I want to sincerely thank you from the depths of my heart. I don’t show it, and I certainly don’t say it, but you have always been my role model. You positively shape who I am as a man, and your staunch encouragement is invaluable to me. In a world of words, texts and tweets, you have let your actions speak. You have remained apolitical and areligious, choosing to focus your ...

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I am an emergency physician, forever grateful of the responsibilities entrusted by my patients. This is a relationship I hold dear. As such, I’m an active participant in the war of life and death for our patients. I’m in the trenches with the best nurses, techs and EMS personnel holding the line as the battle continues. We have our victories and share our defeats, all in the name of what ...

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During my salad days, I — like a lot of physicians — thought I could take on the world. Despite working in a smaller, community hospital, our ER saw a lot of the same type of orthopedic trauma I saw during residency. And my young partners and I took virtually every case that came in except spinal trauma. We did this whether we were on unassigned ER call or not ...

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After another long shift of patients with colds, bug bites, ankle sprains and sore throats I eagerly looked through the wine selection at the local grocery store. It was my wedding anniversary and nearing 9 p.m. at the beginning of a holiday weekend. While at the checkout line, an elderly woman in front of me thanked me for my service. At that moment, I realized that I was wearing my ...

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Independent physician groups and solo physicians have been the historic bedrock of medical practice. While it is true that there is intense pressure on the single-physician group, and this market is shrinking, independent physicians are here to stay. Some single practice physician groups may merge with larger groups, some physicians will break off from the large contract groups, but there is no plan on them becoming extinct. Independent physician groups have ...

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I carried it around with me the entire shift. I showed it to my E.R. colleagues, the internists, and even a couple of surgeons. I’d tell them the story. “Never,” one of them said. “Not in twenty-eight years. Never seen that before.” One of them held the small urine jar up to a light and began unscrewing the lid. “Don’t!” I said. “Why not?” “It stinks. You wouldn’t believe how much it stinks. We ...

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“So tell me why you think you you’re having a stroke?” The nice lady, mid 40s, sat on the ER exam table in work-clothes, an anxious look on her face. “Well, I was working the cattle up in the timber, and when I got back to my 4-wheeler my heart was racing, and I was short of breath. My arms were tingling, and so was my face. I’m concerned it might ...

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While Muzak plays (think Kenny G covering John Mayer) and courteous expressions like “excuse me” and “thank you” are exchanged in hospital waiting rooms, behind the front desk, angry patients are firing curse words into the hallway like their mouths are assault rifles with an endless supply of ammunition. Nurses are being cussed out by patients who sound like characters in "Platoon." And medical professionals are dropping f-bombs. All of ...

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Today, I cleaned the laceration above your eye from where he punched you with a closed fist. As I was stitching up the gaping wound with two layers of sutures, I told you that the scar would fade into the line of your eyebrow. I helped you apply your foundation on your neck to cover the bruising from where he strangled you. I monitored you for any swelling of your ...

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How do you define yourself? How do you describe yourself? In the past, I have tried to avoid immediately categorizing myself by my profession. I always agreed with The Little Prince:

Grown-ups love figures … When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does ...

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