I received a call recently from an emergency room (ER) physician about a patient who presented there with rectal bleeding. Does this sound blogworthy? Hardly. We gastro physicians get this call routinely. Here’s the twist. The emergency room physician presented the case and recommended that the patient be discharged home. He was calling me to verify that our office would provide this patient with an office appointment in the near term, which we would. We had an actual dialogue.
This was a refreshing experience since the typical emergency room conversation of a rectal bleeder ends differently. Here’s what usually occurs. We are contacted and are notified that the patient has been admitted to the hospital and our in-patient consultative services are being requested. In other words, we are not called to discuss whether hospitalization is necessary, but are simply being informed that a decision has already been made.
There is a tension between emergency room physicians and the rest of us over what constitutes a reasonable threshold to hospitalize a patient. I have found that many ER docs pull the hospitalization trigger a little faster than I do. What’s my explanation for this? Here are some possibilities. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*
Everyone has their own perspectives about life and death, often based on life experiences and their worldly views. Doctors are no different, except to say that doctors deal with life and death every day of their lives. For medical doctors, death perspectives are more likely to be defined by their disease specialty.
Here are a few examples of death perspectives from the different medical specialties
If you’re a pulmonologist, nobody dies without first getting a bronchoscopy.If you’re a cardiologist, nobody dies without first getting a heart catheterization.If you’re a nephrologist, nobody dies without first getting a run of dialysis.If you’re an oncologist, nobody dies without first getting a course of chemotherapy.If you’re a neurologist, nobody dies without first getting an EEG and an MRI. If you’re a gastroenterologist, nobody dies without first getting a colonoscopy.If you’re a rheumatologist, nobody dies from lupus, because the answer is never lupus. If you’re an infectious disease doctor, nobody dies without first getting a course of doxycycline.If you’re a family practice physician, nobody dies without getting a consult.If you’re an internist, nobody dies without first admitting the patient to the hospitalist.If you’re a dermatologist, nobody dies. Period.
What’s the moral of the story? If you want to live forever, get a dermatologist as your primary care physician.
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*