I can’t fire my patients

I remember back in residency there would occasionally be the wild, rude, drug seeking patient that we would have to call security on for threatening the staff when they were told they weren’t getting a bump in their opioid prescription. There were also the patients that would constantly no-show for clinic appointments, were never compliant with any treatment regiment, and when confronted would become verbally abusive. These types of patients had one thing in common. They were fired from clinic. Exiled into the world to find another poor provider never to be allowed in the doors of our clinic again. Conversely, if our patients weren’t happy with our care they could fire us as well, quit the clinic and seek out another provider.

In the correctional environment we are stuck with each other, I can’t fire my patients, and they can’t fire me. It’s like being a doc in some bizarre summer camp, we are all on the same canoe. To illustrate the contrast in this topic between the normal world and the parallel universe that is prison medicine a few recent patient encounters come to mind.

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What Matters

To those of us in the services, remember that today when you put on your uniform you serve for American ideals. To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies and to struggle honorably in the pursuit and defense of the ideals that built this country. The current socio-polictical landscape of our country does not alter those underlying core staples of what makes this country what it is, and where it has come from. No president nor policy should shake your pride in representing what America is meant to stand for and the value in serving those ideals.

Colombia Travel Guide

(Words by Liz, photos by Justin, opinions by both of us)

colombia

Since we’ve now been in South America for five months and my mom thinks the only neat place we visited was Galapagos, I thought a list of all the reasons Colombia is amazing was necessary.  We were in Colombia for a little over two months so we’re pretty passionate about the country and the need to visit it. Read more

The Not Safe Way to Tierradentro

Just like Google translate I learned the lesson yesterday that Google maps can’t always be trusted. After a sweltering few days in Cali, we wanted to take a lesser traveled route to the national archaeologic site of Tierradentro which was supposed to have some interesting underground tombs and caverns remnant of a pre-Columbian era civilization. The route looked simple enough. According to Google it was major interstates the entire way. As we headed southeast out of Cali we stopped in a small town for some coffee. As expected the spectacle of two gringos on motos with ridiculous luggage strapped to the back drew some looks. I struck up a conversation with one man asking about the bike and he inquired where we were headed. I showed him on the map that we wanted to go to Tierradentro. The only one turn on the route was in a town called Corinto, which again Google maps highlighted as a major interstate. He commented to our surprise that this small town was pretty dangerous  and we shouldn’t stop, and we certainly shouldn’t drive past the town due to numerous guerrilla activity. He emphasized pretty heavily to just make the left, don’t stop, and we will be fine. The first red flag had gone up. map to tierradentro Read more