“I need a doctor in here!” As I walk into the resuscitation room in the emergency department (ED), I see Mr. G, a cachectic elderly gentleman barely holding onto his breath. After a rapid assessment, it is clear that he is tiring and cannot maintain breathing on his own for much longer. “We need to secure his airway” -- with my command, the resident applies an oxygen mask, cracks open the ...

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shutterstock_210331261 It's metoprolol. m-e-t-o-p-r-o-l-o-l The nurse on the other end of the phone sighs as she tolerates my tirade regarding pronunciation. They all know that I am particular about such things. For metoprolol is neither metoclopramide or metolazone, and the difference could be life altering. I live in a world of words. Trained in a language created to parse pertinent details. Dysarthria or dysphagia? Paroxysmal ...

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Bleeding is upsetting. At least, that's what I've been told. I mean, I have noticed that many people have visceral reactions to the sight of bleeding, or even just blood. People who pursue a career in surgery generally do not have this kind of reaction, and I find it interesting that it can distress some individuals while others are not at all bothered by it. This might lead you to assume ...

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At the wake, when the kids kept running around, disturbing the disturbed, their mother, or maybe their aunt, or maybe their neighbor, shooed them to the basement. Adult quiet and proper mourning returned. However, I noticed that Mary, eight years old, or so, stayed upstairs. For a while, I watched her, carrying food, clearing plates, even answering the front door. A petite, hard working, hostess. I wondered why. “Mary,” I said, ...

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As a primary care provider practicing in the safety net, I work with incredibly diverse patients with chronic illness. My patients have a wide range of beliefs and preferences about how to best manage their health. I believe their varied perspectives, if more widely shared, could meaningfully improve health care. I also do research on health information technology, and in that sphere I have listened to talks and spoken with many ...

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I had two experiences recently that reminded me that many doctors and nurses remain resistant to measuring and improving how patients experience the care we provide. One was a face-to-face discussion with a senior physician. The other was reading an article by a nurse. Both the doctor and the nurse denounced the growing focus on the patient experience by citing the threat to the quality of care, and I believe ...

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shutterstock_132480524 LabCorp, one of the largest outpatient lab providers in the USA, is soon going to let you skip the tedium of a doctor’s visit to get lab work done. Want some tests? Come on down! I’ve got mixed feelings about this. While there are some tests that seem reasonable for people to do on their own -- pregnancy and HIV ...

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We received the report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee some weeks ago. Some months from now, that science-based report, politics, and a whole lot of pestering will come together, and we will get the actual Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015. That's how it works, which I presume most people in this country at least already know. We have Marion Nestle to thank for first shining ...

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google-autocomplete

While Google's autocomplete can be quite convenient, albeit creepy, it can also be pretty mean. I decided to see how Google's autocomplete felt about various medical specialties. Apparently a lot of specialties are stupid and useless.

anesthesia

cardiologist

derm
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shutterstock_150470876 I became a doctor because I was excited by the idea of helping people every day. Following a lifelong fascination with science, I found myself in medical school, surrounded by bright classmates. We bonded over late night study sessions at the library and kegs of beer after each exam. As all medical students do, we memorized the 640 skeletal muscles that ...

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