The U.S. rings the bell on health care spending, and some point fingers at patients themselves. But why do patients choose the paths they choose? Just about every shift, I and my coworkers shake our heads, and wonder what may be driving our patients’ decisions. Parents who haven’t yet tried a drop of acetaminophen bring kids in at 2 a.m. with fevers. Patients show up with nose bleeds that ...

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These seem unrelated, but give me a chance. I was eating outside at a restaurant with my 5 month old, Max, and a car with a modified muffler hit the gas right in front of us. In Australia, you'd call the driver a "hoon." The noise terrified my boy, and I felt something I'm not used to: protective rage. When Max stopped crying my mind went to struggling families, kids, ...

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Adding “electronic” means sortable, searchable, bigger attic, more junk. Unfortunately, no one has the guts to actually clean it. Are urinalyses from the 90s still important, or are we just being sentimental? For everything we do in medicine, there are intended effects and side effects. During my emergency medicine residency there was a mandate that attending physicians had to see each patient cared for by their residents. While a hard transition, ...

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“There’s such an issue of privacy in health care, and yet they let all the patients walk around with their derrières sticking out.” This quote within an article by the National Post got me thinking about HIPAA. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is a big flat hammer with excellent intentions. Like EMTALA, however, it too has its side effects. Along with many other ER docs ...

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shutterstock_270431723 Every law, like every drug, has its intended effects and its side effects. EMTALA is a law you perhaps couldn’t care less about, but one that’s kept many a hospital manager awake at night. I’m not a lawyer, politician or administrator and can’t claim expertise on EMTALA subtleties. But I thought I’d touch a couple ways it has shaped our medical lives. The ...

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