Posts Tagged ‘end-of-life care’

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March 8th, 2019

The Oncology Service

I won’t forget Mr. H’s face that morning, my very first morning on the medical oncology service. I skirted into his room behind my attending as she was called in to see him on the fly. With a slight smile, he sat quietly in the corner of the exam room, a tall black male of […]


September 12th, 2018

Good Things Take Time

My Patient The day I met you was early in my second year of Internal Medicine residency. After much of my internship had been spent on arduous inpatient rotations, I was finally ready to lead my own team of young doctors and students on a high-acuity wards service. Yet, in my continuity clinic, I was […]


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 […]


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 22nd, 2016

First Week On Service

“Medicine Purple is now rounding at Room 202.” The announcement rang throughout the hallways on the lower pavilion. It was an announcement I had heard many times before, but this time it was quite different. As I glanced in the upper right hand corner of the electronic medical record of my first patient, the following glared […]


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 […]


May 6th, 2016

Declaration of Death

“Is he dead?” I stepped up closer. He was yellow. Bright yellow. Steve had been admitted to the hospital for altered mental status when his last PET Scan revealed that the pancreatic cancer had spread from the tail of his pancreas into his liver where it now blocked the ducts that carried the bile out of […]


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 […]


September 11th, 2015

Overnight Admission

BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP – I pressed a button to silence my pager and rose groggily from the bed in the on-call room.  I hadn’t truly been asleep, just catching a quick rest between pages.  It was 2am.  I was 19 hours into my shift and, from the looks of the page, there was a […]


August 28th, 2015

How Do You Teach Art?

When I first applied for medical school, I beamed about exploring not just the science of medicine, but also the art.  But what is that art?  Some would say it’s clinical experience, combined with being cultured and compassionate and communicating with clarity/conviction.  But how would one teach that art? Journal Watch’s Dr. Allan Brett recently reviewed a multicenter […]


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