Friday, November 10, 2017

What Residency Looks Like X: The Long View


Sometimes residency looks like the vista from the clinic workroom. The foreground is a construction site, in the middle ground stands one of the 5 hospitals at which I rotate, and in the background a long train disappears around a bend in the Monongahela River. I spent the morning here in class talking about 12-step meetings and the afternoon by myself completing modules about good clinical research practices. Now I'm headed across town to the children's hospital to moonlight for a few hours in the evening. I'll never get tired of this view.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

FrDrDr Cooks Breakfast

Like many of us I suppose, I'm a creature of habit. And I am in the habit of eating yogurt with fruit and granola in the mornings for breakfast while berries are in season, and oatmeal with raisins +/- walnuts during the winter and early spring. Sundays are for pancakes with peanut butter or Nutella. But I do like to cook and am not averse to changing things up when I have the time, so during a slow overnight shift in the ICU, I looked up new breakfast recipes. I found three that I thought would fit my budget, diet, and time constraints; here's the first one.

Barley and Compote
1. Thaw bag of frozen blueberries in fridge until you have a free morning to spend 45 minutes cooking breakfast.
2. Put pot on stove. 3. Discover you have a jar of pearl couscous in the cupboard, not pearl barley.
4. Make oatmeal for breakfast.
5. Purchase pearl barley.
6. Wait for another day with a late start.
7. Bring 1 cup of pearl barley, three cups of water, and some salt to a boil. Then simmer for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
8. Simmer 1 cup of thawed blueberries, one-and-a-half tablespoons of orange juice, and one teaspoon of honey for 10 minutes to thicken it. The original recipe called for 2 teaspoons of orange zest and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds, but I did not have these available and so did not include them.
9. Spoon barley into bowl. Add some blueberry mixture. Forget to top with a quarter cup of milk and toasted almond slivers.
10. Eat.



The barley provides a not-unpleasant chewy texture like steel-cut oats. 1 cup of dry barley makes enough cooked barley for 4-6 servings. I made another bowl with pear and maple syrup, which was good. I tried again with milk, blueberries, and walnuts (no almonds in the house). Then I pretended the barley was oatmeal and used cinnamon, raisins, and brown sugar as toppings. I have a cup of dry barley left over after this experiment, and I will use it again to introduce some variety in my breakfast routine. Maybe I'll flip the script and try savory oatmeal for dinner one of these days!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Halloween Pumpkin Contest

One of the best parts about working in a children's hospital is that people rarely take themselves as seriously as at adult hospitals. Case in point: the non-carving pumpkin-decorating contest (sharp knives are dangerous, you know). These spooky and silly specimens were among the dozens on display in the cafeteria. It was a popularity contest, but I never did hear who won. Probably everyone, just for participating. I certainly enjoyed looking at all the contributions.


You've got Edward Same-Day Surgery Hands on the left, 
and a bejeweled and befeathered "Proud as a peacock of peds residents" on the right.




There were a couple of variations on the candied apple theme, a Troll, and a mummy. 
The Pediatric Puffer Phish from the research administration has spines made
of Hershey's kisses and lips of Chinese fortune cookies!


Among the more artistic were this Wizard of Oz globe and a Man in the Moon (with witch).


And then there was the submission from Radiology: an x-ray of Gordy Orange's head. 
"Looks seedy" it says in the upper right; in the lower left, the diagnosis is rendered as "seeditis." 
I understand that condition is often cured by lobotomy.