shutterstock_210331261 It's metoprolol. m-e-t-o-p-r-o-l-o-l The nurse on the other end of the phone sighs as she tolerates my tirade regarding pronunciation. They all know that I am particular about such things. For metoprolol is neither metoclopramide or metolazone, and the difference could be life altering. I live in a world of words. Trained in a language created to parse pertinent details. Dysarthria or dysphagia? Paroxysmal ...

Read more...

Inscribed on a plaque just below a statue of an eagle in front of my hospital is a famous quote from President Abraham Lincoln that begins, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle ...” It is the reason why the Veterans Affairs (VA) system exists. It is the reason why we VA physicians come to work each day. I am honored to care for our special patient population, ...

Read more...

There she lay: a 59-year old woman who had become increasingly disoriented and confused. Not only did she have an infection in her bloodstream, years of alcohol abuse had taken its toll on her liver, leaving her skin yellowed. “Welcome to the ICU,” I thought. In contrast to my previous clinical experience, I found this patient encounter unsettling. No conversation. No personality. No interaction. She was nothing more than a body in a bed punctured ...

Read more...

“Have you had any horrible problems with wait times?” shouted the reporter as he jogged towards the van pulling out of the parking lot. Leaning in so far that his head actually crossed the window’s threshold yet still audible from across the street, he continued “We’re looking for people who’ve had terrible experiences here!” So it was last week walking in to work at the Durham VA Medical Center. One year ago, ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

If you are a doctor, nurse, patient, or just someone interested in patient safety, you should read a five-part story called "The Overdose: Harm in a Wired Hospital" excerpted from a book The Digital Doctor by Dr. Robert Wachter. Dr. Wachter and the hospital are to be commended for publicizing this incident so others may learn from it. The hospital staff, the patient, and his mother, also deserve credit for allowing their ...

Read more...

I just finished reading the Journal of Hospital Medicine article called “The highest utilizers of care: individualized care plans to coordinate care, improve health care service utilization, and reduce costs at an academic tertiary care center.” Using a multidisciplinary team of volunteers including members from hospital medicine, ER, psychiatry, ambulatory care, social work, nursing and risk management,  individualized care plans were developed for high utilizer patients.  These patients had multiple ...

Read more...

medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Hearts Different for ART Kids? Cardiac systolic and diastolic function were altered at age 5 among Chinese children born of assisted reproductive technology (ART).
  2. Doctor Reviews the Ethical Review Boards. When Robert Klitzman, MD, first began researching institutional review boards (IRBs), he was struck by how little he -- ...

    Read more...

shutterstock_127169975 A few months ago, I was on call as a cardiology fellow, and I had to go up to one of the inpatient floors to do a stat echocardiogram on a patient. Given how hemodynamically unstable he was, I was rushing to the room as fast as I could with this hefty machine that could give important information about cardiac function ...

Read more...

An excerpt from The Secret Language of Doctors: Cracking the Code of Hospital Culture. When it comes to modern medical slang, there’s Before Shem and After Shem. Shem refers to Samuel Shem, the pen name of Dr. Stephen Bergman, psychiatrist and author of the blockbuster novel The House of ...

Read more...

Most Popular