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...

STAT_Logo He struggled to hear when people talked to him. He asked the same questions over and over. He fell asleep when really important conversations were going on around him. But it wasn’t until he missed an emergency call that I knew I had to act. I spoke to a higher-up about this elderly doctor out of concern for patient ...

Read more...

There's a common affliction that's rampant in my practice, but it's not a gastrointestinal condition. It's called polypharmacy, and it refers to patients who are receiving a pile of prescription and other medications. I see this daily in the office and in the hospital. It's common enough to see patients who are receiving 10 or more medications, usually from 3 or 4 medical specialists. Of course, every doctor feels that he ...

Read more...

In about 1990 we got our first computer. I say "we" because my husband and I shared a desktop which I used infrequently. I mostly used it for word processing, and the Internet was very young. At the turn of the millennium, my children were using computers, and they were limited to 1 hour of computer time a day, which was on a shared desktop. By 2001, I was communicating ...

Read more...

It seems that everyone has advice about sleep these days, and we have become immune to it. “Avoid naps, caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. Get exercise. Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Turn off the TV and any electronic devices hours before bedtime. Enjoy a relaxing ritual. Keep to a routine.” Please do all of these, because they actually work! Shifting your bedtime later to achieve sleep consolidation ...

Read more...

An eleventh nursing home resident has died after an air conditioning failure following last week’s Hurricane Irma. The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, located outside of Fort Lauderdale, was one of 160 nursing homes that had no electricity and no air conditioning, as power lines across the state were decimated by the storm. Yet, it was the only nursing home facility in the state of Florida where multiple deaths occurred ...

Read more...

With clinician burnout, depression, resilience and joy in practice so prominent in the primary care literature lately, I have been reflecting on my own career, and the times I experienced the most joy professionally. Looking back, I think it was the years I worked with Chris (not her real name). Chris, a home health nurse, was at first simply a bubbly voice on the other end of the phone. She had ...

Read more...

As Congress returns from its summer recess, the health care debate is sure to heat up … again. And over the past few months, the debate has had a significant impact on public opinion. A recent report describes how Americans currently view the ACA. According to national polls, over 90 percent of Americans would change the current law. Most Democrats would expand ACA coverage while most Republicans ...

Read more...

Part of a series. Can we slow the aging process? The answer is a definite yes. It’s not easy and requires some real diligence, but aging can be slowed. When thinking about a car we all know “old parts were out.” It is equally true for the human body. But less appreciated is the fact that we can either slow or speed up the process, just as good preventive ...

Read more...

Cold, sterile and well … clinical. Three words that neatly describe hospitals as many of us know them. In books, on TV and in movies, we see and experience hospitals as impersonal, solemn and sterile institutions — designed only to treat disease. Interestingly enough, while our society has begun shifting away from thinking of health as just the treatment of disease, our hospitals fail to reflect these changes. This is particularly ...

Read more...

15 Pages

Most Popular

Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories.