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On Service — But Some Works in Progress

Posted Dec 17 2012 6:37am

When several of my colleagues attend on the inpatient consult service, they turn on an “out of office” message that provides an automated e-mail reply that goes something  like this:

I am currently attending on the inpatient consult service. During this busy time, I may not be able to respond to email in a timely fashion. If you need to reach me urgently, please page my by calling xxx-xxx-xxxx, or leave a non-urgent message here and I will respond shortly.
Thank you,

Of course what they really mean is:

Please leave me alone.
Thank you,
p.s. In other words, I’m too busy to respond to you — but when I do, you should feel grateful, because after all, I told you I was busy.
p.p.s. I wish my name were something less silly.

Now I don’t do this — though I can understand why some people choose to do so, especially  researchers for whom this time is their only clinical work. (Of course those who do clinical work full time are always “on service, but that’s a different topic.)

But there’s no doubt that regardless of who you are and what you do, if you’re in an academic medical center and on service, you will now have several additional hours of clinical work and teaching added to your day. This not surprisingly takes time away time from other activities.

Like this site.

So since I’ve been on service recently, my writing here has been relatively less frequent. In compensation, I’ll take a page from one my favorite writers , and provide a list of works in progress.  Helps organize my thoughts, too.

Here’s what I’ve been working on, and what I hope will be coming out soon:

  • Why HIV social workers are the greatest
  • The microbiome is hot
  • Another “Brush with Greatness” (it’s part of a series)
  • Missing the diagnosis at case conference
  • Things ID fellow applicants say, and why
  • The top papers in HIV — the early years
  • Clinical diversity in ID, and why we love it
  • An incredibly disgusting source of infection (not sure I can even mention it on this family-oriented site)
Hey, service ends Tuesday!
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