Stories

Costs of care at a student-run free clinic

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 2 comments

Costs of care at a student-run free clinic

By Neel Butala, MD There he sat, hunched over with rugged, muscular arms stretched across his abdomen, his weary eyes stealing hopeful glances from behind an otherwise steely facade. Mr. J was a 53-year old Latino agricultural laborer with a history of H. Pylori who presented at our student-run free clinic with persistent abdominal pain, unchanged from his multiple previous visits. As I learned more about Mr. J and his story, I realized that treating him effectively would require understanding not only his medical complaints, but also his broader socioeconomic context. Working at a...

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All on the Same Page

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 0 comments

All on the Same Page

By David Cooke, MD “Mr. Jones’ chest x-ray looks normal.” the intern said to me on morning rounds.  Mr. Jones just had a transhiatal esophagectomy or THE.  The esophagus is the muscular tube that connects the back of one’s throat to their stomach.  It can develop cancer or become completely dysfunctional because of benign processes, and therefore need to be removed.  A THE involves cutting out the patient’s esophagus, in Mr. Jones’ case for cancer, bringing the stomach up behind the heart, and sewing it to what’s left of the esophagus in the neck so the patient can eat...

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When Less Is More

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 3 comments

When Less Is More

By Noura M. Dabbouseh, M.D. We speak of everyday decisions in terms of “cost-benefit” analyses. Many of our patients can’t afford a healthy meal, let alone a hefty hospital bill, thus making cost awareness increasingly relevant. But on the day that I met Mr. R., it wasn’t the financial aspects of his care that concerned me. I was thinking about the patient, his family, and two roads diverged in a hospital ward. I was thinking of the road less traveled, and the greener pasture oft overlooked. Mr. R. was a 70 year old male smoker with high blood pressure and the diagnosis of congestive...

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Patient Education – An Overlooked Factor in the Cost of Care

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 1 comment

Patient Education – An Overlooked Factor in the Cost of Care

By Anonymous  There is a saying in the world of education, “You have to care to teach.” Why is it then in healthcare, a profession of and about caring, we do such a poor job of teaching our patients?  Is it because we are too busy or too rushed when we are sending our patient’s out the door of our hospitals, clinics or offices? After all, we have treated the patient and provided the “fix.” Is it because we do not take courses in how to teach patients effectively? Or, is it simply because we have not taken the time to fully appreciate the cost of ineffective patient teaching? The...

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The Cost of Miscommunication between Patient and Doctor

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 2 comments

The Cost of Miscommunication between Patient and Doctor

By Kelley Cosgrove A few years ago, as I prepared for neurosurgery, a nurse who worked there told me, “Spend as little time in the hospital as possible, because the longer you stay, the more likely you are to get sick.” In a way, that statement seemed quite telling of what was to come for me and an indicator cost of care—the added cost of additional care, additional hospitalizations, and the additional illnesses that come along with that. Just days later, I realized how foreboding that exchange was. When I was admitted, I anticipated being in the hospital for one week or less. I had...

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