March 8, 2014

  • Sick Shop: A musical medical parody

    Since before my days of blogging, I loved listening to Weird Al, and writing my own musical parodies. They used to reflect college trials and tribulations and be sent on a mailing list to my friends, though as I have gotten older and more specialized, when I write them, I now post them to whatever blog I happen to be on. I feel this site has been running long enough for me to start sharing my musical talents, such as they are with all of you. My goal is to one day turn these into youtube music videos

    Thrift Shop by Macklemore
    Sick Shop parody by DoctorJ

    Hey, Doctor J! You the Hospitalist?

    What, what, what, what… [many times]

    Bada, badada, badada, bada… [x9]


    I’m gonna help some folks
    Only got twenty patients on my census
    I – I – I’m admitting, treating your diseases
    This is fucking awesome

    [Verse 1:]

    Nah, walk to the ER like, “What up? I got a big beep!”
    I’m so pumped about a full night of rem sleep
    name on the coat, it’s so damn white see
    That nurses be like, “Damn! thats a sick ass MD.”
    Rollin’ in, let’s go see, headin’ to the gi bleed
    ER did the workup ‘cept the guaiac that they left to me
    Draped in a sterile gown, nurses standin’ next to me
    Probably need to scope him, start ivf and foley

    But shit, send a urinanalysis (Bag it)

    Coughin’ it, drawin’ it, ’bout to go and get some cultures sent
    Passin’ up on those scabies man someone else’s can admit’ that
    altered and septic, fuck it, man
    do abg’s and lp’s and
    start a central line and then call for my crash cart again
    I’ma take your grandpa’s pulse, I’ma take your grandpa’s polst,
    No for real – ask your grandpa – can I change his code status? (Thank you)

    acute chest pain and his hearts tachy
    EKG and CT clear so I keep diggin’
    They have cholecystitis, I treat cholecystitis
    MRI the brain then, treat optic neuritis
    Hello, hello, my ace man, my Mello
    Doogie ain’t got nothing on my fringe game, hell no
    beats and bp droppin, I could place lines all day
    The ER docs would be like “Aw, he got the IJ”

    [Hook x2]

    [Verse 2:]

    What you know about makin’ a good diagnosis?
    What you knowin’ about Horners Syndrome Ptosis?
    I’m digging, I’m digging, I’m searching right through up to date
    your a fib, that’s another man’s base rate
    Thank your copd getting that RT neb treatment
    ‘Cause right now youre up in her breathin’

    I’m full of Goodwill, you can find me in the (Unit)
    they not, they not dead, he’s breathing in that machine (Unit)
    Your grammy, your aunty, your momma, your mammy
    Vaccinate all the sick old ladies, one-hand, I shot that motherlover
    examine your feet take you socks off that motherlover
    I call code blue and they stop in that motherfucker
    They be like, “Oh, my chest fells hella tight.”
    I’m like, “Yo – that’s eighty milligrams of aspirin.”

    overworked physician, let’s do some simple addition
    skip your flu vaccination – that’s just some ignorant bitch (shit)
    I call that getting sicker and quick (shit)
    I call that keeping this doc in business
    That one common cold
    And having the same one as six other people in your job is a hella don’t
    watch this, come take a hear through my stethoscope
    Tryna get breath from a corpse and you hella won’t
    Man you hella won’t



    I run your granddad’s code
    I look incredible
    I’m in this white ass coat
    From that hospital down the road
    I run your granddad’s code (damn right)
    he said dont let me go (now come on man)
    I’m in this big white coat (big ass coat)
    When you need me now you know (let’s go)


January 4, 2014

  • Relocation.

    I want to get back into the habit of writing, but I need a fresh start. I have spent so much time here that I have a personality and way of writing/speaking that I naturally fall into whenever I visit the site. So for the time being, I am relocating to wordpress officially.  For you nonspambots who would like to continue to follow along, and especially for any of my xanga friends still left (i’m looking at you sarah and seth), the new site is just the name of this one at

    Time to find a new voice for an old habit. But rather than goodbye, let’s just say, farewell for now

January 1, 2014

  • Time to Come Back

    I’m still here. Are you? Or is it time to move on to other pastures?

    On the one hand, I enjoy writing for its own sake as it helps me to refine my thoughts. On the other, with no feedback, I cant become a better writer, speaker, or thinker.

    Hmmm. I guess the first step is just to get back into the habit of writing anything down at all.

    An appropriate day for beginnings, regardless.


    Happy New year and best wishes to all who come across this. May you rise to all the challenges you face this coming year.

November 5, 2013

  • My weird?

    Rituals are important. Large or small, they help us to make order from chaos.

    When asked to name a specific ritual, people usually think of the big ones- weddings, funerals, rites of spring and summer. Yet small rituals are equally important-the daily shower, the weekly meet with friends at the bar, the hour set aside to read or write before bed to calm the mind.

