Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Critical medical points

As my readers know, I go to great lengths to avoid other neurologists. I do this because this branch of medicine is just chock full of personality disorders.

Don't believe me? Allow me to introduce exhibit A, which was published in the January/February 2011 issue of Practical Neurology.

click to enlarge



Because, let's face it: It takes a really special kind of whackjob to write a letter complaining about using both the words "preventive" AND "preventative" in the same article. They even get bonus points for being able to cite an article from freakin' 1964 on such an important point.

p.s. You guys spelled "inconsistency" wrong.

39 comments:

Julie said...

wow who knew yak herders were so educated!

Pam said...

Too much time on their hands. Not enough patients.

The Kedrowitsch's said...

That is talent!

Packer said...

Note to self: Look up preventive and preventitive, also check for preventative.


Worries, what worries you makes me yawn.

Haven said...

E.Gads. That's actually pretty hysterical.

Anonymous said...

wrongly.

Anonymous said...

The first time I read that, I couldn't see any difference between "preventive" and "preventative" and assumed that the editors made a mistake in their clarification note. That would have been really something special.

Anonymous said...

Actually, that's something that drives me CRAZY. I could see myself weiting something like that, if I was close to retirement and had some time on my hands...and hey, what about "12 items or less"? It SHOULD be "12 items or fewer". WHAT ABOUT THAT?

ERP said...

Oriented or Orientated? Important questions these.

Teri said...

I work in the Department of Preventive Medicine and I can't tell you the number of times that we receive things addressed to "Department of Preventative Medicine" - even from our school's dean's office.

Anonymous said...

No matter how they spell it, my mother still says prevennative.

Hey, after failing to win my school spelling bee the third time, I thought I was in the esperanto camp, but now I see it has a bunch of consistent grammatical rules. What kind of language is that?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the editors clarificated the incosistency.

M3 said...

This is a wonderful example of Muphry's law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muphry%27s_law

webhill said...

There should not be a capital "P" in "preventive" after the semicolon.

Sarah Glenn said...

Try writing a mission statement sometime. :-P

Anonymous said...

Do you suspect that the person who pointed that out isn't even a doctor, but just someone who likes to read medical journals for fun?

Anonymous said...

What will the neighbors think?

Anonymous said...

The only thing that comes to mind is........ "Too Much Time On My Hands," by Styx.

The 4 R's said...

OK, so who's the one reading the clarification in the first place?

Matt said...

So, not being a neurologist... botox? For headaches?

Suzanne said...

I think I know what you mean. I chose medical transcription as a second career after my last child starts school this September and I have to say that I've never seen such a heated debate as that concerning spacing after a colon (one or two). And my first degree was in philosophy -- you know, where people kind of argue now and then :)

Melissa ~ Mom to 6 said...

I feel oh so left out. Where can I, a lowly commoner, get a medical journal to read? These esteemed gatherers of info should share with the little people like me because at 3am when I'm feeding my tiny babe, I need something to lull us both back to sleep!

wv: burefo ~ a burrito w/ an afro

jimbo26 said...

Surely " preventative " means you take it before the headache starts ?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Matt- Botox is effective as a treatment for chronic migraine, and is approved for such by the US FDA.

oceankisses said...

The person that wrote that may have had a migraine at the time. I know I get pretty "anal" when I have one. Never mind that I can't remember which way to turn when driving from my house to the grocery store 2 blocks away, but I sure can find those writing errors.

McDuckVet said...

Euthanize vs euthanatize.

Discuss

(Many, many of my fellow vets are grammar nazis.)

Anonymous said...

I'm an engineer and our union negotiating committee debated furiously if we should ask for a 2% raise or a 2.0% raise.

Anonymous said...

Oceankisses, you can READ when you have migraines? What with the photophobia, haloes and swimmy vision effects, I can't bear to have my eyes open when I have a migraine.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the same anal-retentive reader will write to them about "incosistency"?

Anonymous said...

The Clarification was the joke section of Pratical Neurology.

annie.dvm said...

As a vet student in clinics, I had to sit through radiology rounds where two clinicians argued for 30 minutes about whether it should be called "gastric dilation" or "gastric dilatation." I tried not to think about how much per hour my education cost...

webhill said...

Yo, McDuck - get a load of this:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1480662/pdf/canvetj00079-0010b.pdf

:)

Anonymous said...

So, annie.dvm, you haven't yet had to sit through the euthanased/euthanized/euthanatized debate? Lucky you. You have that to look forward to!
Then there are the ones who, knowing no Latin, think the singular of "sequelae" is "sequele" and the singular of "septae" is "septa". *Shudder*.

The Scrivener said...

Annie: I think your vet prof knows my path prof. He insisted on "dilatation;" "dilation" would be marked incorrect. Something about Latin prefixes/suffixes?

Dr. G: didn't you hear? In NEJM 1820;8(1):126, the authors clearly state that "incosistent" is preferred. You can check it out in the free archive!

Anonymous said...

melissa~mom to 6..... two of the most famous medical journals in the world are online at nejm.com and jama.com.......if these articles dont put you to sleep, nothing will

Brit said...

I think they wrote incosistency on purpose, just to spite the person who wrote to them in the first place.

CT said...

@Melissa: The British medical journal has a lot of open access articles.


There's also something like that in Dutch - voorkómen (to prevent) and 'vóórkomen' (incidence). These words are usually written as 'voorkomen' but only in medicine they decide to use these accents - at first, I never understood why, and now I'm so indoctrinated that I'm actually confused when there are no accents.

Ben S said...

But will they issue a correction for their correction?

RehabRN said...

Thank you Grumpy!

I had to reeducate one of our neuros as to what an immunosuppresive drug is and why I called it an immunosuppressant.

Darn it, that's what the pharmacy classification is, and you can't change it. He/she wanted to say that wasn't what it did.

Head planted firmly into desk...over and over.

Thank goodness they don't let him/her near transplant patients!

 
Locations of visitors to this page