The report from the field was not promising by any stretch: extensive trauma, and perhaps most importantly unknown “downtime” (referencing the period where the patient received no basic care like CPR). The patient remained pulseless en route; we were all aware of the markedly poor prognosis. On arrival, the patient was swarmed by providers. Trauma surgeons at the foot of the bed cut down at the femoral artery to deploy a ...

Read more...

It’s almost 7 p.m., and I’m handed the chart of a man in his sixties. “Can you see this one first,” the nurse says, “he needs an ultrasound.” I skim the triage note, which is often like reading the blurb at the back of the DVD. If it says “pain all over for eight months,” it’s not likely to be a hot new rental. Frank Martin (name changed) has been sent from a walk-in ...

Read more...

It’s the first day on my 4th-year elective in the emergency department. I had orientation in the morning and just my luck I am scheduled for a night shift. I had the good fortune of finding an emergency physician in New York who let me shadow him before my rotation, but the truth of the matter is, I had no idea that what I was getting myself into. I guess ...

Read more...

My wife who is eight months pregnant went to a routine prenatal appointment last week. She told the OB doctor that she was concerned she had pink eye. OB providers, along with pediatrics, family medicine, and internal medicine all constitute primary care providers (PCP) and pink eye is a common primary care condition. Surprisingly, the OB physician referred her to the nearest acute care facility. Attributing this provider's recommendation as rare ...

Read more...

Seconds after I arrive at the ER on a Sunday afternoon, I'm called to see an elderly woman who can't breathe. She's ninety-four, and gurgling for air. On my way, I pass two middle-aged women. They are hovering outside a nearby room, trying to get my attention. One gestures like a traffic guard as she tries to wave me into the room. The other throws up her hands as I ...

Read more...

How in the heck would three nurses and I ever orchestrate ECMO in the middle of the night in my community ED? I pondered this over tuna tartare while listening to ivory tower docs discuss cutting-edge modalities like they were part of treatment algorithms everywhere. The conversation turned to REBOA, and I wondered how many academicians had ever manned a single-coverage ED. Ivory tower medicine and my world, where ...

Read more...

For soldiers, there are many fears.  Will I do my job?  Will I succeed in my mission?  Will my colleagues in arms be harmed?  Will I be injured?  Will I die?  For the American Muslim who volunteers to engage the enemies of the United States on foreign soil, there is a new worry.  What will my home country do to my family while I am gone? Recently, Dr. Ghazali A. Chaudry, ...

Read more...

A friend of mine recently had a very sore throat. She knew how to manage her symptoms — lozenges, warm tea and the like. But she was worried she might have strep and would, therefore, need antibiotics. That should be a simple question to answer with a quick trip to the primary care clinic. Except that her primary care physician was booked, and if she wanted an unscheduled appointment with ...

Read more...

I remember that morning in January 2016 very well.  I opened up my Twitter feed to find many people linking to an article that made me stop dead in my tracks.  The New York Post was reporting that Dr. David Newman had been accused of sexually assaulting a patient in his emergency department.  He was accused of giving the patient a dose of propofol and then sexually assaulting ...

Read more...

Recently, Dr. Michelle Herren, a professor of pediatric anesthesiology at the University of Colorado and Denver Health Hospital, resigned after posting racist comments on her Facebook page. In particular, she wrote that Michelle Obama speaks “ebonics” and stated that our first lady has a “monkey face.” Dr. Herren ended her post by affirming that she is not racist but was “just calling it like it is.” This post remained on ...

Read more...

Most Popular