Recently, I treated a young patient with diabetes in the hospital. Throughout her young life she had struggled with glucose control, and on this day her struggle left her in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a life-threatening condition that diabetics often face when their body is  unable to uptake enough glucose, leading to utilization of fat and consequential build up of acidic ketones, which cause blood levels ...

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Sitting on a dusty wooden bench in the rural Sacred Valley in Peru with the Andean mountain range serving as a scenic backdrop, it dawned on me that I was the first physician that my 43-year-old Peruvian patient had ever seen. After treating his acute diarrhea, I was faced with his elevated but asymptomatic 162/89 blood pressure. I knew he needed treatment, but my concern was whether or not to start ...

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“Look left, look right”, our group leader told us. No, I was not learning to cross the street. Rather it was my first day of employee orientation at the IBM Software Lab over a decade ago. I was fortunate that our CEO was Lou Gerstner, arguably one of the greatest CEOs who has ever existed. Gerstner stepped into IBM in the early 1990s when the company was struggling. One of ...

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When I completed my overnight shift and left the medical ICU the morning of July 1, I raised my arms victoriously. I uttered, "Finally, internship is done!" I may have been one of the last to speak such words. As of July 1, 2011, intern year forever changed. In the world of medicine the first year of residency, or intern year, is when doctors earn their stripes. Traditionally it is ...

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My patient, whom I’ll call Jane, had a neurologic disorder that prevented her from emptying her bladder properly. She required a permanent urinary foley catheter to help her urinate. Jane landed back at the hospital with yet another urinary tract infection – her third in one month. She had pus draining from her catheter and was infected with a multi-drug resistant strain of the bacteria Proteus. Our lab ran tests (sensitivities) ...

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I’ve played over a thousand ice hockey games in my life, but I had no idea that yesterday’s adult men’s league game in Cleveland would be the most memorable. I grew up in Canada, three blocks from Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player ever, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my game last night was more important than any game that my former neighbor played. Tonight’s game was literally a matter ...

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There isn’t a country on this planet where there isn’t someone dreaming of curing cancer. What if there was something even more spectacular than curing cancer? What if you could stop cancer right in its tracks and eliminate its existence. Prevent it. Squash it before it starts. Vincent Tuohy, PhD, an immunologist at Cleveland Clinic, may be on a path toward ...

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Six months down. Six to go. I am officially halfway through what people have told me will be one of the most challenging years of my life.  I’ve rotated through Cardiology, Primary Care, Gastroenterology, General Medicine, Psychiatry, Palliative Medicine, the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), and Rheumatology. Finally I have reached every resident’s favorite rotation – vacation. Intern year has been hard work, but I’ve enjoyed it and am extremely pleased ...

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I sat at home with a sense of relief. I had just finished my first month of residency - a grueling inpatient hospital month where I was pushed to new limits. I now finally had my first “golden weekend” (meaning I had both Saturday and Sunday off). More importantly, I had survived my first month without any patient deaths on my service. Given how sick people are when they come to ...

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