Monday, June 29, 2009

Too Long for Silence

OK, I admit, that it has been well over 6 months since writing anything here...I suspect not because I am not motivated to find anything to write about. On the contrary, I can go on for years about my experience. Rather, the issue is the time. After working in the ED, one is totally exhausted. Often times, you get the feeling that everyone is sucking every vital juice from your body...the staff, the patients, the family members, EMS, your colleagues, get sucked dry.

And, despite this, you still need to perform at your best with every patient encounter, never leaving your guard down to make the wrong diagnosis, or somehow not being able to filter through what a patient is telling you...Mrs. Smith complains of a headache, chest pain, insomnia, depression, menopause, diarrhea, weight gain, abdominal pain, it all real, or is there one or two things here related to her medical condition. Is she just anxious, or is there really something wrong with her that may kill her if I send her home...that's the way most EM physicians think, because the number one reason for EM malpractice cases is "failure to diagnosis" and even crazy or anxious people get sick and die...

It's almost like Chicken Little, and the "Sky's falling..." except Chicken Little doesn't have a family who can find a personal injury attorney to build a case against your decision making ability when the sky actually does fall down and kill, or worse yet, maim Chicken Little! Somehow, I don't believe that leaders in Washington (the majority who are supported by trial attorneys) will ever come to terms with any meaningful tort reform in this country.