Transforming Perceptions

These past few years have brought a whirlwind of emotions between becoming employed, moving half-way across the country, and finally having the ability to focus on myself, my weight loss, and my faith. This blog is a reflection of all of these items and how they interact with each other.

Friday, October 05, 2007

More Doctors = Still Good Quality?

The NY Times highlighted Texas today in an article titled "More Doctors in Texas After Malpractice Caps." Thirty-five states have laws that limit medical damage awards in malpractice suits, but Texas has one of the lowest levels, which was passed in 2003. While it is absolutely fantastic that the number of applications to practice in Texas has increased because we have had such a shortage in doctors, it makes me question WHY so many doctors want to come here. Is it because the cap is so low that the state will be getting doctors who have dealt with malpractice suits in the past? What about consumer protection?

Since 2003, investigations of doctors have gone up 40 percent, patient complaints have gone up 25 percent, and disciplinary actions about 8 percent, said Jill Wiggins, a board spokeswoman. But the figures may reflect greater regulatory diligence rather than more misconduct, Ms. Wiggins said.

Of the 10,878 physicians licensed since 2003, she said, 14 have been the subject of disciplinary actions, on charges as diverse as addiction problems and record-keeping infractions, with none accused of harming patients.

I do have to laugh at the "none accused of harming patients" because those doctors who have addiction problems have an increased chance of harming patients due to their addiction, whether its a lack of judgement in surgery or accidentally writing out a wrong prescription. Although 14 out of 10,878 is a small number, I'd be curious to find out how many of the 10,878 have had malpractice suits in the past. This type of data is readily available online at the Texas Medical Board and is one of the things I check out before finding a doctor for myself.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What American Accent Do You Have?

I am told a number of times that I have an odd accent, maybe it's from living all over the place. I found this quiz fun and interesting.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
The South
North Central

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


There has been a huge push for outsourcing goods and services both nationally and within states. Working in three state government systems, I understand its purpose of outsourcing, but do not necessarily agree that it's best.

So when I first read an article on the United States toy company Mattel Inc. recalling millions of toys that were made in China, I wasn't quite surprised. That's what happens when you outsource your product line to another country to save a buck or two. Would have this happened if these toys were manufactured here in the United States? I doubt it. Certain things are "brushed under the rug" in this country.

Let's first talk about the magnets coming loose on the Mattel toys. While the following example may not be directly associated with Mattel Inc., it proves how large of an issue loose magnets are on toys. In December 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported three case studies of children swallowing loose magnets from toys. The CDC released the following summary in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR):

Building sets and toys with powerful rare-earth magnets have been marketed for use by children as young as 3 years. Among the 20 identified cases of magnet ingestion injury, the patients ranged in age from 10 months to 11 years, 6 months (mean: 5 years, 6 months; median: 4 years, 9 months--5 years); 16 (80%) of the patients were aged >3 years. Boys accounted for 16 (80%) of the patients. One fatality caused by volvulus, bowel necrosis, and sepsis was identified. Diagnoses in 15 (75%) of the cases included bowel perforations; bowel obstruction and peritonitis each were cited in four cases, and volvulus was cited in three cases. Of the 14 cases for which such data were available, hospital stays ranged from 3 to 19 days (mean: 8.7 days); at least five patients required intensive care.

Among the 20 patients, two children each swallowed 15 magnets; the other 18 children swallowed from one (plus a nonmagnetic metal piece) to nine magnets. In 12 cases, magnets had been dislodged from toy pieces; in three cases, entire magnetic pieces were swallowed intact. Ten children swallowed magnets from their own toys, three swallowed magnets from an older sibling's toy, and three swallowed magnets from toys at day care facilities or school. At least five of the children swallowed magnets or magnetic pieces intentionally, including two who thought they were candy and one who swallowed three magnets on a dare. Five children had potentially relevant conditions, including autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, developmental delays, and neurologic disorder.

So Mattel Inc. is now just recalling toys with magnets...nearly eight months after the MMWR was released...

Moving on to the toys with lead-based paint. That is completely unacceptable. There are reasons why paints are no longer lead-based.

This was a huge oversight for Mattel Inc. What else have they missed outsourcing their products? Makes me think twice about giving any of their toys to my friends who have kids.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Choosing not to...

I was reviewing some of my old posts on here, and at one point I was going to combine my two blogs into one. Well...that is no longer the case. While on occasion the two blogs will overlap in topics, I figured it would be best to keep them separate. You can access to the other blog through my profile. Hope you are having a great day!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Exciting Life...

I finally decided to jump into the 21st century and get high speed internet access in my apartment. Can you believe I lived a whole year without a phone, cable, or internet? Believe it or not, it was the best year of my life!!! I was able to create so many personal relationships with new seems as if the internet has taken away our need to bond physically with one another. Although, I do have to say the internet is an easy way to keep in touch with the many friends I have across the nation!

This past week was absolutely wonderful! I had two days off, went to a local beach, and got to hang out with a good friend who just moved here four months ago. I definitely need to skip work more often! :) The most exciting thing happened, though, on Friday! I finally found an old college friend's contact information, and I've been searching for him for three years! God has really blessed me in this aspect. I wrote him a two page letter that I get to mail tomorrow. Woo-hoo!

I do have a busy summer ahead of me, with lots of traveling: Virginia Beach, Toledo, Lansing, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Boston, and who knows where else the wind will blow!