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World Map

This post is going to sound a lot worse than it is, and I’m not sure how to remedy that.

I should preface the subject by saying that I love to travel. I like meeting new people and going places I’ve never been before, as well as seeing and hearing things that are new.

I find, however, my enjoyment to stop when I’m at work (major hospital in the Bay Area) and I hear my co-workers–and I limit my ire to those working at the hospital, not visiting it–speaking non-English to each other. I find this unprofessional. And this is from someone who wears scrubs with Superman symbols on them, which is a whole separate topic.

So I’m left trying to analyze my reaction.

Do I feel put out because I don’t understand the exchange? Yes, a bit I suppose. I do know I’m more comfortable overhearing Spanish than other languages, and that doubtless is because I can parse a teensy bit of it. If it’s something else, I find it more annoying.

I don’t think it’s too much to require English be spoken while on duty. I believe I would follow such an edict if I were to work in another country where there was a different primary language. There are certainly recognized needs to translate or assist people without English skills who are visiting the hospital, but aside from that the conversations should be limited to off-hours.

Am I way off base here? Is this needlessly draconian?


Some quick highlights regarding obesity here in the United States:

Chubby Middle

Nearly 280,000 deaths per year in the United States are attributable to obesity. Left untreated, obesity is related to the development of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, stroke, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, gallstones, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, vascular disease, depression, and certain cancers (breast, endometrial, prostate, colon).

Even modest weight loss can reduce the morbidity of obesity-related disease, such as arthritis and obstructive sleep apnea. For those at increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, such as persons with obesity and diabetes mellitus, intentional weight loss coupled with lifestyle change can significantly reduce mortality.

Standing on the corner

Nearly 25% of American adults are obese, and more than half are overweight. Obesity burdens society with significant costs, including more than $50 billion annually for direct care. With an additional $30 billion spent each year on weight-loss products and services, this disease accounts for over 5% of annual health care expenditures in the United States. (Shepard, 2003)

90% of people BMI of 30 have DM and cardiovascular disease. The percentage goes up as the BMI increases.

If you come from a family where no one is obese = 10% chance to be obese
If you come from a family where one parent is obese = 40% chance to be obese
If you come from a family where both parents are obese = 80% chance to be obese

Diner for Two

I just need to keep one or two of those things in mind next time I decide to clean my plate.

January 2007
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