Saturday, April 12, 2003

just woke up from a nap. the breakfast buffet at golden corral just hits you in...well, it hits you in all the spots.

my last er shift on thursday was interesting. treated a lady who was wearing rebel flag socks. they were ankle socks and there were rebel flags on the middle and sides. now that's funny.

the shift was kinda frustrating for a while. people come in who don't need to be there. if it didn't take like half a year to get an appointment to see your doctor, there would be less crowding in the emergency rooms. this one guy came in with a sinus infection. he was also mostly deaf, a really nice guy. but i was getting mad at him because he couldn't hear me too well or read my lips and understand what i was saying most of the times. and then i started wondering why in the heck i was getting mad at him. i mean, it's not his freakin' fault that he's nearly deaf or that he got sick. well, i felt bad about all that so i tried to be nicer to him.

i got to do an ultrasound on a pregnant lady and saw a 14 week old baby! i've seen them before but it's different when you've never used an ultrasound probe yourself and you put it on the belly and try to look around for the baby. it's hard to get used to the angles and stuff but when you finally get a focus on the baby, it's really cool. you can see its heart beating, sucking its thumb and everything.

i need some exercise.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

i'm watching the women's ncaa basketball championship. my idea of another crazy and exciting night. you know, there's nothing sexier than seeing a bunch of sweaty women act manly, shaking and pumping their fists in the air, chest bumping, slapping each other on the ol' rears. what's next, crotch grabbing?

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

almost a good night...

phew! or is it whew!? whatever the heck it is, that's what i feel. finally done with 12 straight days of work. finished it off with my first shift in the ER. it's not as glamorous or nearly as dramatic as on tv. there also may not be as much sex going on between doctors and nurses or between doctors and doctors (or even between nurses and nurse for that matter) but there sure is a heck of a lot of flirting and back rubbing and stuff. i mean, i don't think the ER is the most appropriate place to be giving back rubs. maybe i'm just old school.

my first shift in the ER actually wasn't too bad. i almost got through the whole 12-hour shift without having to do a pelvic exam--until the last hour. isn't that the way it always is? there are four charts on the rack and the first one was some girl who was having vaginal bleeding. ugh. now really, isn't there someone more qualified to do this? i think i'll be opening up a men's clinic anyway once it's all said and done. it also didn't help that the girl was so demanding and seemingly high maintenance. now that's a great combo right there. i could go on about countless pelvic exams and vaginal discharges but when you've heard one vaginal discharge story you've heard them all.

let me see, what other exciting news is there? i went to this brazilian restaurant/buffet a couple of weeks ago. you know, it's one of those kinds where you have a coaster-type thing on your table, green on one side and red on the other and whenever you want the dudes to come and bring you meat you turn it to the green side. they have all types of meat on spears and they shave it off onto your plate. there's something really manly and primal about some dude bringing you meat on a spear. okay, so it's not really a spear like the kind you kill wild lions with but a small maybe 2-3 foot spear. and not that i would kill wild lions with real spears anyway. i like lions. maybe a wildebeest. yeah, i would probably spear a few of those. would i really or do i just like to say wildebeest?

anyway, enough for now. i need some sleep.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

is this thing working?
alrighty, back in action. i'm sitting here with a hole in my khakis. yes, i'm ashamed to admit it is in the crotch area. i've been wearing these pants on most days to work since i started in july and they're the only ones i have. (now, i'm not THAT poor, i do have other pants, just not another pair of khakis...did i mention i make about $35,000 per year for like 80 hours a week? yeah, that's minimum wage.) therefore (ergo), i have to wash them like 3 times a week and as you can imagine, they've gotten pretty worn out. at least it's good that i discovered the hole before a potentially embarrassing moment occurred. hmmm, i hope no one else has noticed. i hope no patients have noticed. why would anyone be looking at my crotch anyway? what's worse, people looking at my crotch or the fact that i still wear these pants to work? you know, it's hard to get out there these days to do shopping and stuff. you know?

so last night i was hanging out at this restaurant/bar with a representative from the pharmaceutical industry, better known as a drug rep. they take us out to dinner and stuff all in the name of medicial education, of course. this guy is pretty cool but some of the drug reps can be like car salesmen. we were at this upstairs waiting room/bar area where there are a few pool tables and on the one next to us, there was this family with their 2 kids like 3-4 years old. now i'm all for having fun but don't you think they should like get a baby sitter or something? you can just hear them saying "we're not gonna let these kids get in the way of our social lives..." or "honey, let's take the kids out to the local restaurant/bar with the smoky atmosphere." because smoke in the lungs of a 3 year old really is a good thing. you know, it toughens them up.

not that i'm totally opposed to smoking. yes, i do think cigarettes are cancer sticks and even without the cancer aspect, if you would see the people in our hospital who have various other lung diseases because of smoking, you would ban cigarettes. however, i do like to puff on a nice cigar every once in a while. my friend just got back from cuba and brough back some nice ones i've already gotten to sample. and, according to my world almanac 2000 millennium edition, cigars bought in cuba are legal to transport back to the u.s. i think there is a limit, though. but of course you have to get around the whole "how do you get into cuba" dilemma.

it's march madness time, baby!

