I started my medical career late. Really late. By that time, I’d lived a few lives. I’d earned a boatload of initials. I’d changed husbands, languages, and continents. I’d written a useless novel, and I’d been a Mary Kay lady. One day over lunch as I was looking for something to do with myself, my husband suggested medicine. I spent the next nine years immersed in my medical training, feeling guilty ...

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I’m an ER doc. I care for patients. All patients: Those who need to be in the ER; those who don’t; those who wouldn’t be there if they knew better. For them, for you and for fun, I’ve got some tips to keep you happy, safe and away from my ER. Enjoy. 1. Never, ever say “hold my beer and watch this!” Besides “I do!” they are the most dangerous words ...

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The new Holy Grail of business, Customer Satisfaction — CSAT to her close friends — is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet customer expectations. In a marketplace where businesses compete for customers, CSAT is a key element of strategy. Why? Money. Satisfied customers buy. They come back and buy more. They tell their friends, who’ll buy too. If satisfied, they’ll return and buy more. That’s gold for ...

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Every time I call a friend, all I have for them is more work. I’ve never yet called to say: “I hope you’re having a great day. Why don’t you take a break and have some fun? You’ve worked enough.” Nope. I only call to give them extra work. Whether it’s 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., I need you to get away from your bed/lover/high horse and come take my patient. ...

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First came the SOAP notes. They’ve nothing to do with cleanliness, just the opposite. SOAP stands for: Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan. S: “Patient states that pain is 16/10, sharp, unremitting. Feeling like a crocodile is eating insides every 10 minutes, after sprinkling them with Frank’s hot sauce.” O: On entering the room, patient is eating Cheetos and drinking Mountain Dew while texting. Abdomen is soft and nontender. A: Abdominal pain, probably gastritis. P: ...

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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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