Monday, April 16, 2007

House of God

I've been catching up on my Bloglines this past weekend, and I was taken by a quote from Dr. Wes' post called, "Welcome to My World."
Remember the first rule of ER medicine: Take your own pulse first.
Of course, the quote is self-evident to most people reading this blog. But, to me, I've been racking my brain to figure out where I heard/read this quote before. Then, it came to me, House of God by Samuel Shem.

This is a great book and highly recommended to Doctor Anonymous blog readers and anyone else who likes reading medical blogs and medicine in general. The book speaks of the Laws of the House of God. And, for those of you who haven't read the book for the while, they are listed below. Enjoy!

1. Gomers don't die.
2. Gomers go to ground.
3. At a cardiac arrest, the first procedure is to take your own pulse.
4. The patient is the one with the disease.
5. Placement comes first.
6. There is no body cavity that cannot be reached with a #14 needle and a good strong arm.
7. Age + BUN = lasix dose.
8. They can always hurt you more.
9. The only good admission is a dead admission.
10. If you don't take a temperature, you can't find a fever.
11. Show me a medical student who only triples my work and I will kiss his feet.
12. If the radiology resident and the medical student both see a lesion on the chest x-ray, there can be no lesion there.
13. The delivery of good medical care is to do as much nothing as possible.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back Dr.A.
Thanks for the book recommendation. I do enjoy reading creative writing of physician authors. This is one I haven't read. I'll try to find it.

Rach said...

I haven't read this book, but I read the other one - Mount Misery, which also has it's own laws.
Shem is a great writer - he's highly recommended.

Barbara said...

I love that book. First got my hands on a copy during some downtime (ha!) in an ER back in '98. The doc there that day claimed to be a friend of the author. Enjoyed what I was skimming so much that I bought my own copy (and still have it). How many times have we referred to Gomers in the ERs? Countless.

Rositta said...

Last Sunday my pulse was 160 to 180, my mom's nurse in the hospital put that little thingey on my finger. She suggested I go down to the ER. When I did that I was told, 6 hour wait. I gave up and went home, not worth the wait said I, will I die, I sure hope not...ciao

Anonymous said...

I was recomended this book by a tutor whilst in my last pre-clinical year. It's opened my eyes to so much during the time I've been in clinical medicine.

Another book along these lines is Complications: A surgeon's notes on an imperfect science. by Atul Gawande, similar themes but from a surgeons perspecitve.

Both books should be compulsory reading for medical students.