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

man, it's been a while. you know how it is, being on call and stuff, spending all night in the hospital, coming home the next day, not remembering where i parked, having that generalized dizzy and lightheaded feeling all day. gotta love it.

the weekend was good. i was at this fancy-dancy hotel in savannah for an american college of physicians meeting. now talk about a lively crowd! my gf was there with me for one of the sessions. now that's real love, to sit through that just to be with someone. then there was a reception banquet type thing the final night that kept going on and on and on. we sat there laughing at how people could talk so long. i looked back and everyone at my table had already left already.

well, i'm tired. i'm gonna take a nap.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

a sad day...

a mr. rogers tribute. more updates later.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

a tribute to B'ham

ahhh, good to see that the ornamental...i mean oriental...i mean asian brothers are still in effect. or is that affect? don't write me back with the answer, that was just a joke.

yes, now, my B'ham oriental brethren...the fatter one. that really would take up a whole website in itself to write about--my dysfunctional med school classmates. jeez, how many did we have taking prozac to get them through finals? we had dui's, classmates sleeping with other classmates, former drug dealers. and then you had our healthy future doctor group eating buffets 3-4 days a week, sometimes for lunch AND dinner on the same day (man, i loved that fried chicken from old country buffet...and i miss the OC Bee). overall though, i think our class was pretty cool. i see some of the med students rotating through our hospital now and they really get on my nerves. but all that for another day.

anyway, B'ham is an unique one i'll have to admit. i talk about him occasionally. he's refreshingly honest about himself and unpretentious about his fatness and laziness. it's good to see someone out there who is not trying to impress ANYBODY. i guess his mom doesn't really appreciate that too much but that's another story, too. he'll be the first to tell you that he probably shouldn't be a doctor--and he's not, he's a pathology resident (a little jab at my path colleagues...they really are doctors). his real passion is...well, food and video games. some highlights from med school:
*he would stay up all night playing computer games, sleep for about an hour and then go to work in the hospital and fall asleep on rounds ("rounds" being what we as a team do, as in go see all the patients with the attending, a couple of residents, and a med student here and there, all of which comprise "the team")
*he would play golf in scrub pants, sandals, and a golf shirt from the 70's
*before he got fancy with the golf shirt, he would just wear an undershirt that he made himself (printed from the internet and ironed on); a sampling of shirts: one said "twinkie" (as in yellow on the outside, white on the inside), another "winner," yet another "jackpot"
*he was obsessed with body sounds and functions and smells
*his lifelong dream is to own a hot wing restaurant that served only wings, nothing else
*he turned his whole room into a putting green, and this meant buying a whole bunch of wood and having it raised a few inches and cutting holes in it
*he was in no way a wood craftsman but he enjoyed cutting and making his own desk (which had a lay-z-boy pulled up to it instead of a real chair) and even a bed frame
*he also once made himself a plastic study stand so that he could study while laying down in bed (we all know how tiring it gets to hold the book up with our arms or turning side to side)
*he's a practical atheist but he watches charles stanley ("the old skinny guy") and t.d. jakes ("the black guy who wipes his forehead a lot") on tv--they're both preachers

so as you can see, i had no lack of entertainment during med school. so many more stories out there, so little time....

Sunday, February 23, 2003

i am a music lover and depending on how you view awards shows, it's a good night for us. the grammys are on tv. i don't want to give off the impression that i watch all this tv and that's all i write about because i don't and it's not. i like study and stuff and read up on my patients' disease processes and stuff. really i do. anyway, i do love music and i appreciate all forms--jazz, classical, hard rock, rap, country (yes, even country!), pop, blues...that translates a cd collection with miles davis, patsy cline, nirvana, debbie gibson (now deborah...and yes, i do have a secret debbie gibson fetish, i mean, appreciation), handel's messiah, beethoven's 9, stevie ray vaughan, notorious b.i.g., etc. just thought i'd let you know.

so, some reflections on the first hour of the grammys: what is up with the dixie chick's hair? you know which one i mean, the one with the retro big hair of the 80's. now i like the 80's, but.... and what's up with this josh mayer (? or whatever his name is) dude who's like 16 AND he's performing on the grammys AND he won the best male vocal category. i express once again my previous consternations as i did with the kobe bryant comments--this kid is almost half my age, i'm sitting here drinking a cheap glass of cabernet (cheap but good), there's a ceramic mug representing an anthropromorphized triglyceride staring at me, my room's still a mess, my mom checks up on me and keeps asking if she can bring me food or come clean up for us and such, and i haven't showered in like 2 days because i was on call last night and i had to stay at the hospital. sigh.