    In the grand scheme of things, I have no power or influence over the equinox, or when the future Mrs Doctor J will enter my life. Yet I can easily create a plan to listen to jazz while I cook dinner, to shut off the tv for an hour before bed, to go to the gym in my building. However, after almost 3 months of general inertia, restarting my own daily routine is a herculean effort

    Do anything long enough and it becomes second nature. Unfortunately, with my constant flitting about, and irregular work schedule, my second nature settled slowly into tv watching as I gradually regressed into an undergraduate again, spending my days in leisure with few to no responsibilities. Nice as it was, in the long run it was terrible for me.

    So here I sit, fighting the very laws of physics with my mind, trying to figure out which puzzle blocks I intend to piece into the new me. What is my weird? Not weird in the sense of strange, but in the old greek sense of the word.

    Before it took on its common meaning, your weird was your destiny. The one thing you were put on this earth that only you, and nobody else can accomplish. It is a fate that can be glorious or tragic, and is destined only for you. You dont have to fulfill your weird, and you may not even knowingly discover it, but if you find and choose to embrace it, you will never lack purpose in your life.

    So as I continue my self revision, I find certain motifs repeatedly cropping up in my life, nagging suspicions that they are part of a greater whole. Am I on the right path? Am I on a path at all? I must be doing something right-I have a job, friends and family who care about me, I’m better off than 90% of the worlds population-yet I dont wake up feeling that incredible sense of fulfillment that some people just cant help but radiate

    Not that I’m depressed or feel my life is meaningless-far from it. I just wonder if I already missed my calling for another, or if it has yet to be presented to me. And if so, how will I recognize it?

    Weird, no?

    -Doctor J

November 4, 2013

  • Doctor J, 2.0

    Anonymity is both blessing and curse.  On the one hand, with none of my potential readership knowing me, I am safe to portray or invent myself however I chose. Yet even if the online me isnt a partial or total fabrication, how much of the real life me gets left behind.

    The last decade of blogging has been devoted to my medical exploits. The years before that to my exploration of the internet and what amused me as I began to develop my own writing style. As Josh 2.0 continues to develop, it’s a bit daunting and humbling to realize just how true that 24 hour people byline has become. I have a dedicated persona people have come to expect here, though I feel like I have totally lost touch with that aspect of myself in recent times.

    So for a while, to avoid any potential obstacles with my new employers while I establish myself, it’s time to drift away from the medical blogging. I’m no longer an idealistic med student blogging my journey of self discovery. Neither am I an established physician and science blogger like KevinMD or DrGrumpy. In point of fact, I’m not entirely sure who I am anymore, and in the months to come, I am returning to writing to try and figure it out.

    So as always bear with me as I undergo some personal construction. Although I may still comment on my medical life, it’s time to shift the focus of this blog to some questions of philosophy and self discovery.  A bit of a regression as the prodigal son returns to the midwest and sets out to accomplish one cool thing every weekend, to resume online conversations with fellow bloggers of like intellectual pursuits and gets on with the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

    Dont worry though, deep down I remain deplorably, adorably immature. I just have to figure out what shell to pull over this creamy nougat center.

    Turning in the virtual pager after a looong call,

    Doctor J

September 7, 2013

  • Reinvention

    Whelp, Xangas back.

    Looks and feels a lot like wordpress, which is where most of us seemed to migrate. I guess it will depend on whether or not the team can hold on to the sense of community that made xanga great. And as xanga is reinventing itself, I decided it was about time for me to reinvent myself as well.

    For nigh on umpteen years I have taken this blog through revision after revision as I grew and changed from college student, to medical student to intern, resident, and now attending.

    Now It’s time for another self reinvention as I begin a new job, in a new city, with new responsibilities and a shiny new paycheck to go with them. Everything in casa de J is getting upgraded. A new computer and phone to replace the old ones. A new high rise apartment to contrast my former room after having moved back home. A new luxury car, which has been causing somewhat of a headache trying to decide whether to lease or buy, and what to get. First world problems I know, but as someone who rarely paid attention to mechanical goings on, this has involved a lot of research on my behalf.

    I am also trying to get into researching the stock market and revisiting economic studies to figure out how best to save and/or distribute my disposable income not marked for loans and or living expenses.

    And perhaps most importantly, it’s time to touch base with my hobbies again. The goals on my to do list are to be revisited, not intiated, but coming back to xanga and starting at least weekly updates is on there, as is to read the great books, get back to cooking, dancing, singing, playing piano, and all of those.

    So, stories will come as I feel in the mood, but hey, Rome wasnt rebuilt in a day, right?

    Welcome Back, All

    -Dr J

August 6, 2013

  • Jetlag Truth


    I will raise my future children to believe this.

  • On Doctoring: The Job Hunt Begins…

    Hmm, Top Blogs. That’s darn good incentive to keep writing.

    After graduating from residency, I took a month off. It was the Holidays, I had finally been liberated from a malignant work situation, I had the chance to be my own man again, to make my own decisions. I thought I could waltz straight out of residency and into any job I wanted. After all, I was a doctor. Young, certainly. Inexperienced, perhaps a tad. But a highly educated and motivated physician. People are always sick, how hard could it be?

