on the cheap and sleazy side (www.cheapandsleazy.net)
"How to Avoid Getting Your A*SZ Kicked on Medicals"
Meet Greg Adelson.
You might recall this photo from my article, "The Art of the Forum."
Greg has been a court reporter since about 1968. He's worked as a freelancer, an official, and a firm owner, so he's racked up quite a bit of knowledge by now ... and has written a good amount of medical testimony over those years.
Sometime back, I discovered Greg's post on Readback.org entitled, "How Do I Not Get My Ass Kicked On Medicals." Naturally, I immediately bookmarked it, and when I read a question from someone asking how they should handle medicals, I would post the link.
Eventually, I decided that I should ask Greg if I could put his article here on Cheap and Sleazy (yay! Progress!) ... and then I forgot about it ... for about six months or so (boo!).
Since you're reading these words, you have a good idea of how the rest of this story goes: I e-mailed Greg and asked him if I could publish his article here on Cheap and Sleazy, and he said yes ... so here it is! Yay!
As for how to cement these to memory, I suggest you copy the table, paste it into a Word document, and print it, then go through it while checking your various dictionaries to see if you have these outlines in any of them. Any that you don't have, check to see if there are any conflicts with the given outline and add them to your new medical dictionary (you *DID* read "Dictionaries 'r' Us," right?), or modify the existing outlines to reflect what your dictionary already has.
From there, you can either use Mikey's article or, for the spreadsheet-phobes among you, there's always His Steveness's method. Doesn't really matter how you get these outlines into muscle memory, as long as you get them.
REPORTING ORTHOPEDIC DOCTORS
The reason I suggest getting a handle on reporting orthopedic doctors is because although we can report any medical specialty imaginable, we report the orthopedic doctors probably more often than any other doctor.
I want you to understand just a bit about me.
I have been reporting since I was 23. I went to Bryan College in Los Angeles. I guess you can say I am from the class of '68. I freelanced a little. I landed in court as an official. I worked in court for probably 10 years. Liked it, felt very comfortable, and then I got bored. I went to Hawaii and worked there for a while. Came back to Southern California, started Adelson Court Reporters in 1978. The mission was to keep myself busy and make more money than the average reporter. I accomplished that.
I had a diverse reporting practice. I was the official reporter of the Malibu court while doing depos at the same time. My judge retired and I moved on. After working very hard at my shop for 30 years, I started slowing down and decided to cash out of California and move to South Florida. I have developed a neurological condition in my hands. I have a tremor in my hands. I can no longer handwrite, and my translation is horrible. I started teaching about nine months ago. I do enjoy it. I am going to be 65 on the 21st of this month.
I thought it might be interesting to do this. Some of you can probably write circles around me on my best days, but for those of you who do have a hard time going out on these medicals, let's fix it. By the way, I am certified in California, Nevada, and I am an RPR. I tried to complete the merit before I retired, by my hands would not cooperate.
What I am going to do is make an extensive listing of terms that might come up in a deposition of an orthopedic doctor. Some of my outlines may not be as up to date as yours. What I would like to do share what you have that would make the briefs better or add some of the things that I haven't thought of.
Now, the only way to "fix" the problem is to work diligently on these outlines, developing some muscle memory where they become automatic. Probably take five of them a week. Put the briefs on a note pad and tape the note pad paper to the top of your machine while you practice some of the sentences you have recorded, and keep moving through the list five words at a time. Practice them at variable speeds. My tape player has a variable speed feature and so does my CAT software. Start them at a slow speed. You want perfect outlines. Then when you are comfortable, move the slide up to a faster pace.
Okay. Presently I am doing an orthopedic doctor, and they keep talking about cervicothoracic musculoligamentous sprain/stain. I mean, really? What a pain in the ass.
I mean, for God's sake. Can't they just say whiplash?
Well, it probably came up 15 times. That became KR*-PLS the second time I heard it. That is called "briefing on the fly." Sometimes I will just double stroke the first syllable. By the way, KRPLS is the way I write Christmas.
Anyway, I'll start on this project Saturday. I am kind of excited about it. I hope some of you will get enthusiastc about it and go out on a medical dep and feel good walking out of there. When you can really get it all down with a clean translation, you will feel like you are The Man (or The Woman).
Now, some of this stuff will be very elementry to some of you. I don't know what theory you have had, so I will explain some of the reasoning as we go.
|Coccyx||KOFX||(F IS USED AS AN S SOUND)|
|Degenerative||JAIV||(FINAL V IS FRB)|
|Disease||SDAOES||(SD stands for the des or dis prefixes)|
|Comminuted||KM-PBTD||(need wide keys for TD)|
|Competent producing cause||KPK|
|Competent and producing cause||KPANG|
|Echymosis - KMOESZ (NEED WIDE KEYS)||KOFX|
|Electrocardigraphy||TROKD/GRAEF||(GRAEF FOR THE SUFFIX GRAPHY)|
|Emergency room||M-RM||(RM FOR ROOM ON MANY WORDS THAT ARE ROOMS LIRM- LIVINGROOM, BARM - BATHROOM, BEDROOM - BERM, OPERATING ROOM - PR-RM)|
|Femur||FERM||(er and or endings written on first stroke out of order|
|Skeletal||SKLELGTS||(LGTS = itle ending)|
|Physical examination||SKALGS||(TP*-GZ for Phoenix folk)|
|Impairment||KBAIRMT||(KB represents the imp sound)|
|Care and treatment||KAIRMT|
|Reasonable degree of medical certainty||RAOEMT|
|Within a reasonable degree of medical certainty||WRAOEMT|
|To a reasonable...||TAOEMT|
|Within normal limits||WNL|
|History and physical||HIFL|
|Degree of medical certainty||GREMS|
|Standard of care||STRBG|
|Standard care and treatment||STRBGT|
Okay, guys. This is my list. I hope you will improve on it or add to it.
Now, as you remember from your school days, there is no easy way. You have to work diligently, which would be maybe 15 minutes each day to incorporate five of these in per week. If you can do it faster, great. But do it. That is what is facinating about our profession. We are always thinking, always learning. My hands don't even work anymore, and I am sitting here trying to think of ways to make all of this logical so you can remember it.
Anyway, good luck to you. I will pop in here from time to time and do things like this.