When I saw my first patient die, I was in shock.  You will never forget your first one, that always stays with you. My first patient died during medical school, a young guy around 40. He died of complications from endocarditis. He was fine in the afternoon, talking about his family and what he does, but when I came back in the morning he was gone. I was shocked beyond ...

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I was talking to a fellow physician and he inquired, "how many patients do you see in a day?" I said, "maybe around 20." He smirked and replied, "20 only! I can see around 40 in a day and still have time to hit some balls." There is something fishy here at Smallville. A few years ago I used to work for this company. I had no option but to see a ...

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It was a dimly lit room, up on the sixth floor.  I am not sure why they would not fix the light in that corridor. Even during the day, I would find this area poorly lit. Maybe it was not the light but the grim atmosphere of oncology floor. Some of the patients there had terminal illnesses but they would still act like they had decades to live. You would be ...

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In a hospital setting, administrators love to work with physicians; they make sure whenever a new system is being formulated and implemented, this is discussed with a team of physicians, as they are also an integral part of success. All physicians work with each other in harmony and synchronicity. Cardiologists never step on each other's toes, radiologists call admitting doctors for any bizarre findings and hospitalists notify the primary about their ...

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So there was a neurosurgeon who called a plumber for a house visit. The plumber arrived and after spending an hour bestowed the neurosurgeon a bill of $500. The surgeon was stunned; he said, “Even I don’t charge this much after a surgery." The plumber stood up, gave him a sly look and said, "well that is why I am a plumber now; I used to be a neurosurgeon." I mention this ...

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There is a white board in every patient's room. This is used to keep patient oriented and provide them with basic information. You would see some data on it, most of the time there is a date scrolled on it, name of the nurse and maybe physician’s name. I recently read an article "Getting the most out the humble white board" by Deborrah Gesenway. This is an excellent read ...

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Being a hospitalist, I often see patients sitting in the hospital for days at length for no reason other than poor planning. Sometimes I feel that physicians who are involved in patient care are oblivious of each other. Everyone is in their own domain rather than working as a team. An increased length of stay in the hospital not only increases the cost of health care but also adds to the ...

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