Tales of Survival

Tales of Survival: Fighting Words

August 11, 2017
Tales of Survival:  Fighting Words

By Rachael Winchester-Hayes, MD

Political friends and foes alike were shocked last month when Senator John McCain’s office announced his diagnosis of glioblastoma after what was thought to be a minor surgery for removal of a blood clot. Watching the reactions unfold on social media, I was struck not just by the bipartisan showing of support – perhaps the first bipartisan action since the election – but also by the combative language used in the tweets, Facebook posts and even official statements.  The White House …

Read more »

Tales of Survival-The Physician’s Stages of Grief (Based upon the Kübler-Ross Model)

August 4, 2017
Tales of Survival-The Physician’s Stages of Grief (Based upon the Kübler-Ross Model)

By Lauren M. Young

Prologue/Narrowing a Diagnosis.  A 61 year-old African American male, with a longstanding history of right knee and lower back pain, presented to the Emergency Department for the fourth time in one month complaining of pain on the right side of his lower back.  He had also fallen – remarkably not the ‘chief complaint’ for this well-muscled, vibrant man who could “walk from Harlem to Coney Island” just a few weeks prior.  He was surprised when recently his knees “just buckled” …

Read more »

Tales of Survival: Bellevue Night Float Routine

May 5, 2017
Tales of Survival: Bellevue Night Float Routine

By Olivia Begasse de Dhaem MD, Palak Patel MD, Shreya Trivedi MD

Peer Reviewed

Hypotension in a patient with a pericardial effusion, sustained tachycardia in a post-MI patient, hypoxia in a patient with metastatic cancer… the Bellevue night float intern pager can get frantic. After trial and error, our group of interns have come up with a cohesive routine to balance the strain that night float forces on our circadian rhythms, eating habits, work pattern, and social life. Given the paucity of information on night …

Read more »

Glucagon People/Insulin People

November 23, 2016
Glucagon People/Insulin People

By Michael Tanner, MD

Glucagon: a 29-amino-acid polypeptide secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreas in response to hypoglycemia or starvation. 

Insulin: a 51-amino-acid polypeptide secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas in response to nutrient consumption. 

It’s December 13th, 1932, Camden, New Jersey. You are playing alto sax and clarinet in the reed section of Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra. It’s the low point of the Depression, and your boss is feeling it: the financial challenges of running a …

Read more »

More Than A Medical Note

July 15, 2016
More Than A Medical Note

By Alicia Cowley, MD

Ms. R had been admitted late the previous night so I expected that I would have to gently nudge her from her sleep. So as I peeked around the curtain separating her bed from her roommate’s, I was surprised to find a woman alert and freshly bathed. She had assembled a makeshift vanity with a mirror and a small cosmetics pouch that she had propped conspicuously atop her overbed table.

She was about to apply some lipstick when she noticed me. …

Read more »

The Pool

June 24, 2016
The Pool

By Jafar Al-Mondhiry, MD

I’m surprised I even noticed it. The patient gowns, IV poles, slipper-socks—all normal fare in the hallways of a busy hospital.  But down in the elevator bank, just between the Emergency Department and the main hospital floors above us where invariably such sights predominate, he seemed out of place. The stony, oblivious look he carried on his face made my brow furrow just a little deeper, seeing that checked-out expression so characteristic of the over- or under-medicated psychiatric patient.

And then …

Read more »

Defiance

June 5, 2015
Defiance

By Amar Parikh, MD

I recently visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art and stumbled across this sculpture called “Woman of Venice II” by Alberto Giacometti. It made me recall an experience I had with a patient on the hematology service this past autumn, and I could not help but marvel at how my patient and this work of art seemed to echo each other. Below is my effort at articulating some of the thoughts I had when I saw this sculpture.

****

 

 …

Read more »

Microbiome Blues in E

April 1, 2015
Microbiome Blues in E

By M tanner

Many  bacteria live in and on me—I’ve always known that. But when I learned that bacteria make up 90% of the cells in my body, it made me feel so sucio, so unclean.

I went through my day, realizing for the first time that I am entertaining 100 trillion houseguests who never go home. And who lack all sense of decorum. I know that, technically speaking, bacteria are asexual. But then I read: “one special type of pilus found in ‘male’ strains …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »

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 …

Read more »