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Narrative Medicine and Resilience in Emergency Medicine

In Opinion by Sarah Luckett-GatopoulosLeave a Comment

How do we treat suffering? It’s simple enough to trawl the depths of wisdom collected in Rosen’s. Journal clubs, podcasts, and blogs keep us abreast of the latest updates to evidence-based practice. There is no substitute for the experience gained on clinical shifts. Reading around cases we see in the Emergency Department helps. We may struggle to memorize every list, table, and pathway, but the material itself is pretty straightforward. It’s all laid …

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Tramadol? Think of it more as ‘Tramadont’

In Featured, Opinion by Shahbaz Syed1 Comment

Ok, I’ll concede that title is pretty bad, but I felt my usual name for Tramadol (Tramacrap), just didn’t seem as appropriate for a headline. Dad jokes aside, Tramadol is a synthetic opioid that entered the Canadian market in 2005, and has seen widespread uptake and use. Unfortunately, Tramadol has not been the miracle drug that we anticipated it would be, as is fraught with harms. Alarmingly, despite a host of problems associated …

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Anxiety: Why are we seeing so much of it?

In Featured, Opinion by Shahbaz Syed1 Comment

Our early evolutionary ancestors relied on the fight or flight response to help ensure their survival and ability to propagate their genes. It was this successful trait that helped allow for the evolution and survival of our species to date. However, as we will discuss, the evolutionary and ecological history of this trait is perhaps an significant culprit in the increasing prevalence of anxiety related disorders that we are current witnessing. Evolutionary History …

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“Patient Satisfaction” – it’s bad for everyone

In Editorial, Featured, Opinion by Shahbaz Syed5 Comments

Higher patient satisfaction scores are linked to increased health care costs, and higher mortality1. Pause. Take a second, and re-read that last sentence. The follow up question is obvious – why would administrators push patient satisfaction if it results in worse outcomes? This post seeks to delve into the harms of targeting patient satisfaction, why it appears to be done, and the importance of speaking to our administrators in order to advocate on …

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Lessons from NASA – How to Become an Expert Clinician

In Editorial, Featured, Opinion by Shahbaz SyedLeave a Comment

In medicine, we often draw some of our lessons on safety from the aviation industry (i.e.: preoperative checklists), here we will explore a host of pearls that medicine can learn from the brilliant minds at NASA to help augment one’s practice as an expert clinician.  Commander Chris Hadfield has previously discussed a riveting tale regarding his first ever space walk1. During his mission, he was tasked with helping to assemble the Canada 2 …

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“Allergies” – Sometimes they’re real, but usually they’re not

In Editorial, Featured, Opinion by Shahbaz Syed5 Comments

How often have you seen a patient with more documented allergies than medications they’re taking? Commonly; patient’s will often suggest that they are allergic to medications like sulfa, penicillin, codeine and morphine in the Emergency Department. We often think for a moment, and prescribe something different – but I’d like to argue that this line of thinking is far more harmful than we think, and is doing our patients and the healthcare system …