Despite my being 60 or so pages behind in Robbins reading, there's always a little time to focus on baseball in August...especially when I'm stuck in this hellhole of Yankee-fandom 8 games up going into a 3-game series. Here are a couple stories that have warmed my heart while living here over the past year:

The Old Lady
Time stuck in Yankee Country: 36 Hours, give or take. Location: Bed Bath and Beyond for apartment supplies. I'm walking down the aisle, standing amongst the tea pots because I don't even have the means to boil water in my apartment as of yet, when all of a sudden I hear this angry voice with that accent that makes every hair on my neck bristle, "You know you better be careful around here."

"Why's that ma'am?"

"You're going to get yourself hurt wearing that kind of shirt around here."

Looking down I notice that I'm wearing my Bronson Arroyo shirt that I picked up for $5 after he got traded. I thought to myself -Great...and old lady just threatened to beat me up for wearing a Bronson Arroyo shirt in the middle of BB&B. At that time Arroyo was about 10-2 with an ERA under 3, and the Sox were in their skid, but still up 1.5 games at that point. To make things better, it was still about 3 weeks before the second comming of the Boston Massacre where the Sox dropped a 5 game homestand which essentially was the dagger in their playoff hopes.

Thinking quickly I retorted "Ma'am, I'm from the Boston area and just moved here yesterday. Bronson Arroyo, who isn't even on the Red Sox anymore, is one of my favorite pitchers who is currently leading the NL in wins and ERA. If anyone wants to beat the crap out of me over Arroyo, they need to seriously get a life. Enjoy the rest of your shopping" With that I
turned and walked away.

Random other Sox-hating events
Generally when I go to a bar, I'm still carded at the door despite the fact that I look like a 30 year old at the ripe old age of 24. Most NY bouncers see the Massachusetts license and give me grief about being from Boston/the Sox.

I also have Red Sox license plates. They were doing random safety checks on one of the roads near campus, and so the officer makes me stop and says with a dead-pan, straight face "Son, I may have to write you a ticket for those plates that you have there." I said: "See you in Traffic Court," with a smile, and he cracked a smirk.

In the ED
So where are you from?
Me: Boston
Patient: So why don't you have one of those stupid accents that they always have? (through her own thick Long Island/Queens accent)
Me: My parents taught me how to speak properly as a child...

Edit: at the time of this post the Sox are only up 7 games on the Yank-me's based upon Damon's 2 Run HR...Run support for Matsuzaka could have been better...especially if Manny hadn't strained his back.



Path is hitting me harder than I thought it would and I'm still trying to figure out how much of Robbins I need to memorize to survive. Good stuff is on it's way at some point though


Back on campus...

So after a nice little 2 week hiatus away from the computer and the hell that is NY state, I'm back for the next 10 months or so. Stay tuned for some good non-medically related stuff


Commenwealth Care...

(For what it's worth, I'm a moderate in that sort of skeptical and cynical liberal sort of way)

One of the family friends asked me what I thought of the Massachusetts Mandatory Health Insurance bill the other day. I went on about how it's somewhat of a good thing because it ensures that patients are covered by SOME sort of insurance plan that reimburses at a rate somewhat higher than medicare/medicaid, it ensures that patients are taking SOME responsibility for their health care instead of just "showing up to the Emergency Room" when they need care (like W suggests), and it forced insurance providers to offer affordable coverage in Massachusetts.

Granted the downsides are that there aren't enough PCP's to cover the 130,000 new enrollees, and the $35/month premium for people with incomes 1.5-2x the federal poverty limit isn't going to put a dent in the cost associated with their increased consumption of health care. With that lack of funding will probably come a medicare-like reduction in the reimbursement schedule and a burden on the state coffers and ultimately increased taxes, resulting in physicians fleeing the state.

But at least it's something: Preventative care (for what it's worth) will be delivered, theoretically driving down overall costs of acute care later on, and perhaps the increased health care demand will drive the legislature to make Massachusetts a more attractive place to practice medicine with loan-repayment incentives and momentarily increased rates of reimbursement (even if we are paying out the ass for the programs with our tax dollars). It's an experiment in trying to sustain a viable health care delivery system that's not 100% government funded and places the responsibility upon employers and patients.

Only time will tell if it will work...

Back to Massachusetts...

Whenever I find myself on the way home, I usually get that Guster song stuck in my head for about an hour of my three hour escape...pretty random but it gets me through the hell that is driving through Connecticut. No matter what time of day it is, there is traffic going through every city (especially Hartford...why is their a 3 mile backup at 10 PM???) in the state...it drives me nuts.

Since the last post, I helped the newly-minted first year students move in and get oriented at school. The poor bastards have no idea what they're in for. It seems like just yesterday that I was one of those bright-eyed optimists who thought they were going to be saving the world right out of the gate. It was nice because the orientation committee this year was realistic in their advice and made sure to not overstate how awesome medical school is (unlike the folks that oriented us who wanted us to believe that everyone is bestest friends, studying is fun, anatomy is hardest course and other sunshine-filled facts).

Since then, I've been at home in MA, which is why my blogging has been on the DL for a few days. I've mostly been savoring some family time while I've been here. I did go down the cape for the weekend to one of my favorite places on earth (Nauset Beach), consumed some of my favorite beverage (Samuel Adams Summer Ale) with some family friends. I also turned 24 which is a lack-luster birthday because I can't do anything new (like rent a car or sign up for my AARP card). None-the-less my brothers took me out for some sushi and the Simpsons movie which was pretty awesome of them and a good time was had by all. And I got to see my dog, which is my favorite part of coming home (next to the home cooked meals, free laundry, and absence of anything Med School related)

Since I have about 2 weeks of freedom until the second year of my imprisonment begins, I have a fairly full social calendar of non-medically related events:
8/9: Back to NY for the weekend
8/10: Human Guinea Pig for $150...it's a pretty cool study, and mostly involves me laying still and being stabbed with needles and it will pay for some of my latest REI shopping spree (Daddy needed some new Gore-tex, white gas and backpacking socks)
8/11-12: Camping with med students...which ought to be interesting as most of them are not exactly what I would call "outdoorsy" in even the remotest sense of the word...but it's at a camp site and therefore somewhat of a controlled environment with access to toilets...it'll be ok.
8/13-17: Fly fishing, backpacking (3 nights on the Long Trail) and generalized relationship time in Vermont with the Girlfriend where we pretend that our doctoral (JD and MD) educations haven't interfered with our lives at all (I can see the therapy bills now).
8/18: Fenway with the fam for Sox vs. Angels
8/19: Back to NY, clean/stow gear, buy food/beer, upload schedule onto Treo, put books into backpack
8/20: Classes begin...huzzah (sarcastic tone used here).
8/21: Whiny posts recommence