Friday, August 14, 2009

Book Review: Declaration of A Dinosaur: Ten Laws I've Learned as a Family Doctor

by Lucy E. Hornstein, MD, Kaplan Publishing, On Sale, August 4, 2009, Hardcover $24.95.

One of the golden rules of medical blogger is this: Do unto other medical bloggers as you would have them do unto you. In other words, link to them, praise them, and promote them. They may do the same unto you.

Lucie E. Hornstein, MD, is a solo family physician who has been practicing in the Philadelphia suburbs for 19 years and who has been blogging as Musing of a Dinosaur at since August 2006. Her message is: as a primary physician, I may be part of an endangered species, but I am proud of what I do. Listen to me. I have something valuable to contribute.

Of her blog, she says:

They say the solo Family Doctor is extinct; gone the way of the dinosaur.
Well, I've been in private practice for nineteen years and I'm still kicking, so here's my blog.

Until they drag my cold, dead body off into the tar pit, read about my trials and tribulations -- and the joys and triumphs, which are what keep me going.
I'm also embarking on a new career as an author. You can read my first book by ordering it below. If anyone worries that I may become so successful with my writing that I will give up my medical practice, rest assured: writing is something I do; doctoring is who I am.

Of preventing the loss of family practitioners, she says:

• First, banish preauthorization.

• Second, close the liability lottery.

• Third, control quackery.

• Fourth, respect my skills.

• Fifth, show me the money.

Of what she has learned in 19 years in practice, she issues these laws, or declarations.

1. The art of medicine consists of amusing the patients while nature takes its course.

2. It is impossible to make an asymptomatic patient feel better.

3. The urgency of the test is inversely proportional to the IQ of the insurance company preauthorization clerk.

4. There is no cure for stupid.

5. Bad things really do happen to good people.

6. The better the surgeon, the more reluctant he is to operate.

7. Part A: It has to be fun.
Part B: If it isn’t fun, see Part A.

8. Half of what is said in medical school is wrong, but no one knows which half.

9. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

10. A bad idea held by many people for a long time is still a bad idea.

Of ordering her book she says:

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