Professional Networking and Lunch – What Could Be Better?

Learning a new job while doing a bit of follow-up work on the old one has kept me quite busy of late, so posting here has been light.  I found this “vintage” post while rummaging around in the MSSPNexus Blog attic and decided it was worth a second look: 


I did an informal poll a while back asking “what’s the best reason to attend a national conference?” The number one answer was networking

You’ll get no argument out of me. The opportunity to interact with colleagues from around the country is one of the great benefits of attending a national conference. 

So we all agree, professional networking is a good thing. So how much professional networking do you do on a weekly basis within your own organization? If your response is along the lines of “Well, duh, none. No one in this place knows or cares what I do, that’s why I need to go to a national conference,” it’s definitely time for a little attitude adjustment. 

When it comes to career advancement your professional reputation, what bosses, co-workers, and colleagues think about you, is more important than your resume. Although being technically good at your job is a worthwhile goal, it shouldn’t be the only one you consider worth effort. 

Let’s consider lunch (always one of my favorite topics!) 

Who do you have lunch with, and who should you consider adding to your “invitation” list? (If you have lunch at your desk every day you’re wasting great networking opportunities!) 

Let’s say you’re having lunch with the hospital’s Chief-of-Staff, someone you interact with regularly, but don’t often get a chance to chat with informally. You’re sitting together in the hospital’s cafeteria having an animated discussion. People notice that you and Dr. Chief-of-Staff seem to be getting on well. Score a “good reputation” point for you. Others may (fairly or unfairly) see you as someone with influence in the organization based on who is included in your peer group. 

While outside observers may be giving you points, how will you be perceived by Dr. Chief-of-Staff?  Pay attention to what you say, how you say it, and what your body language reveals. 

DOs and DONT’s… 

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Copier Surveillance

I love technology, at least most of the time.  In fact, I suspect that maintaining a blog tends to exclude one from Luddite membership.  I’m not overly concerned about how often I’m recorded, photographed, etc.  I’ve come to accept that we in western society pretty much live in a high-tech fish bowl.

That fact was brought home to me a few years ago when I stopped at a hospital security desk to ask for directions.  The guard told me which hallways to travel and where to turn. My trusty sense of direction being what it is, I promptly got lost.  After wandering around a bit, another security guard found me in the hallway and pointed me in the right direction.  Only later did I realize that he’d known just where I was heading.  Obviously my wanderings had been viewed on security cameras and my destination radioed ahead.  In that case monitoring proved helpful, if a bit embarrassing.   

Recently however, I became aware of another common form of monitoring that could have unexpected and long-term effects.

 Do you handle highly sensitive and confidential paperwork at your job?  Do you make photocopies of it from time to time?  Did you make a photocopy of your last tax return?

Did you know that the image of your confidential document is likely stored on a hard-drive in the copier?  And do you know what will happen to those images when the machine is sold or returned to the leasing company? 

Very scary.  Forewarned is forearmed as they say… 

Yahoo Tech;_ylt=Alkp8a2e.NgiuGFXAis62ZQrLpA5


Does This Blog Make You Think?

Apparently, I’m “it” in a game of blogosphere tag.  Kim from Emergiblog has tagged me with a meme – and I’m rather honored to be “it” in this particular game. Kim says my blog makes her think, which considering that I can neither claim to be a Notre Dame or Bee Gee’s fan, shows her magnanimous spirit.

The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional
: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

If you’ve heard of memes but just aren’t sure what they’re all about – here’s what has to say: Meme – Noun, (pronounced meem)  Among the definitions:

A cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.

A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I need to identify five bloggers who haven’t already been tagged, who make me think, i.e. transmit cultural information.  Hmm, lots more than five of those, but here’s who I’ve picked:

Aggravated Doc Surg (Aggravated surgeon (like there are any other kind?) who provides worthwhile rants about the state of US healthcare.)

Aidan Charles – The Examining Room of Dr. Charles (Young family physician who hopes that blogging amplifies stories worth repeating and knowledge worth digesting.)

Dr. Deborah Serani (Psychologist who addresses the human psyche in an open easy-going manner.)

Fat Doctor (Family physician who openly shares her heart and soul with readers.)

Nick’s Blog (CEO of Windber Medical Center, Windber, PA who appears to have reached the top spot without losing his humanity.)

May the five of you go forth and tag five more blogs that make you think!

Doctors’ Day is March 30th – Thanks to all of you, especially the bloggers

Doctors’ Day is set aside annually on March 30th in the US to show appreciation for the role of physicians in caring for the sick and advancing both the art and science of medicine. It is a day to encourage, commend, and thank, the many excellent physicians who provide our care, or who are our professional colleagues. 

So to all of you who have chosen medicine as your life’s work – thank you, and Happy Doctors’ Day. 

