One cold winter night many years ago, someone dropped off a calico cat and her two kittens in our snowy driveway, and we went from a two cat family to a five cat household. I learned a few things from that. When I was a resident, two thirtysomething family docs had an office upstairs from the residency program. Ned and Peter precepted us, and they sometimes ran downstairs to ask the ...

Read more...

The day drags on; you hang in there until the job is finally complete. You are exhausted, tired, and sure something is clearly wrong. Arriving in the emergency department is never one of those moments you expect. Staff greetings are quickly followed by people taking your vital signs, pressure on various parts of your body, and placing you under X-ray machines. Symptoms come and go, and verdicts are read. Good ...

Read more...

Angela Cooper arrived home from work to discover her daughter’s temperature had spiked to 102 degrees — a sign that the teenager, who has cancer, had a potentially deadly bloodstream infection. As Cooper rushed her daughter to the hospital, her mind raced: Had she done something to cause the infection? Cooper, who works at a Chevy dealership in Iowa, has no medical background. She is one of thousands of parents who ...

Read more...

He was approximately 75 pounds and appeared to be wasting away. Although he was only 43 years old, he had end-stage AIDS. Even in this cachectic state, he continued to refuse to eat the hospital food because he didn’t like it. After speaking at length with him, he said that he only wanted porridge with meat or “fat cakes,” both of which we did not serve in the hospital. He ...

Read more...

Most of us do not know the basics of economics, although we should. It impacts every one of us every day that we are alive. Yet, for most of us, once we get beyond the law of supply and demand, our knowledge of the subject starts to vaporize. I can't explain fiscal or monetary policy. While I regard economics as a science, it seems that experts routinely interpret data differently, ...

Read more...

Devastating. That alone cannot fully describe the extent of the destruction of property, the displacement of tens of thousands of residents, the injuries and loss of life in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. As Americans, our hearts ache for those affected by the flooding. As a medical student, former international development worker in Afghanistan and EMT in South Africa, I also lay awake thinking about the many infectious ...

Read more...

I have been working on this essay for some time now. It has been difficult for me to convey in words this complex issue of physician-patient relationships that, to me, is the crux of the art of medicine. The first time I met Rachel was when she showed up at my office with Mary, her closest friend for her first prenatal exam. When a year later, I walked into my office ...

Read more...

As a pediatrician in training, I’ve seen countless instances in which parents, in both the ED and inpatient/outpatient care settings, have presented with deep concern regarding their child’s fever. It’s an age-old concern. But why exactly does fever cause so much distress in a parent’s world? As a medical student, I distinctly remember rotating with an attending physician who had strong feelings regarding fever. He became angry with me when I ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 46-year-old man is evaluated for fever, dysuria, and urinary frequency of 1 day's duration. He also notes a sensation of deep pelvic pain near the rectum. He has no urethral discharge or testicular pain. He states that he felt well before the current illness and has ...

Read more...

The other day, rather than being at the office, I was sitting in the waiting room of our favorite gastroenterologist’s endoscopy suite. I had dutifully accompanied my wife, who was getting her colonoscopy. My cell phone buzzed. It was my nurse calling from the office. I had seen a patient late the previous day who was complaining of right leg pain. I had ordered a D-dimer, hoping the test would be ...

Read more...

37 Pages

Most Popular