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Latest Posts

Medical Apps Allow Doctors To Monitor ICU Patients Remotely

We have reported in the past on AirStrip, a smartphone and iPad app that allows a mobile doctor to monitor the vital signs of patients in an obstetric ward or an ICU. The reverse, where a fixed doctor monitors multiple remote patients is now entering the mainstream and already making a difference in many patients’ lives.

In a compelling anecdote recently reported in Computerworld, a man experienced cardiac arrest while shopping and was taken to a nearby community hospital. An intensivist, monitoring from an eICU miles away, was immediately consulted. The remote doctor guided the treating physicians as they initiated unfamiliar hypothermia therapy to preserve the brain, and continued to follow the patient remotely throughout his 10 day ICU stay.  Happily, the patient had a good outcome and is quoted in the article as an enthusiastic proponent of eICUs. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Does It Matter What The Hospitalist Thinks?

I read this article about a young child with heterotaxy syndrome with great interest. Not because I find heterotaxy syndrome something of great fascination, but because of the lack of communication — on both ends of the spectrum:

Even though 5 other Dr. all came in and listened to his lungs and said that he didn’t sound like he was wheezing and that his lungs sounded really good. But because this hospital is overly political, process driven, bureaucratic, and in a constant state of litigious fear they are unable to make any conclusions based on actual medicine and patient care. Common sense is blown out the window when you  have a system were a hospitalist one year out of medical school has an opinion that is as valuable as a cardiologist with 25+ years experience.

But in fairness, they all had to “really consider her opinion.”

So they went and got a pulmonologist to evaluate him, which Scott and I were very happy about because there was nothing in the world that would’ve made me more happy in that moment than to have her proven wrong. Which she was.

The whole article is a case study in stress, distrust, and legalism. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Successful Care: Grandmother Knows Best

ATS "Year of the Lung" logoWant to know the secret to successful care of ICU patients? Think back to the advice your grandmother always gave, joked American Thoracic Society conference speaker Renee Stapleton, M.D., recently:

– Wash your hands.
– You can’t sleep your life away.
– Get some exercise.
– Sit up straight.
– Take your medicine.
– If you can’t remember it, write it down.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*

Bad Behavior In South Africa – A Gory Story

South African society is a completely lawless society. Pretty much everyone does just what they like and more often than not they get away with it. Red lights are just a suggestion, yet it is not uncommon to see a taxi stop in the middle of the road without warning. This attitude goes through almost all levels.

Yet there are some laws that people do obey. The law of gravity comes to mind. Mostly if you trip or fall off a wall or out a window you do approach the earth with increasing velocity and finally come to rest in some form of disrepair when you finally meet said earth, even if you are South African.  Another law that is obeyed was well illustrated by a patient we once saw in the old days. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at other things amanzi*

Gross Male Physician Humor

It’s 2:00 am in the emergency room.  That’s when the real doctor humor stories comes out to play.  By now  I’ve sent two patients home from the ER, one of which I spent 90 minutes discussing why chronic abdominal pain management needed to involve an outpatient supratentorial component and why coming into the hospital would be a highly disappointing experience.   By now I’ve also  admitted two patients to observation status, one of which is a guy with uncontrolled diabetes who remembered me from a year prior and thanked me for telling him nobody else was going to live his life for him and he needed to take responsibility for his poor actions in life.  By now I’ve also brought two patients in for full  hospital admission, one of which was placed immediately on end of life cares for end stage COPD, the other of which who’s son got the wrath of my smoking lecture.

Once the work was done, the doctor humor came out to play.   Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Happy Hospitalist*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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