Grand Rounds Smack Down

“Are you ready to ruum-ble? This week here at Doc Gurley is the Grand Rounds Smack Down edition, where the best contenders of the health care blogosphere wrestle down and dirty with tough, scary topics. Just like being in the ring, there’s no orderly progression of characters here – this ain’t ballet, folks. At any moment, something huge and impressive could come flying out of left field and hit you (ka-pow!) right between the eyes! There’s no first, no last – we’re here to entertain (and take out a few bad guys while we’re at it). We’ve got a lot of contestants, oops, I mean, submissions, vaulting into the ring. One thing’s for sure – if you hang with it to the end of this week’s match, right up to the point when the lights dim in the arena, you’ll be entertained.

First, let’s pile into our ‘mongo Wrestle-Mania-Mobile! Dr. Rob takes us on a wild ride to the arena – surviving near-death experiences along the way and sharing with us (when push comes to shove) the secret source of his super-powers. Check it out here.

Stand back! Here they come, down the ramps, heading into the ring: on your right-hand side, holding the solid-gold belt high overhead, is the lone night EMS. On your left-hand side, followed by a huge entourage, the ER. What’s at risk, going into this round? How about deciding who should look after the patient? Is that high enough stakes for you? We can’t guarantee anyone’s safety in this match – the author reports that the whistle-toting, black and white-stripe-jersey-wearing government is sitting out on the sidelines for this bout. Check it out here, if you dare.

Medicine is a tag-team sport. So what’s a contender to do, when your supposed partner changes the rules and refuses to come out of the ring? That’s the battle scenario at Musings of a Dinosaur. Read the smack-down here,
at a post titled, Attention Cardiologists
. Let’s just say, you cath-sporting dudes, you’ve been warned…

Going mano-a-mano, DiabetesMine takes on short-sighted researchers and profit-hungry pharma companies in this post, titled Why Testing Matters (Use It or Lose It). Media headlines about how glucose testing supposedly makes no difference, or could even make things worse, have the author jumping into the ring, taking on all comers with a pumped up comments-section crowd bursts through the ropes, piling onto the discussion. Ya want a piece of this? Do ya? Huh?

At The Covert Rationing Blog, the uber-macho DrRich gets in touch with his empathetic side (hey, is he pulling a fast one?) as he writes here about weeping doctors – and, by doing so, reveals how, when it comes to covert rationing, doctor-tears can be a WWF-level weapon. Ka-pow! DrRich pulls off an impressive ju-jitsu flip (was that legal?) and gets his opponent pinned for the count. You have to read it to believe it.

The crowd quiets and the mood gets serious. Real heroes aren’t afraid to show their tender side. The author at About a Nurse proves it by sharing with us the toughest part of her job – being forced to use the wrist restraints on a patient. Check it out here.

Being grabbed in the ring is one thing. Being grabbed at work is another. Hitting a topic that fits both our wresting theme, and International Worker’s Day, Dr. Shock reveals that 25% of women medical students experience sexual harassment. Someone wake up the ref! Check it out here.

Defender of the underdog! That’s the author at How To Cope With Pain, who stands up for bloggers (yeah, buddy, that’s you and me, the pencil-neck crowd) by sharing Exercises to Avoid Pain While at Your Computer. We even get an unusual suggestion, based on newer brain science – to look at your hands while typing, to prevent pain syndromes. Talk about a signature move! Go ahead, clench those Hulk fists at the keyboard.

There’s a big slap upside the head (and one that’s probably overdue) at In Sickness and In Health, where Barbara Kivowitz reports on two clinical psychologist/researchers who will, for the first time, treat couples in which one partner has OCD. Are you, like her, stunned and dazed from the head-thump of discovering that no one has done this before? Check it out.

The author at Free Thinking Joy, who may be better known to loyal viewers by his former superhero alias, Med Journal Watch, returns to the ring with a nose-to-nose, shoulders back rant about the recent outbreak of a measles epidemic in Europe. Check it out here.

