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Categorized | Voices and Views

Roger on the Road

rogerheaderSomber anniversary

We’ve just come through the eighth anniversary of 9/11. Osama Bin Laden is still at large and the war in Afghanistan goes on. Hope springs eternal: maybe the coming year will bring good news.

Poor value?

The President’s speech to Congress this week on his plan for health care reform contained many specifics. We needed that, but what will happen now?

Over the centuries, our two-party system has worked. Too bad the health care debate has gone so far off track. The issue is extremely complicated; the number of people who really understand it would probably fit on the head of a pin. That makes exaggerations and outright lies easier to pull off.

The one thing that seems easy to understand is the need for change. As it is, the U.S. has the highest-priced health care system in the world. Despite this, according to the World Health Organization, 27 nations have a better healthy life expectancy than we do.

How can this be? Is it inefficiency? Greed in the American health care industry? Something else?

I wish we had more facts and less partisan rhetoric about such an important issue.

“Doctor will see you now”

Continued from last week: More (supposedly) actual notes in patients’ hospital records:

  1. She is numb from her toes down.
  2. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.
  3. Skin: somewhat pale but present.
  4. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.
  5. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  6. I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
  7. The skin was moist and dry.
  8. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
  9. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  10. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.


A second grade teacher introduced a career unit to her class by asking students what their parents did for a living. “Tim, you go first,” she said. “What does your mother do all day?”

Tim stood up and proudly said, “She’s a doctor.”

“Thank you, Tim,” said the teacher. “How about you, Amy?”

Amy shyly stood up and said, “My father is a mailman.”

“That’s wonderful, Amy,” said the teacher. “What about your father, Billy?”

Billy proudly announced, “My dad murders people, steals from them, and burns down houses.”

The teacher was aghast and promptly changed the subject to geography. Later that day she went to Billy’s house and rang the bell. Billy’s father answered the door. The teacher explained what his son had said and asked if there might be some logical explanation.

Billy’s father said, “I’m actually an attorney. But how can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?

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