shutterstock_166402376 We are data druggies. We spend our days like desperate junkies crawling the carpet, sifting through the shaggy strands of patient histories with shaky fingers in search of facts. Every word our patients utter we feed to the never-ending demands of the electronic chart. We find a fact and we enter it. The database grows. Someone somewhere adds another question we are supposed to ...

Read more...

shutterstock_139593809 At 3 a.m. last Saturday, I was feverishly devouring medical journal articles on subarachnoid hemorrhages (which I now know are a type of stroke caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain), trying to determine just how much I needed to be panicking about the health of a loved one. With every text message update from the rural hospital he ...

Read more...

shutterstock_144659519 “Your wife has gestational diabetes.” My heart stopped when my wife’s physician called to tell me this. “I want you to tell her because it’ll be easier to give it some time and let it sink in. Tell her to call me if she has any questions.” But I had questions -- about a million. Let me give some background information. I’m ...

Read more...

shutterstock_114519565 How is it that, in this day and age, a talented teenager treated for lymphoma emerges cured but with a life-threatening eating disorder? How is it that, in our nation’s capital, a boy dying at home from neuroblastoma experiences excruciating pain in his final moments? How is that, when we develop new drugs to treat children with cancer, we do not, at ...

Read more...

A hospital can be full of discomfort. My patients tell me that the food is unappetizing. The beds hurt their backs. The noise echoing through the hallways at night makes it impossible to sleep. And for those patients near the end of life, the treatments being offered may no longer be of benefit, causing more pain than good. The answer to discomfort for those who are very ill is comfort care, ...

Read more...

shutterstock_95651341 There can be little doubt that these days that political correctness has run rampant. Terms like "racist," "sexist," or "homophobic" are thrown around so frequently and early now that one has to wonder what is actually being accomplished. If you were to ask a physician what PC label they most fear, it would be "disruptive." Let's face it. We are no longer ...

Read more...

"Only one rule in medical ethics need concern you -- that action on your part which best conserves the interests of your patient." - Dr. Martin H. Fischer, German-American Physician and Author "A physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount." - Principles of Medical Ethics, American Medical Association "I pledge to pursue the practice of surgery with honesty and to place the welfare and the rights of ...

Read more...

shutterstock_143533171 I take a deep breath as I get ready to go see Mrs. H. I can predict after sign-out from the ER doc where this is likely to go. Mrs. H. is an 87-year-old woman who comes to the emergency room with weakness. She stumbled and fell to the floor but could not get up to reach the phone to call ...

Read more...

shutterstock_99364631 As a child and family therapist and as a parent, I often see the efforts that families make to try to maintain a sense of family connection in an era of technology, increased demands and very busy schedules. Most families express a desire for more quality time together and an increased sense of connection amongst family members. The medical families that ...

Read more...

shutterstock_182066816 Imagine an institution where the occupants are routinely left immobile, deprived of sleep and fed a diet that is tasteless and nutritionally marginal. Imagine further that they experience the indignity of losing any semblance of privacy and get stuck multiple times a day with needles. Sounds like a brutal prison, right? Yet the same description could apply to a typical U.S. hospital. As ...

Read more...

Most Popular