What do EMTs do in between calls?  Talented folks, those first responders.

shutterstock_223842769 There are two key scenarios when doctors fail to tell “the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.” Sometimes doctors give a diagnosis we’re not 100 percent sure of and other times we don’t diagnose something we’re almost 100 percent sure of. The truth is complicated and often more gray than black and white. Scenario #1: “You have [insert diagnosis ...

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shutterstock_208716340 I have been an emergency physician for 12 years.  I have had the opportunity to learn from and try to emulate an impressive number of amazing clinical physicians.  These doctors seemed god-like at first, but as my training and career progressed, I realized that they were mostly teaching me through their own experiences. One of my favorite teachers had a humbling saying:  “Good ...

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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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shutterstock_224970232 I have worked in a lot of hospitals over the past two years. Quite a few of the facilities have been critical access hospitals, which is to say that they are very small, typically having fewer than 25 inpatient beds, and are usually somewhere in the boonies. A number of characteristics allow a hospital to qualify as critical access and receive additional ...

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shutterstock_139886491 1.  Wait times in most emergency departments are ridiculous. But, if you have a real emergency, you won’t have to wait. If you have abnormal vital signs, a worrisome ECG, or concerning chief complaint, you will be seen long before the person who checked in with a sore throat to get a work excuse. Patients with chief complaints like “GSW abdomen” and “found down/unresponsive” don’t wait to ...

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shutterstock_126678482 Natalie Fuelner created a well-written article in the Bangor Daily News describing some of the tribulations many new parents go through with young children. One weekend, her toddler fell face first onto a metal patio table. Immediately, the toddler’s face is full of blood. The dad panicked. Natalie was a “trembling mess” on the inside. Their physician neighbor wasn’t available to look at the child. ...

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shutterstock_286268375 Flying on a return trip from Chicago to San Francisco, I can’t help but feel a little on edge. It’s not the fear of flying that is leaving me a little less relaxed than the pleasant, middle-aged woman peacefully slumbering in the seat next to me. It’s the possibility of hearing the announcement few doctors are comfortable hearing during travel: “Is ...

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How does heartburn turn into a multi-thousand dollar workup?  The simple answer: defensive medicine.  See how this scenario plays out daily in this latest episode from Healthcare Not Fair.

shutterstock_277040312 american society of anesthesiologists A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Summer is immortalized in popular culture for good reasons -- no other season can match it for the variety of fun and exciting activities it brings. Unfortunately, that variety of activities and the large volume of ...

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