The New York Times has an insightful article about the current state of nursing affairs in the United States. The short form? Doctors should be pretty scared about how things look right now. Today, twelve percent of nursing positions are unfilled, and that number is growing; hospitals are resorting to aggressive recruiting measures just to make sure that inpatient wards are minimally staffed. From personal experience, I can attest to another problem — nurses in the big academic centers face tons of work and even more stress, and many of them are fleeing for the relative calm of suburban community hospitals, impacting clinical research and medical education. Hopefully, state and federal incentives are going to have an effect soon.
Are you looking to sublet a fabulous studio apartment here in NYC for the next three months? Know someone who needs to? It’s on the Upper West Side, in a nice and modern building, furnished, convenient to two subway lines (the 1/2/3 and the A/B/C/D), and is available from this weekend through the end of August.
Interested? Mail me, and I’ll fill you in on the rest.
Yeah, yeah, yeah — I may be late to jump onto the bandwagon, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that there’s a kickin’ site, nycbloggers.com, that catalogs the swarm of webloggers that call New York City home. It’s well-done, and all the sites are broken down by subway line and stop, which is an awesome touch. Definitely check it out.
Remember that great scene in Best in Show, when the inane dog show announcer asks if dogs from different countries speak in different languages? Well, it turns out that he may not be so inane — or at least that’s the case when it comes to birds. This totally explains why the dogs in Venice didn’t respond to me when I made goofy barking noises at them — they don’t understand my New York accent!
For a while now, the post-September 11th news coverage has felt really stale to me, almost like it’s struggling to stay relevant to the here and now — what’s going on in Afghanistan, where Osama is thought to be, and coverage areas for new terror alerts. This weekend, though, the New York Times threw off the need for current relevance and published a deeply-researched and incredibly poignant retrospective into the 102 minutes that spanned initial impact to final collapse. “Fighting to Live as the Towers Died” is haunting, collecting accounts from survivors of the WTC alongside the phonecalls and emails from many of those who perished. There are some powerful interactive features on the website, as well — a chronology, a series of diagrams — with audio narration — that detail the areas in which most of the victims were trapped, and a set of transcripts of communications sent out from the two towers before they came down. The biggest sign to me of how good the coverage is lies in the fact that I haven’t gotten through it all yet; it brings back a lot of pain, and I have to dole that out over time.
Lydia Markoff tipped me off to a lawsuit that’s brewing in the world of medical education over the way that the residency matching process takes place. The issue is that residency positions are mostly filled in a match, in which there is no room for negotiation about wages or hours; in all the coverage I’ve read, it seems that most of the residents who were interviewed hate their equivalent hourly wage. My perspective is this: residency is part of my education, and I consider myself lucky that they’re paying me anything. Bitching and whining about how it all plays out is biting the hand that feeds you.
Due to the November settlement between Microsoft and some of the parties suing the company, there’ll be a Service Pack for Windows XP this summer that will introduce a few interesting options into the configuration of the operating system. News.com has a good article that explains the four new options that provide varying visibility to Microsoft “middleware” (Outlook Express, Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, Windows Messenger, and even the Microsoft Java VM). Furthermore, there will also be an anti-piracy “fix” — all the people who are using a specific stolen corporate WinXP install key will be unable to install any future Service Packs, effectively freezing their machines at their current states of updates.
I don’t know why, but I love this picture. Maybe it’s the cat’s totally freaked-out appearance (which only a cat owner can appreciate); maybe it’s the mental image of the cat romping around on the outfield that it inspires. Or, of course, it could be that a cat with, well, white socks ran out onto the White Sox field. Who knows why, really, but I think it’s great.
Those of you that aren’t in the NYC metro area may not be exposed to that much of the controversy that surrounds the site of the World Trade Center, but rest assured that there is plenty. Time Magazine has a pretty good article right now that delves into much of it, and is correct in saying that the combination of the unthinkable that happened and the opportunity that lies ahead has brought out the visionary in everyone that’s even remotely involved.
It’s funny — despite all the various and sundry doomsday scenarios that people argue will come about due to genetic engineering and embryo manipulation, it wasn’t until I saw all the pictures of featherless chickens that I felt that maybe things have gone a bit too far. Those things are creeeepy…..
So, today is Match Day for my hematology/oncology fellowship, and I just found out… I got my first choice! I’ll be in New York for another year — for me, fellowship doesn’t start until July of 2003 — but after that, I’ll be moving to Boston!
Hey, Jason, couldn’t find a more appropriate forum for this — just thought you’d be interested, and wondered if any other medical residents or residents-to-be had any thoughts on it or were part of the class action:
Resident Physicians Ask Court for Relief
The National Law Journal
May 21, 2002
A class action antitrust suit is the latest skirmish in the long fight waged by doctors to improve their working conditions. The suit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., targets the National Resident Matching Program and organizations that participate in the program, charging they illegally conspired to eliminate competition in the recruitment, hiring and compensation of resident physicians.
Happy birthday to him, happy birthday to him, happy birthday dear Phil, happy birthday to him!
Ummmm… you mean you didn’t check the new machine for the same vulnerabilities as the old one? Seems pretty, well, idiotic. [Extra five points to anyone who gets the reference…]
Dammitall! Shannon and I wanted to go see Spider-Man tonight, and in New York, it’s practically impossible to see a movie without buying your ticket ahead of time. So off I set this morning on my quest to get our tickets.
The largest chain of theaters in the city now uses Fandango for all their online purchases, and it’s impossible to get all the way through a purchase on their servers without getting either a “server too busy” or “could not process your request at this time” error. For phone purchases, the theater uses Tellme.com — but the phone system thinks that there are no theaters within 40 miles of New York City that are showing Spider-Man, thwarting that approach.
Looks like we won’t be seeing a movie tonight. Bummer.
I’m off to Italy on Sunday, for a long-anticipated and much-needed vacation. We’re spending a week in Florence and a week in Venice; I plan to eat and drink my way back to rest and relaxation. I can’t imagine I’ll check in here much; I will have my camera there, though, so you can expect a few pixies when I return. Now, does anyone know where I put my spare liver?
[UPDATE: This could put a cramp in our plans, at least on one day of the trip…]
I think it’s pretty damn cool that, despite not even having finished the cleanup down at the former site of the World Trade Center towers, the city has begun rebuilding the subway station destroyed in the collapse. Service all up and down the west side of Manhattan has been dodgy since the southern terminus of the 1 and 9 was left unreachable; it will be a welcome relief to get the Trade Center station open again.