Doctors

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If you have a choice and are not involved in an emergency, you can improve your chances of coming out of the hospital alive if you time it right.

I have read lots of articles suggesting that mortality in American hospitals is higher around July 1, when a new group of trainees finish medical school and start in their hospital based clinical training positions. This is not just an aberration in the USA, but apparently is also true in the U. K, where the new training programs start on August 1. Another cause of in-hospital mortality has been identified — When nursing staff falls below certain target levels, patients die. I do recall that nursing schools, at least when I was close to such things, did not have the same kind of fixed scheduling for trainees that medical schools did. When nursing students were present, they always seemed to be observing and logging in time, although whenever they had procedures, they were more rigorously monitored than physicians. Read more on How To Get Out Of The Hospital Alive…

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I Am A Doctor, But I Don’t Play One On TV

Personality-wise, the cranky and inconsiderate title character of the hit TV series House, MD are mirror opposites.  I actually LIKE people – especially people who need help (patients).

Obviously many people enjoy this series, since it is one of the highest rated. But for me, the challenge is to out-diagnose him.

In case you’ve never watched, the formula for each episode is a seemingly straight-forward illness, which (of course) is the wrong diagnosis.  The rest of the show is slapping another diagnosis on the patient, and testing the patient, which makes the patient worse.  Read more on Being Locked-In May Not Be So Bad For Everybody…

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I wrote not long ago about the problem with sleep-deprived doctors.  Now I feel I must tell you that the person you are relying upon to perform delicate surgery may be so depressed that he’s contemplating suicide.

Why surgeons?  I used to be one and maybe I can shed some light.

Of course you can’t prove causality. Maybe just the fact that a person is a surgeon doesn’t mean he is at risk.  The same statement about “we can’t tell if there is something causing this or if this is an epiphenomenon” can be a criticism of almost any study, the way those invited to critique this study have spoken.

There is a problem, and this only hints at it.

Read more on Why Are Surgeons Committing Suicide?…

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I remember my first time and I shivered with anticipation.

Resident Physicians Don't Get Much Sleep

Resident Physicians Don't Get Much Sleep

A kindly matron showed me the tiny bed and told me with a wink that I probably would not get much sleep that night.  It was an old bed and had seen a lot of use by a lot of people, but it would be special for me this night.

She was right – I was only able to steal a couple of hours of sleep.  But it was what happened when I wasn’t sleeping – and my colleagues congratulated me and cheered me on. Read more on Sleepy Doctors — An Unnecessary Danger…

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