The last few days have been rough. The emergency department is overcrowded, and patients have been very sick. Treatments were labor-intensive, and patients holding in the ED took up valuable resources at the cost of others. I could see the frustration on the faces of physicians, nurses and other staff. A physician and a nurse separately pulled me aside to have conversations about what the ED has become and why ...

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The fact that unexpected outcomes and rare events occur is one of the realities of medicine that is difficult to comprehend until you have personally experienced it. There are over 130 million emergency department visits annually, over 16 million of which require admission to a hospital. With that many encounters, even the rarest of events becomes possible. However, practicing medicine is impossible if you are constantly looking for the 0.0001 ...

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