June 29, 2006

Spam is Evil

I've got around 70 spam comments throughout the blog. Please ignore any hot lesbian sex links for the time being.

Posted by Owlish at 04:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 22, 2006

Don't Anger the Mole People

Starting in 1962, the USSR started on a drill meant to reach 15 kilometers underground. Pretty odd..

H/T: Schumster

Posted by Owlish at 02:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 21, 2006

UTMB Downsizing and Increasing Revenues [That's the plan, anyway]

Galveston Daily News article here, the President of UTMB's message here.

Interesting bits from the President's speech:

The consultants didnít tell us anything we donít already know, although it wasnít easy to hear that we have serious productivity issues.

The Navigant group has proposed a target in the neighborhood of 1,300 full-time equivalents (or FTEs). However, until the SEC has evaluated the entity leadersí plans, thereís no way to say precisely how many positions will be affected or in which areas.

Weíre also committed to increasing the number of commercially insured patients we see and treat.

Tasty bits from the News:

Of the 15 entities in the University of Texas system, the medical branch has by far and away the largest ďadjustedĒ operating deficit, meaning the institution is spending more than the ongoing revenue itís taking in if the cost of replacing buildings and equipment is factored in.

Presently, about 85 percent of the institutionís clinical income is from patients with Medicare, Medicaid or some other form of government-sponsored care.

So, my questions would be:

1) How many of the patients treated are completely unfunded?
2) Of the patients with Medicaid or Medicare, or private insurance, what percentage of cases actually end up paying?

Both of these are problems that UTMB has been working on for a while, and maybe they've gotten better, but I don't know.

3) They've tried opening up exclusively private pay clinics in the past, with varying levels of success. But, there's a catch22:

Assuming the patient has the ability to go anywhere:
If he's initially being seen by a medical student or a resident, why wouldn't he go somewhere else? If not, if the medical faculty is as productive as he could be in a private practice, why the heck wouldn't the doc leave and make some real money?

It is, of course, more complicated than that. Some docs love teaching, or research, or interaction daily with collegues... There are advantages. But there are also disadvantages- you aren't your own boss, and sometimes can get assignments that have nothing to do with what you want to do.

4) They want to significantly increase income from research. But this requires time and energy, as well as skills that significant portions of the faculty don't have [writing a proposal for a national grant is difficult and specialized, and isn't really ever taught]. And the people with those skills are largely gone, at least in psychiatry. Except for the Chair and Vice Chair, anyway. A couple of other exceptions.

Interesting. I'm trying to find a listing of current psychiatry faculty on the website, and can't, even knowing various tricks.

Even more interesting, in an awards notice, Dr. Michael M. Stone is noted as co-director and lecturer for the psychotherapy curriculum for psychiatry residents. He's a smart guy and a great doctor, but if he's the best psychotherapist they have left, that's interesting.

Posted by Owlish at 06:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Not So Perfect Gentleman

Via The LlamaButchers:

You Are 68% Gentleman
You are definitely a gentleman. You're very considerate and you have excellent manners.
Occasionally, you slip and do something foolish... but usually no one notices!
Are You A Gentleman?

Some of these questions are a bit much. For Example, I usually tip 20%, but not if the service sucks.

Posted by Owlish at 04:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 20, 2006


2 posts in 20 days. Not really a sign things are worse personally, I think.

Helped my friend in Houston finish building his fence. It's more than large enough to keep in 2 insane dogs.

Recovered from the sunburn.

Laptop's still in moderately bad condition, which reduces my surfing time somewhat. As this is in some ways a good thing, I haven't gotten a new computer yet.

A friend's cat died. I considered running up to Dallas last weekend, but I didn't, partially due to Father's day.

Galveston has gotten some rain over the past 5 days, but not as much as Houston. Puddles on the ground, no flooding.

Looks like I'm heading to San Antonio this weekend, for the Alamo City Mens Choral Pride concert. When I'm going, not exactly clear. I may go to the St Arnold's pub crawl this Friday in Houston, or not.

Posted by Owlish at 01:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 14, 2006

Star Trek vs Star Wars

Picard needs a lightsaber.


Via INDC Bill

Posted by Owlish at 09:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 03, 2006


Yeah, I haven't posted in a while. My laptop's been dying, I've been helping to build a chainlink fence capable of stopping direct hits by Hummers for a friend, and I hauled a load of bits of a concrete sidewalk for my dad.

Busy, busy, busy.

Posted by Owlish at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack