Monthly ArchiveJuly 2007

Med Bloggers 24 Jul 2007 03:46 pm

The Surgeon’s Blog

If you like watching ER you’ll love reading The Surgeon’s Blog. It’s fast paced, intense, dramatic, thoughtful, on the edge of gut-wrenching, funny… I’m running out of adjectives.
Here are some snippets from one called, Traumadramarama:

For sheer speed, you cut between the ribs and then, at the end near the sternum, where cartilage takes the place of bone, you turn the knife northward and chunk through a few of those soft ends. It makes an ugly, L-shaped scar, but it’s quick, and you can reach in as if through a trapdoor. It eliminates the need for finding, opening, inserting, and cranking a rib-spreader, breaking a couple of ribs in the process.


…to get blood circulating you hold that heart and work it, even as it’s still beating. And you can feel the engorgement, the ventricles filling more of your hand, the more powerful squirt in response to your grasp as the blood volume is restored. Carefully, with hope, you can begin to relax your grip, keeping your hand near, sensing the more effective beats; and finally, extract your hand from the chest, while realizing for the first time how awkwardly it’s been bent, reaching in from the side of the patient, through a small, tight, and bony hole. As circulation returns to the patient (at least his upper body!), so it does to your hand.


It’s not over. Even with the aorta clamped, opening the belly releases the bled blood, and it gushes out under pressure as the belly deflates.

Like I said, this one will keep you on the edge of your seat. Very entertaining. Often funny. You’re going to like Dr. Sid Schwab’s writing style.

He’s definitely one of my new favorites.

While you’re there, be sure to leave a comment to let Dr. Schwab know you stopped by.

– Dean


Med Bloggers 17 Jul 2007 11:04 pm

Grand Rounds 3:43

Grand Rounds is up at Vitum Medicinus and as usual there are some very interesting posts for medblog enthusiasts including one from yours truly. Yes, this is my first submission to the medblog carnival and I consider it quite a privilege to have my post listed alongside such an illustrious collection of talented bloggers.

Be sure to check it out… just don’t tell ’em I’m not a doctor.
(They let you in?)
(Yeah… go figure.)


Chiropractic 14 Jul 2007 06:09 pm

Whatever Happened to Courtesy?

This is a story of comparisons.

It’s also a story about professional conduct, ethical standards and common courtesy.


If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I recently wrote a silly little bit about a particularly odd email I received one particularly odd day that I jokingly refer to as “Dumb Day.”

And it occurs to me that some may not fully appreciate the circumstances behind that post or understand the manner in which I chose to approach it. Perhaps you think I was being mean-spirited.

Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll appreciate:

  • Why I was offended by the email in question
  • Why I didn’t respond to that email
  • Why I decided to expose what appeared to be an attempt to harm me

Let’s start by making some comparisons.

The First Comparison:

I can only write from my personal experience, but the first thing I would like to do is compare what I see as the difference between real medical doctors and chiropractors when it comes to professional conduct and ethical standards.

Over the past four years I have received a number of emails from chiropractors that I would classify as nothing but malicious hate mail. In this latest incident, I received no less than six emails altogether from the chiropractic office in question (two before I ever wrote the article) which contained the following elements:

  1. False accusations
  2. Harassment
  3. Threats
  4. Intimidation
  5. Badgering
  6. Derision

Throughout the entire incident, from beginning to end, I was never once treated with courtesy or anything resembling professional conduct.

On the other hand, the correspondence that I have received from real doctors and other medical professionals has always involved:

  1. Courtesy
  2. Respect
  3. Positive Feedback
  4. Constructive criticism

Which brings me to…

The Second Comparison:

What can you expect to receive in correspondence from a medical doctor?

Whenever I receive correspondence from a medical doctor they always pay me the courtesy of introducing themselves and informing me that they are, in fact, a medical doctor. They usually will also inform me of their specialty such as surgeon, family practitioner, neurologist and so on.

I have never received a single negative comment — let alone anything even resembling hate mail — from a medical doctor. And frankly, I would be shocked if I did.

For the most part, medical doctors are known for having a very keen sense of professional ethics and for maintaining the highest level of personal and professional conduct.

Chiropractors, on the other hand, are another story.

Take the first cryptic email I received from this chiropractic office.

Did she take the time to introduce herself? Did she let me know she was a doctor of chiropractic? Did she explain why I was receiving a cryptic letter from her office?


She did not introduce herself. She did not state her profession. She did not state the nature of her intentions or why she was contacting me. It contained no introduction whatsoever.

