Monday, May 30, 2005


My latest academic undertaking is writing a few chapters for the second edition of a textbook. From what I hear, this is the most commonly used pediatric surgery handbook in the world, so a few years from now, some MD in Guyana might be reading my chapter, trying to find out how to treat his pediatric patient.

It sounds impressive and scholarly, but it's not like I'm an expert in the field. Not by any means. My chapters are just succint summaries of the latest literature.

Which kind of makes you wonder who else is out there writing textbooks. Probably the poor saps that are out in graduate school or residency, trying to get through their training, writing a chapter or two in a textbook thinking this might propell their careers a bit.

Which leads me to my latest observation that the majority of the students in graduate school are foreign. (And not "sexy-cool" foreign, but more "geek" foreign with poorly developed communication skills). This is especially true in the basic sciences. Perhaps this is the reason why that analytical chemistry textbook made no sense, no matter how many times you read it.