My alarm went off at 4:15 a.m. I lay in bed dreading the day ahead of me. By 4:50 a.m., I arrive at the nursing home where I was doing a geriatric rotation. A stack of charts and a patient complaint list was awaiting me. On the list were the usual suspects: a follow up for lab results, a fall, abdominal pain. And at the bottom was a note on ...

Read more...

I keep a spare set of scrubs in my car. It’s an act of preparedness, informed by experience. A couple of months ago, I came out of an ED room after performing a particularly unsavory procedure and noticed that my left knee was wet. Disgusted, I shared my misfortune with my coworkers, and all of them had the same sympathetic response; they mirrored my grimace and cautiously offered hope: “Maybe ...

Read more...

Despite the fact that most people will have had the misfortune of visiting the emergency department (ED) at some point in their life, I find that many folks do not really understand what happens in the ED. 1. Emergency medicine is a specialty. Yes, we actually did residency training to learn how to work in the ED. This training lasted three to four years after medical school and is sometimes followed ...

Read more...

I remember just moving to Atlanta and having breakfast with a new-found friend I had met while working at a hospital as a registered nurse. The food at our chosen eatery was far from great. But I must say, my friend’s enthusiasm for life, specifically living in Atlanta, was fulfilling enough to make me forget the chef's lackluster culinary skills. She was warm, outgoing, adventurous, somewhat inquisitive — just what ...

Read more...

So you made a mistake. I know you’re busy beating yourself up about it. I know that after years and years of training in life-saving medicine you’ve also trained yourself to accept the blame for all sorts of things beyond your control. You’re asking, "How could I have missed that," or "Why didn’t I think about that?" You’re wondering why you didn’t give a different drug, order another test or do ...

Read more...

Multiple state leaders, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and even President Trump have declared states of emergency in response to the opioid epidemic. Policymakers claim to be battling this public health crisis on all fronts, but one arena continues to be conspicuously ignored: our prisons and jails. Roughly half of all incarcerated individuals suffer from addiction. And in the two weeks following their release, former prisoners are 129 times more likely ...

Read more...

“In Puerto Rico, we call those plants morir vivir,” said a patient who sat by the side of the road while we checked her blood sugar. When I reached to touch the small fern, it swiftly closed its leaves shut, and then after a few minutes cautiously reopened. As a young doctor I was fascinated with the poetry of the name. “It’s just like us Puerto Ricans,” she smiled. For two ...

Read more...

The holiday season is stressful enough without having to try to fit a visit to the emergency department (ED) in your schedule. Getting medical care on a major holiday can be especially difficult because most, if not all, offices and urgent cares are closed. This can make the ED wait longest around the holidays. Here are some tips to keep you out of the ED this holiday season. 1. Make sure ...

Read more...

Politics are divisive. That should not be a shock to anyone. However, the political climate in the USA at the moment is more than just divisive.  Lately, I have noticed that there is an underlying disdain for those we disagree with in a way that even my grandparents say they have never seen in this country. The current political climate pervades nearly every aspect of our society, from pop culture ...

Read more...

Patsy loved playing bingo every Wednesday night. Her boyfriend of three years loved watching her daughter Jenna who was a tiny and pretty six-year-old her momma called "princess." Even though they weren't related, Jenna called Patsy's boyfriend "Uncle Billy" at her mother's behest. And Uncle Billy made Jenna shyer and quieter than she usually was. He'd walk in on those Wednesday nights and demand a big hug and kiss on the cheek ...

Read more...

159 Pages

Most Popular

Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories.