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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.

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A mold to make ER cookies and ER Jell-O!  Or how about a glow-in-the-dark chest x-ray?

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Do you care if wild animals needlessly suffer and die during wintertime? If so, see www.shelteranimals.org.

Do you have what it takes to be an ER physician?  Take the ER-MCAT and find out!

The MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) is the med school equivalent of the SAT.  As you might expect, the ER-MEDCAT is the test which determines if prospective ER doctors have what it takes to succeed in the ER.  With that in mind, it's time to sharpen your pencils, pop some caffeine tablets, and explore your propensity for masochism!

1) A 10 kg child requires 40 mg/kg/day of the latest antibiotic, BubbleGumicillin.  What is the required daily dose of the antibiotic?

    (a) 40 mg
    (b) 50 mg
    (c) 100 mg
    (d) 400 mg
If you answered (d), you obviously have the intellectual capacity to succeed in the ER.  Now let's move on to the more challenging questions which will really show if you are qualified to be an ER doctor.

2) Where would you prefer to be at 3 a.m. Christmas morning?

    (a) Snuggled in bed with your honey.
    (b) Expanding your knowledge of profane words by listening to an alcoholic vent his spleen.
    (c) Dodging the emesis from an awakening heroin addict.
    (d) Listening to a foreign intern with an IQ of 85 explain why a comatose diabetic does not need admission.
Did you answer (b), (c), or (d)?  Good!

3) Can you drink five cups of coffee at the start of a 12-hour shift and then refrain from urinating until your shift is over?

    (a) You couldn't possibly be serious!
    (b) No one needs to drink five cups of coffee.
    (c) Don't I get a 15-minute break every 4 hours, as mandated by federal law?
    (d) Yes.
The correct answer is (d).

4) Sleep experts recognize the importance of a regular sleep schedule.  For ER physicians, this is a ludicrous impossibility.  How do you plan to deal with a few decades of sleep deprivation?

    (a) Get drunk and pass out.
    (b) Drink five cups of coffee at the start of every shift.
    (c) By taking comfort in the fact that such a sleep deficit will reduce my life span by about 10%, thus reducing the number of shifts I'll have to work in the ER.
    (d) By deluding myself into thinking that my current absence of sleep problems will immunize me from any sleep problems in the future.
Only answers (b) and (c) are acceptable.

5) How many times per day can you wash your hands before your skin becomes as dry as parchment?

    (a) 2 times.
    (b) 4 times.
    (c) 6 times.
    (d) 50 times.
Unless you answered (d), you will be spreading more disease than you will be curing.

6) Can you touch a maggot-infested person without wincing?

    (a) Yes.
    (b) No.
Obviously, only (a) is acceptable.  In the ER, you will be called upon to deal with far more revolting problems.  If a few maggots make you skittish, you may want to think twice about going into emergency medicine.

7) Can you take physical and verbal abuse from patients without retaliating?

    (a) Sometimes.
    (b) Invariably.
    (c) Almost always.
    (d) Never.
The correct answer is (c)—tricked you, didn't I?  If you answered (b), you're wound tighter than a spring.  Such restraint is admirable, but it often does not last when confronted with the harsh realities of the ER.  Ultimately, you must realize that abusive patients create an environment in the ER that is detrimental to other patients and the nursing staff.  Unless you put the screws to abusive jerks, they will continue to act out.  While you may enjoy being a human punching bag, you have no right to allow your airy view of professionalism to interfere with your responsibility to maintain order in the ER.  If you brought your 4-year-old daughter to the emergency room, would you want her to listen to a drunk scream profanity and racial epithets for a couple of hours?

8) Which of the following activities do you enjoy in your spare time?

    (a) Responding to court subpoenas to appear as a witness.
    (b) Responding to a court subpoena to appear as a defendant in a malpractice trial, because a patient had a heart attack nine months after you saw him in the ER.
    (c) Attending interminable medical staff meetings in which the same subjects are rehashed year after year.
    (d) Responding to "Quality Assurance" referrals from physicians who have less intelligence and knowledge than a day-old hamster.
    (e) All of the above.
The correct answer is (e).  If you answered anything else, I have two words of advice:  just wait.  By the way, (b) is not a misprint.  If you think that an emergency physician would never be sued for something which happened to a patient 9 months after he was seen in the ER, even though the ER physician admitted the patient and treated him perfectly, you have no idea of the kind of crap which gets into court these days.  Do the words "frivolous lawsuit" mean anything to you?  Also, do not console yourself with the knowledge that you will win these cases.  Even if you are found not guilty, such cases will cost you tens of thousands of dollars, waste countless hours of your free time, and put an unjust but permanent black mark on your record.

9) Imagine working as fast as you possibly can for 12 hours.  Now be more realistic and imagine working four times that fast.  Do you think you can do that year after year without pulling out your hair, getting an ulcer, or committing suicide?

    (a) Heck no!
    (b) For the privilege of being able to call myself an ER doctor, I'm willing to subject myself to any level of abuse.
Clearly, the only acceptable answer is (b).

10) Why do you really want to be an ER doctor?

    (a) After reading your book and watching the television show ER, I'm convinced that it will do wonders for my sex life.
    (b) I enjoy being exposed to a wide variety of communicable diseases.
    (c) My skin is too bad to make me a credible dermatologist.
    (d) Accepting the many inherent drawbacks to this branch of medicine, I choose to devote (sacrifice?) my life to providing excellent care to patients who need a caring, competent, and thorough physician.
If you answered (d), add another one to your total.


If your score was 8 or above, the faculty and staff at the ER-MCAT welcomes you to medicine's most exciting specialty.

If your score was 7 or below, you are far too normal to succeed in ER.  Congratulations!

Organize your garage beautifully.

If you want a beautiful garage that is easy to keep organized, see the GarageScapes web site:  www.GarageScapes.com.

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You will have sex about 10,000 times during your life.

Doesn't it make sense to read a book that can maximize your enjoyment, and the enjoyment you give to your partner?

Cast away your preconceptions of sex books as being a rehash of things you already know and hence a waste of time.  By reading this book, you will learn many things that Dr. Ruth and other sexologists have never considered.

The Science of Sex
Enhancing Sexual Pleasure, Performance, Attraction, and Desire

by Kevin Pezzi, MD

Available in printed and Adobe Acrobat e-book versions (will display on any computer)

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