pick picks picking brain brains
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BOSTON, MA – Dr. Ramon Rodriguez is an incredibly brilliant neurosurgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and if there’s one thing he absolutely loves it’s picking other peoples’ brains.

pick picks picking brain brains
“Almost done, just picking at your brainstem now…”

“Hey John,” he asked his fellow neurosurgeon John O’Riley.  “Can I pick your brain regarding this case?”

“Why sure,” O’Riley replied.

After nearly 20 minutes of rigorous discussion, Rodriguez said to O’Riley, “Wow, I could pick your brain for hours.  Do you mind if I actually biopsy it?  How does that sound, John?  Do you mind if I physically pick your brain?”

“Why sure,” O’Riley complied.  He signed his consent and happily moved on with his day.  “Always good to see you, Ramon.  Your quest for knowledge is so infectious!”

Minutes later, Rodriguez ran into Dr. Mary Phillips of Palliative Care.

“Hey Mary, can I pick your brain for a minute?” Rodriguez asked.  “I just spoke with John, we thought we might talk to you too.”

“Why sure,” Phillips replied.

After nearly 30 minutes of intense debate, Rodriguez said to Phillips, “Wow, I could talk to you for hours, really dig deep into what’s in that noggin of yours.  Do you mind if I take a huge chunk of your cortex, maybe next Tuesday?”  Phillips was happy to oblige, so this conversation too ended in a consent for brain biopsy.

“Thanks, Mary, you’re the best,” Rodriguez insisted.

Phillips laughed.  “No, you’re the best!”  And then Phillips merrily went on her way.

Rodriguez is not only passionate and driven by knowledge, he is also one of the most beloved members on staff at BIDMC.  It’s not uncommon for a routine picking of the brain to lead to scheduled OR time.

“Oh sure, he loves to pick at my brain,” said infectious diseases specialist Rhonda Jameson.  “He’s taken six biopsies since 2012.”

Last month, Rodriguez’s curiosity piqued and his inpatient service was a collection of BIDMC attendings from every subspecialty: Cardiology, Dermatology, Endocrinology, ENT, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Hematology/Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Orthopedic Surgery, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, Urology, and Vascular Surgery, to name a few.

“Man, I love picking brains,” Rodriguez said to himself, wondering what subspecialty’s skull he could drill into next.

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