Thursday, March 29, 2007

Centennial Rounds

Dr Rosendo Ribeiro, and his trusty zebra, Kenya, 1907

Dr Dork, whilst briefly logging on the intertubes to upload his typically belated Grand Rounds notification, noticed that this is also his hundredth post.

Dr Dork can almost hear the tumultuous response from the medical blogosphere :


"Tell someone who gives a rat's derrière."

Dr Dork has wrestled since beginning to blog with a multiplicity of goals to the endeavour. Overarching all of these, of course, is the primary reason why he came into existence.

Like many of his medical brethren, Dr Dork has a propensity towards perfectionism and distinct obsessive traits. "Best to do something well, or not at all," he recalls Dork Sr advising.

Dr Dork suspects his psychologically savvy colleagues might suggest this "everything or nothing" style of thinking is a recipe for disaster.

There are a lot of medical blogs out there. Dr Dork has lost count of the number he is now subscribed to. Many of the consistently productive ones seem to focus on a particular modality or two of blogging only:

Politics of healthcare. The particular speciality of the writer: Surgeons to shrinks. Emergency medicine to General Practice. Little people to even littler people. Tickers to tubing. Debunking quackery. Collating medical news. The history of nursing caps and dodgy romance novels. Medical literature. Doctor as patient.

Just to name a few.

Dr Dork is fragmented. He produces random output in at least 5 different modalities. Choosing to avoid his particular speciality field (which may or may not have been touched on at some point) is quite limiting.

Anyway.The loperamide appears to be kicking in, so enough verbal diarrhoea for now.

Suffice it to say Dr Dork is contemplating whether he might get more out (ie. put more in) if he chose a particular modality on which to focus. We'll see.

A trace of ennui intrudes at present, and output shall continue scarcely. This appears the eternal nature of the Dork, to spew forth at random intervals in random amounts. So be it - like it or lump it...Ha!

The main point of this post, before Dr Dork become absorbed in the wonders of navel gazing, is that Grand Rounds is up at Medviews.

Medviews is written by
Dr Stuart Henochowicz, an Allergist/Immunologist at Georgetown with an impressive breadth of credentials.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grand Rounds and Dorkish Humour

Dr Dork is aware Grand Rounds was posted several days ago. Better late than never.

Dr Sam Blackman is a paediatric haematologist/oncologist from the US who is the host of Grand Rounds this week.

For any non-medical readers paed/haem/onc = little kiddies with cancer.

Tough gig.

Dr Blackman touches on the role of humour in grand rounds, and Dr Dork thinks this a salient point. In a similar vein, CodeBlog has made impressive use of limericks in this weeks
Change of

Humour is a useful tool in medical teaching, and in medical practice. From his psychiatry days, Dr Dork recalls it as a critical element of assessing a mental state properly.

Humour is, of course, a therapeutic tool in and of itself. Although Dr Hunter "Patch" Adams is a controversial figure, and Dr Dork disagrees to some extent with his extremely anti- “conventional” psychiatry stance, the message that humour does us good is beyond reproach.

In this spirit, Dr Dork would like to share some of his favourite humour sites. Please note, some are at times crude. In the tradition of FARK, the NSFW (not safe for work) tag will be applied for these, for those of you reading from a work computer.

Dork Humour

Dr McNinja – yes, it is a comic strip about a Ninja Doctor. Seriously. The premise : a kindly physician is infected with a virus which bestows ninja powers. The current story, with guest (ie. shoddy) artwork is average, but the archives are very entertaining.

Amateur Transplants – by Dr Suman who is a British anaesthetics trainee. The highlight is the section of mp3s, which are very funny.

Chaser – largely political Australian humour, possibly nonsensical to those outside Oz.

Comics curmudgeon – dissects humorously various daily comic strips

The Daily Show – you can’t get the show clips via Youtube anymore due to Viacom getting all "sue-y", but they are posted here at ifilm. The Chappelle Show archive is also recommended. Sometimes NSFW

Dilbert – probably the funniest comic around at present, given that Patterson and Larson
have effectively retired.

Dr Rob – arguably the funniest medical blogger around, at least to Dr Dork's mind, although there is some stiff competition about.

The Onion

The Overheard series. NSFW

Reasons you will hate me. A sometimes raunchy blog with much political humour, by a 30-something author/screenwriter/ex-child actress that is especially entertaining if familiar with Melbourne. Very NSFW

And last but not least, Red Meat, Medium Large and The Perry Bible Fellowship are three irreverently funny web comics. Often NSFW

Well, all that should keep some of you out of mischief for awhile.

Dr Dork is a bit tied up at present, hence Chateau Dork might be a tad quiet over the next week or two. He also apologises for being rather tardy in replying to comments - these will be addressed over the next few days.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Dr Dork generally is wary of "memes", in the same way he doesn't forward chain mail.

Nonetheless, as two health bloggers he holds in high esteem, AngryDoc and JMB, have pointed the bone in regards to suggesting Dr Dork is a "thinking blog"...

Flattery will get you everywhere, Dr Dork thinks.

The requirements of this "meme"

1. Post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to (*original source blog*) which contains advertisements and solicits "donations" to its author. Maybe not.

