August 2nd, 2010

When in Rome…

CardioExchange welcomes this guest post reprinted with permission from Dr. John M, a blog by private-practice electrophysiologist and CardioExchange member, Dr. John Mandrola.

In the quiet of the exam room, the patient’s cell phone obnoxiously chimes to life.

“Hold on a minute Doc, I’ve been expecting this text.”

You think, but dare not say, “You are kidding me, right?”

This scenario is just one of technology’s canker sores.

Undoubtedly, the new world of always-on communication has irreversibly redefined the rules of human interaction — for the worse, many have argued. The actual person-to-person phone call has become so yesterday.  This is not a judgment, just a matter of factuality.

The young of years get this. They have never known a TV with knobs or a rotary phone. While the middle-aged click with trepidation, and the aged do not click at all, the young click away fearlessly.  It is their medium. Texting a youngster seems to bring out their inner sweetness.  It is their language.

Like me, many of my peers in the medical world are equally enamored with this new communication realm.

And so it was recently when I tip-toed into the new world of “e-communication.” It was a risk.

Call me old-school if you will, but I still like to communicate with referring doctors.  Not just because it is right and respectful to do so, but it would be disingenuous to deny the tacit component of bragging.  “This curing with burning thing is so nifty, others would surely want to know,” is how most electrophysiologists roll.

The old way to communicate was to pull a busy referring doctor out of a room and speak over the phone.

A new way — which occurred to me spontaneously in a eureka-like moment — is to snap a photo of a photo, and send it along with the text message:  “Mr ***** had a successful ablation.”

Termination of tachycardia is still so sweet!

Is the referring doctor taken aback by this new form of peer-to-peer communication?  You be the judge from his text message response…

“BEAUTIFUL! Not sure which of us is the sicker: you for sending that image, or me for enlarging it and looking closely at it.”

Not all that beeps and interrupts is rude and impersonal.

It is a new world.  Might as well join in.

Huge grin!


One Response to “When in Rome…”

  1. I still remember the first time I heared about the pager system in the hospitals! Ah.. So yesterday!
    By the way, internal medicine residents get a mobile number that works in the hospital (you dont page them, you call them) which saves at least 30 sec every time somebody calls you, no more: “I will go look for a phone to answer the page”
    now if that mobile phone was made by bb, that would be sweet…