    Pretty Damn Difficult.

    My interests lie in clinical academic medicine. I want to practice, but I also want to teach. Having knowledge is great, but spreading it is infinitely more fulfilling. A fellowship position would have granted me that, but thats a long story most of my old readers already know about and I wont go into it here. So the next best bet was to continue on as a hospitalist, ideally in a teaching hospital.

    I tried applying to several, but outside of my training facility, where I will not return, I’m still too young to obtain any kind of academic position. I dont yet have the experience and the breadth of knowledge, I would simply be a glorified resident. Not that I realized it at the time.

    No instead it took almost 3 months of unemployment. 3 months of turning down any jobs not in Los Angeles or Orange County. 3 months of thinking I was too good to settle for living in Bakersfield, Palm Springs, Riverside. Thinking that I would start at my dream job, top of my field.

    It wasnt a rude awakening but a gradual realization that though I may have graduated, nobody cared or knew the difference. It’s not what you know, it’s what you do. So, I started looking further afield. I still ignored permanent positions in places I couldnt see myself living, but now because I was looking for somewhere to continue to develop my skills while living.

    With loans rapidly coming due, and no source of income, I began searching for alternative methods of employment that would pay the bills, develop my skills, and give clinical thrills.

    And so I learned about the world of Locum Tenens (latin e.g. to hold the place of) aka substitue/temporary doctoring. 

    Doctors leave to have babies, to go on vacation, to move on to other jobs all the time, but patients need to be seen. This leaves clinics and hospitals understaffed, sometimes for only a few days, sometimes for months. While the hospital looks for a replacement, they will occasionally call into a doctor temp agency for someone to help out while they search. Its a good source of short term employment, and all the travel costs including room, board, and airfare are defrayed by the company. Essentially it’s a work vacation. travel the world, treat the sick, and get paid to do it. You just have to keep getting licensed everywhere which takes 6-8 weeks per new facility.

    So while I continued to search for my dream job, I accepted my first locums position. A Geriatric Clinic in East Los Angeles where none of the patients spoke any english. It was time to see just how fluent I was, in spanish and medicine, as I began my first real job as an attending physician…


    -Dr J

August 5, 2013

  • Xanga Survives: A look around the old haunts and more to come…

    Well, apparently xanga has managed to survive. At least so I’m assuming from the fact that I can still log in. It’s kind of like coming back to a childhood home after a move away. Though I havent been gone that long, it seems ages have passed.

    And I suppose that in some ways they have. I have no clue what my xanga friends have been up to, at least the ones with whom I communicate solely online. A few close friends and I elected to continue writing to each other via old fashioned letters. A step down in technology, but a grand return to interpersonal communication, something that despite my job, I still feel I sometimes lack.

    And so, I putter about the place, sorting through old memories, wincing at pictures and posts of who I used to be, and enjoying the chronicle of whom I have become. 

    There are so many stories still left untold.

    The completion of the Peru trip-I have gone back to keeping a paper journal on travels, so something will survive another internet website ending

    The completion of residency. I made it out, but what came next-the surprisingly difficult struggle to find a job despite, or perhaps because of my level of education and specialty training.

    My locums work (think temping, but for doctors) experiences in a geriatric all spanish speaking outpatient clinic, and my rural/3rd world hospitalist time spent in Kona Hawaii.

    My upcoming return to the Midwest for a permanent position as a hospitalist, at least for the next several years.

    The return of my stand-up comedy career.

    And all the stories of what you, my friends and readers have been up to in all this time I have been busily concerning myself with the outside world.


    Everything Changes. That’s the adventure we call living. However, it’s nice to know that I still have somewhere I can come back to at the end of the day to call home. So in whatever iteration you return xanga, I’ll be right there with all my things set up just the way I like them.

    After all, I’m still one of the 24 hour people


    -Dr J


April 15, 2013

  • Lake Titicaca Homestay

    After spending a day or two becoming acclimated to the altitude, We set off to visit and stay on the small islands within Lake Titicaca, the largest and highest freshwater lake in the world


    As if the name Titicaca wasnt funny enough, it ultimately flows out to Bolivia’s Lake Poopo (pronounced poo-poo)


    Andysensei almost missed the boat


    Our first stop was the small Island of Taquile, where we hiked a few miles along a stone path to find the village of male weavers (my own name,  I dont know what they call themselves)




    I find some of my best vacations are just spent walking around doing nothing in particular






    A hearty quinoa corn soup


    And some Coca Tea


    Followed by a little dancing. All in all, a great lunch. Then it was on to Amanti Island, where we each would bunk up with a local host family for a cultural exchange and to help do their farmwork



    But first, more dancing!



    The Three Amigos


    Some more amigos


    The remaining amigo


    And the whole tour group





    Our host family, who I amazed with sleight of hand and finger tricks from my childhood. I would highly recommend this if you get the chance!