The Doctors Next Door

Guess What Week It Is...

Come on, try to guess. 

No it's not national mullet hairdo week

 

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                                                    or national ventriloquism week

 

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                                                                                       or national palindrome week...

 

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While these are equally ripe for recognition and, believe it or not, can be connected to the real recognition week to which I'm referring, none of these are the right answer.

 

 

 

It's....drumroll please...

               

 

 

 

It's

National Get Smart About Antibiotics Week!

I promise I'll get to how the other guesses are connected.  But first, why do we need this kind of a recognition week?  Well, it's important to realize exactly when antibiotics are useful and when they are not.  That's because when antibiotics are not useful they are nothing but harmful. Every time antibiotics are used to treat a non-bacterial infection, we assume some significant risks.  We risk contributing to the increasing problem of bacterial resistance and risk the possibility of serious side effects or allergy.

As the cold and flu season approaches, it's important for you to avoid these risks.  This "get smart" campaign is targeted both toward you, the patient, and healthcare providers.  That's because we doctors have been guilty of contributing to these risks through our prescribing habits.  It's actually easier and quicker for the busy practitioner to write the prescription for antibiotics than it is to explain why one is not needed. 

I have to say I've seen a positive shift in the public's understanding of appropriate antibiotic use since I first started practicing in 1992.  In those early years, I admit to often feeling frustrated in my encounters with patients that I believed to have a viral infection. I sometimes felt that despite my attempts to explain why an antibiotic was not necessary for an upper respiratory infection, I left patients dissatisfied when I failed to prescribe one.  In recent years, I've seen an enhanced understanding among the public as to the appropriate use and risks of antibiotics. 

I highly recommend some of the tools and information available on the CDC Get Smart webpage, such as:

So how are mullets, ventriloquism and palindromes related to Get Smart week? Well, I'm figuring the Mullet wears well even after your head has been plastered against a pillow for three to four days nursing your cold.  And if you were fortunate to have a cubical mate that was also a ventriloquist, he could have been a big help to you with that presentation to the board that you had to do while you had laryngitis last year and even though it's not National palindrome week, don't we all want our MOM when we we're sick?

See--I told you they were all connected.

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