“You folks have it easy.” As a resident, it is not uncommon to hear these words on the wards from older physicians. After all, this new generation is spoiled, one could say. At the time when I trained, we had hour limitations and “caps” on the number of cases we could handle as interns on our shifts. Now, that seems to have reversed. Second year was tougher in ...

Read more...

I am the “sick” resident this month. Instead of seeing check-ups and doing physicals, I see walk-in patients and triage same-day appointments. When my desk phone rings, the standard greeting in clinic is, "This is Amy — sick." After a few days, I started joking that I am to be called the Well resident from now on. Some people laughed, and many said, "What would that mean?" Somewhere between the 50th and ...

Read more...

As Harvey’s devastation raged through Houston recently, the city's mayor was compelled to address rumors that those seeking aid could be deported. In the wake of a statewide ban on “sanctuary cities,” the mayor sought to reassure the Houston area's more than 500,000 undocumented immigrants that they would not be targeted for deportation at emergency shelters. Nevertheless, out of the disaster ...

Read more...

How do I tell you who I am in a couple of paragraphs? Well, I was born in 1955, so that makes me 61 years old. My namesake is probably movie star and America's sweetheart Debbie Reynolds. My maternal grandfather was straight from Italy; my paternal grandfather was straight from Ireland. Both crossed the Atlantic and landed on Ellis Island in New York Harbor. It was the promised land. So, that means I ...

Read more...

How often have I heard those words or some version of them? The location of the conversations varies. I might be standing outside the curtain of an emergency room bay or sitting on a worn chair inside a cramped waiting room adjacent to the ICU. Possibly on the phone in the dark of my bedroom at some pre-dawn hour. Those words, coming from the mouth of a spouse, a child, ...

Read more...

“Someone call for a body bag.” These were words that I didn’t expect to hear on my final day of burn surgery at large metropolitan hospital. We had just planned on a routine burn excision and skin grafting. Our patient, Faith, was a seven-year-old girl with third-degree burns to 85 percent of her body from a house fire. We had been caring for her in the ICU for the past three ...

Read more...

"So, I'm getting routine labs on her." Wait, what? Statements like these often make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. One of our residents was seeing a healthy young woman for her "annual physical," seen just a few days after a routine postpartum visit with her OB/GYN after the uneventful birth of her third child two months ago. The resident was coming for his afternoon continuity clinic from an ...

Read more...

I'm in the ICU and was just back from an incredible tropical vacation. Nine days of vegging out on the beach. The glistening ocean was just steps away from the five-star hotel I was staying in, where doormen greeted me with fruity daiquiris and a staff that couldn't wait to serve my every whim. I was in paradise, and far, far away from the reality of my day-to-day existence as an ...

Read more...

More and more health care practitioners are turning to social media for their medical education. Fellows are learning ultrasound from Snapchat, nurses are learning how to insert NG tubes from watching YouTube, and learners are learning pathophysiology from blogs and podcasts. To reach this audience with credible and reliable content, it is important for medical educators to be present where the learners are, and that means social media. Users are also ...

Read more...

Being a physician is hard. Really hard. Four years of medical school, multiple years of residency and perhaps fellowship training add up to years of working endless days in a row and powering through exhausting nights. For many of us, this need to be able to power through continues even when we finally make it as an attending. But being a patient is harder. Being the daughter or son or husband ...

Read more...

7 Pages

Most Popular