Recently I received an elderly patient who had been transferred from another hospital where she had been admitted for two weeks. The pertinent information about this patient is that her son, a doctor, a pathologist, had arranged the transfer. The worst thing to have is a patient with a doctor for a relative. No, the worst thing is to have a patient with a doctor who is a pathologist for a ...

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Welcome to Friday night as a hospitalist in the ultimate Green State, Colorado: Time to gear up for some marijuana-facilitated paranoia, memory loss, nausea and vomiting, and memory loss. I’m not a teetotaler, but I do find the new surge in cases of preventable disease a bit disheartening if not occasionally humorous. Prior to this past year, it wasn’t uncommon for me to encounter an occasional marijuana medical problem, but ...

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One of my patients got admitted this past week. As a new attending, this is still an unpleasant experience. Have I failed? Is there more I could have done to prevent this? I have to say that this particular case wasn't shocking. The patient hadn't been doing well lately, and I wasn't surprised when I got the message that they were on the way to the emergency room. Due to our ...

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One of the things that I love about my job as a hospitalist is the ease with which we can develop friendships with colleagues from other disciplines. Since I am an inpatient physician, it’s not surprising that some of my good friends are cardiologists, nurses, endocrinologists, physical therapists and, of course, other hospitalists. In fact, I met my neurosurgeon husband while co-managing his patients at the hospital. While thinking about ...

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The enormous push continues to reduce readmissions, due in no small part to stiff financial penalties from CMS for the worst performing hospitals. The most commonly cited statistic is that about 1 in 5, or 20 percent, of Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days. A staggeringly high number when you think about it. Having discharged thousands of patients and seen the characteristics of those patients that are frequently readmitted ...

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My earliest memories of medicine take me back to dinner table conversations with my mother, who is a physician. She would share with us her daily stories, telling us about patients she took care of in her clinics and in the hospital. As an internist, she often found herself traveling between many locations. I grew up knowing this to be medicine. As I have progressed in my career as a ...

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shutterstock_231634663 I am a young hospitalist who is 16 months into my role at an urban academic medical center. Unlike many of my more senior colleagues who found their way to hospital medicine by circumstance, luck, or as a second career path, I have been planning my career in hospital medicine since the beginning of my residency training. The things that drew me ...

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There are certain universal laws that appear to govern the broader workings of the world around us. For those of you unfamiliar with Pareto’s principle, it’s a concept that was first applied in economics and then found to be a governing rule in a whole host of different arenas. It’s no understatement to say that understanding and acting upon this concept can be transformative, not just in your work but ...

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I am presently doing locum tenens shifts in a lovely community in Oregon as a hospitalist. I have been to this hospital before and was glad to return when they needed some help. I like this place and noticed on my first go around that patients got good care and that physicians and nurses all seemed to get along pretty well together. When I first worked here, 2 years ago, they ...

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The observation status problem has continued to grow both larger and worse. My hospitalist colleagues and I are caring for patients in hospital beds in the exact same way as other patients in the hospital, but we are told that we must give them the designation called observation status.  CMS recognizes observation status as outpatient care, like seeing a patient in a walk-in clinic. We don’t decide to make a patient observation ...

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