"She's safe," my friend and fellow resident told me over the phone just hours after reaching his Mom in Kathmandu. A text from my undergraduate Hindi Professor read, "My own family is safe. But it’s hard to comprehend the amount of loss. My own house in which I was born is gone." Calls, texts, and emails over the last week have been reassuring in the midst of media depictions of ...

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shutterstock_173706362 With the flurry of Twitter posts about Maureen Dowd’s article “Stroke of Fate” in the New York Times, it almost seems as if the subject is already stale. Maureen Dowd is the Pulitzer Prize-winning op-ed columnist for the New York Times who tells a compelling story about a young patient who suffered from a stroke. The patient was healthy triathlete, ...

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“I need a doctor in here!” As I walk into the resuscitation room in the emergency department (ED), I see Mr. G, a cachectic elderly gentleman barely holding onto his breath. After a rapid assessment, it is clear that he is tiring and cannot maintain breathing on his own for much longer. “We need to secure his airway” -- with my command, the resident applies an oxygen mask, cracks open the ...

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As an internist, working in the emergency room feels at times like the dark underbelly of medicine. The frenetic pace, the need to make decisions within highly uncertain conditions, and reliance on technology all cut against the grain of the internists credo of “being a doctor’s doctor.” If internists are biased in how they arrive at diagnoses, emergency medicine doctors face such bias on an exponential scale. Clinical decision-making is ...

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shutterstock_191393468 A recent publication from the Mayo Clinic created a lot of buzz regarding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones, in medicine. However, in reality, most of the drones being used or tested in the U.S. are for things like aerial photography, small package delivery, and surveillance. While several corporations have been quick to expand existing applications ...

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shutterstock_194789030 Dear drunk driver, Tonight, I am tired. Tired from lack of sleep, tired from the long hours, and tired from bearing witness to your destruction. Tonight, you caused an accident while under the influence of alcohol. And you are badly injured, requiring emergency surgery. Your liver is hard, cirrhotic, and unforgiving. Although I can get you through this first surgery, I know you will ...

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shutterstock_99659051 Medicine is plagued by a form of prejudice called “specialism.” (Yes, I just made up that word, but it fits.) In medical school we were united; we were all in the same boat; we were a team making our way through the gauntlet together. And then it came time to choose a specialty. A satirical article by “Lord Lockwell” circulated on social ...

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shutterstock_92410900 For my entire life as a physician, from medical school, through residency and now until this 22nd year in practice, I have subscribed to the idea that I should have a chaperone when performing breast, pelvic or rectal exams on women. I was taught to do this from the beginning, and I still do it. Why is this? On some level, the ...

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shutterstock_70391227 The following article is satire. LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- As times have become harder for emergency departments around the country, one local hospital, Snooty Hospital and Casino (SHC), has come up with a solution to capture precious reimbursement from individuals with “enhanced diagnosis and treatment goals.” When checking into the ED either by ambulance or at the front desk, patients now have the ability ...

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shutterstock_76711840 A couple of weeks ago I was on-call and had to go down to the emergency room to see a patient. Before I entered the room, I was told that the patient was accompanied by her long-time physician who was a bit “crazy and old school." “Hmm … that’s strange … why would her physician be in the room with her?” I ...

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