Monday, October 22, 2012

Hitting the books.




It's time to hit the books.

My American Board of Internal Medicine certification is up at the end of 2013. Hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since I last enjoyed this experience.

Back then, I was still in residency. All I had to do was complete my residency (no mean feat, that), get certified in a bunch of procedures, and take a 2 day exam (back then, still with paper and pencil). Now I get to experience the joy that is "Maintenance of Certification." This is comprised of earning 100 points in the MOC program. Some of the points have to be from clinical reading, and the rest have to be from "Practice Improvement Modules." These are, to put it kindly, a pain in the ass. They involve extensive chart audits.  Then surveys have to be sent to a bunch of patients. Then more and more have to be sent, since apparently people don't like to fill out surveys. Then you have to come up with all these improvement plans. Then you get to send out even more surveys.

You get the point.  It took about 9 months for me to complete my module.  All of that work had to be done in my "free" time, of which I have approximately none.

Now that I have my 100 points I can register to take the certification exam in April, so I've started my studying. Part of me finds this to be just another tiresome chore to do during an already busy day, but another part (the NERD part) finds it to be oddly comforting. Taking out the highlighters, making a study schedule... it's like slipping on a well-worn pair of pajamas and slippers. 

I know. I'm nuts...but it got me this far!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

May the Force be with you!



It's a happy day in the Nicholas household. My kids are finally moving out of their Cars phase and into the Star Wars phase. Apparently, this is a required phase of life for all American males. They boys watched Stars Wars for the first time a few weeks ago. The obsession now has a stronghold on my family.

They are being aided and abetted by Patrick, who is only too happy to support the Star Wars habit. As a matter of fact, he saved all of his old 70's and 80's toys in anticipation of this very day. They are all now living in the basement.


Yes, that's a real, live, complete Ewok Village that you see down at the bottom. Of course, some of those toys from the 70's can't compete with 2012 technology. Check out these lightsabers!



As you can see, they are fun for both the under- 6 and over- 40 crowd.  Admit it.  All of you.  You would have LOVED those lightsabers as a kid. Anyway, this Star Wars phase has led to me saying a whole lot of sentences that I never thought would come out of my mouth. For example, "No using the Choke Force at the table!" and "Your brother is NOT a Tauntaun!"

So, anyone in the market for about 50 Lightning McQueen cars?