It all started with a little television show called The X-Files. I was obsessed. Of course aliens are real and have been visiting our planet for decades! Of course the American government covered up the events in Roswell, New Mexico. Now, before my fellow physician colleagues out there call for a psych consult, let me be clear that I don’t really believe any of that. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to think that we, humans, are not alone in this vast universe, but I certainly don’t believe that we are being visited on a regular basis by other intelligent creatures from far away galaxies. Nor are select individuals being abducted from their homes and experimented on in spaceships. (Though, as an aside, have you ever been in an MRI machine? The bangs and clicks those machines make are startling similar to the sounds that abductees often describe. I’m just saying.) The concept of “We are not alone” is an intriguing one. One pervasive human trait is our fear of being alone. I think we pair bond for that reason (and of course to reproduce, but really I think, to avoid being alone). How can we be the only intelligent life in the universe? What makes us special? Was it happenstance? Divine intervention? A fluke?
Speaking of mish mash. On a trip to Montreal about 8 years ago, husband did some research on where to eat and what to do in the city. He found a little greasy spoon outside the city that had a wonderful reputation for something called the mish mash. Apparently this was the place to go to for a hangover breakfast. And that’s exactly what we did. The restaurant was called Cosmos. Run by a Greek family, the house specialty was the mish mash – fried mashed potatoes, bacon, sausage, eggs and anything else you wanted, all mashed up together. Seriously, it was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.
Shockingly, we found out a few years ago that Tony (top) was killed in his home, his son a suspect in the murder. So sad and tragic.
I started this blog in September, 2011. I was a month away from starting back to work after my second maternity leave. I felt like I had learned so much from experiencing pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum depression that I realized how much it helped make me a better doctor and wanted to share some of that experience. Little did I know that three and a half years later, I’d still be writing and would have close to 350 followers! It’s been fun being able to see where all my visitors are from. Some of you are thousands of miles away, others are just hop, skip and a jump from my back door, and some are from cities I’ve never heard of! Some of you are active contributors, others merely quiet observers.
Where to begin? It’s the end of my second week back to work. I am exhausted, yet exhilarated to be back doing what I love. My patients are wonderful. Everyone is asking how the family is, all are eager to see pictures of the little one, and I am happy to oblige as I can’t stop looking at their beautiful faces. I really am quite fortunate to have such a lovely, healthy, happy family and a career I love. I am truly blessed.
Then I got the dreaded letter from the College of Physicians and Surgeons informing me that I am up for a “peer assessment”. For the non-medical folks in the audience, this means that another physician will be coming to my office and reviewing my patient files. “Peer assesement is intended to be an instructive and collegial interacting that assists physicians in identifying opportunities for growth in their medical practice”. So, in other words, someone is going to make sure I’m not making it up as I go along. I know I don’t have anything to worry about, I follow the recommended guidelines and when I don’t know something, I usually ask a specialist for help. I take good notes that are pretty legible and for that alone, I should pass with flying colours!
Still, it’s awfully nerve-wracking. But then I found out that my colleague is also being reviewed and she’s been in practice for 20 years and is one of the finest family physicians I have ever known. I’ll go so far as to call her a mentor. She’s taught me a lot in the last few years, so if she does well, I’ll certainly end up with a passing grade. Right?
Anyway, so that was the big news this past week. Peer assessment. Greaaat. Sigh. I’ll keep you all posted.
In other exciting news, I am headed to Montreal at the beginning of November for the annual Family Medicine conference. I am going with three friends/colleagues, and we are planning wonderful dinners and an afternoon at the spa. And yes, of course, the conference as well. What’s even more exciting is that I will be solo for an entire 4 days. No husband, no kids. Just me, my credit card and Montreal!! Can’t wait!