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Lessons Learned Since Med School

By Dr. Peter W. Kujtan, B.Sc., M.D., Ph.D.

Article printed on page 7 in the January 9-10, 2009 issue of
The Mississauga News under the feature: Health, Wellness & Beauty, Medicine Matters.
Portrait of Dr. Peter W. Kujtan, supplied 2005
Dr. Peter W. Kujtan

As with any profession, experience is the essence of refinement and perfection. Young doctors learn may things during their training that must be tempered with the lessons that life has to offer. Here are a few of my own observations:

1. Bottled soft drinks can remove rust off old screws, corrosion off battery terminals, blood off highways, and cement fat to your bones. Diet soft drinks do it twice as fast.

2. If physiotherapy can't fix a work related injury, try using the 3 P's: Poolside, Pay-cheques and Percocet.

3. The person with the longest list of excuses for why their drinking is no problem at all usually turns out to be the alcoholic.

4. Psychotherapy is not "confession for the atheist," nor does it help officiate marital squabbles, and it certainly is not meant to be a "list your faults session" for spouses.

5. At least 3 visits to different walk-in clinics in a single week usually indicates that the problem is not likely to be serious.

6. People with over-strained bodies swear that they rarely eat anything at all, yet the pounds glue themselves to the hips. Elegant arguments abound about metabolic abnormalities, genetic programming, nagging, worrying and helplessness as sole causes for the obesity epidemic. But, my old professors' words still ring true. Eating makes us fat. The human race is not programmed to handle food over-abundance. Fast foods are fat foods. Avoid them.

7. The surest way to develop car trouble is to forget about your doctor's appointment.

8. Don't ever tell an elegant lady (or lad) with back pain to lose the high heels. Just trust me on this one.

9. Head Shots in pro hockey. No comment. The injuries are not worth it. Not that "Doc Hockey" counts, but in our league, head shots and fighting result in a total BAN from the sport.

10. a record of every movement, medication, intervention and test on a patient is best found on TV - CSI data banks and nowhere else. I do have a computer. I am typing on it now. I have enough trouble following Leaf's losses on the Internet, never mind tapping into clinic or hospital data bases. Did I mention it's still illegal?

11. Patients who tell me they take NO occasional medications don't seem to consider: aspirin, vitamins, cohosh, calcium, Tylenol, Advil, glucosamine, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, decongestants, willowroot, ginger, cod-liver oil, co-enzymes, creatinine, cannabis, and garlic as anything I need to really worry about. If you can buy it yourself, it must be safe? "They" would ban it otherwise?

12. I teach my medical residents to memorize the generic names of drugs and avoid brand names; mostly because I was taught that the same drug can have different brand names. Years of practice have proven that trainees should really be learning to recognize drugs by their shape and color, because that seems to be how the real world works. "Hey Doc, I'm here for more of those mauve, kind of square pills, the ones I got in PEI at the walk-in clinic. Should be right there in the chart."

13. Only you can truly make a difference to your health. Take a baby step today, and then another, and another. You will be amazed at how fast you get to where you need to be. Health, Prosperity and Many Blessings for the New Year!

Related resources:
Open Forest - Our Articles on Alcohol. Millions have unhealthy drinking habits. The alcohol category offers resources facilitating knowledge and self help of problems around drinking. Open Forest is edited by Michiel Bosman, MD PhD.
Diet soft drink - Diet soda from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Sugary Drinks or Diet Drinks: What's the Best Choice? from Harvard School of Public Health.
Description of Physiotherapy in Canada from Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA).
Percocet from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Percocet Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing, from WebMD.
Excuses Alcoholics Make by Floyd P. Garrett, M.D., Psychiatry and Wellness.
Psychotherapy from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Psychotherapy and Counseling. Finding a therapist and getting the most out of therapy, from Helpguide.org.
Fast Food Linked to Child Obesity. Study: One-Third in U.S. at Risk of Obesity, by Jaime Holguin, CBS News.
Obesity Epidemic "Astronomical" by R. Morgan Griffin, WebMD Feature. Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD.
On Your Feet: High Heels' Effects on the Body (Illustrated) from Washington Post.
High-heeled shoes from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, including: Foot and tendon problems.
High-Heeled Shoes - Bad for the Body. Fashion at a High Price, by Terence Vanderheiden, D.P.M., About.com: Podiatry.
Your Orthopaedic Connection: Shoes from American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Anatomy of a Shoe, Recommendations for Footwear, Children's Shoes, Men's Shoes, Work Shoes, Women's Shoes, Athletic Shoes.
Why Head Shots Are Bad for More than Just the Goalie. Posted by Paul Szabo, InGoal Magazine, Sep 16, 2010.
GMs argue to no avail about headshots by Bruce Garrioch, Winnipeg Sun. NHL GMs can't come to a concensus on headshots.
NHLers Warned about Blows to the Head by League, Gagne. The NHL is trying to crackdown on unnecessary blows to the head, from TSN.ca.
Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand Names? By Melissa Stoppler, M.D. Medical Editor: Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D., MedicineNet.com.
Generic drug from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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