I recently took another survey confirming the obvious: As a resident, I am horribly burnt out. I sat, along with a half-dozen health care providers and bemoaned our current states. What, if anything, can we do about this? The typical answers came up: sleep more, increase our commitment to enjoyable activities outside of work. Oddly enough, there was little talk about the daily work itself, and how the medical culture ...

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Referring physicians are critically important not just for the care and attention we provide patients but also for the referrals we make to specialists. Patients don’t have access to the same data or knowledge that we as healthcare professionals possess, so as referring physicians we can have a significant impact on our patients’ health after they’ve left our immediate care. Big data has given us more information than ever in making ...

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Tournament time! The time of year that brings friends, family, and colleagues together to cheer and commiserate over brackets and games. When it comes to the final two weekends, it is often the same teams year after year. What can the coaches of great teams teach us about doctoring? Preparation and fundamentals (John Wooden, UCLA) The first thing coach John Wooden taught his players was how to put on their shoes and socks. ...

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“Samantha is your next patient,” my medical assistant informs me in my primary care clinic.  Samantha is a Caucasian woman in her late 40s, and I typically find her in the room with well-groomed blond hair and a cheerful outfit, such as a pink blouse, a flowery skirt, and golden sandals. She has been my patient for over a year, and I know that her life is anything but cheerful. ...

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shutterstock_117726904 I suppose it is obvious that I am a fan of stories. I like to hear them, read them, watch them, collect them and tell them. I believe I am participating in stories every day of my life. The story of my family is a beautiful epic. The stories I hear at work can break my heart. One of my favorite ...

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Wheel-of-Fortune-and-Jeopardy-Moving-to-THQ-2 The last few days have been really busy, but they still felt controlled, almost leisurely and smooth. Patients have been seen on time, my office notes have been completed in real-time, and my superbills have been submitted before each patient reached the check-out station. Things were really humming. The new nurse noticed that I was humming each time I dashed back to ...

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Purvi Patel was found guilty of both feticide and child neglect in Indiana in February and now faces 70 years in jail. A jury deliberated for about 5 hours, even though there are no facts supporting either the feticide claim or the neglect, never mind the travesty that child neglect and feticide are incompatible charges. It’s hard to neglect a baby you have already been found guilty of killing as a fetus. ...

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What does patient safety mean to you? I believe patients get the safest care when

  1. The patient is known as an individual.
  2. The health care team gives the patient their undivided attention.
  3. The team is well-supported with efficient workflows and organized, easily accessible information.
  4. The health professionals find joy in their work.
By being “known” I mean, that the nurses and physicians know the patient as a real person, what their life is like, who are their supports, what are their ...

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Although I pride myself on catching the obscure snapshots of typical life moments that occur daily while dealing with patients and their families in the emergency department, occasionally there are times when I am so focused on the task at hand that I completely fail to see a glaring moment of obvious humor, sadness, or tenderness. At times like this, then, I am glad to have our hard-working nurses and ...

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The following is Dr. Pamela Wible's testimony in support of medical student mental health to the Missouri State Legislature for House Bill 867. I’m Dr. Pamela Wible, a family physician in Oregon. I’ve submitted my CV, witness form, and transcript of my testimony to Chairman Frederick. My schedule prevents me from traveling to Missouri for today’s hearing; however, I thank Vice Chairman Morris and the Committee for allowing me to ...

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