Hospitals have lots of codes. The most famous one is Code Blue (medical emergency), but it turns out there are lots of color-based codes. This can be confusing, as the connection between the code colors and the situations they represent are usually tenuous at best. Today we explore all of the types of codes, and shed some light these arcane medical euphemisms. Code Blue What it sounds like it means: Aggressively-scented cologne from Armani. What it actually means: ...

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For those who are not avid followers of President Trump or his decisions, often his decisions have far-reaching consequences that affect lives and people.  As a health care provider, I understand quick decision making, but also the importance of risk versus benefit and consequences of your decisions.  I would like to tell you my story and how his actions have affected my life, the lives of my patients and their ...

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Two months into my private practice career, I was assigned a “no doc” patient, a term referring to a child without a regular physician.  This one, in fact, did have a pediatrician, who called me to say “the family fired our group because we have not been able to diagnose the illness in their six-week-old son. He is your responsibility now.” If I have learned anything over the last 15 years, ...

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Brian is one of the coolest nurses I have ever met. Overall, he is a cool dude. Sporting a sleeve of tattoos, he has swag. We have been side-by-side in many traumas and sick medical arrests. He always remains calm, cool and collected as he navigates the resuscitation bay. So, when Brian ran into the pediatric ED looking a little flustered, I knew we were in for something. “I just got ...

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I was recently part of a panel aimed at helping physician trainees make the transition to becoming full-fledged independent practitioners, and a member of the panel said something that struck an important chord with the audience when he mentioned that new doctors are probably the most developmentally delayed professionals in society. When you think about the fact that for some of us, the first “real” job we have starts as ...

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My generation of physicians was much like yours. My were also “the best.” We’d risen to the top of every academic pyramid: middle school, high school, college. We could be anything we wanted to be. We chose medicine, partly for noble reasons. Our bodies were wondrous and we got to help people. But also for some not so noble reasons: the money was good, everyone would look up to us, and we’d ...

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Years ago, when I was less flexible, I took up Pilates. My instructor, Jim, a charming chap with an infectious laughter, was a 9/11 truther. I’d egg him on to hear about his conspiracy theories. Jim believed that 9/11 was concocted by Bush and Halliburton so that the U.S. could invade Iraq to capture their oil. He thought that United Flight 93 never took off. Whatever happened after 9/11 became ...

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Basing medical care on patient satisfaction is as smart as basing elementary education on child satisfaction. The patient who wants a cheeseburger while going to the OR shouldn't influence hospital reimbursement any more than the child who wants recess all day should influence school reimbursement. By tying health care funds to the opinions of patients, we are letting the kids run the school. Doctor-patient relationships are based on the trust that ...

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As a physician with a strong sense of calling, I always see myself working for each patient, regardless of who pays the bill. Following in the footsteps of role models like Hippocrates and Osler, how could I do anything else? Ted has been my patient for decades. He can’t seem to lose weight. John has admitted he doesn’t know how long he can keep doing the kind of work that has supported ...

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There is a basic communication gap between you and me. How could there not be? It's not what you expect. I say you have cancer, or heart failure, or emphysema. Full stop. A conversation ensues. This is not what I'm talking about. It's more like when I report to you a series of normal lab results, and at the end flippantly mention a slight elevation of the white blood cell count. ...

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