Life in the ER

Priorities and the Right Time: Looking Back On My Last Shift

November 28th, 2018
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On January of this year, I worked my last clinical shift in an ER. I realized recently that it’s been ten months since I cared for a patient at a bedside. The question some would ask is this: why, after 25 years of doing this, did I stop? Do I still miss it? Will I […]

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Posted in Life in the ER

Dying With Dignity: Instituting a Moment of Silence in the ER

September 4th, 2018
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A little over a year ago, my father died in his sleep. He ate dinner in his assistant living facility one night, told his fellow residents he was tired and went to sleep. The next morning, he was found lifeless in his bed. He must have passed away in his sleep, most likely peacefully and […]

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Posted in Featured, Life in the ER

Working Shifts on Nantucket: “What Medicine Is All About”

August 23rd, 2018
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Speaking with the providers who staff the emergency department at Cottage Hospital on Nantucket Island, one word keeps coming up in their descriptions: magical. Even then, Nantucket seems to evoke a special kind of magic, a kind of nostalgic wistfulness for the most perfect, wonderful, calming place in the world. They talk about the island’s […]

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Posted in Life in the ER

Journalist, Tattoo Shop Owner, and Sheriff: Three Physicians Who Came to Emergency Medicine As a Second Career

July 3rd, 2018
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There is a certain stereotype of the fresh-faced, brand new attending: young, ambitious, their heads filled to the brim with medical education. These attendings first come to their post-residency clinical practice with plenty of intense educational experience – and often little life experience. These are not those. Dr. T.J. Milling, currently an attending at Dell Seton Medical Center in […]

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Posted in Life in the ER

The Work, Life, Schedules, and Challenges of Husband-Wife ER Docs

June 6th, 2018
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There is no doubt that working in emergency medicine can make for unique scheduling challenges, especially when you have young children at home. It’s not uncommon to rely on one’s spouse to maintain a more normal 9-5 schedule and take on primary responsibility for kids. But what if you and your partner are both emergency medicine […]

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Posted in Featured, Life in the ER

As Go Your Relationships, So Goes Your Resiliency

July 11th, 2017
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We hear a lot about how your work can affect your personal relationships, usually for the worse. In fact, I wrote about how cynicism at work can negatively affect your relationships at home in a recent column. This is a well-worn topic in emergency medicine, and there are a lot of strategies to deal with it. Go […]

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Posted in For Residents, Life in the ER

The Exact Moment When I Realized I Needed To Change

April 11th, 2017
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A fellow resident and I were working a busy Monday shift, and I was walking by the room where he was seeing a patient when I heard him say, “Let me step out for a moment.” He came out, quickly closed the curtain, flexed his fists, sucked in some air, held it, and finally blew […]

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Posted in For Residents, Life in the ER

Meet Dr. Deepika Singh, a USACS Traveling “Firefighter” and a Mom

March 16th, 2017
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It’s the most counter-intuitive thing you could possibly expect to hear from a physician whose job is to travel, but it’s true: Dr. Deepika Singh spends more time with her family, and more quality time, than when she worked locally at only one site. Now an Assistant Medical Director with US Acute Care Solutions (USACS), […]

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Posted in For Residents, Life in the ER

Answering the Call at Summa Health’s Residency Program

March 2nd, 2017
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As emergency medicine physicians, we have more or less self-selected careers in which we “answer the call” when we are needed. Even so, this was not the kind of call I was expecting while on winter vacation with my family and friends. In the days just after Christmas this past December, I was in Hocking Hills […]

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Posted in Future of Healthcare, Hospital Partnership, Life in the ER

Checking Your Cognitive Biases in the ER

February 9th, 2017
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Emergency clinicians are faced with a challenging task. During a busy shift, there can be significant pressure to evaluate and treat patients quickly, without giving each case the care it warrants. Thus, physicians often categorize patients early into a specific diagnostic pathway. At some point, however, with each evaluation, we must pause to assess the […]

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Posted in Life in the ER, Quality Efficiency Utilization