the first category of the evening was for best pop group or duo. now if that's the best pop had to offer for the past year, no wonder music is in such a sad state these days. but then norah jones won the best pop female which is interesting and she made comments on that line about how she never expected her music to be considered pop music. and how many lifetime achievement awards are they giving out tonight? one for tito puente, one for glen miller, both of whom i admire. i mean heck, why don't i get a lifetime achievement award. you know, i did make all-state chorus 6 years in a row. there's your lifetime achievement for ya.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

more tv ... i'm watching the michael jackson interview. i was like the biggest mj fan. i memorized the smooth criminal video dance scenes and like tried to do them. i wanted that white suit with the shiny blue shirt. when he sang billy jean and did the moonwalk on the grammys (in...84?) that was like the most awesome thing i ever saw. but then he like tried to turn himself into a japanese cartoon character. what's up with that??? and no matter how wacko he might be (wacko jacko), there are still fans all over the place and they like cry and stuff when they see him. i want people to cry when they see me. well, some people do, but i guess i mean cry in a good way. oh yeah, then they showed the neverland ranch and buddy's got an elephant at his house. now i don't care how weird he is but how cool would it be to have your own elephant? and he's talking about his chimp. i've always wanted a chimp or a monkey. wouldn't it be cool to like come home after a rough day and like have a cute little monkey to hang out with? you could like hug it, teach it to bring you your slippers, go out to the patio and have a smoke break with it. does anyone else have these thoughts?

so karen got me some great stuff for valentine's day. v-d as she calls it. she got me an clock that i wanted which is synchronized to the atomic clock like in colorado or something. there's a certain comforting feeling knowing that the time i have is the official time in the whole united states. right now it's 8:44. i know your clock or watch may say something different but this is the REAL time in all of america. so there. she also got me all this kleenex. a lot of times i'll snort instead of blow and she thinks it's kinda disgusting (which i guess it is) so it's one of her subtle ways of encouraging me toward the right direction. she also got me several other nice things and wrote all these cards that fit into each other but it's my own special moment.

life in the hospital hasn't been too rough these days. it could be a lot worse so i'm not complaining. the worst part is not knowing what the heck is going on with some people. i figured medicine would be pretty black and white (since we're on this mj theme) but there is so much grey out there. or is it gray? i was actually off again today. because of our schedule my days off have been bunched up. i got to pray with this guy we transferred to hospice care. we tried to fix him up but couldn't. i was glad to see that he had a son and others who visited often. it's terrible when these sick people come in and no one ever visits them. either the family doesn't care or they live out of town or they don't have family. it's a sad and lonely world out there. share the love!

Monday, February 17, 2003

i admit. i watched joe millionaire tonight. i mean, who are these people? who is this joe? who are these girls? why do they all have such bushy eyebrows? how does this guy end up with a gig like this? questions on the minds of all americans. i don't know if y'all know who i'm talking about (i haven't been keeping up with the show too much...something about trying to save lives and stuff) but what is up with the heidi chick? i do remember seeing part of the episode when she was riding the horse and got all freaked out. and then they show her boyfriend on the show. i mean, dude, get a grip! how in the world can someone put up with that??? i don't mean to judge but....

so karen and i had dinner with my folks saturday. i think it was a great experience overall. i ended up doing a lot of translating. my dad still doesn't speak very good english. i guess 35 years isn't long enough. but he really made an effort to ask her questions and tried to make conversation in his limited way. karen didn't think that it went so well with him but i had to remind her of his past. my sister reminded me years ago how much he has mellowed out. in the old days (like jr. high and stuff) when people would call at the house for us he would just hang up. then he actually started saying hello and saying we're not home and then hang up. now, he even attempts to take messages!

gosh, there's so much more to talk about but i have to watch the rest of joe millionaire. i will have to say that zora does have nice eyebrows. if i were on the show then i would probably pick her.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

okay, there are some miscreants out there trying to tarnish my professional career by implying (and thus we infer) that somehow my hobbies and new endeavors are compromising my patient care in the hospital. well...okay, while that may be true, you can't prove it now can you???

anyway, i'm in the midst of getting my friend don to actually hook up my own real website so that user feedback will be more user-friendly. you'll be able to click on a comment section and say what you please. the people must have a voice!

this will be a short post but more will come. i was on call fri. (i.e., i was in the hospital all day and night until saturday) and karen came to town to have dinner with my folks so i haven't had time to write much.

