Storytellers

Archived column.

Manik Aggarwal Manik Aggarwal (7 Posts)

Columnist Emeritus

Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine


Hi! I am an Internal Medicine resident at Georgetown University Hospitals. I graduated medical school from Texas A&M Medical School and Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. I went to Case Western Reserve University where I did my bachelor’s in medical anthropology and a masters in public health. Life is good. I am an inherent optimist who simply enjoys life. Avid Dallas Cowboys fan! In all my free time (ha ha), I enjoy traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Storytellers

Patients are the true storytellers. They come in with pathology, we interpret physiology and prescribe pharmacology, but their stories are what we remember. They shape our experiences and how we practice medicine.




And She’s Back: An Honest Reflection about Frequent Fliers in our Emergency Departments

The only thing different was the room number and the day of the week. “Hey, our favorite flyer is back,” said my attending as I went to see the patient in room 10 for the first time in my life. The patient was already doomed as I became jaded, cynical and wondered what the health care system or we as physicians could do with patients like this. Let’s be clear, I still had never met …

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: A Complex Twist in a Patient with Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Here was a 45-year-old Type 1 diabetic who presented to the emergency department in a near coma with diabetic ketoacidosis. The diagnosis seemed clear as day, with some of the classic presenting signs: polyuria, polydipsia, hyperglycemia, high anion gap, low serum bicarbonate and presence of ketones in the urine. She was admitted and treated appropriately. Once she was stabilized, the human interaction and history-taking began, which proved to be far more convoluted. She thoroughly explained …

My Path Towards a Career in Internal Medicine

As our friends finish undergrad, apply for jobs, settle down and develop a lifestyle, we are preparing for the next standardized exam, writing that catchy personal statement and requesting another set of recommendation letters on our journey towards residency. Although medicine is not for everyone, for whom it is, it likely is the only choice. After completing three years of medical school, the time finally comes to choose what we will do for the rest …

That Uncomfortable Moment…

Our threshold to admit a patient into the hospital is high. They must be sick—really sick!—and therefore once they are admitted, worked-up and treated, their prognosis is inevitably better. Ultimately, that is the point of our health care system. Enter sick, leave healthy. A recent patient encounter made me question this basic premise. Here was a 56-year-old white female with a past medical history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presenting with increased shortness of …

The One Time I Prescribed Carbs, Fats and Grease

It was the typical patient. He was in his 50s and suffered from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He came to the emergency department because he was having a headache and could not think clearly. After checking his vitals and labs, it was clear he was having a hypertensive emergency episode with systolic pressure running to 220 and evidence of papilledema on physical exam. He was admitted to the teaching service. Once admitted, he …

Manik Aggarwal Manik Aggarwal (7 Posts)

Columnist Emeritus

Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine


Hi! I am an Internal Medicine resident at Georgetown University Hospitals. I graduated medical school from Texas A&M Medical School and Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. I went to Case Western Reserve University where I did my bachelor’s in medical anthropology and a masters in public health. Life is good. I am an inherent optimist who simply enjoys life. Avid Dallas Cowboys fan! In all my free time (ha ha), I enjoy traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Storytellers

Patients are the true storytellers. They come in with pathology, we interpret physiology and prescribe pharmacology, but their stories are what we remember. They shape our experiences and how we practice medicine.