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» Emergency Medicine

A C-Booth Tale……

At 3 AM a man presented to C-Booth (the critical care section of the Emergency Department) vomiting massive amounts of blood and nearly choking to death.  He was going downhill fast, and needed to be intubated (placing a breathing tube).  The intubation was not going well, and his blood-oxygen levels were dropping as repeated attempts [...]

Martin Luther King Hospital, Los Angeles, CA The Truth, The Lies and The Myth

Seeing Martin Luther King Hospital close kind of reminded me of the Wizard of Oz, or perhaps more accurately the hit musical ‘Wicked’. it seems like everywhere you turned the closure was celebrated as a triumph for good, and the downfall of evil. You could almost hear Los Angeles Times staff members chanting [...]

Can’t we all just get along?

Today I was lucky enough to have have a short daytime shift that was steady but not overly busy. It was actually quite perfect. Only one test had been inexplicably delayed by hours, and the patients were pleasant with medical complaints that made sense. I only had one patient with a small [...]

The Freaks Come Out At Night

Between the cacophony of drunken screams, schizophrenic ideations, and demented geriatric anger i  wonder when this crazy EM world took over so many of my nights.  At 3AM the ED staff themsleves seem to become giddy; probably from some circadian chemical reflex arc that should only exist during sleep.  In these moments I recognize how intimately my life [...]

Illustrations by Lou Lewis, RN


Good-bye Wild Bill, Shamu, and Boatman…

**Some details have been altered to protect the confidentiality of true patients, however the rest remains the truth as I have experienced it**
Doctors and nurses in my Community Emergency Department (ED) knew Wild Bill as well as anyone. The ED certainly saw him more frequently than many of his family and friends.

Why Does Taco Bell have Better Technology than my Emergency Department?

Ok, I don’t actually spend a lot of time in Taco Bell, but when a chualupa calls sometimes you just gotta answer. It seems like every business I visit utilizes technology better than hospitals and emergency departments (ED’s). It is a sad day for medicine when every fast food restaurant in the [...]

Physicians Shackled with Debt

This letter appeared in the July 2008 publication of Emergency Medicine News 30(7): 3, 33 in response to a column written by Dr. Leap
I am a 30-something EP practicing for five years in California. I also spent a couple of years on the East Coast. It really is a jungle out there in the ED [...]

What makes Emergency Medicine different than the rest? Not completely a joke…

Four doctors went on a duck hunting trip: a surgeon, an internist, a
pathologist and an emergency physician.

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