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History and Telemedicine
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle
Around a week ago, my mother introduced me to a work friend with the descriptor, “she works on Facebook all day long.” I wasn’t quite sure what to think about that, because my mom seemed pretty happy to tell someone that I haunted the land of Farmville and her friend seemed equally impressed that my mom hadn’t completely created me as some figment of her own imagination. Left between a rock and a hard place, I just smiled and parroted back a paraphrased version of the “my daughter plays Mob Wars all day every day” introduction that my mother had provided to her friend. Then I took one of those slow motion, 300 style Zack Snyder moments to really consider everything that I do in an average day and just how many leaps (and bounds) beyond simply writing about telemedicine on Facebook it all actually is.
300 Spartan warriors, a fictionalized Battle of Thermopylae and the modern use of technology to allow a Tampa doctor to treat patients on the other end of Florida seems a stretch but it isn’t all that odd. The tie that personally binds it all together is history, one that stretches back to the year 300 BC (roughly) when the Ancient Greeks began to use scientific observation and logic to understand disease. I’m a historian at heart, meaning that my personal love for words will always find a very definite leaning toward the “how” (or the foundation) of every subject that I work with. That’s why I like to look back to events like Thermopylae, and understand that the basic knowledge of disease never could have saved the Spartan warriors lost in battle whereas centuries of knowledge built since then make it possible for a Tampa nurse to understand symptoms from 90+ miles away. I can recognize that the gained knowledge would be looked at as magic, potentially even lies, in 480 BC and now we take the ability to diagnose an illness over the telephone (telemedicine) as just another part of life.
Do you still not quite understand what I’m discussing?
The discussion of telemedicine, medicine or even the idea of simple scientific observation can’t live in a vortex of “we’ll just get it right by going with what we think might be right.” All of these subjects, as well as every single topic that you personally can find in an encyclopedia or on Wikipedia, finds its foundation in the dusty but oh so very important pages of history. My job is to know HOW we managed to navigate beyond treating the Black Death with self-flagellation (whipping yourself), to a point in time at which I can personally stay in my pajamas when I need to talk to a doctor about my bronchitis. I love what I do, and I’m passionate about knowing even the ridiculous things like that a professional Tampa doctor is always going to fight against the incorrect use of a caduceus to brand his or her profession.
Slow motion Battle of Thermopylae moment complete, and mother staring through me like I’m a drooling idiot, I realized that I’m actually responsible for a lot more than simply putting words on the Facebook page located at http://www.facebook.com/md247dotcom. My MD247 “official designation” is to know the past, the present and the future of telemedicine as well as to know the same for the overall field of basic medicine and its application to all of you. My job is to make sure that we get the things that we write about correct, in order to ensure that we NEVER simply live in a world where someone allows that spear wound to fester or their ulcer symptoms to just go unchecked. In other words, I need to respect the past and avoid making the incorrect and inopportune mistakes that others have made in an effort to create something cool/revolutionary or even just something awesome to look at.
I adore being able to use my knowledge of the past to avoid making mistakes, as well as putting the same skill to the test and win the approval of Tampa doctors who think the caduceus needs to be used correctly. My job is to give MD247 the same brilliant and shiny wrapper to match the delicious, yet healthy, treat that is available to all kinds of people ALL over the United States. I love what I get to do!
Pardon me, it’s time for me to get back to Farmville.
Posted by: Michelle Germann
Created on: Sat 23 June 2012 14:55
Last modified: Wed 17 October 2012 14:16