shutterstock_228969187 Racism and prejudice are endemic in America. Many of us reflexively answer, No, if we are asked if we are prejudiced. I don’t. I say yes. While I do my best to give everyone a fair shake, I grew up in a white suburban family in the latter decades of the last century. My friends, my parent’s friends and all those we ...

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shutterstock_265206557 In case you were wondering -- robots won’t replace anesthesiologists any time soon, regardless of what the Washington Post may have to say. There will definitely be a place for feedback and closed-loop technology applications in sedation and in general anesthesia, but for the foreseeable future we will still need humans. I’ve been practicing anesthesiology for 30 years now, in the ...

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shutterstock_87958063 It’s a Monday morning, and two patients wait expectantly for the cardiologist. Instead, they get me, a fresh resident. “I don’t know why I’m seeing you,” says the first. I bumble through the chart and find a note indicating he has a large atrium on his most recent echocardiogram. “So, what surgery do you have coming up?” I offer, to get ...

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shutterstock_213583006 In the world of health care, we face a lot of questions and challenges. Hospital administrations across the country are grappling with these and always on the lookout for solutions. As far as raising the standard of health care quality, there’s been great progress over the last several years in the areas of patient safety, adhering to best practices, and trying ...

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caitlyn_jenner_e This piece will likely draw ire from many, but I do not intend it to be inflammatory.  I write it to explain why Bruce Jenner’s recent, and very public, transformation into Caitlyn shouldn’t necessarily make us feel all warm, fuzzy, and optimistic.  This is not meant to insult or degrade any individuals who are transgender or merely confused about their own ...

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shutterstock_222192721 There’s a simple way to define value. Ask why we exist. Imaging exists because clinicians are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Imaging exists because emergency physicians feel that being 98 percent correct about the absence of pulmonary embolism is not good enough. Radiologists exist because imaging is not an assay on a Western blot with a 100 percent accuracy. Radiologists exist because information is ...

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, was my first physician role model when I was a kid. She had full scope of practice in the Wild West, and what kid doesn’t like a good Western? But it wasn’t until later in high school that I started considering a career in medicine. A great biology teacher sparked my love for science. That, coupled with my passion for helping others, made medicine seem like ...

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shutterstock_267055247 Our job -- though many of us actually see it more as a calling than a job -- is to care for patients. Documentation is a process whose primary purpose is to support the patient care process. Coding, billing, population management, meaningful use and many other processes may be important to an institution but are of little or no use (and provide ...

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shutterstock_138554978 Dr. Margaret Wood, who chairs the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center, has published a wonderful article titled "Women in Medicine:  Then and Now," in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia. I think I speak for many of us in admitting that Anesthesia and Analgesia doesn’t occupy a prominent place on my bedside table. Many readers may have missed Dr. Wood’s article. ...

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shutterstock_132875531 In the last several shifts I’ve worked in the ED I’ve had more people stop and compliment me on my care. I’ve heard the usual, “Do you have a private practice?” compliment and, “I’ve been here a lot and you really took the time to hear what I was saying, I appreciate that.” Kudos are nice. They are what makes a tough ...

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