From Sweden with love

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The aerial view from the plane approaching Arlanda Airport displayed patches of green intermixed with icy waterways indicating the cold, brisk weather that awaiting me in Stockholm.

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I am meeting Chad, my partner, who is attending the Annual European Society of Urology. My own interest in urology dates back to my early years as a surgeon when I wanted to perform sex change operations for a living. Interestingly, it was a 1970 movie called, The Christine Jorgensen Story, about an Ex-G.I. from Scandinavian descent who became a female that prompted my fascination.

At the conference it was apparent from the start that we weren’t in American anymore when I saw the huge poster ad for Levitra, displaying a couple in the throws of passion. Erectile dysfunction medications are not FDA approved for recreational use. The symposiums continued this theme by using such words as “hardness” and “duration of action,” all valuable marketing ploys. Then throw in some scantily clad women in bikinis making smoothies and abracadabra; you have a line of doctors wanting to hear all about your drug.

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One of the biggest draws at the conference was the European approval of Priligy, a new medication indicated for premature ejaculation, which incidentally is defined as “three thrusts or less.” And I’m not kidding.

Major news here is the debate over using PSA’s to screen for prostate cancer. Two studies were recently published from Europe and America.  Currently, the American Cancer Society recommends screening men over age 50 using the PSA, (a blood test used to measure the level of a protein produced by the prostate gland).

Other interesting abstracts and studies involved penile elongation procedures and surgeries to correct Peyronie’s disease (a progressive disfiguring condition that causes the penis to curve abnormally). It’s my opinion that major advances have not been made.

Other than that what can I say about Sweden: the people are incredibly tall, blonde, and welcoming. They speak English very well; and if it wasn’t so damn cold, I might have enjoyed my stay even more.

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The city overall is pristine with waterways intersecting the city at every possible juncture. Apartment houses flank the rivers, painted with the same yellow butter, terracotta orange and pale green colors.

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Copper and gold domes glisten when the sun decides to show it’s face, but despite the crisp exterior, the Swedes were warm and hospitable.

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I’m mean really how could I dislike the country that brought  me the music of ABBA, those amazing meatballs, and incredibly long words with funny looking symbols over the letters?dscn0248

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4 Comments

  1. mich lyon
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    did you bring home samples??

  2. spinellimd
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    No samples unfortunately but you don’t need it

  3. mich lyon
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    swedish meat balls i can live without . . . but priligy sounds like it has recreational potential. as i recall – wellbutren – had a similar side effect?

  4. spinellimd
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    You would be correct about Wellbutrin. I see your interest in medicine goes beyond the clinical applications?


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