Uncategorized – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Uncategorized

Huckleberries from a dear friend. All the way from Montana!

October 19, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Did I really get into a vaccine debate on Facebook with the COVID-19 Pediatric Group? Yes I did. I couldn’t keep my big mouth shut. I left my comments there because they are actually really important. Someone was complaining about pharmacies giving out flu shots to kids, and I disagreed. I think kids should get their flu shot wherever they are available, and I think they should get other vaccines as well. Sometimes when I shoot my mouth off, I’ll go back and delete comments. But I left these up despite the controversy. And those that feel the same way as I do and are looking at the “big picture” in terms of vaccine rates need to see the comment. But I MUTED a bunch of the repliers. Wow, gotta love Facebook that you can MUTE people. The crux of the issue is that some pediatricians want vaccines only given in their office. I get it. They are actually reimbursed quite a bit for vaccines and well child visits and vaccines are 60% of pediatric outpatient volume. I work in an integrated healthcare system and I don’t need to think about my reimbursements and patient volume. I’m always busy. I do procedures. If pharmacies and dental offices and others give out vaccines, what are pediatricians going to do? It threatens their livelihood and is an existential threat to some of their identity. They believe they are dispensing wonderful advice and care during well child visits. Kids should 100% come in for well child visits. But the truth is they are not coming in for vaccines right now, and they need their vaccines. My take on things is that it’s about the patient. We need to admit when we are supposedly painting things as “for the patient” when it’s really “for us.” I don’t believe it. Then see sick kids! You can start siphoning off work from the urgent cars and EDs. We can start seeing up to 21 years of age. Or stop referring to dermatology or all the specialist, and learn to work up patients more thoroughly for bread and butter stuff. Oh, open up a Headache Clinic! Start training to do bread and butter mental health issues, as we don’t have enough pediatric psychiatrist. Put in implantable birth control. Or go pick up some trash. Trust me, there is enough work for everyone. Their business and livelihood is not my problem. I’m looking at the big picture which is increasing plummeting vaccine rates in the country. It felt so good to MUTE the said person. Flu Vaccines absolutely should be given at pharmacies and I believe HPV should as well, and maybe even dental offices. Why not? If pediatrics can’t survive without vaccines, than what are we? I’m pretty sure we are smart enough and versatile enough to pivot.

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This are needs compost! But it’s public land so I can’t put it there without getting arrested. I just pick up the trash there for now. I’m going to blow dandelions there later. I think that’s legal?

October 14, 2020

by drplasticpicker

The Aerobin 400 composter is still out of stock at Costco! It retails on other sites for $370, but at Costco it is $299. There is currently a coupon for $75 but it is out of stock. I’m checking every day and I’d rather get it for $225. But I think after the rebate expires, I’ll be able to get it for $299. If I have patience, I’ll save $75 at least. I almost bought it for $325 on amazon yesterday, but Dr. Young-Ho Yoon told me to check the costco site again. The aerobin 400 was available for a hot second, and then the “OUT OF STOCK” image came back on. Anyway, I’ll keep on checking back. It’s providing me some amusement as I want to snag it for a good price. I want to compost but I also know that it’s not good to waste $75 just being impatient. Amazon is a really tricky platform. It made me think I needed $15 compost starter and also a $20 snazy kitchen compost container that looked so eco-cool and stores about 1L of food scraps. So it would have been almost $400. But Young-Ho told me he didn’t get the compost starter and we have plenty of plastic tubs that can hold a days worth of food scraps, so I don’t need that kitchen scrap compost container. This is why I don’t like shopping on amazon. They always make me think I need things that I don’t!

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October 13, 2020

by drplasticpicker

One of my favorite bloggers is LenPenzo. He’s one of the original personal finance bloggers and sometimes writes nonsense and talks a lot about the gold standard. He’s from Southern California as well, and represents a conservative financial and political outlook that I’m very comfortable. I grew up in that kind of culture, although I am more politically left now. It’s hard not to be when you take care of children as a pediatrician in an underserved area. But LenPenzo has been blogging forever and he’s still my internet hero. I stop by his blog now and again, and leave comments. Len’s dad passed away recently and he left a short post on his blog https://lenpenzo.com/blog/id63332-black-coffee-10-oct-2020.html.

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From the internet. The origin of the famous line from the Nortorious RBG.

October 9, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Our tween daughter and I finished watching the documentary “RBG” yestserday in preparation for our Cadette Girl Scout Meeting. It was a special night to have the time to watch it with her and answer her questions, and watch her expressions. It was meaningful for so many reasons. As someone who considers myself of a historical bent, I did earn my undergraduate degree in History of Science, I am always curious as the origins of quotes. The original quote that RBG credited but is often forgotten by our modern society comes from Sarah Grimke https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Moore_Grimk%C3%A9.

