Text message: Me: “Mom you alright? I just heard that there was an explosion at the Pepsi Center.” Mom: “What are you talking about? I am fine, everything is OK over here.” Earlier that day: It’s the first day of my first ER rotation as an intern. I had endured months on medicine, neurosurgery and the medical ICU. I am finally home back in the ER. I am hoping that today will be a somewhat ...

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This is a letter I wrote to my wife’s grandfather for Veterans Day back when he was still alive.  He was pretty proud of it, and that made me smile because I knew that if nothing else, he deserved to be proud of what he did for America.  When he died a few months ago, I was able to muster up the fortitude to read it at his funeral.  Here ...

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Recently, a video went viral when a woman complained about the lengthy wait time at a clinic.  On video, we see the physician asks if the patient still wants to be seen.  The patient declines to be seen, yet complains patients should be informed they will not be seen in a timely manner. The frustrated physician replies, “Then fine … ...

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So I’ve finished up at one job and moved on to another. I was a director for a year, and it was a learning experience. Right now I’m nearing the final approach after working a long run. Last week I had five nights, 12 hours duration each. I stayed in a hotel near the hospital. Then, after two days off at home, I started a run of five days, of ...

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A father and a son are in a car accident.  The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital.  The doctor comes in and exclaims, “I can’t operate on this boy!” “Why not?” the nurse asks. “Because he is my son,” the doctor responds. How is this possible? *** I first saw this riddle in a Washington Post article in October 2016. I was four years out of residency, and for the ...

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Las Vegas: 59 dead, 500+ injured. I worry about our medical colleagues who will suffer tremendously while treating the injured; they will be wracked with guilt for the patients they could not help and false back to the horror of that night and the ensuing days and weeks caring for the living. We must find ways to support each other help them cope as well as looking for sensible solutions. My ...

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware that the United States is in the grip of a really big epidemic of opioid abuse.  The epicenter of much of this has been my beloved Appalachia.  My home-town, Huntington, WV, might as well be re-named "Oxycontin," or maybe "Heroinville."  It’s ugly. Enormous amounts of ink have been spilled on this topic, and ...

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As Harvey’s devastation raged through Houston recently, the city's mayor was compelled to address rumors that those seeking aid could be deported. In the wake of a statewide ban on “sanctuary cities,” the mayor sought to reassure the Houston area's more than 500,000 undocumented immigrants that they would not be targeted for deportation at emergency shelters. Nevertheless, out of the disaster ...

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The ice storm of 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia made headlines for weeks described as "snowpocalypse" and "snowmageddon.” It looked like something from a sci-fi movie — the end of the world, an alien invasion. It was the subject of social media memes and discourse for quite some time. In the midst of all that human frustration, there were ice-trapped cars, parents who struggled to reach children trapped at elementary schools. Physicians, ...

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When I meet a new person, and they find out I am a pediatric ER doctor, the most common response is a variation of: “Oh, that must be hard,” accompanied by a sympathetic frown. The statement is well-intentioned, but I wonder — is their view of medicine closer to "Grey’s Anatomy" or "Scrubs?" (Hint: "Scrubs" is a better show and a more accurately reflects life in medicine.) I imagine they think my ...

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