September 30th, 2011

Hello, Journal Watch Readers!

Hello Journal Watch readers! My name is Heidi Zook, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions with all of you for the next year. I am one of the current chief residents at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, so my viewpoint is that of a junior faculty, recent resident, and current chief resident. Just like our other chief resident blogger, Gopi Astik, I am a proud Kansas Citian. I grew up in Shawnee, Kansas, which is a suburb of Kansas City. For medical school, I attended the 6 year combined BS/MD program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I loved it so much that I stuck around for internal medicine residency and an additional year as a 4th-year chief resident. My training has taken place at two hospitals: Truman Medical Center, a county hospital serving the underprivileged, and Saint Luke’s Hospital, a nationally-recognized tertiary care center. I have had the opportunity through my training to see many types of patients, as well as many styles of communication and perspectives on healthcare.

During my time as a blogger, I hope to share my perspective as a fairly new physician, which I hope many of you will be able to relate to. We are all lucky to be able to combine science and art into our everyday practice as physicians. I want to discuss both the science that drives our clinical decision-making as well as the art that makes our jobs so enjoyable. One of my favorite patients during the course of my training was a 96-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital with acute and chronic systolic heart failure and a history of aortic valve replacement. He was very active and independent. He sat me down one day and said how thankful he was that he received an aortic valve replacement at the age of 92 because he had been having so much fun playing in his polka band for the past 4 years. That experience taught me that intervention isn’t always about age, but about functionality. It helped to mold me into the clinician that I am today. Please share some of your favorite patient encounters that taught you about how to practice medicine, how to communicate, or how to enjoy life!

8 Responses to “Hello, Journal Watch Readers!”

  1. Eileen says:

    I am so glad you are looking at the patient from the ‘whole’. You really made a difference to this man’s life. Just because one is older doesn’t mean they should be written off. One needs to see and hear the patient not just look at a chart and say oh they are old no procedure here. Thanks!!!!!!! Good luck on your journey as a Physician!! This view comes from an dvanced practice nurse.

  2. Susan says:

    What a wonderful start to your blog. I love that you saw the patient for his whole self. It so important for patients to feel both heard and cared about (in a greater sense than just physically). Looking forward to your posts! Best wishes!

  3. Greg Howell says:

    Looking forward to reading your perspective!

  4. les garson says:

    nice post, but, as a seasoned, much older physician, I’d like to offer the other side of this coin. How about all the hip fx repairs, gallbladder surgeries (etc.!) we do on the 88 yr old demented/end stage alzheimers dse, bed ridden patient with severe Aortic stenosis, who come to the O.R. simply because there is a procedure that can be done for a defined pathology-not considering quality of life, days, if not weeks in the ICU Post Op on a ventilator, and the almost certain exit out of the hospital as ‘deceased’. Which granted, may have occurred anyway, but perhaps in a more humane, respectful approach to their end of life. Sorry for the dash of cold water!

  5. ashish kumar dawn says:

    A few months ago, a male patient aged about48 years attended the hospital where I work with the complain o f moderate abdominal pain.Abdomen was soft,there was slight RUQ tenderness,no vomiting or diarrhoea and other clinical parameters were normal.Among other investigations, an ECG was ordered which was a normal tracing. The patient was administered Inj Tramodol along with Inj Ranitidine.When the pain did not subside after a reasonable time,the pt was re-assessed and an ECG was repeated.The subsequent ecg tracing after 1.30 hr was inferior wall myocardial infarction.

  6. I was a 1978 graduate of the UMKC School of Medicine & 1st woman chief resident in psychiatry at the University of CA-Davis. Many things have changed in medicine in the past 30 years yet some things stay the same. I look forward to stories of a chief resident in 2011-12. Best wishes.

  7. Chris Blanner says:


    Congrats on becoming chief! I passed onto Gopi that I was Co-chief at Lakewood last year and I abou fell out of my seat when I saw your names in my inbox. I cannot wait to hear about your year and look forward to working with you guys in KC in the future…. Enjoy the year!


  8. alimaig says:

    just this morning none of us believe his eyes: an epilectic, COPD, heart disease and hypertensive patient who was admitted in my intensive care for a month, came back to bring us his greetings..more than once he was resuscitated, though no one could image such a success!
    Greetings from Italy!

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