Tales of Survival

Tales of Survival: A Dose of Perspective

January 31, 2014
Tales of Survival: A Dose of Perspective

By Kaitlyn Dugan

My steps echoed in the hallway of the 17th floor of Bellevue Hospital as my head remained buried in the H&P my resident handed me only a few seconds earlier. Mr. W was a 64 year-old African American male with an extensive medical history including CAD with CABG, CHF with an EF of 30%, COPD, stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (status-post chemotherapy and radiation), who was in his usual stage of chronically ill health until 3 days prior to…

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Book Review: What Doctors Feel-Danielle Ofri, MD

August 2, 2013
Book Review: What Doctors Feel-Danielle Ofri, MD

By Michael Tanner, MD

Faculty Peer Reviewed

What Doctors Feel, Danielle Ofri’s answer to Jerome Groopman’s How Doctors Think, explores how doctors’ emotions affect the practice of medicine in good and bad ways. As the saxophone virtuoso Charlie Parker said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” Dr. Ofri has lived it, in a career more varied than most—as a rape crisis counselor, a neuroanatomy teaching assistant, a cellist, a PhD in neuroscience, and a professor and practitioner of internal…

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Tales of Survival: “Waiting for a bed”

July 12, 2013
Tales of Survival: “Waiting for a bed”

By Anjali Varma Desai, MD

Mr. X is an 83- year-old male with a history of dementia, hyperlipidemia, irritable bowel syndrome, benign prostatic hypertrophy, hypothyroidism and chronic kidney disease stage III, presenting with new-onset left hip pain for1 week. Hip x-rays showed changes consistent with osteoarthritis with no evidence of fracture or dislocation. All other laboratory data were unremarkable. The patient was admitted to Medicine for management of his hip pain. On the night following admission, he became delirious in the setting of receiving morphine…

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Reflections on Hurricane Sandy

January 11, 2013
Reflections on Hurricane Sandy

By Jessica Taff, MD

As the 3 major teaching hospitals that make up NYU Medical Center begin to come back online, we thought it was the right time to share some of our reflections on Hurricane Sandy.  It’s been a long strange journey for the faculty, housestaff, students and most of all our patients.  It’s time now though for us to come back home; to return with a renewed sense of purpose and a new appreciation for our institution.

As the East River lapped over…

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Tales of Survival: An Open Letter to My Patient Mrs. B.

March 2, 2012
Tales of Survival: An Open Letter to My Patient Mrs. B.

By Vivek Murthy

Case report:

Mrs. B is a 68-year-old female with a PMH of small cell lung CA metastatic to the liver s/p last chemo six weeks ago presenting with RUQ pain migrating to her RLQ for the last 24 hours. Physical exam reveals a fatigued but pleasant African-American female appearing her stated age, in obvious pain that is making her eyes water. Exam is significant for R supraclavicular LAD, a distended abdomen, + Murphy’s sign, and exquisite tenderness to palpation and guarding in…

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Tales of Survival: Physical Exam

July 15, 2011
Tales of Survival: Physical Exam


By John Hwang

General

Patient is a demented, chronically ill elderly male lying in bed attached to a ventilator, appearing anything but his stated age. Contracted in a fetal position, huddled under the bed sheet with only his bald head and wrinkled skin showing, he alternately resembles a centenarian or a newborn child—someone very much at the brink of life.

Mental Status Exam

Patient awake and alert, but severely cognitively impaired. Completely nonverbal and does not repeat or respond to commands. He…

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An Intern In The ER

April 1, 2011
An Intern In The ER

By Demetrios Tzimas, MD

New York City.  Bellevue Hospital Center.  July 17, 2009.  1:53 pm.  Intern Year. Long Call.

“Go down to the ER.  There’s a guy with chest pain for the past three days, EKG shows some non-specific changes, vitals stable.  First set of labs negative.  CXR clear.  They gave him a full-dose aspirin.  This sounds like a rule out chest pain, and since it’s Friday, he’ll go to medicine and not the chest pain unit.  I’d go…

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Tales of Survival: My White Coat

February 3, 2011
Tales of Survival: My White Coat

By Kristen Mattei

Faculty Peer Reviewed

Mr. H was an 85-year-old former merchant marine and self-proclaimed lothario who presented to the VA emergency room with a six-month history of lymphadenopathy, a six-week history of cough, and a two-week history of decreased exercise tolerance. The physical exam was remarkable for impressive lymphadenopathy in the anterior cervical, posterior cervical, submandibular, axillary, and inguinal regions.   A CT scan of his neck, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis revealed a pulmonary embolism and diffuse lymphadenopathy. …

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My Chief Complaint

September 17, 2010
My Chief Complaint

 By Laurel Naversen Geraghty, MS4

Faculty Peer Reviewed

 CC: “I’m stuck in the hospital at 9:30 p.m.”

 HPI: L.G., a female G1P1 medical student immediately s/p the grueling hours and night-float duties of her OB/GYN clerkship, experienced acute onset elation about her next rotation: psychiatry. She felt excited for the clerkship—and for the tantalizing promise of a 9-to-5 schedule, which would allow her to see her four-month-old daughter for more than 30 waking minutes per day.…

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Tales of Survival: Snapshots of Bellevue at Night

September 10, 2010
Tales of Survival: Snapshots of Bellevue at Night

Christopher Tully, MD

Bellevue is a beast.  I’m not sure if there is any other way to describe it.  The corridors feel as if the streets of New York City have spilled into its sprawling confines as patients, families and employees mix to create a constant buzz.  The piecemeal construction of the hospital center only adds to the chaos.  There are just enough blind angles to make awkward collisions with a patient or co-worker common-place.  Its endless hallways and linoleum floors…

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A Tale of Olympic Survival

June 17, 2010
A Tale of Olympic Survival

By David Chong, MD

 As the world watched the greatest athletes gather to compete in Vancouver, I was on a plane to Haiti.  Just getting on the plane was quite a feat.  After I received an urgent e-mail for volunteer doctors from the University of Miami’s Project Medishare field hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti late on a Friday night during an overnight shift at NY Presbyterian hospital, I began to send frantic requests for coverage for the week.  Slowly, I began to…

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Tales of Survival: The Rock’s Wife

January 8, 2010
Tales of Survival: The Rock’s Wife

John Trahanas

She was not my patient. Actually, she was nobody’s patient, she was just a wife; she was “the family.” She was a rough, stern looking woman, and with good reason as she had weathered many difficult times. Her husband had been severely demented for many years; however, it was only in the past few months that he required such intensive inpatient care. He was not conscious or communicative, but he was clearly in pain from the gaping,…

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