For more Q & A, see my
Test your knowledge of ER terms by solving my ER crossword puzzle that was featured in the Prudential Securities Healthcare Group 2002 calendar. Or take the ER-MCAT to see if you have what it takes to be an ER physician.
Amy reviews ER computer games
Do you care if wild animals needlessly suffer and die during wintertime? If so, see www.shelteranimals.org.
NOTE: In addition to the many topics on these pages, I have another site (www.er-doctor.com) on which I will post all new material.
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Questions I'm frequently asked about my book and life in the ER: My original Q&A page containing everything from irreverent humor to serious ER discussions.
Another section of ER questions and answers. This section is subdivided into:
Even more ER questions! Some typical questions (e.g., how do I become an ER doc? Training? Hours? Salary? What's it really like? Is medical school adequate preparation for the real world? Does appearance matter when it comes to getting in medical school?) and some off the wall queries (e.g., flirting with drug reps, beating up scumbags who abuse ER personnel, superhuman strength, a teacher who wants a leech to suck his blood, and an answer to the question: Is getting an MD degree a route to romance?).
Still more ER questions Part 1 I lead off with an answer for a woman who wonders if an ER doc is too busy to have sex, then I respond to a reader who thinks I'm arrogant, then I answer a series of questions on a number of topics, such as: The "we're one of the top hospitals" scam Best strategy for dealing with initially poor college grades My opinion on prestigious schools The importance of possessing a diverse knowledge base Will you be my mentor? The "Lucas strategy": is it cheating?
Still more ER questions Part 2 I discuss: Rookie docs killing patients Dumb docs killing even more patients Spreading germs The glamour of an ER career: the pay, the babes, the title, the job security, and miscellaneous accouterments Why the pay is deceptive The sacrifices docs make on the way to the Yellow Brick Road The one night I said to heck with medical school "Hard working Americans" Does the thrill ever go away? Why malpractice verdicts are often just a crapshoot Faking malpractice for fun & profit (mainly profit) My prediction: some doc will "go postal" on an attorney A proposal to eliminate frivolous malpractice suits Teachers work as hard as ER doctors? Is this politically correct rhetoric or a hallucination? How the practice of emergency medicine can be nightmarishly difficult and risky Docs aren't the only ones making mistakes Sleep deprivation
Still more ER questions Part 3 I discuss: Best books to prepare for college chemistry and physics? Succeeding in college and medical school: how I went from dunce to doctor What to do if you get a bad prof My organic chemistry professor and his wacky wife What not to do Expanding your brainpower: it takes more than just schooling Can geniuses be created? An intriguing speculation on what will be "the next Internet" Fostering the impetus to succeed How I convinced a "10" that suicide wasn't the answer to being dumped The biological basis of creativity The role of creativity in enhancing intelligence An "entry-level job" as an ER doc? Sorry, but there are no shortcuts Should I call my doc at home? (Seguing into another negation of the "rich doctor" myth) Why is it so risky to be an ER doc? An illustration of how our tort justice system is reprehensibly unjust Do docs always do their best job? How to increase the chance you'll get a 110% performance rather than a half-ass job Why structured play is inimical to intellectual growth Television and Attention Deficit Disorder Want to be smarter? Start inventing
Many More ER Questions and Answers Part 1 Some of the topics: Education increases income. Oh really? Revamping American colleges: an overhaul is long overdue Perks of being a doc Why do people often bitch about physician income, but not the income of people who make more and do less? If you're thinking of perks, you're missing what is really important How doctors are subjected to injustices that no other group would tolerate Why ER docs are part-time slaves An acid test for whether or not you should go into medicine Why I mention the drawbacks of medicine Specialties that are far more palatable than ER How well do ER docs and nurses harmonize? Would a nurse ever kill a patient to get back at a doctor? Institutionalizing policies that harm patients Hospital administrators killing patients with their ignorance Who is best at suturing? ER docs? Plastic surgeons? Dentists? A plastic surgeon who was either malicious or incompetent Practice makes perfect . . . but whom shall we practice on? I practiced on a beauty queen, and turned her into a former beauty queen There are rookies everywhere, even in the Ivy Leagues Why do residents still work long hours? What's "a wall"? Cadavers, dissection, and computer imagery Nurses masturbating patients Coming back from the dead What's it like to be a doc? Mental practice makes perfect, too
Many More ER Questions and Answers Part 2 I discuss: Med school: why is it so tough? A sampling of what medical school is like Is it worth it? An example of the public's unrealistic expectations Sex for drugs? A quid pro quo? Sex in the hospital chapel? Shift differences Coping with night shifts Hospitals promising that ER patients will be seen within 30 minutes My solution for *really* speeding up patient care Dissecting Fido? Why I hate most attorneys Why everyone should hate them: Malpractice attorneys have made more on one case than an ER doctor could make by saving 100,000 lives (if this example doesn't convince you, what will?) Happy days in the ER, & what makes them good A tragic case that I wish I'd seen How a screw-up by an ER doc cost a child his eye Taking care of another child with a problem ineptly managed by his doc An execrable ER boss The joy of doing a good job, and why that's sometimes impossible
Many More ER Questions and Answers Part 3 I discuss: Docs excited by doing pelvic exams? The "beautiful women in the ER" contest My aspirations and how (and why) I chose my career She wants me to enumerate the positive aspects of emergency medicine . . . again? . . . and to discuss the potential for promotion, an average workday, on-call time, and vacation time A few requisites for ER doctors Will attending a technical high school ruin your chances of going to medical school? Will volunteering help? Forget about volunteering and do something that will truly impress the Admissions Committee! Learning to make medical devices at a seminar/workshop She struggled her first year in college; what now?
