Stand Up and Stand by Each Other

So I got three messages, one from a social worker with whom I work, one from a colleague keeping me in the loop about the MOC and MOL issue elsewhere in the country, and another from one of our University of Iowa Wellness human resources. Let’s start with the one about the LiveWell newsletter, UI Wellness – liveWELL. I was pretty excited about the “Take a Stand” theme, and the story refers to the medical literature showing that “…prolonged sitting is an independent risk factor for many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, hypertension, metabolic, syndrome, and obesity”. It also does a number on your lower back.

So I contacted someone about getting one of those standing workstations, because my current workstation is like this:sit down desk

I guess you’d call that a “configuration” although I’d call it a mess. Imagine my sticker shock when I found out the standing workstation similar to the one below would set me back well over $500!Standing workstation

My CME budget won’t cover that. And the person I talked to wondered whether the bookshelves might be an insurmountable installation challenge. A couple of colleagues had made their own alterations, ranging in price from about $200 to the I’m-scared-to-guess (with a treadmill!) outlay. I decided I might want to just go low-tech and simply remind myself to stand up every once in a while. No word yet on departmental or hospital support for employees who would like to make the workstation change for ergonomic health promotion reasons.

ElleThe other message I got from a hard-working social worker here (thanks, Elle!) was about “greyhound therapy”, referring to a form of patient dumping involving a Nevada psychiatric hospital improperly discharging patients and bussing them out of the state,

Feds take action over alleged patient dumping at Nevada hospital –,

Two hospital workers fired over ‘dumping’ of Nevada psychiatric patients – Health and Medicine – The Sacramento Bee.

I’m sure that there’s more to the story than meets the eye, but it begs the question, “Who’s standing up for patients in Nevada?” How widespread is the problem in the country? How much should it cost to promote physical and mental health, and who should be the role models for how and to whom this is delivered?

And last but not least, the news from my colleague about the adopted resolutions opposing both MOC and MOL in Michigan, Michigan Medical Society Adopts Resolutions Opposing MOC & MOL – The Practical Psychosomaticist.

What do all of these have in common? They’re about making a stand.

“…And we must build a culture of humanistic clinical excellence.”—Jamos the Elder
“…And we must build a culture of humanistic clinical excellence.”—Jamos the Elder


Author: Jim Amos

Dr. James J. Amos is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Amos received a B. S. degree in Distributed Studies (Zoology, Chemistry, and Microbiology) in 1985 from Iowa State University and an M.D. from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa in 1992. He completed his psychiatry residency, including a year as Chief Resident, in 1996 at the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa. He has co-edited a practical book about consultation psychiatry with Dr. Robert G. Robinson entitled Psychosomatic Medicine: An Introduction to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. As a clinician educator, among Dr. Amos’s most treasured achievements is the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.

2 thoughts on “Stand Up and Stand by Each Other”

  1. Thanks for the kind assessment, Dr. Amos! It’s unfortunate that a standing workstation’s cost can be so high. It seems that taking-a-stand in general and standing by others these days are often due to situations produced by how many dollars are available/allocated or not. I think I liked it more when the outcomes and solutions were not about dollars but about courage, passion and persistence.


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