Good Morning from Scientopia!

Jul 09 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Hi! My name is Dr24hours. You can, if you're interested, find me full time over at Infactorium, and on twitter at @Dr24hours. I've super excited to be able to write and share here, in this big shiny space (You should see it here, it's amazing! The Scientopia Campus is alarmingly beautiful, all white marble, buttonless touch-pads, and genetically engineered helper-lemurs. Seriously. It's like "Oryx and Crake" without the calamity.). So I guess I'll give you a brief introduction to me, my work, and my life.

I am a systems engineer. I work in the field of health care delivery, where my fundamental interest is in studying and improving the complex systems which deliver care. And of course, the complex systems which receive care (people and populations). And how those two systems interact. I am currently working on building a simulation model to examine how clinical policy influences outcomes. And conversely, how demographic and other changes in the population influence demand for care in the clinical systems that serve that population.

I am also an alcoholic in recovery. I have discovered that this is an issue which has touched nearly everyone in every community I've ever participated in, to one degree or another. I write about my alcoholism because doing so is part of my recovery. However, it is important to note from the outset that I am not an addiction scientist, I am not a physician, and I do not have medical training. Please take all statements I make about alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery as opinion. Opinion only.

The means of my recovery is the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I know that some people find that group to be controversial. I do not speak for them. I am not an authority on AA, it's history, functioning, or organization (such as it is... it's a deliberately unorganized group.). I use that program and fellowship to stay sober. It works for me, as it has worked for millions of others. But there is no one way to recovery, and I am not here to debate the efficacy of AA vs. other methods or groups. I will write here about recovery and alcoholism, because it is a core aspect of my life. I'd also like to write at least one post about how we see alcoholics in our lives, and my experiences with people in science and academia upon their discovery of my condition. If I'm feeling really ambitious, I may to a post on interpreting some addiction literature from my perspective.

Which brings me to what I am going to spend my first week writing about. I am currently taking a short course in epidemiology, at a Midwestern school of public health. My class is on evidence-based decision making, and reading and understanding the medical literature. I received a small tuition and travel award to take a methodology course, and I decided to take this one because I work with physicians and epidemiologists, and I want to be able to understand their language and perspective better.

So I will be writing a few posts on interpreting the medical literature for non-physicians. Next week, I will likely be giving a primer on complex systems, and how they apply in the field of medicing. However, no ballet plan survives contact with the enemy (that's you!), so I can't say for certain how anything is going to go here. I know that I'm thrilled and humbled by this opportunity. I'd like to thank Doc Becca, and Scicurious specifically for encouraging me with this opportunity. By which I mean, when I came begging for the opportunity to write here, the mocking was (eventually) tempered with mercy.

I try to live one day at a time. Today I am taking the first class of the first course I've taken in about 7 years. Today I am beginning and exciting guest-blogging gig on a large and respected blogging network. Today, for the 1,604th day in a row, I've decided not to drink any alcohol. I don't know what tomorrow may bring, but my world is looking pretty wide-open. Welcome to my time at the Guest Blog. I hope you'll like what I do with the place.

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