AUSTIN, TX – Several subspecialists at Brisket Medical Center have decided to weigh in on a complex case of fever of unknown origin. The basis for the decision is not driven by the thirst for knowledge. Instead, there is a scale just outside the patient’s room, and the patient’s hospitalist, Valentina Gutierrez, is looking for all the help she can get.
“Would you like to weigh in?” Gutierrez asked infectious diseases specialist Natalie Emmer.
“Why sure!” Emmer happily replied. She stepped on the scale and adjusted the balances. “Looks like I lost a few pounds, sweet! Consider a tagged white blood cell study. Have a great day!”
Gutierrez then spotted someone else out of the corner of her eye. “Would you like to weigh in?” she asked rheumatologist Craig Micklethwait.
“Sure, why not,” Micklethwait answered, as he patted his belly. Though initially hesitant to hop on the scale, he did anyway and was pleased to see he hadn’t gained any weight since the Fourth of July. “Phew! I was sure I gained a few pounds. Check an ANA, rheumatoid factor, ESR, and CRP. You should ask Heme to weigh in.”
Hematologist/oncologist Steve Otoko overheard the comment.
“You bet I want to weigh in!” he said, unable to contain himself. “You know, I’ve been training for a half marathon.” Otoko found out he had actually gained three pounds. He attributed it to gains in muscle mass. “I like the work-up you’ve done so far. But maybe a bone marrow biopsy if nothing else pops up. Thanks for letting me weigh in!”
Gutierrez’s scale was a hit. Everyone was weighing in: cardiology, pulmonology, nephrology, gastroenterology, general surgery, orthopedic surgery. Some subspecialists were happy with their weights, while others used the weigh in as a reminder to make some changes with their diet and lifestyle. Irrespective of the outcome, everyone wanted to hop on that scale. Heck, even ophthalmology and dermatology weighed in. (There ultimately was nothing to do and both signed off.)
Gomerblog asked Gutierrez why everyone was weighing in but no one has formally hopped on board.
“Easy,” Gutierrez replied. “I don’t have a boat.”