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 ...

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For American conservatives, Britain’s NHS is an antiquated Orwellian dystopia. For Brits, even those who don’t love the NHS, American conservatives are better suited to spaghetti westerns, such as Fistful of Dollars, than reality. The twain are unlikely to meet after the recent press surrounding Charlie Gard, the infant, now deceased, with a rare, fatal mitochondrial disorder in which mitochondrial DNA is depleted — mitochondrial depletion disorder (MDD). In this condition, ...

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One of the most difficult situations for a parent is one in which your child is sick. To be in a situation where you cannot control how the child responds to interventions is very challenging. Under normal circumstances, you follow your normal daily routine: up in the morning, breakfast, get dressed, off to school or daycare or activities for the day, a nap in the afternoon, pick up from school ...

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Cold, sterile and well … clinical. Three words that neatly describe hospitals as many of us know them. In books, on TV and in movies, we see and experience hospitals as impersonal, solemn and sterile institutions — designed only to treat disease. Interestingly enough, while our society has begun shifting away from thinking of health as just the treatment of disease, our hospitals fail to reflect these changes. This is particularly ...

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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 ...

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I don’t think I would be the first resident to claim that residency is hard. Anyone who has gone through, or is currently participating in residency, will attest to the challenge of medical training. Efforts have been made on national and institutional levels to address this with work hour restrictions limiting the number of hours a resident can work or the number of calls a trainee can take. These rules ...

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On a particularly sultry day in a hospital of the Peruvian Amazon, I found myself with the task of telling a group of parents that their babies, who had been waiting in the hallways for days without eating in preparation for surgery, would not be able to have their cleft lip and palate fixed. We, a group of American doctors and medical staff offering this procedure free of charge to ...

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I was rotating through an infectious disease elective at an outside hospital during my fourth year of medical school when I encountered a startling situation. We were called to evaluate a patient who was suffering from an infection called Haemophilus influenzae. Now, I knew that most children were vaccinated against this pathogen, so I was surprised by the consult. I was working on a team with three others: one attending, one ...

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When health officials learned that the 2015 measles outbreak was caused by clusters of unvaccinated children, Americans once more wanted to understand why some parents do not vaccinate their children. In our highly polarized culture, media commentators and even academics began to connect opposition to vaccination to either the left or right of politics. So a question arises: Who is more likely to be opposed to vaccination, liberals or conservatives? As ...

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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 ...

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