Tales of Survival

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 looks observers in …

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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 down with you, but one of …

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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. 

 I must admit, that as cynical …

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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.

 At the end of her second 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 stretch on for an …

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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 receive supportive responses but …

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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, gangrenous sacral ulcer that his prolonged …

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Tales of Survival: The Bellevue Clap

December 24, 2009
Tales of Survival: The Bellevue Clap

Bellevue Hospital, the nation’s oldest public hospital and the heart of our residency program, provides unique and unforgettable training for new physicians.  It is probably safe to say that every resident who trains at Bellevue graduates with a lifetime of stories about the experience. “Tales of Survival” was created to convey some of those stories.

Christopher Tully, MD

The entrance to Bellevue Hospital is a spacious, I.M. Pei-designed Ambulatory Care Building consisting of five floors of exam rooms enclosing a sun-drenched marble atrium, all capped …

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Tales of Survival: A Formidable Foe

September 12, 2009
Tales of Survival: A Formidable Foe

Bellevue Hospital, the nation’s oldest public hospital and the heart of our residency program, provides unique and unforgettable training for new physicians.  It is probably safe to say that every resident who trains at Bellevue graduates with a lifetime of stories about the experience. “Tales of Survival” was created to convey some of those stories.

Judith Brenner MD

Many years have passed since I was first an intern on the Bellevue wards. The details are blurred into a hodgepodge of images: running to codes, drawing …

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Tales of Survival: Hot Air

August 20, 2009
Tales of Survival: Hot Air

Bellevue Hospital, the nation’s oldest public hospital and the heart of our residency program, provides unique and unforgettable training for new physicians.  It is probably safe to say that every resident who trains at Bellevue graduates with a lifetime of stories about the experience. “Tales of Survival” was created to convey some of those stories.

Benjamin Bergman MD

 

Sometimes surviving a hospital stay is not so easy and the reasons are not so obvious. This is the story of how I realized that doctors frequently …

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Tales of Survival: Wife Knows Best

August 1, 2009
Tales of Survival: Wife Knows Best

Bellevue Hospital, the nation’s oldest public hospital and the heart of our residency program, provides unique and unforgettable training for new physicians.  It is probably safe to say that every resident who trains at Bellevue graduates with a lifetime of stories about the experience. “Tales of Survival” was created to convey some of those stories.

Melissa Price MD

As a second year medicine resident, we are required to rotate through the Bellevue Emergency Department for a solid month’s time. To describe this rotation as a …

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