It will be six months since my mother passed away. I kept my mother’s illness a secret. Not because I was ashamed and embarrassed but I did not want to advertise to the entire world of what she was going through out of respect to her and my family. So you sit there, put on a front like everything is cool and continue on your daily routine, until one day everything ...

Read more...

Me: Hello Mrs. Smith, my name is [BEEP!] Dr. Gandolfo and I am a [BEEP!] gastroenterologist. [BEEP!] Your doctor wanted me to [BEEP!] talk to you about something that showed up on [BEEP!] your CT scan. Mrs. Smith: Who are you? I [BEEP!] didn’t hear your name? Me (louder): It’s Fred Gandolfo, I am the [BEEP!] stomach doctor. [BEEP!] I need to talk to you about [BEEP!] that CT scan you had.  You see, there was … [BEEP!] [BEEP!] [BEEP!] Can you straighten your ...

Read more...

Mnemonics can be incredibly cool. When I was in medical school, there was just too much stuff to remember and memory aids were so very helpful. Most specifically I refer to the vile and inappropriate one that helped me remember the cranial nerves which I remember to this day and will not share in print. In ancient times orators used memory palaces to memorize long speeches or poems, associating words with ...

Read more...

Requesting a second opinion can be a touchy subject for a patient. I’d like to think that when I was in practice, I was never offended when a patient’s family requested a second opinion, but that probably doesn’t universally reflect my response in every circumstance. But I am confident in saying that as often as not, I would be the one suggesting that we get another pair of eyes to ...

Read more...

Every business on earth has an angle on the market.  Business leaders around the world work tirelessly, attempting to edge out their competitors by delivering the best service to their customers. When all is said and done, physicians want to deliver the best care they can to each patient.  As medical students who are eager to serve, we are committed to examining the space where business and medicine intertwine ...

Read more...

"What is your personal experience with human suffering?" he asked. Fellowship interview season. Interviewing for pulmonary and critical care, one may expect such a question. I thought I was ready for it. But the simple truth is that I didn't really have the right answer; I probably never will. During the morning rounds, my attending physician heaved a weary sigh: "150,000 people die every day!" Out of the blue. I quizzingly ...

Read more...

Part of a series. Among Medicare recipients, those discharged from the hospital incur about a 20 percent risk of an unplanned readmission within 30 days. The number is higher for some conditions such as heart failure. This is the result of a terribly dysfunctional health care delivery system. Of course some patients will need readmission; the number can never be pushed down to zero, but 20 percent is appalling. Why ...

Read more...

All of us who care for the poor, the illiterate, the poorly educated, the immigrant, the frail, and the abused know this: caring for them involves many challenges that aren’t picked up by Medicare computers or big data. Simplistic calculations about quality metrics such as hospital readmission rates have been way off the mark at capturing the complexities of caring for these patients. A recent study from researchers in Boston ...

Read more...

During medical school, we are taught the physiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology of hundreds of disease processes. One thing medical schools don’t teach well is how to cope with losing a patient. Some physicians will go many years as a physician before having their first patient die on them. Others will lose a patient earlier on during their career. I was the latter. I hadn’t even graduated from medical school yet ...

Read more...

Earlier this year, when my mother was briefly hospitalized, nobody gave her the wrong medication (her wristband was checked before each medicine was dispensed).  Nobody missed a high or low blood pressure (her vital signs were taken every few hours, like clockwork). She was usually assisted to the bathroom so she wouldn’t fall (a sensor on her bed triggered an alarm if she started to get up). Thank goodness for hospital-based ...

Read more...

350 Pages

Most Popular