Wellness and Resiliency During Residency: Debriefing Critical Incidents and podcast

debriefing critical incidents (c) Can Stock Photo / joggi2002“One of the residents that I was working with was yelled at once by somebody else because he had cried while giving a family bad news. I think everyone knows when you’re giving them bad news; it’s not like a big secret. You maintaining a great deal of composure doesn’t change that fact. I think that we’re allowed to be human. If we force ourselves not to be human or have any degree of human emotion, that’s obviously not putting us on the path to wellness and certainly if we force other people not to be human that’s not putting either them or us on the path to wellness.”

—Ilene A. Claudius, MD

Breaking bad news to patients and families is a fact of life for an emergency physician. More than 300,000 patients die in emergency departments each year from either traumatic or nontraumatic cardiopulmonary arrest, and an even greater number are diagnosed with a new life-threatening or life-altering illness, such as cancer, stroke, or traumatic brain injury.1 We stand at the front lines for these patients and families when they are first confronted with death or their own mortality. It is up to us at these moments, not their specialists or family physicians, to comfort and support them in a time of need. While intensely fulfilling at times, this type of demanding emotional support can also be incredibly draining in an environment that never sleeps and never stops moving.

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By |2020-04-20T19:39:45-07:00Jan 25, 2017|Podcasts, Wellness, Wellness Think Tank|

Wellness and Resiliency During Residency: Interprofessional Conflict

“It’s rarely the patients that hurt me. It’s my colleagues in the hospital.”

cartoon conflict pointing finger 3d

“[Interprofessional conflict] is so underappreciated as a source of stress and misery in our job. And so often in the hospital, horrible behavior is swept underneath the rug because a) there is no pathway to address this stuff and b) it’s almost seen as de rigor for certain services to act this way. “Oh it’s the surgical service, what do you expect, that’s just the way they are.” That is what ruins me … I think that is the biggest threat to wellness in my world.”

–Scott Weingart, MD

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By |2016-12-23T19:45:24-08:00Nov 30, 2016|Wellness, Wellness Think Tank|

Diagnose on Sight: Case of a red, swollen neck

Ludwig's AnginaCase: A 78 year-old female with a past medical history of asthma and hypothyroidism presents with a three day history of sore throat and a two day history of a “lump” along the right side of her neck. The “lump” has now progressed to involve both sides of her anterior neck and is accompanied with erythema, tenderness to palpation, and swelling. In addition, the patient has developed a hoarse voice and odynophagia. The patient’s primary care physician referred her to an ENT specialist, who then referred the patient to the ED for urgent imaging due to the concern for a deep space neck infection. Triage vitals are remarkable for a heart rate of 118 beats per minute. She is otherwise normotensive and afebrile. On physical exam, slight crepitation in noted on the floor of the patient’s mouth. Of note, the patient also informs you of her penicillin allergy. Which of the following is the biggest risk factor for this particular disease process? 

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By |2016-12-22T19:19:10-08:00Aug 17, 2016|Diagnose on Sight, ENT|

Podcasts: Pearls on Networking, Early Academic Career, and Part Time Academics in the AWAEM Professional Development Series

For those early in their academic medical career, it can be challenging to find solid, trustworthy advice on how to navigate the perils of academia. Fortunately, The Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine (AWAEM) has published a series of video-based Peer Reviewed Lectures (PeRLs) in the Academic Emergency Medicine journal. Thanks to the journal, we were given permission to repurpose some of of the videos into podcast form. Take a listen to these short, abridged, high-yield podcasts for those pursuing an academic career.

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By |2020-04-20T19:39:55-07:00Feb 25, 2016|Podcasts, Professional Development|

Social Media Index: Controversy and Evolution

Hand holding a Social Media 3d SphereThe Social Media Index was moved from BoringEM to ALiEM on the morning of Thursday, November 21st. The increased exposure for my previously obscure little prototype got it a lot of attention. By that afternoon Dr. Scott Weingart (@EMCrit) had weighed in with an audio response critical of the index and requested that EMCrit be removed. This set off a lively discussion on Twitter as a good chunk of the FOAM community got in on this important discussion.

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By |2017-06-23T18:27:25-07:00Nov 24, 2013|Social Media & Tech|

ALiEM Book Club Wrap Up: A Temporary Matter

InterpreterofmaladiescoverThe November book club selection was a short story A Temporary Matter from the collection Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. The goal in selecting the story was to gain an understanding of how doctors impact the lives of patients, even in the briefest of encounters. For this month, we do a 14-minute book club wrap up in podcast form!  Dr. Teresa Chan and I discuss the story, significance to clinical practice, and announce next month’s selection.

By |2016-11-11T19:04:43-08:00Nov 23, 2013|Book Club|
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