This appeared the other day on the StockTwits list of bloggers.

Question: What do you call a D student who graduated medical school? Answer: Doctor

How do you know if the guy that gropes and tests you got an A or a D in med school? You don’t. It’s like boarding a 747 after the pilot went on a coke binge, killed his wife, left her on the kitchen floor, had a few Mimosas and then started up the engines to fly you over the Atlantic. It’s a trust thing, you have no control.

I always said if I had anything really wrong with me I would want Dr. House to do the operation as he is the only Dr. I could see myself trusting. Unfortunately he isn’t real so that ain’t happening.

Over the past year I have had some intermittent stomach pain. I chalked it up to a bad burrito or the occasional Big Mac. Lately though, the pain was more frequent, and over the last two weeks the pain which used to last twenty minutes, has duration of three to ten hours. The way I can describe this pain is simple. If you remember the last scene of Braveheart when Mel Gibson had his entrails ripped out, well, that’s how it feels.

So I did what I have never done. I went to WebMD because of extreme curiosity. My Mom had her gall bladder removed years back and that is what I thought it might be. Anyway after my search, I found that I had about ten out of ten of the symptoms of gall stones. I knew it had to be gall stones.

I went to my Doctor the next day and described my symptoms. I told him that my Mom had gall bladder issues and I thought I may have the same thing. He looked at me thoughtfully and said ” I really doubt it, I think you may have really bad indigestion”. He sent me for a full abdominal sonogram and an upper gastro test which required me to drink about a pint of a chalk like substance.

After the test I described my symptoms again to this new Doctor in extreme detail. He was the” specialist”. He looked at me and said something that I never though an expert in this area would say. ” Hmm, I never heard of this”, he then asked “Do you have stress?” I responded that I was on wall Street for over twenty years, trade stocks and have two teenagers, what do you think Dr. Shit For Brains? No I didn’t call him shit for brains, but I wanted to.

Friday I got the results back. It was my gall bladder. Schmucks.

This is a minimally invasive procedure these days and I will have this useless organ ripped out in the next week or two. I just hope i don’t get the D student.

Obviously this chap is somewhat underwhelmed by the diagnostic prowess of the doctors in encountered. Using WebMD he feels rather superior, that based on matching 10 symptoms, although some of them might have actually been signs, although the distinction seems to have made no impression on our self diagnosing patient.

The tests he was subjected to, did actually confirm the diagnosis. Now further investigations, which are scans of various types, are all listed under further investigations, and are not diagnostic, rather they are confirmatory of an existing diagnosis [or not as the case may be] So all ended well.

Well possibly not.

The last sentence highlights the problems associated with a lay diagnosis, and unfortunately the doctor seems at fault here again: the gallbladder is very far from a useless organ. It has myriad physiological functions. The primary function being the emulsification of fats in the digestive and absorption process. Fats are a component of every cell in the body. They are particularly important within neural cells, which for this chappie, involved in the financial markets, is a rather crucial area. Of course the other major issue is the aetiology of the gallstones, what, why and how they formed. This pathological process that resulted in a gallstone, could and likely does, have a pathology that acts as an early warning to a more serious, or continuing pathology.

The one that immediately leaps to mind is excess estrogen. Yes, I know estrogen is a female hormone, but it is ubiquitous, and in the male with gallstones, is a prime suspect. The issue with estrogen levels that are high in men is the increase in cholesterol that they induce. High cholesterol levels lead inexorably to atherosclerosis, which commonly manifests as Coronary artery disease. Depending on other lifestyle factors, are you a fat bastard, are you a fat bastard because you are a lazy bastard guzzling beer, fags and high fat while watching a 3 hour football game on TV, can lead to what’s commonly described as a heart attack, add in some age, and you start to multiply the probabilities.

Now when I went to Medical school, there were indeed the A students, and there were the D students. I have to say the D students were pretty damn dangerous and should never have been unleashed on the public. In fact the whole Medical industry is dirty, so dirty that I have never bought stock in the industry, I may have daytraded a few issues, but never on an investment basis.

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