american society of anesthesiologists A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Mission must have always been in my blood, but it took me a while to discover it. I considered going on a mission trip to Bungoma, Kenya, in 2009, but the timing coincided with one of the major conferences at the New York State Society of ...

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medpagetodayThis article was originally published on May 12, 2014 in MedPage Today's Ivan Today. My brother would have turned 37 today. But he didn't. On January 9, 1995, he died in a car accident, at the age of 17. That was the day he became a statistic. I don't usually need any reminders this time of year. If I somehow forget, May 12 is ...

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Who watches the watchers?  It’s an old Roman saying from the poet Juvenal, and it had to do with infidelity. But over the years it has been applied to politics as well.  It means, "How do I know that the people guarding me are worthy?"  It has also been translated, "Who guards the guards?" But it seems to me that it applies to medicine quite appropriately.  Who watches those watching physicians?  We ...

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We will all someday die. No matter how good our doctors are, how many scans we get, how compliant we are with medications, how many cutting-edge surgeries we undergo, we will all die. That scares us. Most of us fear death: We do everything we can to avoid it, and when it inevitably comes, we struggle and refuse it. Similarly, when someone we love is dying, we want to do ...

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With new revelations emerging every day about the botched execution of a prisoner in Oklahoma, even those who favor the death penalty (I am a strong opponent) may have some reservations about the way it is carried out. Despite the uproar from both sides, I believe there are some major ethical considerations that have been overlooked in this case. Setting aside for a moment ...

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She looked like a whipped puppy that had had a garden hose turned on it and slunk off to a far corner of the yard to dry out in the sun. She sat there, wizened but hard, thin and wiry, dressed in standard issue blue emergency room scrubs, thin tanned face, long stringy, wet prematurely gray hair falling limply around her shoulders. She looked down at the floor, but when her ...

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physician suicide An obstetrician is found dead in his bathtub. Gunshot wound to the head. An anesthesiologist dies of an overdose in a hospital closet. A family doctor is hit by a train. He’s decapitated. An internist at a medical conference jumps from his hotel balcony to his death. All true stories. What are patients to do? When they call for appointments, patients are ...

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Greater discontinuity equals greater dissatisfaction. On Wednesday afternoon, one of the residents stopped in my office to talk about a patient he had just gotten off the phone with. It was a patient of his who had asthma and a recent upper respiratory tract infection for which she had received treatment at an urgent care center with an oral antibiotic and a course of steroids. She told him that she was still ...

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Today, a patient attacked me. A nurse got kicked. Another punched. I was gouged to the point that blood was drawn. The patient was neither intoxicated nor psychotic. Rather, she was a meek 92-year-old grandmother, and she was terrified. It took five of us to hold her down, as she summoned the strength of a woman fighting for her life. Linda is an elderly woman with moderate dementia. She is blind ...

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shutterstock_95318875 Yes, it really is time to revoke the health care mandates issued by bureaucrats who are not in the profession of actual healing. Daniel F. Craviotto Jr. writes in the Wall Street Journal, “In my 23 years as a practicing physician, I’ve learned that the only thing that matters is the doctor-patient relationship.” Craviotto, Jr. is a doctor who embodies the ...

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