3. Variation on 2. Definitely not.

Well, if anyone's interested, these are the 5 blogs that make Dr Dork think more than any other:

1. Stranger's Fever

2. NHS Blog Doc

3. Respectful Insolence

4. The Dilbert Blog

5. Intueri

These selections are entirely idiosyncratic, in random order, and Dr Dork also notes that thinking ain't always a good thing. Ha !

Friday, March 16, 2007


The Bloglines post notifier / reader / thingamajig, which Dr Dork opens even before his email nowadays when cranking up Old RustyTM , his venerable PC, is temperamental at best.

Oftentimes, little red exclamation points appear next to various blogs Dr Dork subscribes to. Usually, this is a transient software glitch. Going directly to a blog / site address bypasses such RSS or similar problems.

Today, Barbados Butterfly (link now inactive) was “flagged” in this manner.

Dr Dork had some trouble accessing the site, and presumed a glitch or gremlin was at play until just now reading this.

Dr Dork is very sad tonight.

As he has mentioned elsewhere, Dr Dork has been reading weblogs of non-medical nature for years, but only really began to appreciate the burgeoning of medical blogging in late 2005, not long before dipping his own toe sporadically into this great ocean of data.

Although the *cough* “honour” was never requested, this dork has long considered Dr Barb as one of his “blogparents”…whatever that means. If nothing else – it is a token of respect and admiration.

Dr Dork is hoping against hope this heralds a necessary pupation, and that Dr Barb will one day return.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds are up at ScienceRoll which is a blog by an Hungarian medical student.

Interspersed this week with lots of Monty Python videos.

Ni !

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wordsmith of the Week

Dr Dork (to waiting room):
Mr Simia ?

Mr Simia stands. They enter office.

Dr Dork:
Hello, Mr Simia. Have a seat.

How are you today ?

Mr Simia:
G’day doc. F***ing al’right. Not too f***ing bad. F***ing hot, ‘ay ?

Dr Dork:
Boiling, isn’t it ? So, tell me about…..


Dr Dork:
And what operations have you had before ?

Mr Simia:
Couple ‘a things. My knee was f***ed for years.

Dr Dork:

Mr Simia:
Then Dr Amazing fixed it. ACL. Better than ever. It was f***ing f***ed for years before. He is absolutely f***ing amazing. Best f***ing doctor ever. Does all the footy players. Really f***ing good.

Dr Dork:

Mr Simia:
F*** oath. Good job, mate.

Dr Dork:

Dr Dork:
…and the other operation ?

Mr Simia:
Opened up me f***ing guts and ripped me appendix out. F***ing ripped it out.

Dr Dork:
OK then… the know your appendix didn’t do you any good, anyway ? So no harm in losing it.

Mr Simia:
Well, why the f*** is it there then ? What f***ing good ?

Dr Dork:
Some people would say it is a vestigial evolutionary remnant. Of something useful at an earlier stage..

Mr Simia:
F***ing evolution ? What about that s*** anyway ? What f***ing proof ? Eh ? Why’s it there then if there’s evolution. Why we f***ing evolve it if it's no f***ing good ?

Dr Dork:
Fair, back to.....

Dr Dork avoids imposing his religious or other world views on his patients. He believes it unethical to do so. This was an attempt to reassure gone horribly wrong. Mr S was raring to go for a philosophical debate. Which would have been interesting.

Dr Dork is trying to figure out how to write dialogue effectively. You have been warned.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Mateship and Rapport

"Mate" is a non specific greeting used between Australians. Of both genders in certain regions. It is usually of a positive connotation.

As with much Australian vernacular, subtleties of inflection and context can produce a great variety of meanings.

"Maaaaaaaaaaaate", as a drawn out drawl, accompanied usually by a half-smile and a knuckle-crunching handshake, is the traditional greeting of the Australian male in the wild.

"G'day, mate!" is often used as a general, friendly greeting to an unknown person, especially of the male persuasion. The equivalent of "Good afternoon, sir", "Bonjour, monsieur".

"Mate" can also be used in a derogatory context just as easily and this is what led Dr Dork to consider the topic today.

Whilst sauntering down the street in the vague direction of his morning bus, Dr Dork was nearly cleaned up by a cyclist who barrelled past without warning. A near collision...and partially Dr Dorks fault, as he tends to meander along a circuitous path, especially when his mind is 90% it often is. The words that leapt to Dr Dorks lips, albeit unspoken: "Use your *(edited)* bell, mate!".

Dr Dork sometimes refers to his male patients as "mate".

On his new patient registration forms the only option available is Mr for males.

Being of a certain age, Dr Dork still refers to new older male patients as "sir", unless or until they clearly indicate a preference otherwise. Younger males are usually "mate" or addressed by first name.

This seems to assist in rapport building with younger males, in particular. It is a gesture of camaraderie, of casual "blokiness" that makes the staid old Dr Dork seem less intimidating to a young 'un, perhaps.

Females may select Ms, Miss or Mrs, and are addressed according to their preference. No grey areas.

On the whole, Dr Dork finds it often takes longer to develop rapport with female patients. He is a dork, and thus the instinctive female repugnance to Homo Dorkus Sapiens (and his negative evolutionary corollaries) must be gradually overcome.

The greater flexibility he has in addressing his male patients seems to further facilitate rapport. More scope to tailor to the individual, less possibility of inadvertent offence.

Dr Dork works only in adult medicine. Kiddie rapport is a whole other kettle of fish. Ask Dr Flea.

Children are evil, and should stay off the lawn, anyway.

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