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Being a second responder: Snippets from the front line

Since starting medical school 40 years ago, I have been on the hospital receiving end of first responders as they transferred care of their patients into my hands.   It was my responsibility to sustain life-saving care during transition, assess the illness, create a medical team, then initiate rapid treatment.  Statistically I can proudly say over 95% of my patients …

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Doctor’s Diary: Housecall pidgin talk (#100)

Hello   This is the 100th posting of Doctor’s Diary.     Thank you to those who have supported and commented on these every-three-day “snippets.”  My hope has been to stimulate conversation, educate the mind, and stir the soul.     There is a plethora of topics related to healthcare and I will continue to bring them to you as …

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Physician, heal thyself (Snippets from the front line)

Put it on the table; talk about it at meetings; stop ignoring the fact:  Our profession has been taken over by business, and you are not the one making decisions for your patient.   How many years have we devoted learning to provide the latest medical information and treatment?  We come out of residency ambitious and ready to use our …

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Death panels exist (Snippets from the frontline)

Our mother is in her nineties and went to the emergency room for the stomach flu.  Before we arrived, the ER had already put her on hospice.  Fortunately, my brother and I are palliative and hospice physicians, so the near-fatal misdiagnosis was corrected and the IV morphine stopped.    If we were not specialists in this field, she would be …