Thanks Scott, and everyone else.
Ironeagle, to toughen them. I rarely wrap my hands or wear gloves in daily life.
DBradD, I do discuss some aspects of training with my Dr., and take his advice on most things. Individual Doctors don't know everything or take the time to consult journals or other doctors with respect to specific questions.
Just a for-instance, a friend of mine was told by a local ortho doc to stop scuba diving after an injury, and since he was my main dive buddy, I took umbrage at this and consulted the Divers Alert Network headquartered at Duke Universty Medical Center. They are the leaders in medical research related to diving, and told me to find him another doctor fast.
If this thread had yielded a link to some obscure but scientifically solid study on makiwara training, Id've been all over it. It didn't so I continue to seek input from experienced practitioners, my instructor and others.