P.S. – All you “lady doctors” be sure to read Nurse Ratched’s post – she says you rock! 


I especially want to commend the excellent doc bloggers that I read regularly (and apologize to the many excellent doc bloggers not mentioned, I know you’re out there too!)  Those of you who take the time to write about your work, your patients, and your feelings about the role you’ve chosen help educate, enlighten, and at times even inspire the rest of us. Sometimes you give us hope, and sometimes you make us laugh – which can be the best gifts of all. Thanks. 

Personal favorites among the medical doc bloggers: 

  • Bard Parker – A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure – Even though his blog is updated sporadically, his posts about surgery are worth the wait.
  • Aggravated Doc Surg whose rants are at times rather eloquent and insightful.
  • Barbados Butterfly – Unfortunately this Australian surgical registrar’s blog recently went offline, but hopefully it will resurface soon.
  • Nick Genes – Blogborygmi of Grand Rounds fame
  • Ves Dimov of Clinical Cases and Images  gives great tips on how to make the best use of technology both in medicine and blogging.
  • Dr. Anonymous found he wasn’t quite as anonymous as he had hoped, but he didn’t let it get him down.
  • From “down under” in Australia – Dr. Dork who speaks for the dork in all of us.
  • Fat Doctor (Although I have to tell you FD, that I find the name of your blog self-limiting – you are so much more than “famine resistant!”)
  • Flea – This pediatrician is sometimes obstinate, frequently pugnacious, and always an interesting read.
  • Allen of Grunt Doc staffs an ED somewhere in Texas and shares his thoughts about, among other things, the current state of US emergency care.
  • Kevin (Pho) M.D. – whose site dishes up breaking medical news and links at an astonishing rate.
  • Dr. Centor of DB’s Medical Rants – because organization leaders need to pay attention to the ranters, sometimes they are the only ones willing to say what everyone else is thinking.
  • Sydney Smith of Medpundit, an Ohio physician with lots of opinions who has maintained an active blog since 2002, no small feat.
  • Neonatal Doc who shares powerful stories of the moms and babies that pass through his life.
  • From across the pond, NHS Doc who was also this year’s run-away winner of Medical Blog Awards.
  • Dr. Donnell of Notes from Dr. RW, an Arkansas hospitalist who tackles a variety of medical topics.
  • Scalpel or Sword, written by an ER doc in Texas.  Sometimes his patients even remember to say thank you.
  • Sid Schwab of Surgeon’s Blog.  Even if he wasn’t such a talented surgeon and writer, I’d have to love him just for his name.
  • Craig Hildreth of The Cheerful Oncologist.  I’ve known a number of oncologists over the years, few have managed to remain cheerful.  Kudos to you Dr. Hildreth!
  • Aidan Charles of The Examining Room of Dr. Charles writes with profound insight and touching clarity. His posts vary from the practical to the powerfully poetic.

History of Doctors’ Day  

The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Ga. The idea came from Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Cha Almond, and the date was the anniversary of the first use of general anesthetic in surgery. (On March 30, 1842, Dr. Crawford Long of Barrow County, Ga., used ether to remove a tumor from a patient’s neck.) 

The United States House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors’ Day on March 30, 1958. In 1990, legislation was introduced into the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate to establish a National Doctors Day. Following overwhelming approval by the House and Senate, then-President George Bush signed a resolution proclaiming March 30 as National Doctors’ Day.  

Doctors Day ideas from NAMSS 

Cavalacade of Risk #21 – Life is a Risky Business

Just when you thought it was safe to … nevermind, this collection of posts reminds me that nothing is safe! But then life is not about avoiding risk, it’s about managing it.

I recently started a new job in clinical risk management at a large teaching hospital, so I’m happy to share the tips, tricks, and articles that were collected for this edition of Cavalcade of Risk. Be (sort of) afraid…

George Lenard of George’s Employment Blawg discusses the risks and benefits of corporate blogs.

Kami Huyse of Communcation Overtones adds to the discussion on the risks of corporate blogging in Top Ten Risks for Corporate Blogs.

Investments & Loans presents Does your Credit score matter? Short answer, only if you want to buy something, rent something or work somewhere.

Nenad Ristic at Money Conciousness asks What is Money?  and answers that it’s pretty much worthless in and of itself. 

Amy LIn of Wisebread Careers discusses Adaptation: Lessons learned from being unemployed   How to manage the financial risks that come from being unemployed. 

Margaret Collins asks “Are we becoming just too afraid of “risk” for our own good?!” in the nefarious case of the Dangerous Doormats.

A couple of this week’s submitters talked about the recent ‘Wall Street Correction:’ 

Silicon Valley Blogger of The Digerati Life presents What Do You Make Of A Stock Market Sell Off? 

and Bill Losapio writes about Scooping Froth from the Market at Will.


