Making the Most of Academic Conferences

The Pediatric Academic Societies meeting is this weekend in droughty San Diego, California. These  academic gatherings are opportunities to learn, share ideas, and meet people.  But if you focus on the wrong things, they can also be a big waste of your time and money. For example, before going to my first academic conference many years ago, I remember focusing on getting to as many lectures as possible. Years of formal education had taught me that if lectures were available, you should go. “These lectures will transform my practice,” I thought. Now I realize that while some of those lectures Read more [...]
Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 10.57.52 AM

Answer: “Lung Ultrasound: Has it gone viral?”

This post is in response to the post “Lung Ultrasound: Has it gone viral?” To summarize, this was an 8-month-old girl who presented in respiratory distress. Point-of-care ultrasound was used to help determine the etiology of her symptoms and the following image was obtained:     Thank you to everyone who took the quiz! 19% of you guessed correctly that this video clip was consistent with a bronchiolitis/viral pneumonia. 41% guessed that this was a bacterial pneumonia, which is also potentially correct (as described in more detail below). The remaining 40% guessed Read more [...]
Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 10.57.52 AM

Lung Ultrasound: Has it gone viral?

This was an 8-month old baby girl who was brought into your ED in the middle of February with some increased work of breathing. She was an otherwise full-term, healthy baby but had fever and URI symptoms for the past few days. On exam, he is extremely cranky and difficult to console, making a lung exam challenging. He is febrile, tachypneic and retracting and noted to have an oxygen saturation of 88%.  While he is being put on supplemental oxygen and are awaiting portable chest X-ray, you perform a lung ultrasound to further assess the etiology of his symptoms and obtain the following images:   Clip Read more [...]

Are We Being ‘MOC’ked?

After certification by the American Board of Pediatrics, we commit ourselves for life long learning. The Board has clearly defined this process in recent years, implementing what is called the Maintenance of Certification or MOC. A great deal of controversy surrounds this multi-step process, which repeats in 5-year cycles. When I ask my friends in other professions if they work under similar regulations or continuous testing to maintain their jobs, the universal answer is no. In healthcare, we are always drained of time, money, and effort to maintain what we have. Meanwhile, politicians Read more [...]
two for one

Doctor Cents: Two for the Price of One!!!

Tax time is just around the corner. That is April 15th for those of you wondering—the day that the federal government requires you to fill out all your paperwork and lay out your financial life to them so they can make sure you paid your “fair share.” Today’s post will deal with one of the best vehicles to help lower the amount you are required to pay to the tax man and also help you turbo charge your retirement savings goals---truly two for the price of one!   What is this magical entity that will reduce your taxable income and also provide for your retirement years you ask? Read more [...]

Carrots, sticks, and games for changing physician behaviors

New Year’s resolutions—sadly fading into the rear view mirror for many of us— are an exercise in breaking old habits and creating new ones. For example, I wanted to keep my kitchen workspace clean as I cooked—more like the professionals or at least the 9 year-old contestants on Master Chef Junior. But when I left home this morning, I had still had two used cutting boards, a salad spinner, and a bunch of mixing spoons and utensils strewn on my counter. Sigh. How many of you spent the first 2.5 months of 2015 working on a improving something in your life? And how many of you have been wildly Read more [...]

Top PAS Picks for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician

PAS is just around the corner in San Diego, CA April 25th-28th.  With a program that reads more like a book, the options for learning and networking are endless.  The PEMNetwork is happy to recommend the following core meetings and fun workshops of particular interest to PEM. 1. The Emergency Medicine APA Special Interest Group Saturday, April 25th 8:30am-11:30am, Hilton Bayfront Hotel ~ Sapphire Ballroom M This is the core PEM meeting at PAS. 2. AAP Section on Emergency Medicine Committee for the Future Bi-Annual Lunch Meeting, Saturday April 25th 12pm-1pm Hilton Bayfront Hotel Open Read more [...]

Promotions and Academic Scholarship, Part III – Measuring Scholarship (publications)

Question: How many publications do I need to be promoted to assistant professor - associate professor - professor? Answer: Enough. This is a frustrating question to answer.  Part of knowing how scholarly you are means you have to keep track of publications.  Even though we know that multiple forms of scholarship exists, in the discipline of academic medicine, publications are still the gold standard.  We also know that not all publications are counted, ranked, or considered equally.  But most places do not offer specific guidelines, and your ability to be promoted (or at least know that Read more [...]