24 October 2009

Crawl for the Cure

Whoa, been a busy week! Haven't had much chance to report on the weekend! (last weekend that is.)

Last Saturday, the boys and I headed to Rausch Creek Offroad Park in Tremont, PA to attend the NJ Jeeps Crawl for the cure to benefit Breast cancer research.


It was a muddy day, and actually snowed in the morning, but the trails were awesome.

The boys were eager to mount up and head out!

We took a position near the end of our column. We had picked a group that was tackling intermediate trails (We have no trailer, so we did have to keep the jeep in good enough condition to drive home.)

Our group of one YJ, three TJ's, two XJ's, our JK, and an old flattie was expertly led by Jen from NJ jeeps who soldiered on even after she broke her front axle spider gears on a rock obstacle.
The event was a huge success. There were about 300 participants riding in 150 rigs. We finished the day with a barbecue in the rain, and the boys even won a gift certificate to Hyline Offroad
We all got a kick out of the pink Crawl for the Cure jeep!

For the troops (8/365) Volunteer in the Hospital

A wonderful way to help out troops and veterans at a time when they really could benefit from a helping hand and a smiling face is to volunteer at a military hospital or a Veteran's Affairs Hospital.

There are MTF's and VA hospitals across the country, so chances are one is a short drive from your home.

There is a good list of MTF's on the wounded warriors website:


Each will have it's own process for registering to volunteer. Here are the guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC


You can register to volunteer in a VA hospital and find one near you at the VA website:


Wherever you help, it will be needed and appreciated.

During seven years of residency at Yale New Haven Hospital, I was in and out of the VA hospital in West Haven. I can recall three New Year's Eves spent watching the midnight fireworks over New Haven Harbor with the veterans on the surgical wards on fourth floor. Most of the vets we treated were WWII troops who were being treated for lung cancer, colon cancer, and diabetic feet. The stories they told were amazing. I would go into their rooms to check the blood pressure in their ankles, and come out an hour later having heard a first person account of the beaches at Normandy. I got far more from them then I ever could have given.

21 October 2009

For the Troops (7/365) Visit a museum

A scene from the Newseum

This weekend, I attended a reception for alumni of the Children's National Medical Center
where I received my training in pediatric surgery. The reception was held in the Newseum, on Pennsylvania Av. in Washington DC. Wandering through the museum, I was amazed to see how our military is woven into the story of our country as told in the newspapers.
There were papers dating back to the Civil war that brought news from the front to citizens in towns and on farms. The horrors and victories of World War II were writ large in the papers of the times. A section of the Berlin War and a guard tower spoke of the heroism of the Berlin Airlift and the many troops deployed around the world during the Cold War. Exhibits showed how reporters embedded with the troops gained a first person account of war and an uninhibited look at the lives of soldiers.
Visiting this museum gave me an appreciation of how historic events were once current events splashing across the papers, and how so many citizens before us have also felt the hopes and fears as our nation's young troops risked their lives far away. It felt like pausing to remember them honored them and that the visit was an act of appreciation in itself.
I photographed on thing in the Newseum, the hall devoted to September 11th, 2001 which housed the radio tower from the World Trade Center, a section of the cornice from the Pentagon, and a single American flag.

Visit any museum of American History in our country, and you will learn a fraction of the sacrifice made for us by our brave troops through the years.

20 October 2009

Pre-Med? Here's some (other) great blogs!


I received a very generous honor today: My blog was picked as one of the 99 best blogs for medical students over at the LPN to RN blog.

Here is the full list:


This is a great resource, and it is a great reminder of how all of us allied health providers are intertwined in our goal of the best possible care for patients. It was amazing to see the way everyone pulled together in the combat support hospital: Nurses doing doctor jobs, Doctors doing medical student jobs, Techs doing laboratory jobs; every troop just looking for a chance to pitch in. It makes me happy when I see that same can-do in our hospitals here at home.

Have fun!