days it will take him to cut loose his current teleradiologists and get a contract together. I'll be a 1099 contractor, which is fine by me (thanks for our benefits HP!), and it will be a big pay cut, but I'll finally get to be with my family full time. There's almost no price in the world that beats that.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Here Comes the Sun

If you've ever written a song, you know that a lot goes into it. Working up a song in a group is even more challenging. Here's how two masters do it. I was especially struck when Yo Yo Ma (do his friends just call him Yo?) asked James Taylor, "Do you mind doing it a bunch of times?"

The Stuff I Use

Falstaff had a throwaway comment about using a note taking thingy (Evernote?) that interfaces with multiple programs. It sounds great and I'll probably see if I can get it for my MyTouch phone. That got me to thinking. What things do you use every day? You might assume everyone knows about the obvious stuff, but you'd be wrong.

In an effort to find some cool stuff, I'm willing to open up my geekiness so you can all see what a troglodyte I am. Keep in mind that common things I hear about like Digg, Torrent and someone named Doctorow (EL?) are foreign to me. Sure I can Google them, but I already have a lot of stuff. Do I need them in my life?

Here is what I use every day:
Google Reader - especially weather and movie listings
Google Maps
iTunes and my iPod
MyTouch phone - especially Phit Droid (mindless game), Instant Messenger and a cool ap called Guitar Tuner
Motorola H721 Bluetooth earpiece
FerrariChat (duh)
Sony Vaio laptop (POS, but functional)
HP desktop (yay, HP!!!)

What am I missing? What one thing would enrich my life?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Crazy Doctors - The Reveal

Once again, if you need to catch up, start here.

Then read this (the cool post with the CT scan).

And now (drumroll please), your answer.

In this case, I noticed that her upper lungs had fibrosis. Fibrosis in the lungs is a rare and bad disease, but it usually only occurs in the lower lungs. It's generally called interstitial lung disease (ILD). Very few things cause upper lobe fibrosis AND exclude the lung bases. One of them is chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (CHP), which is the diagnosis in this case. Congratulations if you got it right.

CHP has a variety of causes. One well known cause is exposure to exotic birds, but it can happen with any birds, actually. It's probably exacerbated by an unclean environment. In this case, her morbid obesity is preventing her from adequately cleaning up after her animals. Unfortunately, even if she sells all the chickens and ducks and moves into a totally clean environment, the damage is done. Hopefully it wouldn't progress any further, but you never know.

Thanks for playing along. FWIW, I have a ton of similar cases. If you're interested, I could probably post one a week.

Crazy Doctors - Part II

Thanks for stopping by. If you need to catch up, start here.

I had no idea people were this interested! Truly, every day in radiology is like an episode of House (without the attitude*).

Rather than simply tell you what it is, let me show you what I saw. These images are from her CT scan (obviously, all patient info has been removed. We are a teaching institution and there is an expectation that people will learn from you whenever possible).

Any ideas?


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Crazy Doctors!

Crazy day today. I was looking at a CAT scan while the patient was still on the table. In this case, I went and talked to her as she was getting off the table. I asked her, "Do you have exotic birds?" She said no and my techs were all looking at me like I was crazy. Then she replied, "But I have chickens and ducks."

Well, they're killing you.