As clinicians, we often forget or become desensitized to the image that society has of medicine and doctors. Alongside teachers and scientists, we are seen to be among the most trustworthy of professionals, yet our morale is low, with almost 50 percent describing it as “low” or “very low.” You can imagine, then, why I often describe medicine as a forest: beautiful, scenic and picturesque from afar but ...

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In medicine, the seemingly simple questions become the complex ones. “How’s it going?” It is a question that is frequently asked whenever we encounter friends and acquaintances. In a given day, we ask this question many times out of courtesy and we expect to hear short, affirmative answers, such as “Things are good,” or “It’s OK” as we continue to walk to where we need to go since we are pressed for ...

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Rural hospitals are fighting for their lives. Over the past five years, more than 40 rural facilities have closed their doors due to lack of funding. And because the majority of their funds come fromMedicare and Medicaid -- two government programs facing potential cutbacks in 2015 -- many rural hospitals may be fighting a losing battle.   Understandably, small-town residents fear hospital closures or downsizing may leave them vulnerable when serious ...

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shutterstock_223878937 gomerblog The Rübler-Koss model or 7 stages of grief is a series of emotional stages an admitting provider experiences when faced with an impending admission. The 7 stages are best remembered by the acronym DABDDAH, which stands for denial, anger, bargaining (or blocking), deflection (or delaying), depression, acceptance, and ...

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Sometime while I was still in high school, my mom began to have trouble breathing. She had never had asthma before; an albuterol inhaler helped for a while. Still, cold season was a nightmare, and later, so was allergy season, and every year seemed to get worse. After college, I moved back in with my parents. She fought her way through the cold season, dutifully driving 20 miles (and later 40, ...

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Ever since we are children, our parents and society teach us how to play together with others. What we don’t realize is that this lays the groundwork for developing important teamwork skills -- the same skills that enable success and positive outcomes in the workplace. My own experiences in hospital medicine practice throughout the last decade continue to increase my appreciation for these seemingly simple yet invaluable techniques. Like many young ...

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Although the Affordable Care Act’s second enrollment period is nearly over, politicians, medical professionals, and the public still debate its implications. According to David Houle and Jonathan Fleece, one-third of all hospitals in the United States will close or be reorganized into another kind of health care provider by 2020. What will differentiate the winners from the losers? Simply put, it will be high patient satisfaction. In consumer terms what ...

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shutterstock_136759886 As part of the increasing push for health care quality improvement, a lot of energy is being focused on improving our communication with patients and making sure that patient-centered care is more than just a buzz phrase. Gone are the days when the doctor-patient interaction was a wholly paternalistic one, where the doctor’s word was taken as final and absolute, and patients weren’t encouraged ...

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Patients admitted to the hospital ward sometimes get sicker instead of getting better right away.  Often this can happen acutely. Depending on the circumstances, ranging from a "rapid response" for unstable vital signs to a cardiac arrest (a "code”), previously uninvolved hospital staff might be called on to help.  Despite the commotion, these events are a period of time for the health care team to shine.  At inpatient emergencies, ...

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shutterstock_60295858 I will always remember my awkward medical school interviews. Filled with bioethical scenarios and questions to measure my ability to prevent an impaired physician from practicing, the interviewers seemed hardly interested in my prior career achievements or humble beginnings. Such discussions carried on through the first two years of medical school. They never taught us how health care reimbursement works or why ...

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