How Doctors Think

How Doctors Think is a window into the mind of the physician and an insightful examination of the all-important relationship between doctors and their patients. In this myth-shattering work, Jerome Groopman explores the forces and thought processes behind the decisions doctors make. He pinpints why doctors succeed and why they err. Most important, Groopman shows when and how doctors can — with our help — avoid snap judgments, embrace uncertainty, communicate effectively, and deploy other skills that can profoundly impact our health.

Weyco And Smell The Smoke

From The Daily Free Press:
“… Okemos-based Weyco Inc., instituted a no-smoking policy in 2003, purportedly to save on the cost of health care benefits for its employees. The policy forbids employees from smoking both in the workplace, and at home. Weyco offered help to employees trying to quit and has said that 14 of its estimated 20 employees who smoked kicked the habit before the policy went into effect.”

Somehow I imagine the “help” that this company provided exactly as described in Stephen King’s short story “Quitters Inc.” that later became a part of the movie “Cat’s Eye“:

First offense – your wife gets some electric shock treatment. Second offense – you get one. Third offense – you get it together. Fourth – your kid gets beaten. And so forth.

And after you stop smoking you get the bill for 5000.50.

Quitters Inc is conviniently located right next to the United Nations at 237 East 46th Street, by the way. Don’t forget to ask them about their weight loss plan.

I bet once Weyco is done with the smokers they’ll go after the fat people.

I Need A New Drugstore

One of the obsessive-compulsive habits that I have is paying close attention to merchandise and it’s displays while shopping in drugstores. Tandems, gondolas, impulse strips and POGs fascinate me.  I use that and office supply shopping as a sort of therapy.

Recently I was in a dental product isle looking at mouthwashes. Finally I picked Rembrandt Plus Peroxide Whitening Rinse.  Thinking about how good a racket it must be if suckers like me pay $6-7 for a small bottle of “Purified Water, Glycerin, Hydrogen Peroxide Solution, Sodium Citrate, Cremophor RH 40, Flavor, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Hydroxide”.  Hey, I though. This is stupid. I can make my own mouthwash! I can pick my own surfactants, humectants and astringents.  Apparently I wasn’t the first one who got that idea

I will let you know how Deadprogrammer brand non-alcohol, caffeinated, sucralose-sweetened mouthwash will come out.

Hope To The Obese

I used to work in this building. I am thinking about making a collage of all of the buildings I ever worked in.

Speaking about obese and their hope. Thanks to not eating in the evening and running four to six miles three times a week I finally resumed my weight loss. From hitting rock bottom at 255lb a year back, 230lb after being on low carb diet, I am at 217lb right now. My BMI is 32, which means that pretty soon I will officially stop being obese. Then I’ll be overweight.

WML : How to Good-Bye Obesity: Heart Rate Training. Malarkey? or Effective Way?

I am a hardened veteran of the battle of the bulge. There are a lot of factors working against me — genetic predisposition, laziness, sedentary lifestyle. Yet still, from time to time I wage a war on fat, and often enough come out victorious. I despise people who say that you should like your body the way it is. Body image hate is A-Ok in my book.

Generally I spent most of my life in various states of obesity. But three times I managed to bring my weight down to normal. The first time was when my parents signed me up for summer gym classes. Calisthenics and running 5 times a week for a whole summer really slimmed me down. Unfortunately the very charismatic coach we had ended up getting drafted into the Soviet army, and without motivation I stopped exercising and started gaining weight again. Then my dad got me into a tennis class. I got in only because he was a chief engineer in charge of building the stadium which housed the tennis courts where we played. I sucked at playing tennis, but by the time I left the Soviet Union my weight was back to normal.

American food, stress and more stress took it’s toll during my high school years. Still, one summer I took a gym class during summer school and took to running 10-12 laps around the stadium every day. My weight was back to normal again. But then I’ve got a job at Nathan’s Famous and gained a lot of weight eating free hot dogs and fries.

I never had any luck with diets up until now. Surprisingly enough Atkins diet really works. But of course it’s not enough. In fact, I lost 30 pounds and stalled. But then suggested that I try heart rate training.

There’s this company called Polar. They make very accurate pulse rate monitors. These monitors consist of two parts: a transmitter strap that goes around your chest and a watch which picks up the wireless signal from the transmitter.

The device continuously monitors your pulse so that you can adjust your effort level to stay in the fat burning zone. Luckily treadmills in the gym that our corporate overlord and beloved billionaire tyrant built for us already have Polar receivers inside. And as it turned out the gym attendants have transmitters available on request. You just punch in the desired heart rate and the treadmill adjusts to you. It also accurately calculates calories burned. And the overhead monitors are tuned into various Fox channels. Simpsons while working out — what could be better?

Running with heart rate monitor is just amazing. You don’t get too tired, but you know that you are exerting yourself just enough to burn fat. It’s very motivating. To keep myself further motivated I think I’ll buy myself an iPod when I loose another 10 lb.

If you were wondering, the subject line is a reference to the title of this book.