There are those 25 minutes before my workday begins that I either drive in silence, or blare the radio and jam out to pop hits priming myself for the unexpected hours ahead. When the music is loud, and the tempo is upbeat, it transports me back to being 21 on a summer day in Chicago, before kids and bills, headed nowhere too important, definitely not too fast, stuck in traffic ...

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When a baby arrives dead in your emergency department ... ... the world stops. You stop breathing. You are gasping for air. She is limp; she is cool; she is pulseless. Chest compressions on the tiniest six month old I have ever met are done with the finger pads of my index finger and middle finger. Quick, synchronized beats. I look at her blue, blue lips. It should never be like this. Her eyes ...

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There is a man. He is in my house. I don’t know where he came from. But he just came into my house. And now he is living there. And I am afraid of him. I do not know who he is. There is a man in my house. I am so scared. I don’t know why he came. But he is there. And he tells people he is my ...

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He wasn’t particularly likable upon first encounter. He wasn’t apt to answer questions asked. He had a long pause and a long drawl and a tangential, winded story — and backstory — all of which he was bound and determined to tell to its detailed completion. With an irregular heart rate in the 170s and a respiratory rate in the 30s, I tried to steer him in the direction of ...

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She is 61, and she can’t help but smack her lips together repetitively. She has no teeth, and the curvature of her spine makes her a miniature version of what she once was. Her frizzy hair is a purple-gray tone, and there are dark particles of something in the knots alongside her left temple. Her clothes are too loose, and there are food stains on her shirt. The ambulance arrived ...

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"Well?  Did you save him?" "No. We did better than that." He came in pulseless. The machine performing chest compressions with the rhythmic thud, thwack, thump. His ribs heaving under the force of the compressor, keeping his heart artificially beating. The plastic tube secured in his airway forcing puffs of air to inflate his lungs.  His skin slightly purple-gray, on that narrow brink between life and death. His eyes like speckled ...

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Sometimes, the loudest sounds I hear in the emergency department are laughter. It may seem irresponsible. It may seem discordant. It may seem callous. To me, it is the sound of survival. It is the sound of resiliency. It is the sound of making it through the day. My father was at work when he suddenly became cold, clammy, and collapsed to the ground unresponsive. His staff did the right thing ...

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I am constantly coming across articles of physicians with strong voices. Physicians that are jaded.  Physicians that didn’t go into medicine to be defined by patient satisfaction surveys. Physicians that didn’t go into medicine expecting that people wouldn’t trust in their training because the Internet begs to differ. Physicians that cringe at the drive-through mentality that patients can present with diagnoses in hand and demands for tests to be done. Physicians ...

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