The downsides of going to the ER for primary care

Despite the fact that many people have difficulty finding a family physician, there remain many options for medical care. From emergency departments to urgent care clinics to clinics based in retail stores and pharmacies, there are several different wa…

Courage the Cowardly Dog: an intern’s perspective

It’s the first day of residency. This morning, the intern was exuberant: the white coat was starched with pride, and the stethoscope brought a new sense of prestige. In last night’s lengthy sign-out, the intern proudly asked relevant questi…

We can’t expect large medical centers to absorb every case

My small community ED has a fairly high acuity. As such, I was recently trying to transfer a couple of patients, one of whom was an NSTEMI, pain-free but with a rising troponin. In the process of trying to arrange things, I learned that our main region…

A silent cry from the woman in the elevator

“How long have you been married?” The question came from a young woman kneeling down by the elevator in the hotel where my wife and I were staying while in Seattle. We were there to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with an Alaskan cruise. I hadn’…

A letter to my wife during COVID

COVID has made a home on my computer’s desktop. Every morning, there is a repetitive chirping with headlines that describe the vaccine trials and testing. My second reminder is more personal – a file titled, “Dear Kimmy …,” lock…

The medical profession is not as pure as it should be

We’ve all heard about the blue wall of silence that describes a belief that law enforcement personnel will refrain from reporting misconduct of their colleagues to the proper authorities. Physicians had similarly been accused of hiding behind a white c…

National Physician Suicide Awareness Day: Let’s try to dig a little deeper for more love

We wrote this blog on National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. As a chapter wellness champion for the American College of Physicians, I have spent the past few months planning on what this September should entail. From Webinars to Facebook pages to tw…

Why everyone needs a six-word story

Being humane makes you a hero. It is a privilege to serve. Be the voice, for those without! Six words. One Story. These are examples from the My Six-Word Story Project, an innovative activity that supports the psycho-social well-being and emotional res…

Medicine should be an individual’s second profession

American medicine is at a crossroads as doctors begin to reject a cruel, exhausting educational model and a minefield-ridden practice landscape. Hands wring over the worsening physician shortage, yet little happens to ease physicians’ administrat…

Physician suicide awareness: glimmers of hope for the future

National Physician Suicide Awareness Day was September 17, 2020.  Honestly, I hate that this day needs to exist.  Prior to COVID, physicians had the highest suicide rate of any profession, and we clearly needed to be having conversations about how we i…

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