Grand Rounds Killer Posts

It is with great honor that the Life in the Fast Lane team and the Utopian College of Emergency for Medicine host this weeks Grand Rounds Vol. 6 No. 45 on August 3rd 2010.

The theme for this edition is ‘Killer Posts‘. We asked the MedBlogosphere to trawl their blog archive and dive deep into the soul of their writing to find their best; most inspirational; clever; witty; well-researched; head-turning; gut-wrenching; magnificent; glorious requiem of a post…and they did! Furthermore, each author has chosen their preferred deadly Aussie critter, and we have coupled each blogger accordingly…

Marine Life

irukandji syndrome Irukandji Syndrome (Carukia barnesi)this ‘small yet deadly’ jellyfish was chosen by bongi from other things amanzi, a general surgeon working in the notorious South African province of Mpumalanga. his post “captive“- defines an icu story that could only happen in south africa.
Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri)
Leon Gussow from The Poison Review (TPR) put his toxicological talents to task in solving one of the great Botticelli Art mysteries – it’s the squirting cucumber!(of course)…Jacqueline from Laika’s MedLibLog has chosen her “Merck’s Ghostwriters, Haunted Papers and Fake Elsevier Journals” where she turned clog-wearing detective to shed light on The MECC-character of  “Excerpta Medica’ (the division of Elsevier responsible for the Journal).
The Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
Neil O’Connell
of Body in Mind chose ‘Big, big shark‘ and submits post just as big and out of the blue detailing an amazing story on “Chronic back pain – when research comes out of the blue
Chris Langston, program director of the John A. Hartford Foundation writes a great post about ensuring physicians are competent to care for their large and growing numbers of older patients – “But I See Dead People Everywhere
Ryan DuBosar
of the ACP Internist blog opines on the requirement of biological science to become a physician in “Don’t know much biology
Elaine Schattner, M.D. of Medical Lessons chose the shark in honour of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and includes a great post “On Precious“. This post considers what doctors and patients can learn from popular culture and the value of every human life.
Blue-Ringed Octopus (genus Hapalochlaena)
Anne Marie Cunningham of Wishful Thinking in Medical Education loves the BRO and submited “Why I think I am a patient and not a consumer” – as her killer post – because of the comments… citing “No interaction: no point
How to Cope
writes “As I host a blog about How to cope with pain, all Australian creatures appeal to me…think of the pain a jellyfish can cause! However, the blue-ringed octopus is the cutest, so he gets my vote”. How’s post “Do You Practice 2 Types of Mindfulness for Pain?” outlines mindfulness as a specific meditation exercise, and as a way of approaching the world…
Bedside Manner includes a post on “Interesting Methods to avoid Burnout” written by Julie Rosen and edited by Jamie Rauscher relating to how physicians can reduce medical errors.
Blue ringed Octopus

Spiders and arachnids

Redback Spider RedBack Spider (Latrodectus hasselti) @rlbates from Suture for a Living has an aversion to all things RedBack related…yet copes with nerves of steel when confronted by the gore of a “Ring Finger Avulsion

Sydney Funnel-web Spider (Atrax robustus)
Emma from Sharp Incisions includes a great piece on the “Double-edged Sword” and writes “I have recently moved to Sydney, and I fear the SFWS more than the foot-long cockroaches they seem to have here. Fortunately, my closest encounter with a funnel-web is the one preserved in plastic in the ED to help spider-bite victims identify the culprits – and even that’s bad enough”.
Henry Stern writing for InsureBlog includes the insightful “Doc’s Behaving Badly: The Note on the Door“. In this post, he relates his own (disappointing) experience with a physician who ups and leaves without so much as a whisper.
scorpion ScorpionKimberly Manning, MD of ACP Hospitalist recounts a touching story of “Salt in the Wound

DrShroom of the KnifeMan was busy moving house, so we gave him the scorpion to march to his favourite post “Let there be Drums

