Tag: miscommunication

Reza Hosseini Ghomi Reza Hosseini Ghomi (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

University of Massachusetts Medical School

I entered medical school after some wandering, not having a clue I would be here only five years after finishing college. I spent several years trying to find a place that felt right and eventually learned to quiet the torrent in my head enough to hear the messages from my heart and gut. I spent a short while in systems engineering for the Navy, but my experience as a patient with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma soon led me elsewhere. I ended up finding myself in basic science and imaging research, eventually leading to a graduate degree in biomedical engineering. I still didn't quite feel at home and realized what I really sought was the doctor-patient relationship I've read about, experienced, and admired. I felt I finally knew how I could feed my appetite for solving problems from the core and improving systems while also maintaining close contact with those I serve. This is a quote that has helped many times in my life.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CMO: Comfort Measures Only, Not Morphine Drip Only

I was on my internal medicine clerkship on an inpatient general medicine service at a major academic medical center. It was another long day and our team, from the interns to the attending, was running low on energy. As we entered late afternoon, we received a page for the transfer of a new patient to our service. As the intern read aloud “CMO” — comfort measures only–the team breathed out a sigh of relief and …

Patient Safety on the Rocks: Reflections from the 2012 Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable

Rugged yet breathtakingly subtle, the backdrop of Telluride, Colorado was a boon for our group of medical students to dissect the obstacles we encounter to safely care for our patients. The setting was the 2012 Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable. I, along with nearly 20 other medical students and leaders from prominent patient safety and health care quality organizations, convened to become better advocates for patient safety. This innovative roundtable, in its eighth iteration, sought to immerse upcoming medical professionals in discussions …

What the Doctors Know and What the Doctors Don’t Know

Since the beginning of medical school, I have always been astonished at the fact that my preceptors often had no idea what was going on with their patients. Many times, they resorted to prescribing Tylenol, simply telling their patients to come back if the condition became worse. Gastric ulcer? Tylenol. Terrible headache? Tylenol. Joint aches? Tylenol. Period cramps? Tylenol. Of course, they were family doctors with years and years of experience, but it came to …

Medicine, Meaning and Fluency

(My search for a lingua franca.) What I love about medicine is that it is, in one sense, just another culture. It is a world of operational definitions. The ability to accurately describe an injury or procedure may be likened to gaining proficiency in a language. I remember learning French and pushing myself in order to express myself — to communicate. The desire to share ideas was so great that I had to learn; not just …

Friend or Foe?

A patient with a past medical history of hypertension and IV drug use (IVDU) presents to the ED. He reports a one month history of neck pain. He denies any trauma. He also reports having upper extremity weakness for two weeks. He denies any previous episodes like this. He denies any fevers or chills. He reports an IV drug history for a number of years and reports that his last heroin injection was two days …

A Simple Question

Last weekend, I had an opportunity to participate at a community clinic in conducting physical examinations that includes a thorough male genital check for inguinal herniations.  It was an organized event which occurs yearly “to promote the well-being of high school and college student athletes by providing comprehensive physical screenings, free of charge, to all students participating in interscholastic athletics or allied activities” with the help of healthcare student volunteers (medical, dental, nursing, or physician …

Diversity, and Rhinos

“Últimamente me he sentido muy cansado,” starts explaining Genaro. He has been feeling tired, but also weak, and unable to concentrate on things. Since he arrived in Providence a couple of years ago from the highlands of Guatemala, he has been doing hard work — manual labor like construction and carpeting, working long hours for little pay. “Se me olvidan las cosas,” he continues. He has been forgetful, and has had trouble holding on to …

Reflections on Internal Medicine Clerkship

During my internal medicine rotation, I learned many things about medicine, and many things about patient care, and they are not always one in the same. By far the most influential piece of knowledge I will take away from this clerkship is the importance of clear verbal and written patient instructions and education, as well as the benefits of keeping patient care in a network of physicians.

Alixandra A. Scheufler Alixandra A. Scheufler (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Alixandra is a Class of 2013 medical student, planning to pursue a career in radiology. She is currently serving in her second year as the executive senate president, and also enjoys serving as a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society as well as the Aesculapians Honor Society. Alix studied history of art and gender and health studies at the University of Michigan.