(This is an another article directed more to people who are interested in a medical career than to those already involved.  Feel free to read along but I again offer my usual warning that there is nothing profound or exciting to follow and I cannot be held responsible for your boredom. I’m going to try […]

What I Do

January 11, 2008 | Leave a Comment

(With a hat-tip to the Happy Hospitalist.Nothing new or profound here so my regular readers may, if they desire, ignores this article completely or read on and forgive the basic level of information presented. -PB) A young reader writes, “Dear Dr. Bear, I am a senior in high school and am thinking about being a […]

An Apology I want to apologize to the distinguished elderly gentleman sitting on the hall bed. It was a little insensitive of me to stand at the coffee machine taking my time making a cup of coffee not five feet away from you and your wife while you waited to be seen by a doctor. […]

(Once again, a caveat: I am a resident in a medium-sized Emergency Medicine program in an academic setting. Not as academic as Duke or USC but we have most of the players. I have never worked in private practice in Emergency Medicine so while I welcome the comments of those who have, I am describing […]

Fast Freddie Johnson and the Man The patient, a young black man, eyed me suspiciously. Apart from telling me that his name was Kareem, he had said very little during the initial assessment in the trauma bay and had made it to the CT scanner and back without saying more than ten words, total, to […]

Barking Mad

December 12, 2006 | Leave a Comment

Psychiatric Ward Inpatient psychiatry wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be. The people locked up on the tenth floor of our hospital were just a little too crazy to really be interesting. A little insanity, like a little spice, adds flavor to a patient’s personality. Too much of it and it overpowers everything. […]

Sound and Fury

December 5, 2006 | Leave a Comment

Family and Community Medicine Latravia Kell was my favorite patient. I can’t think of one bad hand that life hadn’t dealt her but she was unfailingly cheerful, polite, and compliant with all of her treatments. I met her on my first day of family medicine clinic and saw her at least every month afterwards. I […]

I’ve got Your Back It’s my wife. The pager displays our super-secret marital code for “Everything is all right. I just want to see how you are doing. Call me at home.” “Hey baby,” I say when my lovely wife picks up, “How’s everything going?” “I’ll be home in another hour. Sorry. Things are kind […]

Spectator Medicine

November 3, 2006 | Leave a Comment

Emergency Mrs. Jones looks like a cadaver. Her bony yellow legs stick out of the bottom of the gown. A pack of relatives clutch at each of her claw-like hands and stare confidently at the monitor over the bed. “She’s doing better, right?” Her blood pressure had been coming up steadily. A great-grandson reads the […]

Pulmonary Consult

October 21, 2006 | Leave a Comment

Breathe “I’m a difficult patient,” declaims Mrs. Olafsen proudly around a mouthful of Whopper with cheese. “Nobody knows what’s wrong with me.” “Really? It certainly looks like that from your chart.” Mrs. Olafsen is gigantic. It took four nurses to get her from the stretcher to her bed. Her legs, like two scaly tree-trunks, encircle […]

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