Thursday, March 02, 2006

Grand Rounds vol. 2, no. 23

Well, we're back to the blogosphere after weeks of reading and writing, followed by three days of grant review service to the US federal government and our fellow scientists and physicians.

A very depressing time was had by all, knowing full well that the payline for some NIH institutes will drop below the 10th percentile during the next funding cycle. I've never seen so many scientists, superior in stature to me, so tangibly fearful for the future of their departments, their junior faculty, and, of course, their own research programs.

With that said, you might understand that I've been a bit distracted. So, I completely missed the launch on Tuesday morning of Grand Rounds by surgeon-blogger-Bulldog, Dr "Bard-Parker," over at The Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure.

Perhaps my study section experience has me waxing philosophic about the state of science and medicine, but I found this edition to be unusually profound in its content. The Doc also did a fabulous job of arranging the posts and providing lovely artistic surgical interludes between sections from surgeon/artist, Joseph Wilder.

An aside
Although I'm a PhD, I did most of my training in medical schools alongside MDs who were doing the research years of their fellowships. I've always been impressed with the diverse skills, education, and interests of physicians, both within and outside of medicine.

Perhaps it's just my perception or the kinds of docs that I end up talking to socially, but most are quite remarkable and engaging individuals. The single-minded geekiness I encountered among about half of my fellow PhD students didn't seem as common among medical students or fellows with whom I've worked, and this perception has continued in the years since. Perhaps it's because I went to grad school at a time when medical school admissions committees began focusing more on recruiting future docs from diverse backgrounds with a broader variety of undergraduate training and more humanistic qualities than your traditional pre-med folks.

Or, maybe I've simply been lucky to have some incredibly engaging friends and colleagues who just happen to be physicians...not to mention a wife who, by her example, sets the bar quite high for anyone who tries to be a doc, a mother, and a best friend.

I was particularly reminded of this by the current week's Grand Rounds posts from The Cheerful Oncologist and Dr. Charles. Both have great reputations as excellent writers and physicians, but even their submissions for this week were a notch above their usual level of literary excellence.

Despite my tardiness, I encourage you to get over to Grand Rounds 2(23) before the next week's carnival and get yourself some good medicine for the soul.


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