Strange Creatures only Found in Australia (The Stuff of Australian Legend)

Fat Australians Fat AustraliansDrRich from Covert Rationing Blog had a hard time deciding on the most deadly Australian animal. He was torn between the venomous blue ring octopus (sentimental favorite) and the Australian brown snake (being afraid of even benign snakes, let alone Australia’s biggest elapid killer). In the end he decided that the deadliest Australian animal around is the fat Australian and submitted this great post on “How Fat People Reduce Global Warming
Kylie MinogueDr James Baker is a child/adolescent psychiatrist in Dallas writing at James Baker MD and provides us with a great post emphasising why “ADD is way-overdiagnosed”

The Australian Med Blogger

Happy from The Happy Hospitalist thinks the ANZ MedBlogger is deadly! Unfortunately his post “You Are Living In A Medicare Tomato: Government health care through the eyes of a tomato”… was too good not to put in …

Kylie Minougue MMA
Mel Herbert MD is an ex-Aussie who fears the Great Aussie Sheilathe most (don’t we all!).Mel is host of EM:RAP and and is the undisputed flyweight champion of the world when comes to emergency medicine edu-tainment.
Mel has uploaded his favourite episode (number 53) to YouTube to share in this edition of Grand Rounds… it’s a ripper!

Birds and the Bees

cassowary The Cassowary
Dr. Charles from The Examining Room of Dr Charles is currently running a medical/scientific poetry contest with about 80 entries received so far he includes some of the highlights of the contest so far.
DrC also writes “I’ve been to Australia for a month, it was one of the best trips of my life! I must say I fear the Cassowary the most. Driving a rental car through territory inhabited by this endangered bird is frightening… at any moment you might extinguish another precious bird’s life, not to mention drawing the fire of environmentalists and rental car companies!”
Check out what the locals think of the Cassowary
The Magpie
Dr Val and Dr. Steve Simmons writing for Get Better Health suggest the Magpie as a fearful Aussie bird…”because they go for the eyes. That’s just cool.”

On a lighter note they provide a great post on “Career Counselor? Thoughts On Becoming A Doctor

The European Honeybee According to Vancouver Psychologist Will Meek, PhD it is the Deadly European Honeybee which we should be most fearful of…and he is backed up by the Australian Geographic.

Dr Will, however gives us hope as he talks about dealing with anger, resentment and revenge in his post “How to Forgive“.


Platypus…more deadly thank you think! (The males have venomous spurs after all)
Medical Resident from A Medical Resident’s Journey chose the platypus and provides us with a thoughtful and poignant post “A Lonely Calling“.
Another caring soul, Robin (@staticnrg) from Survive the Journey provides us with a moving post “Stars Go Blue“. Robin justifies her animal choice…

“Why, the platypus, of course. Those of us with Cushing’s often feel like and are treated as if we are a weird conglomeration of parts which do not go together in the “normal” world.  Nothing typifies this better in Australia than the platypus, although there are quite a few which come close!”

Dr Ves Dimov of Clinical Cases and Images: CasesBlog chooses the Kangaroo and provides us with “5 tips to stay up to date with medical literature“.
NWS from the Notwithstanding Blog provides us with a post which critiques a recent proposal in the American Journal of Ob-Gyn to restructure the way in which medical school tuition is paid, with an eye to reducing the burden on medical students. NWS chooses a different kind of kangaroo from Dr Ves: the genetically modified kickboxing kangaroo paratrooper…

“When I was in high school, I did Model UN. The last day of any conference would usually be devoted to frivolities such as ambassadorial kidnappings, “superlatives” resolutions, general socializing, and of course, threats and declarations of war. During one such session, the delegate representing Australia threatened to level Japan with an army of ‘genetically modified kickboxing kangaroo paratroopers‘ – now that’s scary!”

