I was nearing the end of my pediatrics rotation as a third-year medical student when the senior resident asked me to admit a patient to the general pediatrics floor. The only information I had as I headed down to the intensive care unit was that she was a ten-year-old girl who had survived an extensive resuscitation at home. By this point in my education, I was certain that I wanted to ...

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Most experienced pediatric intensivists, myself included, have encountered situations in which we, the doctors, believe continuing to support a child is unethical because it is not saving the life but prolonging the dying; whereas the child’s parents believe the opposite -- that it is unethical to withdraw life support because all life is sacred, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes these situations arise because poor communication causes families to distrust the ...

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On September 30th of this year, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) ran out of federal funding. While CHIP has not received as much publicity as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it has had a major impact on the American population: providing health insurance for 9 million children who would otherwise not be insured. Despite its success, there is currently a debate about the funding of CHIP. CHIP, which was passed ...

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There she was — compassion. It had been so long since I had caught sight of her, I wasn’t sure at first if I recognized her. Had she had changed so much over the years or had I? She was peeking around the corner checking in to see how I was doing. I am surprised she still visits me, after the way I treated her all those years ago. If ...

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In an article published by the Atlantic earlier this year, Ryan Park writes that neither truck drivers nor bankers work the kind of gruelingly long hours that doctors -- particularly young doctors in their residency programs -- do. It is no secret that residency life is demanding and exhausting. Over the last decade, it has also become controversial. Almost a test in itself, as if gauging doctors’ ...

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Over the past several years there have been numerous reports on the rates of death and injury in children with firearms.  In fact, a 2-year-old child recently accidentally took his own life in Philadelphia recently.  Although the studies don’t entirely agree, two things are certain; 1 death is one too many and children don’t need to exercise their second amendment rights. The United States has by far the highest rate of ...

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T was the last patient of a busier than usual morning. “New patient, establish care” was her reason for visit. As I would soon find out with the help of our remarkable Arabic interpreter, T and her family recently moved to our area after spending the better part of 3 years moving from refugee camp to refugee camp trying to escape the ravages of the civil war in their native ...

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I wonder what the best thank you any physician has ever received?  I think this one is mine.  This recent thank you was for our efforts to not save a child but for simply allowing this family to have a few more days with their infant who ultimately passed away.  This amazing thank you has deeply and positively affected me so much ...

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In theory, of course, it’s a great idea for people to give their opinions and rate their experiences with any goods or services they buy. The notion goes back long before the Internet with publications like Consumer Reports, which is now itself online. Sites such as Angie’s List are very popular and can give you testimonials about providers of everything from home renovations to car repair to daycare. So it’s not surprising several ...

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It’s fall in the PICU, and we just saw our first severe case of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) of the season. RSV is by far the most common cause of bronchiolitis in infants. To scientists, RSV is a fascinating virus with several unique properties. One of these is its behavior in the population. When it’s present, RSV is everywhere. Then it suddenly vanishes. There are exceptions to everything in medicine ...

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