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» Emergency Medicine

Sometimes it just ain’t in ya…

There are days when it just isn’t in you.  I know everyone has these days, but somehow as a doctor you just aren’t supposed to.  There is an expectation that if you’re any good you will rise above all BS, never let it suck you in, and never let it bring you down.  Even if [...]

Doing the right thing can be costly.

There are few decisions in life that are black or white.  Our entire society seems to live in shades of grey.  At some point in every physician’s career one must decide which shade of grey is most comfortable for him or herself.  It is actually impossible to do “the right thing” everyday and with every [...]

Comrades in the Trenches

I truly relish and enjoy my conversations with fellow ED docs about our days.  Sometimes only colleagues who do exactly what you do and see exactly what you see can truly understand what a day in this life is like.  While we are constantly surrounded by patients, nurses, secretaries and techs, it is amazing how [...]

So What’s the ‘Craziest’ thing you’ve seen in the Emergency Department?

This is probably the most common thing people ask me when they find out I’m an ED doctor, and I can totally understand the curiosity.  The ED is a crazy world.  Fascinating things happen everyday. 

Never Break-Up after a Night Shift….

And if you can help it, try not to argue about or even really care about anything that annoys you during these periods; and let’s face it, after some circadian flip-flops and missing the sun for a few days, just about everything can be annoying.  I finally learned this lesson the hard way, twice.
It takes [...]

Does it really need to be this hard?

I saw a patient today who has become a semi-frequent flyer.  She has been in for chest pain, had MI’s ruled out, received, narcotics, reassurance, the run around, etc on several occasions.  When I first saw her come in I was planning to do more of the same. 

Electronic Medical Records (EMR’s)

We ran out of blank physician charts in the ED today, so we photocopied one and used those copies until the new order came in. As I used the photocopied “chart” today over and over again for each patient I repeatedly noticed the crooked angle of the lines and boxes that occured as a [...]

This was not on the Brochure for Medical School

I was told I would not make as much money as my immediate predesessors, but that I would have a nice live.  I was told that I would hardly get any sleep for ten years straight, but I would be invigorated by the experience of saving lives.  I was told that some colleagues are rude, [...]

Death by a Million Small Frustrations and a Dozen Night Shifts.

If it is possible to die from a million paper cuts then the Emergency Department is where it’s going to happen. This is literally true considering MRSA and figuratively true considering the mounting obligations piled upon emergency professionals.

You saved his life Dr. Mallon and Dr. Herbert….

Yesterday I had the gut-wretching experience of caring for that asthmatic you all talk about.  He was the patient you have dedicated so much time to teaching us about. 

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