Radio Cure

Most of you will have realised by now that i am a bit of a nerd when it comes to… well everything. I am definitely a nerd when it comes to medicine. I like monitors and ultrasound machines and technology in any aspect.

And so I’ve kind of got into medical podacsting in a way. As if i don’t spend long enough in work or studying or reading uptodate i also subscribe to a number of medical podcasts.

I got into podcasts mainly through lectures and sermons on theology that I could listen to while driving round New Zealand and fed up listening to Pedro the Lion for once.

I then managed to find the wonderful Surgery ICU rounds which keeps me amused endlessly even if it is just the guy’s kids screaming in the background. It also reinforces to me that whatever faults the American health care system has, they do seem to train their doctors bloody well – there aren’t too many plastic surgeons in the UK who know their pharmacology and physiology well enough to run an ICU as well as do what many would call the main part of their job – surgery. Or maybe i’m being harsh on the surgeons in this country.

Between that and my time in the ICU in NZ and the most wonderful Bad Science and How to read a paper I’ve become a bit of an evidence based medicine junkie. This is sad i know but comforting and satisfying none the less.

I recently discovered EMRAP TV which is worth watching even for the non-medics – it seems to be bunch of Emergency Medicine docs in California led by someone who vaguely reminds me of Foy Vance who make bad jokes (well most of them) and talk about complicated medical things while taking the piss out of everything in sight. It’s an odd show.

The American College of Emergency Physicians publish their own podcast with endless comments about how if you kill anyone on their advice then it’s not their fault. Interestingly the manuscripts seem to be read by professinal voice over people with cool voices and dubious pronounciations.

The other one i follow pretty closely is one from Albany Medical centre. Who appear to have regular Grand Rounds where they have lectures and teaching for their staff, so that they’re continuing to learn and keep up with what’s happening in medicine. What a novel idea…

Though they must live in a different world, imagine taking all the docs off the floor for a few hours a week in A&E. Wouldn’t be a good plan. All the other specialities do it and it turns out all their patients survive without them and have to wait till their finished.  Not so in A&E where the painful toe for seven years has to be seen and sorted in 4 hours – Everything is an emergency it seems… Right. Stop ranting andrew…

They seem to podcast every week, lectures on everything from interpersonal violence to coding and documentation in the ED.

And as ridiculous as it sounds it was the lecture on coding and documentation that really caught my ear (?).

People in America get sick the same way they do in Ireland. The difference is when they get sick here, they turn up at their GP or A&E or wherever and they just say their name and address and get sick and they get literally thousands pounds of care and they go home and get on with their life and think no more about the cost.

In America, you get thousands (and often thousands more) of pounds of care and everything is written down and recorded and you get a nice big bill at the end of the day and someone has to pay for it. The sheer scale of the billing and charging process is simply mind-boggling.

Driving back from Portstewart listening to this guy lecturing the residents on how to fill the charts properly to make sure that they actually get paid for the work they do, and at the same time warning them all against fraudulently claiming care they’ve not actually provided.

I find it hard enough simply looking after the patients I see, never mind thinking about the endless reams of paper work and charging aspects of it. Never have i been so glad to be in the chaotic mess of the NHS. How i love you so…

So next time you see me in the car, you’ll realise I’m rocking out to life-threatining dermatoses…

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