Dr. Val climbs from the chairs to the top of the ropes and throws herself into the ring – taking on a two hulking behemoths. Why? She’s tackling insurance companies, and even the federal government, for their refusal to pay for targeted cancer treatment, leaving patients down on the mat, taking a pounding from the whole-body effects of chemotherapy. Her tagline is Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason, but let’s just say that when it comes to protecting her suffering patients, she’ll reason with you all right – she’ll reason right upside yo’ ugly head.

The author at Colorado Health Insurance Insider steps into for the next round with a post titled “Smoking Can Be Hazardous to Your Career”. She scores a double K.O. on both this week’s topics – May Day (International Workers Day) and the Smack Down, when she tackles the issue of Whirlpool’s suspension of 39 employees for lying about tobacco use.

Laurie Edwards at A Chronic Dose takes a well-deserved roundhouse punch at the opposition – the many everyday expenses of being sick that no one ever mentions or tallies. Talk about hitting a gal when she’s down!

Sometimes, even in wrestling, less is more. Read a moving, classy post here, simply titled “Dignity,” about facing the end of life. No posturing. No theatrics. All heart.

Want your name up in lights, just like the biggest names in wrestling? Whether you do or not – yours may already be there! At Everything Health, Dr. Brayer turns our attention to the great big virtual arena sign that every medical contender is eventually going to face – the rise of Internet doctor rating. Check out Doctor Rating – Here To Stay.

We have a new contestant entering the fray – a chaplain taking on the healthcare system! Read the article, Evidence Based Medicine–When It Fails, and see how even those who are slow to anger can get WWF-riled when the vulnerable are down-trodden.

No bluster in this round! The author at Healthline Connects gets up close and personal with a truly evil master of disguise (Diogenes Syndrome, aka Squalor Syndrome) and it terrifies her into heavy duty spring cleaning. Clear the ring, people!

Ho-yeah, we’ve got us a challenge interview. You know what I’m talking about – the kind where there’s a lot of finger-jabbing into the camera lens right before the desk gets turned over. Dr. John Ratey, psychiatrist and author of Spark, gives a wide-ranging interview at – you might even say Dr. Ratey is looking to lay a SMACK DOWN on the issue of exercise as it relates to cognition. Check it out here and don’t forget to duck if a chair goes flying.

Sam Solomon at Canadian Medicine grabs the megaphone and demands an answer to the age-old question – who’s hiding under that mask? No joke: CMAJ editorial policy changed after spoof articles were taken seriously. Read all about it here.

The author at The Diet Dish dons her flashiest outfit and dives into the ring to save our tiniest contestants. Help! They’re being tied up by evil opponents! Her post is about TV Turnoff Week and the link between TV watching and poor eating habits and little exercise in children. Cut those kids loose and let ’em go!

Who says a woman can’t hold her own in the ring? You? You want a take it to the mat? Huh? Dr. Regan steps into the ring and takes her subject down for the count here at NY Emergency Medicine with a post about sexism in medicine.

Stand back, folks. This time, it could get ugly. Health Business Blog takes on both Questcor Pharmaceuticals and the New York Times – a classic one-on-two mismatch. Will our guy triumph, or will he take one in the teeth? Yeeowza! He makes a bold flying tackle and pins down the fact that Questcor Pharmaceuticals is abusing the Orphan Drug Law to rip off consumers and put families in peril. And then, a body-slam! Seven months after the fact, the New York Times finally decides to cover the story and ends up blaming the PBMs rather than Questcor. Is that moaning I hear from the big guys? Check it out here.

Don’t let a trademark academic bow-tie and horn-rimmed glasses fool you. Doc over at Mind, Soul, and Body politely lays a smack down (bam!) on eugenics, the American obsession with perfection, and doctors- himself included. How does Doc take on so many contestants here? By wrestling into the spotlight the complex feelings involved in parenting a child with a genetic illness. Like any good champion, he changed details to protect the innocent.

How would you like your opponent to strip down and show you absolutely everything hiding under that cape? Gulp. The author over at InsureBlog reports on one hospital’s heroic efforts to make everything visible – even going so far as to pay cash for the opportunity to see what the other guy’s hiding. Read about it at the post here, titled “Finally: Transparency = Cash.”

