STAT_Logo I’m a physician, a husband and dad, a guy who tries to live by the golden rule. But sometimes I’m an escort into sadness and despair, plunging families into the darkest emotional depths with the news I must give.

One particular case from years prior stands out. Mary (whose name and identifying details have ...

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It was Saturday evening, and Audrey G lay awkwardly on an emergency department stretcher in search of a comfortable position. She suffered from chronic hip pain, the unfortunate and unexpected effect of pelvic surgery. But her real chief complaint involved her drug-abusing husband, who that morning stole her recently filled bottle of oxycodone, an opioid pain medicine. Her story included the surgeon who doubted her pain and a year of ...

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We, as a society, can’t ignore these numbers: over 47,000 human lives lost prematurely in one year from drug overdoses, a 7 percent spike over the previous year, with opioid painkillers and heroin driving much of this tragic surge. If this trend isn’t disturbing enough, four out of five new heroin abusers began their habit by abusing painkillers. These numbers have faces. Caring for patients who abuse and overdose ...

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When it comes to physician wellness, I’m type A noncompliant. That realization struck me midway through my last vacation, which was notable because I didn’t travel anywhere, and the most extraordinary activity involved sleeping through the night. Shift work, especially overnight shifts, has a way of inflicting sneaky havoc upon the body and minds of the delusionally hearty. After twenty years as an emergency physician, I should know better than to ...

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shutterstock_283174037 Seeking to provide balanced discourse and to recognize marginalized voices at the gooey center of health care, I kindly ask that you find a seat in the Captain’s Room of the Hilltop Motor Lodge for the inaugural meeting of Physicians for the Liberty of the Electronic Health Record, where founder and president Dr. IM Klickhffor starts the proceedings with this plenary ...

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051809+Maureen+Dowd+p1 If I’m to take fashion advice from Maureen Dowd’s March 3 column, “Stroke of Fate,” a take-down of emergency medicine disguised as a recovery narrative of her niece, then I should exchange my white coat for grease-stained overalls. In her column, a Harvard neurology professor who specializes in stroke describes the brain as the Rolls-Royce of the human body. When it ...

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To critics who admonish emergency physicians like myself for our excessive use of CT scans, I’ll ask them to consider the leaf blower. I’m sipping my morning coffee on our front porch, a bright, idyllic autumn day in New England, the tranquility ripped apart by the landscapers across the street. For many jobs, a powerful leaf blower might prove superior to a rake or broom. But in my neighborhood known ...

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shutterstock_110802611 Close to midnight and Tonya is somnolent, lying on an emergency department (ED) stretcher and not in her own bed at home. The change in location alters the fairy tale quality of the word somnolent from sleepy or drowsy to one that's more sinister and worrisome. Especially when Tonya is dying of brain cancer, a single mother of thirty-four, a hospice patient now ...

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