Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (3)

Meeting Dr. Rob & Zippy

Blogging is a social hobby that has brought me many new friends. I suppose one could say that blogging is a modern form of “pen pals” – only more public, and with faster responses. The medical blogosphere (comprised of people who blog primarily about health topics) is small but growing rapidly. Those who have been blogging for 3 years or more have achieved a kind of patriarchal/matriarchal status within our peer group, and they can be depended upon to serve up interesting facts, commentary, and true life stories on a nearly daily basis.

Although I read about 70 medical blogs regularly, I have met only 2 of these bloggers in person. I met Ramona Bates, physicist, plastic surgery blogger, and quilter extraordinaire in Little Rock, Arkansas last year and even observed one of her surgeries in the O.R. She took me to a fried catfish bar with her hubby and I met her affable chocolate lab, Rusty - a sizeable dog who doesn’t take direction from strangers.

I have been a big fan of Dr. Rob Lamberts’ Musings of a Distractible Mind. Of all the blogs I read, his is probably the least predictable. Interspersed between insightful commentary of health IT and helpful clinical pearls, one will find diatribes about accordians, dancing-goat exposés, and warnings about mutant cucumbers. For those who arrive at his blog looking for health content, yet unaware of Dr. Rob’s tendencies, I can imagine that certain posts might leave them with a quizzical feeling.

So I wasn’t terribly surprised when Dr. Rob arrived at Revolution Health late one Friday afternoon carrying a small grocery bag containing a plastic lobster. My astute colleagues realized at once that this was the sign of a man who needed a beer – and he was immediately offered one at our in-office happy hour. I waited a few minutes for the beverage to take effect before I inquired as to the purpose of the lobster.

Dr. Rob has named his lobster ”Zippy,” and plans to have him sent around to various medical bloggers to be photographed in interesting places. He has created a website for these photos, and has a strategy for raising money for brain cancer associated with Zippy’s travels. I was honored to be one of Zippy’s first stops on the blog trail and will need to find some interesting photo settings for him in DC.

Currently dear Zippy is sitting on my desk top, confirming to colleagues that I must indeed be a woman of rather ecclectic decorative office tastes. I certainly hope that Zippy will develop a cult following for his good cause.

The rest of my time with Dr. Rob was most enjoyable – I had no idea that he was a Rochesterian (i.e. from Rochester, New York) as I have a secret fondness for people from that part of the world (hey, I married one!) We had dinner at a local Inn and Dr. Rob and my hubby gleefully discussed health IT interoperability initiatives. I listened with interest, and toasted to a couple of guys trying to make healthcare better for Americans – lobsters and all.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

You may also like these posts

Read comments »

3 Responses to “Meeting Dr. Rob & Zippy”

  1. rlbates says:

    Val, thanks for the kind words.  Looking forward to the photo tour with you and Zippy.

  2. Dr Rob L says:

    Imagine my thrill to get to see the palatial offices of Revolution health.  Zippy has e-mailed me (he has a Blackberry) and tells me you are a fairly wild bunch.  Keep him away from the beer, however, because there is nothing more difficult than a tipsy lobster.

    It was great to meet and greet.  It is great to get to know I have friends in such high places.

  3. PearlsAndDreams says:

    Awesome post!! Great to hear about the meeting. So very jealous!!!

    Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk a certain someone into going to see the specialist that he begged me to find, that you found for me …and we’ll get to meet some day!

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »