Thursday, June 12, 2008
Alphabet (acronym) Soup Redux
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the NCCN Conference on Anal & Colorectal Clinical Care Guidelines. It was my first time attending a joint Pharmacist/Physician/Nurse/Mid-level education event and I must say... I was a wee bit worried that it might be too saturated with tedious bits of research and other physician-specific application. I was pleasantly surprised at how useful most of the lecture content was to my practice, and that Nursing Statistics 101 wasn't a complete waste of time.
This affair took place at the Bell Harbor International Conference center which is quite luxurious and conducive to a quality experience. There were large windows overlooking the harbor just behind the speakers (excellent for disguising the fact that you just might be daydreaming) super comfy, ergonomic chairs (good for napping) and truckloads of food at the back of the room. Seriously, I do mean truckloads of food. The conference hall attendants (or whatever you call 'em) changed out the 'breakfast' foods to gourmet snacks and candy at 10am. Just what every health care professional needs to help concentrate and feed the ever-growing belly while enjoying a sedentary 4.5hr extravaganza: chocolate covered almonds, Runts (the candy), multiple cheesy-type dips, and soda pop.
Towards the last hour, though...my tenacity for percentages, p-values, and correlations to quality of life indicators and survival outcomes failed me. I became lost in a quagmire of acronyms. Even though I knew 97% of them, trying to engage in new concepts while pinging through the acronyms became extremely annoying. It really shouldn't bother me that much, because acronyms are an every-day part of life in health-care. The more acronyms we use on a daily basis, the smarter we feel. But, there I was...impulsive and impatient from an over-indulgence in lattes and caffeine-riddled, fragrant black tea; feeling slightly aphasic and mischievous.
So as useful means to pass the time, I start making a list of acronyms that originally had a far different meaning to me...had a good chuckle along the way--maybe you will too.
1) BSC: "Babysitter's Club" is now "Best Supportive Care"
2) SOB: "Son of a b#t%h" is now "Short of Breath"
3) CEA: A form of vocal-warm up for choral singing... is now "Carcinogeno Embyronic Antigen"-a tumor marker
4) DOE: "Doe, a deer..a female deer" is now "dyspnea on exertion"
5) OS: Something I learned and forgot in Anatomy 101....now "Overall Survival"
6) 5FU: Saying things that would make your grandmother blush to 5 peoples...is now the name of a common chemotherapy.
7) CAPOX: The name of Prot's alien planet from the Kevin Spacey movie, K-Pax...is now the name of a chemo regimen (oddly the "C" is pronounced as "K" in the acronym but the name of the drug in the regimen starts with "C" and sounds like "C". Go figure)
8) MI: Bad Tom Cruise movies are now... the big one--a myocardial infarction.
And some things never change....
FOS... I've experience this in both the figurative and literal sense. I prefer the former, it's more laughable, doesn't smell, and is virtually painless.