True fact: I once drank a vaseful of coffee.
In my defense, the vase was rather small as vases go, and could (if one squinted) have been mistaken for an especially large novelty mug. And it was sitting in the cupboard alongside many other mugs. However, I was assured by several people in my office’s break room that it was a vase, and had come with a little arrangement of flowers the practice had received.
I didn’t care. I filled it up with coffee and took it to my desk anyway.
I drink a lot of coffee, is my point.
According to a new study in the journal BMJ, I am not alone among doctors in this regard. By examining the purchasing patterns at a hospital canteen in Switzerland, the authors sought to answer the query, “Which medical specialty consumes the most coffee?” a serious question that has been keeping me up at night. (I am sure my own personal consumption is unrelated to that problem.)
Those of you planning on going in for joint replacement surgery in the near future, you may want to pay close attention to the person you’ve consulted to perform the procedure. Do his hands vibrate? Does she emit a faint buzzing noise? Orthopedic surgeons, it turns out, drink more coffee per person annually than the other specialists included in the study.
The authors suggest that this may be due to the “work hard/play hard” behavior stereotypical of orthopedists within the medical community, or alternatively that they have too much free time on their hands, which they spend faffing about in hospital coffee shops.
It is possible this study was undertaken with something other than perfect seriousness.
Behind orthopedic surgeons come radiologists, emerging blinking from the darkened rooms in which they spend shift after shift peering at x-rays and CT scans, to perk back up with a cup of joe. Rounding out the top five coffee-swilling specialties were general surgeons, neurosurgeons, and neurologists.
I was horrified to see pediatrics lumped ignominiously at the bottom of the chart in the category “other,” behind even anesthesiologists (who spend their careers putting people to sleep, for heaven’s sake). Fellow pediatricians, I see no alternative but to significantly amp up our coffee consumption so as to be more worthy of notice. We can’t let the internists win!
By Russell Saunders - The Daily Beast/Dec. 29, 2015
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