By Abby S. Van Voorhees, MD, July 01, 2013
The variation in the lengths of the months has long confused me.
As a February baby it has never made sense to me why July and August are so long while other months are so much shorter. Well, it turns out that Julius Caesar is the person to blame for my birthday month’s plight. When he decided to name the month of July after himself, he felt that the duration of the month was too short, and so he robbed February of one of its days. Not sure why he felt it needed the extra time — maybe there were to be days and days of festivities and celebrations in his honor.
Residency programs could certainly profit from having some longer months. I remember my years of training as jam-packed full of things to learn and rotations to complete. Over the past several years, though, the goals of yesteryear have paled in comparison to the newly established ones. Each day is stuffed trying to squeeze it all in. We will all enjoy reading about how training programs are trying to keep pace and to address the varied needs. Residents are a talented and wonderful group of young people, and their education is something that we should all care about it will define dermatology for all of our futures.
I think that you’ll also want to read our Acta Eruditorum column this month. Leonard Feldman, MD, talks to us about his paper in JAMA Internal Medicine. He demonstrated that knowledge about the cost of laboratory tests affects what internal medicine physicians order. Do you know the cost of all of the tests you generally order for your patients? I know that I don’t, but this study strongly suggests that we all need to know more. I see many more patients these days with high-deductible health plans who now more personally feel the financial impact of our testing. Do take a look at our column, and even link up to the original article if it catches your interest.
We physicians have a tendency to view contracts as “just legalese” and pay little attention to the details, but this month’s legal column shows that we do so at our own peril. Whether your contracts are about practice arrangements with a partner or a group, spelling out how disagreements will be handled when (not if) they arise is crucial. This is another good read. Remember you can find this in the future when you’re working on a real contract on the DW website, either by looking under Legally Speaking or searching for the term “contract.”
My favorite column this month, though, is Balance in Practice by Thomas Waldinger, MD, a fellow dermatologist. He tells us of his passions — riding his bicycle to work, writing the stories of his patients, and writing songs. Who would have thought that a derm was busy composing for Stevie Wonder? I always knew that the dermatology crowd was a fairly remarkable groupit is such fun to be hearing from some of our own and learning of their unique talents. I’d love to learn of more, so don’t be shy. Please be in touch and let us know what you are doing during Julius Caesar’s month to clear your mind and relax. Maybe Caesar was right — we do need a few extra days in July just to fit everything in.
Enjoy your reading.