Teen Health 411 takes on a gargantuan titan this week (do you feel the ground shaking?) by throwing down a challenge to parents to “get present” in the media lives of their teens. All of New Media? How’s that for a scary opponent? Read the post here to find some tricky moves you can use.

Medicine for the Outdoors unmasks supervillains here (YANK!) with a video review of some truly heinous activities that are depleting the oceans. [The crowd goes wild BOO! HISS! Popcorn and empty cups hurtle like grenades from the crowd!] Read it and grab hold of the information – with a good grip, I’m betting we can toss these bounders out of the ring.

Another masked villain! This one’s sneaking into the ring wearing a truly unique costume. Read how vaccinia virus tricks its way into hosts by mimicking dead cells over at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Bill Klemm, Prof. of Neuroscience at Texas A&M, summarizes recent research here on neuron creation and survival in adult brains. We all ought to read it before we try out another one of those flying head-butt maneuvers, whaddaysay?

Like a spotlighted emcee with an echoing microphone, Alvaro Fernandez at SharpBrains brings into his blog ring an impressive line-up of contestants to perform for his readers. These 16 mighty champions perform amazing stunts as neuroscientists and psychologists – without the benefit of a mask, a cape, or even a leg-pull-chokehold. Check out the Brain Research Interview Series here.

It’s the classic post-match interview with a legendary contender! Check out Dr. Schwimmer here for visionary look at future healthcare tech match-ups (who will win?), including a Q & A session with Jay Parkinson, who is described nattily by the author (with impressive tongue-in-cheek understatement) as “somewhat of an iconoclastic medical superhero…”

Revealing perhaps a wee bit too much in the trademark costume department, GownOpen2theBack takes on the slipperiest, wiliest opponent of all. The challenge? Tackling a small business’s attempt at keeping health benefits affordable for employees. The opponent? An insurance company – making things as difficult as possible. Slam! See the action here.

The gauntlet has been thrown down: Carpenter Allergic to Wood — What to Do? All we can say is, OMG. It’d be like finding out your high-waisted briefs and heavy-buckle belt are loaded with villainous itching powder! Read all about it at Clinical Cases and Images here.

On a more somber note, Allergy Notes tackles and pins an international serial killer by reporting on Anaphylaxis Due to Contaminated Heparin Causes Multiple Deaths, Trigger Found – here. It’s definitely time to blow the whistle and get the dirty stuff tossed out of our ring.

Don’t let her fake you out with that cool costume, and “who, moi?” demeanor. Fat Doctor has all the best moves – and ends the show with her arm in the air every time. It’s never the same-old, same-old when you’re on her turf. How does she do it? Read here and watch FD channel the combined life-force of patients everywhere by whining (her word!) about how other physicians could make her life easier.

What’s a match without someone in the sportscaster’s booth? Grabbing the mic, covers the national association of broadcasters meeting to bring us the latest on the development of OLED displays. Like a trainer behind the scenes, this author knows that all of the scoping innovations we use in medicine today are trickle down adaptations of technology from broadcasting. Want some prognosticating about future match-ups? Read here for a prediction about how OLED displays will dominate the future of medical imaging. All we can say, John Madden better watch out.

At the Six Until Me blog, our author shares the experience of getting a one-two punch when you least expect it- at the bank! But wait, there’s movement, she’s…she’s back on her feet! The crowd roars!

Thanks to all our passionate contenders who were willing to climb in the Internet ring and take on a mighty opponent!”

Arena lights thunk off, broadcast signal becomes audio only. Audience hears screeching electronic feedback, a click, followed by the sound of breathing; then Doc Gurley’s voice, loud – “Hey, could someone give me a hand with my outfit over here? I think I somehow, maybe in that sixth round, got an atomic wedgie. You? With the big broom? Anyone?”
“You mean this thing is on?”

Images royalty-free, with special thanks to the U.S. military for their public-use photos.

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