The boom in telemedicine is here, and understandably so.  The “consumer” is in control now, and they sure don’t want to be “patient” anymore.  When Americans want care, they want it cheap, and they want it now.   Telemedicine has grown to accommodate 7 million annual patient encounters, up from 350,000 five years ago.  What savvy health care administrator doesn’t see numbers like that and get dollar signs in ...

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In this podcast, I share insights from a doc who barely survived his suicide attempt plus simple ways to prevent the next suicide. Listen in. You may save a life. Dear Pamela, I’ve never been so happy to fail at something in my life. Four weeks ago today I died. Cardiopulmonary arrest in jail. Why was I in jail? My wife alerted ...

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Gather round kids! Let Grandpa Doctor Leap tell you a few things about the old days of doctoring in the emergency room: Back in the good old days, medicine was what we liked to call "fun." Not because it was fun to see people get sick or hurt or die, but because we were supposed to do our best and people didn’t wring their hands all the time about rules and ...

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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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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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It was 3 a.m. and 3 degrees outside, and I was about to discharge Mike from our emergency department for the third time in less than 24 hours. "Doc, let me finish this episode," he said, his eyes glued to the TV in the ER waiting room. Mike was homeless, and this was our routine all winter last year, when it was too cold to sleep in shop doorways or the bridge under ...

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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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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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Sometimes the minuscule moment is the most relevant; the least anticipated becomes the most profound.  Endless searches for wisdom and insight fade with each passing day, only to be shadowed by an unintentional conversation or event.  Wisdom is profound in the simple, while often hidden, complicated or forgotten in the complex or intentional.  This ironic phenomenon is as old as time, obvious in God's creations and man’s discoveries.   I’ve reached ...

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“CODE BLUE, 7 SOUTH. CODE BLUE, 7 SOUTH.” I’m up and out of my call room bed before fully regaining consciousness from my light sleep. It’s 4 AM. I should feel ready: I’ve trained with simulations labs, mock codes, and test questions. I passed my CPR and ACLS courses. I’ve done chest compressions as an intern. But this is different. I’m the resident on call, and if I get there first, I’ll be running the ...

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