Thursday, February 13, 2003


unfortunately i'm not web savvy and rich enough to have my own website so that people can easily add comments to my ramblings and this site doesn't even have that capability (as far as i know of), BUT i think i may have bypassed that. if you want to add comments, go to use "guest" as the userid and password. click on "stranger in a strange world" and it will take you to my site. type, click on "post and publish" and there you have it. of course, please identify yourself in your comment. peace out. let's see if if works...
i'm sitting here waiting for the stinkin' hotmail to not be busy.

i'm off today. woohoo! i'm on wards this month, general inpatient stuff, that is. we only get a day off per week on average.

i'm watching sportscenter while i'm doing this. kobe scored 51 points last night. he's 24 years old. unbelievable. i'm 30, making 35k per year, my room's a mess, i'm drinking coffee out of a tweety bird coffee mug and i don't want to think about how much kobe's making. so yeah, that's 35k per year for 80+ hours a week, no holidays. you know, if korean parents cared more about sports, i would be playing centerfield in the majors with a few championship rings on my fingers. they would be retired, rollin' in their fancy cars, the envy of korean parents everywhere. well, i wouldn't get them anything too fancy, you know, the whole getting attached to this world idea. but, they've sacrificed a lot and worked like crazy over the years. i guess they deserve some perks from their ungrateful kids.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003


although i grew up in america, i was still raised in a korean family with more and more western influence by the year. it's been a life of kimchi and big macs. my mom came to america first and lived here by herself for a year before the rest of the fam moved here. she didn't speak a lick of english yet somehow, a hospital that was involved in an exchange program with one of the hospitals in korea hired her as a nurse. crazy, huh?

my dad is semi-retired. he was a typical korean small businessman--first grocery store, then dry cleaners. years ago in our city, there were 700 dry cleaners and half were owned by koreans. most of the other half were owned by indians. i guess stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason. he plays golf 3 days a week and watches korean videos and plays go/baduk on the internet. that's his life.

my mom goes to work at night (on the night shift that is, not as a prostitute or anything) and basically watches korean videos all day. but she watches them upstairs and not with my dad. it's hard to coordinate which video you're on to watch them together, you know, with the different schedules and all. it's very complex. like all old people, they keep the house freakin' freezing in the winter and hot as a mother in the summer. it saves money. they walk around with jackets in the winter and in the summer...well, for some medical mystery, old people don't seem to get hot so they actually feel comfortable when the temperature is 100 inside (remember that seinfeld episode?).

my sister was probably the least academically inclined one of the kids but she probably is the one who turned out most normal. she works in film/tv, doing alright for herself. she has one kid, madison (quite possibly the cutest 2 year old on the planet), with another on the way. my brother is also married. he and his wife had a kid 4 months after my sister. now they're also trying for #2. he's also a doctor (anesthesiologist). he drinks too much (not all the time, just a lot when he does). kinda typical for doctors, i guess.

that leaves me the only non-married, childless member of the family. at least i don't think i have any kids anywhere. i'm also the only one in a "cross-cultural" relationship. (how p.c. is that?) she's white. (if you're reading this karen, i love you!) i like people of all backgrounds but i guess just by statistics, since i grew up around more whites, i've dated more white girls than others. as you can imagine, that was a huge issue for the iron fist of my dad. initially he threatened to kick me out of the family but over the years he's mellowed out some. karen and i are actually going out to dinner with my folks this weekend. that will be an interesting evening. my dad actually wanted this because he wanted to get to know her--what her parents do, where she went to school, if she's healthy. koreans are really into family and money and health. karen joked that she would bring her resume for them. hilarious. well, tacos are calling so until next time.
where do i live? for fear of legal ramifications, i can't tell you (i'm in the witness protection program). just kidding. since i want to share a lot of hospital stories, we'll leave my place of residence blank. however, i do live with a surgery intern and medicine intern. i myself am a medicine (internal medicine) intern. we are the real-life "scrubs." except we don't have hot parties all the time or sleep around with nurses or other colleagues ... at least i don't think we do.
what do i do? i am a physician
how glamorous! hell no
why not? because i am an intern
what is that? here is some medical inside info: general chronology of things, unless you're some super smart nerdy geek who like skips grades and stuff ... which one does often find in the world of medicine ... but not as much as in the world of engineering ... to which i once belonged ... and what's up with all the ... ???

anyway: college, 4 years of med school, 3+ years of residency, pass your state board exams, then become an official i-can-practice-on-my-own physician. in contrast, internists are already board-certified physicians in the field of internal medicine, which is general medicine for adults. pediatricians treat kids, family practice physicians treat all age groups, including babies. got that? questions? comments? dedications? circumcisions?
who am i? just call me tan the man (although some dude already took that name for the blog title). i was born in korea (south ... i'm not no commie) and moved to the good ol' usa when i was two. i became a christian i guess when i was 12 or so.