Blog | Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The importance of poopology


As an academic hospitalist, I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time considering constipation. Any intern, resident, attending physician or hospitalist will tell you that hospitalization often leads to constipation.

How many lectures do we here related to constipation? How often do Grand Rounds address this problem?

Only as a physician do I feel comfortable discussing bowel movements and flatus. We do so daily on rounds. We struggle for the best ways to resolve constipation.

While this is a serious matter, most patients need some cheering up. Therefore, I have decided to dignify our discussions and deliberations as the science of poopology. I know that it is corny and probably not dignified, but it almost always gets a smile from the patient, the house officers and the students. We then do a quick talk on the problem of constipation and the solutions.

So for the many hospitalists and house officers who read this blog, do you have a good reference on poopology, or do you (like me) just refer to your anecdotal experience and personal preferences? Do we have evidence-based poopology?

Inquiring minds and patients want to know.

db is the nickname for Robert M. Centor, MD, FACP. db stands both for Dr. Bob and da boss. He is an academic general internist at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and is the Associate Dean for the Huntsville Regional Medical Campus of UASOM. He also serves as a frequent ward attending at the Birmingham VA Hospital. This post originally appeared at his blog, db's Medical Rants.