I put this together one afternoon after reading a couple of interesting articles on NYTimes.com (Touch Matters and Foreign Born Docs Give Equal Care). These pieces offered me an easy excuse to make fun of Star Wars, my dad, and pirates — three great tastes that go great together. Fun was had with the green-screen for sure, although I didn’t realize one needed to iron the dang thing or suffer noticeable wrinkle-like effects in the video background (wouldn’t want Yoda to look even OLDER than his 900 years). Am I OCD to worry about this? I can’t answer that question…I’m too busy counting the pieces of lint on my shirt while lining them up perfectly in rows. Still, it’s hard enough to find time to make a video, let alone learn how to use an iron (I believe distilled water and chilled monkey brains are involved). So OCD be darned for now.

The article about the vanishing art and significance of the physical exam in medical practice piqued my interest quite a bit. I’m glad I have spell check, given my tendency to use words like “piqued.” It may the result of my extremely wack physical exam skills, but I’ve never found the darn thing useful beyond its perhaps crucial contribution to establishing trust and solidifying the doctor-patient bond (a voodoo placebo effect which I happily exploit). In fact, a prominent neurologist at UCSF (where I trained as a medical student) once told me that he made it a point of listening with his stethoscope to the skulls of his headache patients.

Believe me, from a diagnostic perspective this is an exercise in tomfoolery (unless there’s a gnome in the dome making a detectible headache-inducing ruckus, a possibility which we discount at our peril). But his patients seemed to benefit from the perceived attention to detail and the feeling that every possibility was being investigated. Additionally, the laying of hands is often a healing act in itself (unless of course you are laying said hands on Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man character; this instead leads to much wailing and gnashing of teeth). What was I talking about again?

Oh yes, the Caribbean. Bottom line: I know little to nothing about our Island brothers and sisters beyond that which I learned on the Disneyland ride. But I know that pirates are almost always funny, and therefore must be deployed when the need arises. Walk the plank…to chuckles, with ZDoggMD! WTF? Forget I said that.

Can’t forget my dad though. Insane Indian doctor dad, foreign medical grad and clinical superstar. I can’t write much here for fear that he may read it. Suffice it to say, he saw this video and his main criticism was, “I can’t believe you would suggest that my outstanding physical exam is so indeterminate as to warrant the silly hedge phrase ‘suggest clinical correlation.’ Also, you should have worn a pirate hat with that patch.”

Arrrrr…enjoy the video, landlubbers!

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