Among the less profound things that I learned at the conference was the difference between shaking hands with rheumatologists and orthopedic surgeons, of whom there were many. Because they wield hammers and saws and yank and pull bones each day, surgeons acquire very strong hands. Unwittingly, when they shake hands, the hard bones of their hands inflict a crushing blow, smashing fingers together, as if to require their immediate medical attention after the greeting is over. In comparison, rheumatologists, because they are cognitive specialists, have smooth and gentle hands. Their grips are safe. There is nothing to fear from contact with such brainy people.
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2010
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Although my fingers came home swollen and bruised, I was happy join my compadres from the operating room in a very worthwhile endeavor. The orthopedists of the world are doing great work. As rheumatologists, we need to learn more about their remarkable accomplishments. The BJD has been a great place for this interaction, and I wish it a long life and great success in the future.
Dr. Pisetsky is physician editor of The Rheumatologist and professor of medicine and immunology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.