Brush-tailed Rock wallaby The Brush-Tailed Rock WallabyJill of All Trades, MD has chosen the Brush-Tailed Rock Wallaby because

“like family medicine they are dangerously close to becoming extinct due to lack of predator control and loss of habitat“.

Jill of all trades has provided an excellent post detailing “5 “Bueno” Tips on How to Learn Medical Spanish“.

The WombatJohn Schumann, MD of the GlassHospital chooses the ‘deadly wombat‘ as his feared creature (“I know they may not be killer, but i love the idea of them…”) and contributes a terrific article “A Good Death” in honor of his 2nd most read post ever; and a recent big article by Atul Gawande in this week’s New Yorker magazine. hairy nosed wombat
Tazzie Devil Tasmanian DevilJay Norris of the Colorado Health Insurance Insider loves the Tasmanian Devil as he “watched a lot of Looney Tunes growing up”. Jay presents a great post on “Why is the Cost of Health Insurance Rising So Fast?”

We’re too fat and we overuse our healthcare system. [...] We’re getting fatter; we have the wrong idea of what health insurance is to be used for and usage of the system has increased dramatically.

Yowie Hunter..Naturally we turn to a madcap Aussie Ian Miller (aka ImapctedNurse) to bring a real sense of fear and dread to this edition of Grand Rounds… the fear of the unknown – “The Yowie“.

Thankfully Ian also provided us with a fantastic post – “Musical directions for a nurse

Nursing, like music, is a science best served as art.


Reptiles and Amphibians

I thought there would be more support for snakes being a feared animal in Australia – after all we do have most of the top ten ‘deadliest snakes in the world‘…if you all really think they are so ‘cuddly and cute’ you should check out the Snake bite envenoming challenge…and get back to me!

Western Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidota) Western Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidota)Ed Pullen of fears “the ‘Taipan’ the most – I just don’t like snakes!”. Despite quivering at the prospect of an elapid encounter Dr Pullen managed to submit a great postCan’t Find it in there Doc?”
Common death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus)Paul F. Levy of Running a Hospital fame thinks the Common Death Adder (known to some as the ‘Life Subtractor’) is a bit scary…”- with a name like that, how can you go wrong!” Paul includes a great post “Blackberry Cold Turkey” and goes on to say:

“…by vote of the internet public, this is the post that has received the most exposure of all I have written in 4 years. I offer it in the spirit that the wisdom of the crowd decided what I should send you. It seems even more relevant today…”

common death adder
salt water crocodile Salt-water Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
Bruce Campbell, MD writing for Reflections in a Head Mirror presents and wonderful literary post – “Chocolate and Liquor“.

On the unsavoury matter of the crocodile – Dr Campbell has included “a photo of a crocodile my son took while in Australia last year during a semester abroad at Macquarie University…Looked pretty dangerous to me!”

Spencer’s burrowing toad (Opisthodon spenceri)
Heidi Allen writing for “Heidi Allen digital strategy” has sent in an interesting post on “Physicians in Social Medicine” where explains how Social Media has provided her with the opportunity to listen to the conversation, and observe the musings of healthcare professionals. Heidi chose the toad..

“..because any toad which chooses to live in the desert waiting for rain is plainly ridiculous…and because Spencer found it! Would you rather encounter that in the lonely outback, or a cute brown snake? I rest my case.”

Opisthodon spenceri
Pauline Hanson Pauline Hanson@Captain_atopic from Captain Atopic : Degranulated writes:

“My most feared Deadly Aussie Animal is the “Pauline Hanson“, which leads out, by a nose, the wombat.”

On a deadly serious note he has submitted a killer post, recounting his near-death experience following an acute anaphylactic reaction. This post is the first in a series of three riveting posts.

…and remeber to tune into Grand Rounds next week (August 10th) over at Dispatch From Second Base. Instructions and theme details can be found on the post “You are invited to Grand Rounds!“.

Print Friendly


  1. Jamierauscher says

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for including our post! This was the most fun I've had blogging! Lots of great links too.