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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The virtual doctor's lounge-the successor to the now defunct real lounge

I written before about the demise of the doctor's lounge in the hospital-the previous site of free coffee, curb stone consultations, physician networking and the sharing of common shared interests and experiences and a chance to vent about whatever. My regular 4 or 5 readers will not be surprised that I blame this on managed care.

In a way, medical blogs have become a surrogate for this experience for physicians many of whom have significantly less face time with other physicians and according to one surgeon blogger even telephone time has become less common as more and more PAs and NPs are delegated the role of calling the consultant.

Today, for example, in this virtual lounge I learned useful information about neuropathic pain from Doctor RW and was reminded by DB about the importance of time in the context of taking it to explain prescription medication to your patients.Memories of 40 years ago were recharged by Dr. Schwab in his comments about the medical drama of a surgeon opening a chest in the emergency room. Medpundit gives me a chuckle when she relates what British soldiers in Iraq think of the British NHS when they claim they would rather get shot in the head and get to go to a great US military hospital or receive a less serious wound and end up in the NHS. As usual the pulmonary docs at their site present fascinating cases.

The medical web does provide some of what we had at the lounge (we can certainty vent 24-7) and in some ways much more in terms of connectivity with information but I think how great it would be if had both.Sitting down over coffee and discussing a difficult case with a respected colleague is something many of us miss.

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