Time to bring back morbidity and mortality conferences

My post on the changing culture of medicine as reflected in the way we talk about our errors in M&Ms is up at kevinMD. http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2014/07/time-bring-back-morbidity-mortality-conferences.html

Dr. Robert C. Moellering, Jr.

On February 24, 2014 Dr. Robert C. Moellering, Jr. passed away.  And then the class emails and Facebook comments flew.  We couldn’t believe it.  We were all saddened.  We had such great memories of him.  We knew him so well.  And he us!  Every one of us.  Dr. Moellering was the physician-in-chief and chair of … Continue reading

Our Words Leave The Most Lasting Impression

My variously named post – “The Weight of Words” or “Our Words Leave The Most Lasting Impression” is now up at kevinmd.com. Check it out at http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2013/10/words-leave-lasting-impression.html

The Weight of Words

“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me.”  I learned this saying when I came to America, but before that, I learned a different story.  A wood cutter got lost in the forest, it was getting dark and cold.  He met a bear, who offered him to come to his … Continue reading

On Smoking and Death

“I don’t want to quit smoking,” my patient says with her face firmly set.  I’m taken aback. “I don’t think that’s true,” I say,” you just told me you quit, then you started again because your brother and grandson died in the past few months and you’re struggling with the loss.  I don’t think it’s … Continue reading

Hubris

“I think he’s just anxious about it,” the medical student told me a few sentences into the presentation.  His patient had had a spontaneous pneumothorax, a leak of air between the lung and chest wall, a few years ago, and now he had some uncomfortable feeling and was worried about a recurrence.  I hadn’t heard the full story … Continue reading

Denial and the Imponderable Differences

David Foster Wallace “Infinite Jest” Page 604 …people of a certain age and level of like life-experience believe they’re immortal: …they deep-down believe they’re exempt from the laws of physics … And they’re constitutionally unable to learn from anybody else’s experience: if some jaywalking B.U. student does get splattered on Comm. or some House resident … Continue reading

Can I Become A Doctor Online?

The cost of medical care and the cost of education in general is sky rocketing. But it is much worse to be at the nexus of these two endeavors – Medical Education. The current path to becoming a doctor in the US involves four years of university followed by four years of medical school. Each … Continue reading

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

We understand very little about the human body. Sometimes I think that the more we learn, the more we learn how much we don’t know. Occasionally, our patients show us. Take Jim*, for example. He came to me complaining of wheezing and shortness of breath. He had been newly diagnosed and treated for asthma over … Continue reading

Continuity of Care

“I would want you as my doctor.  I just wouldn’t want your life,” I said to the thoracic surgeon.  It was after midnight and we were standing in the intensive care unit.  I, having urgently intubated a critically ill patient; he, having finished a surgery on a patient we shared.  This particular patient had had a lung … Continue reading