shutterstock_166402376 We are data druggies. We spend our days like desperate junkies crawling the carpet, sifting through the shaggy strands of patient histories with shaky fingers in search of facts. Every word our patients utter we feed to the never-ending demands of the electronic chart. We find a fact and we enter it. The database grows. Someone somewhere adds another question we are supposed to ...

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shutterstock_95651341 There can be little doubt that these days that political correctness has run rampant. Terms like "racist," "sexist," or "homophobic" are thrown around so frequently and early now that one has to wonder what is actually being accomplished. If you were to ask a physician what PC label they most fear, it would be "disruptive." Let's face it. We are no longer ...

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shutterstock_116541763 You could hear a pin drop. The awkward silence at a dinner table after my pager went off. Eyes locked on me. For a split second, the laughter ceased, forks held in mid-air, chewed food, half-swallowed. The nervous system of every doctor adapts to the sound of his or her pager during residency. Early in training, widening pupils and hair-raising palpitations fade ...

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Do you remember Mad Libs from when you were a child? A story is filled with blanks, and as you fill them in with inappropriate and ridiculous words, you laugh until you can't see straight. You laugh until you can't breathe, and your parents beg you to stop! Let's be children again. Share these with the nurses, and give the shift a little levity. Pain medication. You see, doctor, my pain specialist ...

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shutterstock_125513645 I came across an article featured on NPR and it immediately grabbed my attention.  Traditionally medical student education is accomplished in a four-year program in medical schools nationwide but University of California, Davis is now offering their medical training as a three-year obligation.  A three-year medical school as opposed to a four-year program is intriguing, thought provoking and possibly controversial. ...

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shutterstock_126729563 I head to work at my new locums job on the California coast. Summer 2015 is going to be a great one, I think to myself. I make the turn into the hospital parking lot, and a rusty old Trans Am cuts me off. I slam on the brakes to the soundtrack of screeching tires. Geez, I think to myself. It’s ...

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shutterstock_198931019 "Turn out the light, the party's over," sang color commentator Dandy Don Meredith on ABC's Monday Night Football when a seminal fourth quarter play occurred and the game was suddenly in the bag. For me, that's where it's at right now -- just a few ticks of the clock away First, for the American Heart Association then for the American Red Cross, ...

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Idioms are expressions everyone understands as something other than what the literal words say.  For example, when I talk about “putting all of my eggs in one basket,” everyone knows I’m not really talking about eggs. We say things like: It’s raining cats and dogs. It was a piece of cake! I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth. We have a few idioms in medicine, too.  If I talk about “hanging crepe” in a ...

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shutterstock_132875531 In the last several shifts I’ve worked in the ED I’ve had more people stop and compliment me on my care. I’ve heard the usual, “Do you have a private practice?” compliment and, “I’ve been here a lot and you really took the time to hear what I was saying, I appreciate that.” Kudos are nice. They are what makes a tough ...

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shutterstock_274763711 The morning after his brother's bachelor party, standing on the fourth floor of his family home, Dr. Arvind Goel, felt the ground move under his feet. "First it was minor vibrations and then it built up in a crescendo and then the couch where my four-month-old son was lying began to shake." "It was creepy," Goel, 32, continued. "The furniture began to ...

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