Yet Another Page of ER Questions and Answers Part 1 I discuss: From the annals of unusual 911 calls: contestant hyperventilates on The Bachelor Non-emergencies in the ER Something you'd never see on a soap opera, because it'd seem too unbelievable Napping during the night shift Sleep inertia Treated by a Physician's Assistant (PA) in an ER; where is the ER doc? Are PA's and Nurse Practitioners (NP's) as competent as MD's? Tacit message from PA's and NP's to physicians: "We'll take the easy, low-risk cases. You can have the rest." Why should patients pay as much to see a PA as an MD? My encounter with an incompetent, but cute, PA Article in Men's Health magazine generates a firestorm of controversy My response to the PAs and NPs who claim they're as good as doctors, or even better PAs defending the indefensible Should I go to medical school or should I go to PA school? Physician Assistant eaten by a grizzly bear: Might extra knowledge have saved her life? MD versus PA: A parallel to RN versus LPN? Why do medical schools vaunt the diversity of their incoming freshman class? The Munchausen syndrome Munchausen by proxy An unusual motivation for Munchausen by proxy: sex? Yet another example of how hospital administrators try to corrupt the practice of medicine in their never-ending quest for money The link between nutrition and brainpower Vitamin B-12 and brainpower Trans fats: a nemesis to cholesterol levels and more Importance of staying healthy Can cell phones affect learning?
Yet Another Page of ER Questions and Answers Part 2 I discuss: How bad is the malpractice situation? Why the situation is so bad for young doctors Why physician income is misleadingly high Senator John Edwards' solution to the malpractice problem: great rhetoric, no solution What engenders frivolous malpractice suits? Money, what else? Peering into my crystal ball . . . what do I see? An attorney turned into hamburger Will things get better for docs in the future? What do I think of the impending physician strike? My solution to the current healthcare crises Is the smallpox vaccine worthwhile? How the malpractice crisis hurts all people, not just doctors Reaction to the physician's strike over the malpractice insurance crisis
Yet Another Page of ER Questions and Answers Part 3 I discuss: Is medicine a good career choice for a creative person? Preponderance of male ER physicians Are men more suited to the job? A severed hand won't make an ER doctor sweat What will make an ER doctor sweat Is is tough to pass medical school? Should addiction medicine be a medical specialty? How psychiatrists often view addicts A beautiful woman wants to know if her looks might repel male patients Following your dreams Can you afford to be a doctor? Why should the US government limit what doctors can charge? My radical solution to the healthcare crisis How much an average ER doctor works Will an ER career interfere with your personal life? What is a good book that tells what an ER physician needs to know? Must docs know Latin? A few community college classes? Don't sweat it. A secret weapon to help ensure that you are accepted into medical school Contracting HIV from a contaminated multi-use drug vial Is a paramedic degree from a community college an impediment to becoming an ER doctor? Preparing for medical school and ER residency The central flaw of residency programs Advice for a high school student She is dating a medical student who wants to be an ER doc, and desires to know if that career is conducive to a good family life The nightmare of chronic sleep deprivation A solution to this problem
Yet Another Page of ER Questions and Answers Part 4 I discuss: Is a nursing degree a good premedical degree? Unemployed and impoverished doctors How can a student with borderline qualifications increase her chance of acceptance into medical school? Emergency departments: where the wild, wild west lives on Guns in the ER? Tasers in the ER? Do ER docs always work at a breakneck pace? My second-longest hug in an ER Solidifying memories Are the expectations of patients realistic? Are all drug reps gorgeous? A hospital that preferred to hire stunning women Interested in an OB/GYN career? Better think twice. Another frivolous lawsuit Why many doctors are saying good-bye to medicine A second opinion on the palatability of practicing medicine Responding to a reader who thinks that I could have done a better job
More advice on becoming an ER doctor I discuss: His freshman year in college was a disaster; can he still become a doctor? Academic transformation: yes, it can be done More on the "Lucas strategy" How sex might affect your career Alternatives to obtaining an MD Asset protection for doctors Judging whether you are likely to regret going into medicine A discourse on academic redemption Suggestions on how to wipe your academic record clean and start over The importance of reading the nursing notes Why this isn't always feasible . . . and what to do about it Administrators have the power, while doctors have the responsibility: does this make sense?
More advice on becoming an ER doctor Part 2 Some of the topics: Suing for better pay and working conditions Residency: what is it like? Flaws in the residency system Taking Prozac to enhance memory? Physician naval aviators? Does a medical degree expire? Will smart drugs increase everyone's intelligence?