Posts Tagged ‘communication’

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October 17th, 2017

Be Human. Be Memorable.

My dad died on May 11, 2003. It was Mothers’ Day. I was 18 years old. Those are the easy facts. The more difficult ones are those detailing the events that led to his death. My dad was so many things — a brilliant geologist, a loving father, an inventor, a pilot, and a Vietnam […]


September 27th, 2017

Thoughts on Caring for Sexual-Minority Patients

According to recent polling, approximately 4% of the population of the U.S. identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, which equates to more than 10 million people scattered from coast to coast. In truth, this number likely underestimates the true prevalence. Despite the progress that we have made as a nation towards LGB acceptance and equality, […]


September 18th, 2017

Beast Mode Is Back! When Actions Speak Louder

Cal Football I bleed blue and gold. No, I am not talking about Michigan, West Virginia, or Notre Dame. I am definitely not talking about UCLA Bruins (by the way, UCLA fans, a bruin is a brown bear). That’s right — I am a die-hard Cal Bears fan. Thanks to Cal football, and particularly to legendary Marshawn […]


May 16th, 2017

Constructive Criticism

Here are some questions that are still on my mind as I approach the tail end of my chief year. I’m thinking about the best ways to offer constructive feedback. What is the best way to approach a struggling learner? What is the best way to give guidance and feedback without being perceived as a tyrant […]


February 24th, 2017

Z71.1: Worried Well

I took my dog to the vet today. You’d think this would be a straightforward sort of thing for a medical professional. You’d be wrong. When I woke my dog up at 5:15am (my new daily start time, as it’s apparently the only way I can find time to do board questions, and is also the […]


December 22nd, 2016

“Pimping”: Malignant or Not?

One of the most respected and skilled clinician-educators (and, of course, he is an Infectious Diseases specialist) at our institute came into my office, sat down, and immediately starting eating pretzels. “Let me know what you think about this,” he said between bites. He went on to recapitulate a recent interaction he had with the members […]


October 7th, 2016

Work Mimics Life: A Failed Attempt at Separation

As physicians, we generally attempt to separate our personal lives from our work. Some of this comes from modeling behavior of others during training, some comes with further experiences in coping with the patients we encounter. I recently had the pleasure of caring for an elderly gentleman who was brought into the hospital by his loving wife […]


August 15th, 2016

Patient Education

We had known Ms. B. for weeks. She was a “bounce-back” to the unit. Every day, an intern would enter the ICU room and ask, “How do you feel?” “OK.” Do you have any pain?” “No.” “Any trouble breathing?” “No.” “Tightness in your chest?” “No.” “No? OK.” I was the senior resident following the case, 1 […]


April 27th, 2016

The Dark Side of Medicine

The following is paraphrased documentation, authored by a physician I know, regarding an intoxicated patient in the ER: 1AM: Patient is telling nurse, “Before I leave, I need everyone’s name for my lawsuit. Tell the phlebotomist that if he’s good, he’ll  get a cut.” 1:40AM: Patient is making inappropriate sexual comments and is verbally aggressive with medical staff. He […]


January 22nd, 2016

Today’s Medical Care — A Trap for the Sick and Elderly ?

One of the great things about serving as chief resident this year is the opportunity to attend wards.  Below is a short story about a patient that was admitted to my team for less than 1 hour, but whose impact on me will last the rest of my career: In November, I had the privilege to […]


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