I’ve been working with the latest electronic medical record (EMR) for almost a year now. You know the one. There are many positive changes, to be sure. It has helped me more than a few times with calculating doses for kids’ medications. I can now easily check in on my patients’ progress when they are admitted to the hospital. And, of course, the notes are far more legible. But what do ...

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As a medical scribe working with a large, well-known scribe company, unnamed to protect my job, it makes me proud reading all the articles published about how much having a scribe benefits a physician, especially in the emergency department. I enjoy my job immensely and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and engage in patient care. However, as a pre-medical student working next to several other doctor-hopefuls in ...

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How does a working mom and physician keep practicing medicine when her husband’s career brings her halfway around the globe? For me, it was an adventure. While it can be challenging, I encourage other physicians to experience the world with their families while still practicing medicine. As a 14 year family practitioner from Ohio, I suddenly found myself in Qatar with two young children because of my husband’s job. Qatar is ...

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A few years ago when I went skydiving for the first time, I learned about the backup parachute. This is a second chute, just in case the first one failed. While no one wants to think about the primary parachute failing, it was comforting to know we were prepared ... just in case. That’s kind of how I see end of life care planning, while we don’t want to think ...

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The tests came fast and furious.  The diagnosis didn’t. One doctor was certain it was psychosomatic.  My twin younger brothers had been born a few months earlier, and I, seeking attention, was refusing to walk.  My mother kept looking. Another doctor couldn’t figure it out but gave a piece of advice.  “You have other children, right?  Be grateful. Take this one home, keep him comfortable, and when he is gone take comfort ...

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I still remember when my phone rang with an eerie sound, early in December 2013. The oncologist I had seen a couple of days earlier was on the other end asking me to return to the hospital ASAP because my bone marrow biopsy results was consistent with acute leukemia and I was at risk of bleeding. That was the first time I knew about my diagnosis while he merely broke the ...

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Aviation and anesthesiology: The importance of trainingA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Comparisons between the airline industry and anesthesia care are common.  One of the most commonly heard analogies is that the takeoff and landing of a jetliner are similar to induction and emergence during a general anesthetic.  But there are other equally important analogies between the two professions.  Today, ...

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Why is it that illnesses that could be prevented by vaccination are on the rise despite scientific evidence they save lives? Recent articles noted measles exposure to people riding the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) public transportation system as well as more cases of whooping cough due to refusal to vaccinate and in some cases getting “non-medical” personal exemptions. The suggestion that vaccines could cause autism has been debunked. So ...

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His nurse paged me at 9pm: Mr. L wants to leave against medical advice (AMA). As the covering doctor, I dreaded the impending standoff even more than usual. I emerged from the elevator minutes later to find that the gaunt octogenarian had advanced from his isolation room, passed the nurse's station and the unit doors, and arrived at the elevator bay to greet me. Security guards hovered at a cautious distance ...

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On our recent road trip I was amazed by the number of billboards (from several health care systems and hospitals) advertising texting for emergency room (ER) wait times. My first thought was, "if you can text, how emergent is it?" This was quickly followed by the concern that the option/advertising of texting about wait times might make the ER seem, well, less for acute care and more for convenient care. Should I be concerned? There ...

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