There was no explanation as to why I was receiving this correspondence under the name in which it was sent. There was no explanation as to why this anonymous person, “Jim” was being allowed to represent or send correspondence from her office.

It was clearly from a doctor’s office… and yet it appeared to be written by a patient.

I had to do a search on the Internet in order to discover who these people were and that they were, in fact, chiropractors.

From my perspective as the recipient, there were only two possible conclusions at which I could arrive. Either it was from a doctor posing as a patient… or from a patient posing as a doctor.

But the real red flag was the question posed to me by this anonymous person who called himself “Jim.”

“Why…do I need to be worried about using her and this machine, and why?”

Now those of you who are medical professionals probably recognize the danger lurking within that question. But the casual observer might not see the implications had I been foolish enough to answer it.

The way the question is worded whoever wrote it was trying to get me to give advice about a doctor I’ve never met and that I know nothing about.

I recognized it immediately as a possible attempt at entrapment.

What I saw was just another malicious chiropractor attempting to trick me into giving medical advice to one of his or her patients. It appeared to be nothing less than a clumsy and ridiculous attempt to lure me into breaking the law.

At the very least, they appeared to be trying to get something – anything — they could use against me.

It didn’t work. In fact, it blew up in their face.

I saw through it immediately. I considered it an insult to my intelligence and I chose to turn the tables on whoever wrote it and expose them as a warning to all chiropractors seeking to harm me in any fashion.

The damage this person has done to their reputation is permanent.

If you do an Internet search for “Disc Decompression of Delaware” you will notice that my article comes up in the top search results right next to their listings. That article will probably be there forever.

They will have that as a constant reminder that they (allegedly) tried to harm another human being. If I am mistaken and it was not an attempt to entrap me, then it will stand as a constant reminder that this doctor failed to conduct herself in a professional manner.

In either event, she did it to herself.

To this day, she doesn’t think she did anything wrong. She is still angry. She still blames me for her lack of courtesy and professional conduct.


I suggest that all you chiropractors out there… if you’re going to pretend to be a doctor… you might want to start acting like the real McCoy.

You might want to start by learning something about professional conduct, ethical standards and common courtesy.

If you’re going to write to someone… and you have an honest and sincere question that you would like an answer to… I suggest that you identify yourself and that you don’t put someone else’s return address on it.

If you screw up in front of a journalist, chances are he’s going to write about it and more than likely you aren’t going to like the results.


So, was I just being mean to these people who appeared to be trying to entrap me? Was I mean to this anonymous (and possibly fictitious) person named “Jim” who I believe tried to harm me? Was I wrong to turn the tables and expose their ridiculous little charade?

No, I don’t think so. All I did was give them a little slap on the wrist. All I did was write a silly little comedy sketch that illustrated exactly what happened.

Keep in mind that I did not initiate contact with them. They came after me. If I was mean and vindictive there is a lot more I could do. But I never had any interest in harming these people. Everything that happened… was a result of their actions.

I had nothing to do with it.


This incident should serve as a very kind and gentle warning to all the chiropractors out there foolishly looking to get even with me simply because I publish information.

If you’re half as smart as you keep proclaiming to be… you would do well to count the cost. Before you attempt to come after me… ask yourself if it’s worth ruining your reputation over… possibly destroying your entire business… and maybe your entire future.


For what it’s worth:

I do not diagnose patients. I do not treat patients. I never give medical advice. And the last thing I would ever do is advise any individual to stop seeing their doctor. Who you see or don’t see is none of my concern.

I confine my activities to researching and writing books and articles. I leave the practice of medicine and the treatment of patients to the medical professionals.

Which brings me to…

One Final Comparison:

I said at the beginning this was a story about comparisons. Well, we’ve seen how chiropractors act… now, if anyone’s interested, here’s what I never do:

  1. I never send email to chiropractors (let alone hate mail)
  2. I don’t post messages in their forums
  3. I don’t visit their offices or interfere with their work
  4. I don’t harass their patients
  5. I don’t harass, intimidate or threaten them
  6. I don’t try to shut down or interfere with their websites
  7. I don’t interfere with their First Amendment right to publish information
  8. I don’t attempt to badger or bait them into pointless debates
  9. I don’t attempt to entrap them into doing something illegal or embarrassing
  10. I don’t attempt to violate their civil rights

I don’t think it’s too much to ask to expect the same courtesy in return.

– Dean


Related Links:

Disc Decompression Under Investigation

A Question of Integrity

Don’t I Need a Chiropractor?


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