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skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com

Wednesday, 01 October
Skot Presides Over The Table

I'm in the midst of work Gehenna; we have our biannual group meeting going on, and hundreds of doctors and nurses from around the country have descended like locusts on Seattle to come talk about our bread and butter, cancer. Specifically, we talk about how not to cure it: I mean, Jesus, we don't want to lose our jobs. Our most recent plan was to pump the home offices of the National Cancer Institute full of poisonous spores. Those crazy fuckers want to see a cure! Wackos. We'll take care of them.

Today's groovy activities included me, little old me, heading up what's called a "practicum table;" that is, I presided over a table with eight brand-new CRAs (Cancer Research Associates--nurses or clinicians who are responsible for dealing with clinical trials and the patients who sign up for them). They hung on my every boring-ass word as I tutored them on the finer points of toxicity assessment, tumor response guidelines, and data submission requirements. It was endlessly stimulating. Or, from their perspective, simply endless.

"When you send in the patient data," I gravely intoned, "don't forget to include some beaver shots. Otherwise, I get bored and shred the whole chart."

"Really?" One of them interjected. "Of ourselves?" She looked alarmed, but not as alarmed as the male participant at the table.

I reassured her. "Of course not," I said soothingly, "you're really ugly. I want pictures of hot chicks."

Okay, not really. But without a fantasy life, what's worth living?

But while I was presenting some valuable information on tumor assessment--specifically, the importance of consistency and accuracy of good reporting--I had an interesting question from one of the participants.

"What if I get a report from a radiologist and it's not complete for reporting according to your guidelines?" She looked kind of queasy.

"Tell him (or her) to amend the report so it falls under study guidelines for reporting!" I confidently shot back.

"What if they refuse to look at it again?"

I had never heard of such a thing. I asked, "Has this actually happened to you?"

She looked shy and sad. "Sometimes they don't want to re-review the scans."

This just pissed me off. I said, "Tell them to call me. Give them my phone number."

"Why?" she asked. "They don't have to answer to you."

"You're right," I replied, "they don't. I just want to describe why they get to explain to their superiors why their institution won't be working on clinical trials any more."

There was a brief silence. Then another CRA spoke up.

"Can I call you with all my questions?"

Not every day is bad.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


OK, you're really liking the phrase "beaver shot" this week. Not that that's a bad thing. I'm just sayin', is all.

Comment number: 003669   Posted by: TheBrad on October 2, 2003 12:53 AM from IP:

Wow, you're so right. I hadn't even realized it until you mentioned it--I'm fantastically punchy this week.

As a way of apology, next week I will turn my focus to the phrase "danglin' wangs."

Comment number: 003670   Posted by: Skot on October 2, 2003 07:34 AM from IP:

Salt meet wound. I spend eight hours transcribing radiology reports, just to come home and read this confirmation that radiologists really are universally assholish. "Doctor, is this word really 'mehuga' or did you sneeze?" is met with a cold glare that convinces you that the machines are a ruse, and they can actually SEE THROUGH YOU.


Comment number: 003671   Posted by: Snarffalita on October 2, 2003 07:52 AM from IP:

Not even along the same lines -
Eric Stoltz's birthday was Sept. 30th. Yep, saw that in the local paper while I was eating cereal this mornin'
September 30th 1961
Did you send him a card Skot?
Have you forgotten about him already?! (makes clicking noises with her tongue)

Comment number: 003672   Posted by: heather on October 2, 2003 08:53 AM from IP:

You go, Skot!

Comment number: 003673   Posted by: kotimarie on October 2, 2003 08:57 AM from IP:

Eric Stoltz is 42? Jesus christ, I never realized.

Comment number: 003674   Posted by: Ryan Waddell on October 2, 2003 08:58 AM from IP:

The Stoltz in '04 campaign was met with such a tremendous wall of indifference that I got discouraged. Last I checked, the only candidate he was polling better than was Kucinich, so I kind of let it go.

Comment number: 003675   Posted by: Skot on October 2, 2003 09:46 AM from IP:

I've come to realize -- through grave and thorough study -- that cunningly placed beaver shots can brighten all manner of otherwise pedestrian presentations. I commend you for sticking to your principles.

I work in softare development, and am therefore subject to dizzying areas of utterly dry technical documents. Documents so purposefully and antagonistically dull that ordinary humans weep and flay themselves while reading. However, with the insertion of just a few cleverly formatted shots of glistening pink flesh, these tomes of unutterable sorrow and wailing become almost bearable. And they're mighty handy in the can as well.

I didn't really just type any of that, did I?

Comment number: 003676   Posted by: ColdForged on October 2, 2003 12:27 PM from IP:

Holy fuck, I spel gud.

Comment number: 003677   Posted by: ColdForged on October 2, 2003 12:29 PM from IP:

Okay. Cancer patients everywhere love you. NOW are you happy???

Comment number: 003678   Posted by: debbie on October 2, 2003 10:13 PM from IP:

I suddenly have a new mission for cheering up those who need cheering.
(Where is my camera....?)

Comment number: 003679   Posted by: dayment on October 3, 2003 10:40 AM from IP:

I bin away for a while. A fairy told me to look you up when I got home. It worked and I chuckled. I needed this, because I was ill-advised to spend my Friday evening in a tiny cellar restaurant (highly recommended) where a San Franciscan murders good ingredients. I should have known. A decent SF chef would have stayed over there and not come over here. Be warned: potato, parsnip and vanilla mash doesn't tickle anyone. 'Specially with what appeared to be pan-dried partridge with Merguez Marmite. Pharmacutical companies, however, might learn a thing or two.

Comment number: 003680   Posted by: Sarah Byrne on October 3, 2003 05:30 PM from IP:

I do not understand why you have decided to turn IP into a hard core porno site, but me and my friend JESUS disaprove! Change your ways Skot!

Comment number: 003681   Posted by: Johnny13 on October 4, 2003 10:50 AM from IP:

Salt meet wound.

I hope you don't expect me to shake hands.

Comment number: 003682   Posted by: salt on October 4, 2003 11:04 PM from IP:

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