White Coat Underground

Archives for February, 2009

Thanks for the roffles, PZ!

I don’t link to Pharyngula very often—our content just doesn’t intersect that much, but I followed a link from today’s post and had a good laugh. You see, some comedian creationist cult leader put out a new book, and the reviews on Amazon are a real hoot. From one review: My only disappointment with the…

Flu update

It’s been a slow flu season this year—until now. In the last week I’ve seen people dragging themselves into the office looking like absolute hell—fevers, cough, severe muscle aches—in other words, they’ve got the flu. The latest CDC data shows a marked increase in flu activity. A large percentage of isolates are influenza A, type…

Deirdre Imus—dangerous, stupid, or both?

It seems the same questions keep coming up when looking at the cult leaders of the infectious disease promotion movement. When you listen to them preach or read their liturgy you can’t help thinking, “dumb, evil, or both?” I think I’m going to vote for “both” when it comes to Deirdre Imus. Her sermon last…

Before I started medical school I worked at a clinic that served the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. I was the “front office”, greeting patients, answering the phone by TDD/TTY or by relay service (this was before the existence of text messaging, instant messaging, or anything else that relied on cell phones or on the internet—none…

Dumb or dissembling? We report, you decide

There was a piece of good news on vaccine front this week. The first judgments from the Autism Omnibus Trial were announced, and the special masters (who served as judges) agreed with the rest of the reality-based community in ruling that vaccines do not cause autism. The rulings weren’t subtle, using phrases such as “misled…

Right is right, right?

I’m getting really tired of this nature vs. nurture debate when discussing homosexual rights. It’s always interesting to investigate the origins of human behavior, and occasionally something is found to be purely genetic, but I suspect that sexuality, like many human attributes, has a complex mix of biological and non-biological causes. That doesn’t piss me…

Morning Report #2

Morning report is a daily conference for medical residents. It is done differently at different institutions, but normally a case is presented, often by the post-call team, and discussed by the senior residents and an attending physician. Today’s case will be the first in an occasional series. It is best read above the fold first,…

The New York Times is reporting that the economic stimulus bill will include over a billion dollars to fund research into medical evidence. This is a good thing, but it’s bound to be controversial. I’ve mentioned before that we need to spend money to improve our medical infrastructure, and this could be a step in…

Sunday paean

Science is hard. But science, and the methodological naturalism that underlies it, has proved to be the best way to observe, describe, and explain our reality. Sure, people can come up with ridiculous straw man arguments like, “but how do you measure love?” but these arguments ring hollow. (We measure “love”, a behavior, by the…

Notes from Honduras V

In 1999, during my intern year, Hurricane Mitch struck Central America. As stated below, I wanted to become involved. The program director of my residency was kind enough to view this as a worthwhile educational experience. This is my diary from the trip. Part IV is here. Leaving Our final evening in Juticalpa saw the…