dying

Things I’m Reading: Bad-News Edition

Here’s a quick run-down of some of the things I have been reading lately:

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If Guns Were a Disease, This Would Be An Epidemic

I’m not really going to be able to add anything to this discussion that hasn’t already been said, but there is a gun safety issue in this country. We need to address it.

Dr. Michael Davidson, a cardio thoracic surgeon at Brigham & Women’s hospital, was shot yesterday by the son of one of his patients.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Adding onto the tally of late (2,160 incidents since 2015 so far), (more…)

Palliative Care and the Lost Art of Communication

The following is Part 2 in a series about end-of-life care. For Part 1, see here. This article addresses my own experience on a Palliative Medicine elective in my fourth year of medical school.

Despite the growing number of U.S. hospitals with Palliative Care teams, there remains a real lack of understanding about the benefit that specialized Palliative Care providers can bring for patients with advanced illness. This form of care is especially valuable in patients with end-stage illness (and has even been shown to extend life by several months), but it can also help any patient at any stage of illness (regardless of prognosis). Indeed, even prescribing an NSAID for headache can be considered a form of palliation. The focus is about improving quality of life now instead of later. (more…)

Medical Students Don’t Learn About Death

The following is part 1 in a series about death and dying in the medical context. This reflection was written by me earlier this year, before I sought out a Palliative Medicine elective. Part 2 will follow soon.

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Until the last week of my sub-internship, I had never had a patient die on my watch. To be sure, I had patients on the cusp of dying – and some who did die, of course, when I was already on another rotation. I have been around dying patients who were on our team but were being taken care of by the other resident/medical student. But never a patient of my own, until my final year of medical school.

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