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Beautiful drip irrigation gardening project by one of our eco-conscious pediatricians! Activism comes in all forms, and Dr. Plastic Picker is a big proponent of incorporating personal actions at home with more global actions! Bravo to this pediatrician who will be featured soon in an upcoming blog interview! Composting garden, hydroponics project planned – we are so excited to follow along!

September 25, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Well. I spent an hour composing this following email to our American Academy of Pediatrics CA3 Climate Change and Health Committee. Might as well cut and paste it and put it on this blog! All the items are so important, and as an MD most of them you literally just lend your name and can make a huge difference now. Isn’t that crazy? Most online petitions are not as impactful as these that I vette and pass on to our commitee members. Feel free to read and sign the petitions. If you would officially like to join our committee and are a pediatrician, comment below or email me at drplasticpicker@gmail.com and I will reply with my real account. But you can sign the following even if you are not an AAP member but you have to be a doctor or health care provider.

Hello AAP-CA3 Climate Change and Health Committee,

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We are lucky in life. Upgraded by Hilton to the Presidential Suite due to a minor mixup. Mr. Plastic Picker tipped the nice woman who brought us extra bedding generously.

August 23, 2020

by drplasticpicker

We are settled in our first night of a short likely two night stay in Palm Springs. Like most of the world, travel plans the last six months due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic had to be changed. It was the first time in six months we have left the confines of our Southern California county. I felt slightly embarassed about needing to leave, but mentally I felt the entire family spiralling into irritability. Pre COVID-19, we had planned on visiting my sister in Northern Virginia. Our traveling compared to our same-income cohorts in the US is very limited and we spend considerably less just hearing what my friends tell me anecdotally. We usually visit family in New York and Virginia and then stay with them a few nights and drive a few nights somewhere else. We usually take one western US domestic trip as well and maybe every other year one big international trip. But even that amount of traveling is not sustainable for the world. I’ve always bought carbon offsets the last five years, but even that – does it even make a difference?

In front of the Hilton.

But we are here now in Palm Springs, an easy 2.5 hour drive from our hom We drove our trusty Prius that gets 50 MPG. I never truly appreciated this area growing up. Being from Coastal Southern California, I wanted trees and history. I preferred Yosemite, San Francisco, and the East Coast. This is probably why I lived in Boston for 15 years. But with age comes wisdom. And I’ve come to love Palm Springs.

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The morning began with a bag of trash.

July 18, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Yesterday morning began with a plogging session and a bag of trash. I was feeling hopeful as I had eyed a large clear plastic single-use cup from 7-eleven sitting on the curb and circled back after my run to pick it up. Someone else had picked it up. It was a neighbor a bit older than me with a mask, an orange bucket and a grabber. I waved to him across the street with my own two plastic bags and said, “Are you part of the Street Stewards? We have a Facebook group.” He replied, “No. I just started picking it up recently.” I said thank you.

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First three peaches from our tree this season.

July 11, 2020

by drplasticpicker

There are times when you know you have made the right decision and that you are in the right place. I remember being six months into categorical pediatric residency and working an evening shift in the Pediatric ED at Mans Greatest Hospital (MGH). It was a normal shift. I knew what to do. Who to consult. What orders to write. I was walking down the narrow hallway that separates the two bays of exam rooms when a toddler peaked her head out and saw another toddler. This toddler said in her high-pitched very friendly voice, “Hey baby.” I think she was looking for a playmate. I stopped what I was doing. I paused and I thought “They ARE both babies and that is so incredibly cute.” I was in the right place.

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Natural reaction when you want to sleep but you are not able to.

July 3, 2020

by drplasticpicker

The medical training process can be brutal. Even in pediatrics after the 80-hour-work-week restrictions and in a more “benign” supportive program, it was hard. I think all of us tend to forget as we get older and are professionally and financially and psychologically in safer places. I wrote this post about the culture of bullying in medicine and physician burnout, which I thought was decent https://drplasticpicker.com/stop-physician-burn-out-there-is-no-house-of-god/. The other byproduct of being a doctor is that I’ve fallen asleep in odd places.

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Screenshot from one of my Instagram friends who inspires.

June 24, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Above is a screenshot of an instagram account by an environmental advocate in Nepal. Harish Joshi was interviewed on our blog several months ago https://drplasticpicker.com/introducing-harish-joshi-thursday-trash-reflections-from-nepal/. He is busy with his environmental advocacy and I find his account inspiring, as I find many teen environmental activist. This image he created reminded me that those everyday voluntary actions on behalf of a greater good, whether it be the environment or another cause, are incredibly powerful. I have written before about the power of agency and free will, and that although I believe society needs to systemically change and enact laws that benefit the environment – right now we also can help determine our future https://drplasticpicker.com/you-have-agency-you-have-free-will-you-are-your-own-determinant/. And this Hopeful Wednesday post is a voluntary act of gratitude and hope. I have a great sense of wellbeing this morning, that as a small person in a chaotic world – I am helping to calm the winds and reduce the heat and suck up more carbon than I am producing. By refusing a plastic bag at the store, this is a powerful first step to combating global warming.

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