Category Archive: Hospital-Based Medicine

It is for these patients that the doctors at rural hospitals continue

Rural hospitals are closing their obstetric wards and stopping all obstetric services — at least those hospitals that manage to remain open at all. The tertiary care centers don’t seem to mind.Always wary of those rural hospital disasters in the middle…

What’s happened to clinician empathy?

In 2006, the Mayo Clinic asked 192 patients an important question: What makes an ideal physician? From their responses, several characteristics emerged. Among the top criteria, they wanted doctors to be “personal,” “empathetic” and “humane.” This shoul…

What’s happened to clinician empathy?

In 2006, the Mayo Clinic asked 192 patients an important question: What makes an ideal physician? From their responses, several characteristics emerged. Among the top criteria, they wanted doctors to be “personal,” “empathetic” and “humane.” This shoul…

3 health tips to help busy physicians

Practicing medicine at the frontlines is hard. It’s damn hard. Every minute you need to be alert, ready to respond to a potential life or death situation, and be called to another important problem. The current medical practice environment — with…

The difference between learning medicine and doing medicine

Back when I was a third-year medical student, I would sometimes bike to the hospital campus early enough to catch the groundskeepers cleaning the promenade in front of the medical school before the foot traffic arrived. Discovery Walk, as it’s called, …

What do the Challenger disaster and medicine have in common?

On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after liftoff, resulting in the death of the entire seven-person crew. The subsequent investigation revealed that a joint in the right solid rocket booster failed during liftoff, w…

All corners of the world meet in the hospital

The pediatric emergency department’s fluorescent light cast its glow on our heads, drifting and drooping, at 3 a.m. Torn between taking a chance on rest and anticipating the next fever, headache, abdominal pain, wheezing or rash that came through the d…

Health care workers and administrators aren’t rowing in the same direction

My wife and I once canoed across a glacial lake. There were twelve people in our 30-foot canoe. To reach the shore of the Mendenhall Glacier, we had to paddle two miles across a lake. All twelve of us had to paddle together to reach the shore. But what…

Communication in the hospital setting from a medical student perspective

When it comes to communication in the hospital setting, I have seen many iterations. My favorite version was at the VA on the inpatient medicine unit. Every morning, we all met in the medicine team room to discuss patients on the floor. The team’s soci…

The hidden curriculum of medical school can be overwhelming and unforgiving

I met Mr. B during my week on the endocrine service of my internal medicine rotation. My attending told me we were being consulted for this patient’s high sugars and a foot ulcer, and asked me to take the history. I walked into Mr. B’s room and was imm…

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