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Spending More and Getting Less for Health Care

The patient, lean and in his 60s, was in the hospital for the second time in a month with blood sugar levels that were out of control and he was not happy. Despite the nurses’ earnest attempts to cheer him up, he scowled and insisted that all he needed was for us to “fix it” so he could go back home.

“We have to keep looking because... Read More
Published on: Thursday 1st of January 1970 12:00 AM

Emergency Rooms Are No Place for the Elderly

The elderly man lived alone in an apartment complex not far from the hospital. A younger neighbor, who’d watched him hobble down the building’s stairwell for nearly a week, insisted on taking him to the emergency room. Doctors there immediately diagnosed an infection in his painful toe and prescribed antibiotics for him to take at home.

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Published on: Thursday 16th of July 9457 02:35 PM

When Doctors and Nurses Work Together

Not long ago, I heard a respected senior colleague recount to a group of medical students and trainees the story of a patient who had died under his care some 15 years earlier. Afterward, he had spent hours talking with the family, trying, he said, “to be as kind to them as I possibly could.” The family had been grateful for all his efforts, but my... Read More
Published on: Saturday 16th of July 8760 02:35 PM

Doctors as Advocates for Family Leave

Birdlike and in his 80s, the patient had come to the hospital complaining of a new cough. But it was not he whom my colleagues and I found most disquieting.

It was his middle-aged daughter.

With a practiced dexterity, she had managed to wheel her father in the clinic, hoist him on to the examining table, smooth his hai... Read More
Published on: Wednesday 16th of July 8719 02:35 PM