Vic Niederhoffer writes: A query as to why doctors work 24 hour shifts sparked by a thread on the importance of human knowledge as compared to physical assets as a reason for economic resilience is answered here:

It's the same for the Cleveland Clinic where my Brother in law did his residency. When a family member had brain surgery the irony is he went there. I asked my father in law MD "why" we have this system and he called it "slave labor" and worse than his Army stint and VA duties 40 years ago because of the debts kids now have to take on.

After an hour of thinking about it, I said "yes, but the economic effect is to restrict the number of Dr's and surgeons, and it drives up wages. Then he went off on an Insurance and Medicare tirade, and he ended telling me he tried to talk his son out of the family business.

Then I had an MX injury that drove my thumb into my hand and shattered it. They said it was rare because it took a ton of force, literally, to cause that injury. I was laughing at the bill and doc said most anywhere in the world you would have never gained back full use of the hand. The doc went in with a scope and the focused scan to wire guide and pin the shatter back together. 6 months later I was riding. I was amazed. He said "yeah, in other western countries you would have lost full use and grip. In Russia you would have been a gimp for life." It's amazing the new technology.

In the Army you can go 100 hours with cat naps, and you can go weeks on 4 hours of sleep and not see ghosts. I imagine some of the training is from such disasters, so as to be prepared for triage with a few hundred or thousand wounded men, where it takes a few days of work to go from the near dead to the slightly wounded.

If I am ever in a 50 car pileup its good to know Docs int he ER can work 24-36 hours strait to get the job done.


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