In 1968, Rosenthal and Jacobsen introduced the concept that expectations in the classroom can positively or negatively affect students. This phenomenon was dubbed, “The Pygmalion Effect.” Since then, there has been controversy surrounding the topic. Other authors have argued that the data was insignificant or inconclusive. From my own personal experience, having been in school for over ten years, I believe that the concept carries validity. Furthermore, I believe that ...

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Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive. His job was to walk calmly into Death’s welcoming arms … All those times he had thought that it was about to happen and escaped, he had never really thought of the thing itself: His will to live had always been so much stronger than his fear of death … It was over, he knew it, and all that ...

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The last few passengers filter in and buckle themselves up before takeoff. The emergency exit row is occupied by an elderly couple, and I am seated behind them. The flight attendant asks whether they are comfortable in those seats, given that they’d have to respond in the case of an emergency. “Not that I expect anything bad to happen,” the flight attendant adds with a smile. I, too, am familiar with discussing ...

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I’m passionate about patient safety. In no small part because I was raised to be. My mom has a lot of letters behind her name (RN, BSN, MSN), and she’s dedicated her career to the field. Before I was accepted into medical school, I knew about "six sigma," the "Swiss cheese model" and root-cause analysis. I’d been taught about creating a culture of safety and the example of the airline industry. ...

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Yesterday I looked in the eyes of a mother and told her that her son was likely to die in the next six months, and I had no more ways to try to make his heart stronger. Her son is 36 years old, and a father of two boys. He was on the bed beside her chair, covering his eyes, as if what lies before him was just too much ...

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I was recently interviewed on a podcast and was asked the simple question, "Why are you in medicine?" In retrospect, that's the exact question I silently ask myself in frustration and exhaustion a little bit too often while I'm in the hospital. In those moments I recognize that I feel burnt out. In those moments if someone told me that I had to repeat intern year in order to finish ...

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Periodically we should reflect on what challenges face patients and physicians.  Over the past few days, I have worked on a list of the issues that concern me the most.  I welcome suggestions for expanding the list. 1. Diagnostic errors. All patient care requires that we make the proper diagnosis.  Too often we make errors.  A recent paper estimated that 30 percent of cellulitis admissions did not have cellulitis.  A similar ...

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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 ...

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A strange thing happened last year in some the nation’s most established hospitals and health systems. Hundreds of millions of dollars in income suddenly disappeared. This article, part two of a series that began with a look at primary care disruption, examines the economic struggles of inpatient facilities, the even harsher realities in front of them, and why hospitals are likely to aggravate, not address, health care’s rising cost issues. According ...

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Until genuine rights are extended to all patients, the ongoing health-care-reform saga perpetrated by Congress and executive leadership will continue to fail the American people. Many Americans have suffered and died because of a broken health-care-delivery system. One of us lost a 19-year old son due to lack of certain patient rights – specifically the right to evidence-based medicine and the right to a complete discharge plan from his hospital. ...

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