Leon Gettler of Sox First addresses the Top 10 business risks in a stable, growth environment.  They are rising raw material costs, debt, China and India, increased risk appetite, compliance, cyber crime, geopolitical forces, capital markets, inflation, and US housing.

Bob Sargent of Speciality Insurance Blog discusses Liability Waivers that have the objective of reducing an organization’s exposure to claims. 

Jason Shafrin of Healthcare Economist presents Tax-preferred health savings accounts, describing five types of tax-preferred health savings accounts (HSAs) and why even those with large balances in their HSA will still want to purchase health insurance.

Mark Mayerson presents a discussion of recent case law on insurance appraisal proceedings in Appraising Appraisers and Appraisals.

Tom Lynch offers the lowdown on the long-awaited and much needed New York workers’ compensation reform in Workers’ compensation reform in a New York minute. 

Praveen of My Simple Trading System presents the cost of Health Insurance.

Michael Cannon of Cato-at-Liberty presents Medicare Rx: Let the Sickie-Dumping Begin.


Michael Siegel, writing at the Tobacco Analysis blog, pursuasively argues against a proposed Illinois law criminalizing smoking in a car if there are children present.

David Williams of Health Business Blog says that Senators still seem to be missing the point on generic biologics, and advocates price regulation of generics post-patent expiration.

Jane Juvan of Juvan’s Health Law Update also weighs in on FTC-backed legislation pertaining to generic drugs in Brand Names Take Note: Legislation Could Block Deals with Generics.


MHA’s Society for Risk Management says chat away – in No Need to Ban Cell Phones in Hospitals.

Henry Stern of InsureBlog questions whether it’s a good idea to make the HPV vaccine mandatory in I Call BS!.

Arnold Kling of EconLog tries to explain why health care costs keep going up in $125 K of premium medicine.

At Psych Central, Dr John Grohol warns that diabetic heart-patients who also suffer from depression are at greater risk, a triple-whammy.

Fat Doctor sees a child in public and wonders if she might be being abused.  She, and her commenters, contemplate what course of action won’t put the child at greater risk in Dirty Kid.

Kim at Emergiblog warns about the risks of not putting your healthcare wishes down in writing in I Code Dead People.

John Sharp of eHealth warns about potential risks to patient privacy in How Private are Proprietary Personal Health Records? 

Yours truly of the MSSPNexus Blog discusses why physicians may find it difficult to believe the number of annual prevenatble deaths (98,000) reportedly occuring in the US Healthcare system is accurate in Patient Safety – Another Look at ‘To Err is Human.


Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains writes about making good decisions in risky environments at Best practice for top trading performance: biofeedback.

Alan of Made to be Great advises that It gets lonely at the top – How to handle rejection.

Walt Nation says that sometimes Failure Is An Advantage.


Dr. Suzanne Roff of 21st century Organization, reports on a risk conference she recently attended, which included some government leaders.


Stay tuned for the next episode of Cavalacade of Risk, to be held at Sentinel Effect on March 28th.

That’s it for this edition. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC, of InsureBlog for managing this high-risk carnival.

Patient Safety – Another Look at ‘To Err is Human’

Lucian Leape Adjunct Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, and one of the authors of the 1999 Institute of Medicine’s report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, was a featured speaker last week as part of Cleveland Clinic’s 6th Annual Patient Safety Forum.

The IOM report To Err is Human stated that in the US Healthcare system approximately 98,000 preventable deaths occur each year due to medical errors.  Those errors can devastate families and caregivers.  (Last year’s Patient Safety Forum speaker was Sorrel King, founder of the Josie King Foundation for Patient Safety.)

During his presentation Dr. Leape noted that it can be difficult to convince physicians that safety is as serious an issue as has been reported because they rarely see cases of preventable harm in their own or their colleagues practices.  Now you may think that’s simply a matter of ego, but Dr. Leape presented some noteworthy numbers that help explain that viewpoint.

There are approximately 700,000 physicians practicing in the US.  If those 98,000 deaths were distributed evenly, each physician would see only one every seven years.  Dr. Leape went on to state that these deaths are not always recognized as preventable, so a physician may only know of one occurrence of preventable death every 14 years.  One can hardly fault a physician who thinks that’s not such a bad average when dealing with the complexities of modern medicine.

Until one of those 98,000 deaths touches us personally.

There has been quite a bit of recent commentary about applying airline safety standards to healthcare, and that’s a discussion for another post.  However, when cockpit instruments indicate that course adjustments are needed, well-trained pilots make those adjustments even when they don’t appear to fit what the pilot sees with his own eyes.

Our instruments tell us it’s time for a course correction.