Even though physicians do not talk about transferring residencies, it is more common than is often believed. According to the AAMC website, about 30 percent of residents do not finish the initial program they started. Quantifying that number further, the ACGME recently reported 1,044 residents transferring from their program. There are a variety of reasons for transferring residencies: A spouse being accepted for ...

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Beeeeeeeeeeep. The unmistakable long beep of my bright-red code pager broke the rhythmic sound of my trusty breast pump. I grabbed the pager silently praying it was a “test page.” No such luck. As I read the Code 45 message, I heard the overhead announcement echo: “Code 45, East Tower.” I quickly disconnected the breast pump, whipped off my pumping bras and was mostly dressed as I ran from the lactation ...

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This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com. Wide open spaces. Fresh, clean air. No people for miles around. The advantages of rural living are plentiful, but there are disadvantages, too, especially when it comes to health care; being way out in the country likely means the choices for doctors, clinics and hospitals are severely limited. According to the ...

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My 81-year-old patient came in several weeks ago and disclosed that he had stopped taking his aspirin after watching a news report on television. “They said I didn’t need it anymore,” he told me. I gently informed him that this news didn’t apply to him. He was responding to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, which showed that aspirin failed to prevent ...

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About two months ago, a 15-year-old Native American male was riding around in a stolen car on the reservation. “M” and the driver were drinking. And somehow, after he exited the vehicle at 4 a.m., the car struck him. Hours later, it became clear that something was wrong. M was transferred to our pediatric hospital as a trauma and was found to have an unstable vertebral fracture. Conservative treatment with ...

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2016, Kenya I arrived in casualty (the emergency department) to see a minimally responsive Kenyan boy with a body wasted from malnutrition. His mother stood at the bedside cradling his head, her eyes full of fear. His parents had traveled for days over rugged mountain roads in the rains to get to the hospital. My colleague told me his blood sugar was 10 mg/dL, and the nurse had gone to gather ...

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My dad flew to California in the spring to meet his grandson, who was about five months old at the time. He wasn’t that interested in baby care. He mostly wanted to sight-see and spend the evenings watching TV. One weekday morning, he ventured out on a hike alone, while I was at work. He left at 9 a.m. and never came home. We live at the base of a dusty ...

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"Does a rock float on water?" I asked the haggard woman lying in the ICU bed. I was an intern, in the first rotation of my medical residency, and Mrs. Jones had been my ICU team's patient for the past week. Over that time, she'd looked more and more uncomfortable, constantly gesturing for her breathing tube to be removed. Mrs. Jones tried to form words in response to my question, but the ...

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I am just another average physician. It wasn’t my first return from maternity leave, but this busy ED shift wasn’t going well. I kept putting off breast-pumping to complete “just one more thing.” Then my son’s school secretary called. I had told our nanny the wrong pick-up time. She wasn’t answering her phone. I was disappointed in myself and frustrated that I couldn’t leave. But I am a physician — I ...

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1. Murphy’s Law as it applies to the ER: If something can go bad, it will do so in a hurry. If it can’t possibly go bad, it will still find a way. 2. Clock’s First Rule: All the patients will crash at the same time. Usually when the computer system goes down. 3. Clock’s Second Rule: The sickest patients will come just before the shift change. 4. Haste’s Theorem: The healthier the ...

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