Monday, November 30, 2009

Blessing in Disguise

Our fridge conked out two weeks ago. Not the main kitchen fridge, mind you; it was the basement auxiliary fridge that died. So, it wasn’t an absolute crisis, but it has made us rethink some of our habits.

The luxury of having a 2nd fridge gives us extra food-storage capacity. But that extra capacity has made us a little careless. Here’s what’s changed at our house over the last 2 weeks:
  • We actively consider what’s in the fridge. Usually, leftovers would get pushed to the back of the shelf and, unless someone was specifically looking for that item, would often be discovered weeks later (inedible!). We’re wasting less food.
  • If food does go stale, it gets thrown out before it gets too disgusting.
  • I pack leftovers in my lunch more frequently. My intent is to make room in the fridge, but I’ve discovered that it also saves time when I’m putting a lunch together. Putting leftovers in a container is usually quicker than making a sandwich. It saves even more time if I remember to put some leftovers directly into a small container when I’m cleaning up after supper.
  • We’re more careful about the size of storage containers we use. Rather than grabbing the first available container and then filling it halfway, we’ll pick a smaller container that will be filled completely.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Ready for Prime Time

Well, that was a bust!

I recently posted about my plans to expedite informing men about their prostate biopsy results by using the secure messaging service. Over the last month, I saw 7 men who required prostate biopsies. I told all of them about what I was trying to do, and offered them the choice of a phone call or email notification. Five of the men said either that they didn't have internet access or they didn't feel comfortable using the internet. Of the other 2 men who expressed interest, one of them took the initial step in accessing's system, but never followed through in signing up for the service (which, by the way, is free for a 30-day trial).

Monday, November 2, 2009


What part of your job don't you like?

A medical student asked me that as part of a Career Dialogue Q&A session last week. I'm lucky to have a great work-life, so I had to think a bit about that question. Later that afternoon, back at my office, I was reminded about one of the worst parts of my job: Telling my patients they have to wait.

Wait to see me. Wait for tests. Wait for results. Wait for treatment.

It really shouldn't bother me to have to do this. After all, it's so easy to do – my patients actually expect to hear it! When I apologize for wait times, they are usually sympathetic and rarely press the matter any further.