Ferverish Debate

February 21, 2012 in Pet Peeves and Polls

Tell me I’m not the only one that hears this; “I never run fever, my normal body temperature is (insert any number that is less than 98.6°F).” Man, this really gets me heated up. As a student some professor or preceptor told me that a fever in an adult is 100.5°F. Being a good scut monkey, I believed them. To this day I tell my patients this very thing, and it burns me when they say some crap like “I never run fever.” This got me wondering if anyone else hears this and how do you react to it when you do? Also, it really got me re-thinking what is a fever? Do we need to reassess our definitions of normal temps? Do some people actually never run fever?

The Mayo Clinic Says a fever is “when your temperature rises above its normal range. What’s normal for you may be a little higher or lower than the average normal temperature of 98.6 F (37 C).” This definition actually makes sense to me, but in order to determine if a person is running fever you have to have some baseline numbers to know what their normal range is. Not very helpful in an urgent/emergent situation.

MedicineNet says “Fever is considered a temperature above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C).” This is very close to what I was taught in school. But does it hold true for all Homo sapiens?

So, I bring the poll to the people. I’d like your input on this.

Do you hear this in your practice?

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How do you react when you hear this?

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So what is a Physician Assistant anyway?

February 14, 2012 in General interest

One of the most frustrating aspects of being a PA is having to explain, to just about everybody, what you actually do. When I was in school the program directors and faculty brushed over the fact that a PA will need to be able to articulate their function in the clinic to patients. I naively thought this would be a random occurrence that was isolated to a few patients here and there.


I find that I have to explain what a PA does to patients at least 3-4 times a week. Add to that the 3-6 times a month that I break down what we do to non-patients (friends, family, acquaintances). I have even had to repeat the same explanation to the same patient twice, on two separate visits (He counts twice). As you can see, it starts to feel like nobody knows what a PA is or what we do. The scenario I see the most is when I walk into the exam room, introduce myself and in response I get the proverbial deer in the headlights look.
I stare at them; they stare at me.
On cue….3….2….1.
They ask, “What’s a PA?”

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