Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and Sesame Street, died at the age of 53. His diagnosis was toxic shock syndrome/streptococcus pneumonia — a deadly bacterial infection. We were on vacation when we heard the news: The genius who opened the imaginations and hearts of our children ... maybe you too ... was gone. We were devastated and saddened that the magic Muppet man had died. One year later, our ICU admitted ...

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My local hospital in an affluent suburb of New York City displays its Outstanding Patient Experience Award 2018 and Magnet Recognized status on its website. My experiences tell a different story. This hospital is located approximately five to seven minutes from my home and is my go-to in an emergency. I have multiple medical conditions, which despite my best efforts sometimes require emergency care and unfortunately admission. I was working ...

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It was 4:00 a.m. when I made it to my parents’ home. My mother called me to say that my father was having a hard time breathing. I could hear him struggling in the background. I ran inside to see my mother cradling my father on the floor — not breathing. I performed CPR on the man that gave me life! CPR on the person who just three months earlier ...

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How can you work for 24 hours in a row? My friends outside of medicine ask me that often. What is it like? I wondered the same thing the night before my first 24-hour shift or “24.” I lay awake worrying, ironically, that I should have gone to bed earlier to rest up for the ordeal. When I get to work, full of nervous energy, I am relieved to find out ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 55-year-old man is evaluated in follow-up for severe COPD, which was diagnosed 2 years ago. He has had two exacerbations in the past year requiring hospitalization, and his baseline exercise tolerance is low. He completed pulmonary rehabilitation 3 months ago without much improvement in exercise capacity. He quit ...

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On a Saturday morning, Michael, a physician, was making his way through the hospital atrium after his weekend rounds.  On his way out, he noticed a family he knew well.  They were talking quietly and appeared distraught.  He asked them if they were okay.  They said that the husband’s mother had been admitted overnight with a malignant pleural effusion, and since all beds on the oncology floor were full, she ...

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I am a retired family physician (FP) and do extensive traveling in my RV. Since I have multiple medical problems, I attempt to carry with a copy of my medical records with me. I am often surprised by the information that is included in the office dictation or the hospital record and wonder how that information was obtained since it was not elicited by asking me for the info. Case in ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 52-year-old man is evaluated in follow-up after being diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea 8 weeks ago. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) was prescribed based on a titration during in-laboratory polysomnography. He notes some improvement in his sleep with CPAP, but he still feels drowsy during the day. ...

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As I was reviewing his chart, I noticed under social history that “freelance artist/painter” was listed as his occupation. I've never met a patient of such talent and honestly, I was excited to meet him. When I arrived at the ER, I was introduced to an unassuming elderly man. He wore a pair of worn out jeans and a burnt orange T-shirt. Tufts of white hair emanated from under his ...

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A few months ago, I was on call and admitted a 65-year-old man to the intensive care unit for a flare of his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although he had only gotten to the point of being unable to speak full sentences between gasps for breath for only a few days, his story started two months earlier when he had gradually started retaining water and getting more short of ...

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