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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

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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!

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