I have thoroughly enjoyed living in Arizona – it was a wonderful experience for my family, and I have grown as a physician. I learned new skills, encountered diagnoses that I don’t often see on the East Coast and saw a two health care system merge and deploy a new Electronic Health Record system. All changes that helped me see the challenges that both physicians and patients face in the coming years.
As I shared the news with my colleagues and patients in Arizona, the response was usually “sad for me, happy for you” and jokes about getting out of 119 degree summer days. I am grateful for the support I have received!
Since I trained and had been affiliated with NYU since graduating from medical school, the news of my return has been like coming home – incredible enthusiasm from colleagues and former patients alike. A response that again makes me feel grateful for the relationships I have built over the years – and reminds me of why I chose Internal Medicine as a career.
So I will say goodbye to excellent Southwest fare (best guacamole ever), and hello to Atlantic Ocean sushi, real bagels and pizza! And look forward to NYC saying “AAHH”
Wishing health and happiness to all, and to more blogging now that my summer of transition is coming to a close.
The path to wellness begins with a proper diagnosis
As we enjoy the 4th of July, a reminder from TheDiagnosisMD to stay safe this holiday weekend.
Fireworks are beautiful to watch – the sounds, color and spirit evoke great memories for many. Some of my favorite 4th of July memories
20 years ago on call during my 4th day of Internship at Bellevue Hospital watching 2 minutes of fireworks on the East River from the cafeteria window
A fireworks show at Pine Hollow in Long Island, NY with friends after a BBQ dinner
Fireworks at my daughter’s camp while serving as the camp doctor
What each of these events had in common was that they were done by professionals, with firefighters on standby to be sure that everyone was safe.
Emergency Rooms see over 5000 firework related injuries a year, with half of them in people under age 20! Fingers, eyes and burns are the most common injuries. Even sparklers burn at close to 2000 degrees – so children should not use them without close supervision!
So lets enjoy the show – let those who are trained entertain you – and keep it safe!
For the past year and change, I’ve used this forum to educate and demystify medicine, and to introduce myself as a physician to everyone. Today is a little different.
I have been involved with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America for the past 5 years. Now I am proud to say my daughter is getting involved too!
She has organized Team EmGo in honor of her Bat Mitzvah/ 13th Birthday for the Take Steps walk to raise money to support research for Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. To learn more about her team:
Last week, I had a third year medical student shadow me in the office; something I hadn’t done since leaving my old practice in New York City. Having a medical student changes your day significantly – I find I may be more formal, I spend time filling the student in on a patient’s history, and explaining my thinking and the science behind each case. My first thought at having a student again was – there is no way I’m going to be able to stay on time!
One of the things I love about Internal Medicine is the variety of illnesses I see. While some days feel like I saw the same person 10 times, explaining each person to a student reminded me of the story behind the “same diagnosis” – what makes each person unique. She asked me why I made a choice to treat one person in a particular way and another differently – because all people are different and have unique features that need individualized treatment.
Our second patient was an older man with swelling in one of his legs. We discussed the usual suspects – too much fluid, heart failure, trauma were all reviewed. We also discussed a blood clot (known as a DVT). As we went through his story and medical history, we decided that it was important to rule out a DVT – the risk of missing it made the decision to get a sonogram on his leg easy. Later that afternoon we got a call from the radiologist and indeed there was a blood clot in his leg. Now, when I was training, that call would have triggered a 3-5 day hospital stay while his blood was thinned. But on this day, it triggered a call to the pharmacy to start a pill and schedule a follow-up appointment a few days later.
The rest of the day was similar – hypertension, diabetes, cold symptoms, until our last patient. A woman had a bat in her house and had read that people may need to be treated for rabies even without direct contact with the bat. It turned out, as it usually does in these situations, my student had reviewed this topic recently and was able to teach me – in the situation we faced – we could reassure the patient that no treatment was recommended. I got to teach my student, and she taught me.
Later that week I traveled to New York City to attend a conference on Cardiovascular Risk Management. It was my first trip to my old hospital since moving to Arizona. Reconnecting with friends and colleagues was great and seeing how NYU Langone Medical Center has finally begun to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy was heartening.
So by returning to my roots over the past week – teaching and learning – I feel refreshed. What seemed old is new again and the stresses of uncertainty in health care gives way to the art and science of helping people lead healthier lives.
It’s been 3 months since I launched The DiagnosisMD. As I reflect on what we’ve done in this time, it’s been a great experience for me – hopefully you have learned as much from reading my blog as I have writing it.
So far, over 1600 views from over a dozen countries, and many followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+! Next phase will be adding a YouTube channel – stay tuned!
Thank you for reading, and let me know any topics of interest!
The path to wellness begins with a proper diagnosis