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Monday, May 11, 2015

good death

Invaluable lessons about what a “good death” might look like

I continued to learn voraciously during my second two years on the wards. I sharpened my history taking skills and SOAP note writing, learned to recognize heart murmurs during physical exams, studied all the drugs commonly used to treat hypertension, diabetes, and even breast cancer. Eventually, I took care of ICU patients who required intubation and learned to place central lines. I left medical school feeling I had a solid foundation on how to treat diseases. Upon graduation, I was excited to be a doctor and — finally — to use my hard-earned abilities to truly help sick people./.../

Addressing end-of-life care in the emergency department

As I walk into the resuscitation room in the emergency department (ED), I see Mr. G, a cachectic elderly gentleman barely holding onto his breath. After a rapid assessment, it is clear that he is tiring and cannot maintain breathing on his own for much longer. “We need to secure his airway” — with my command, the resident applies an oxygen mask, cracks open the airway box and prepares to intubate Mr. G, a respiratory therapist rushes in to assist the resident, and two nurses insert IV lines and gather medication./.../

Heart-wrenching photo of a doctor crying goes viral. Here’s why.

Outside of a Southern California hospital, an ER doctor is crouched down against a concrete wall grieving the loss of his 19-year-old patient. A paramedic snaps a photo of the tender scene. His coworker, a close friend of the doctor, posts the photo (with permission) online. Minutes after the photograph, the doctor returns to work “holding his head high.”
Thousands of people have commented on the web. In their own words, here is why the photo went viral:
1. Humans crave raw empathy. The photogra/.../

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