What is health care like on the front lines?
Across the political spectrum, politicians, providers, patients and their loved ones agree that health care is broken. The great question of our time is why can the richest country in the world not take care of its people in an equitable and sustainable way? Front line health care workers have largely been absent from that conversation. Through my work, I hope to add my voice and the voice of others reporting what health care is really like.
From the ground up.
My first story for WBUR was about the nation’s first penis transplant. I was very nervous to report it but had a great editor (thanks Carey Goldberg!). The best part of reporting this was the courage and selflessness of the patient, Thomas Manning, who was eager for others to benefit from his experience. His no-nonsense attitude sums up everything I came to love about Boston.
What happens when you want a test that your doctor thinks won't help? Has a national campaign against high-cost, low-value care helped physicians have these tough conversations? And what drives doctors to provide care that they don't think a patient needs?
We need some in-depth soul searching among medical educators about how a resident can work 100 hours a week and still be poorly trained.
Millions of people take an aspirin every day, thinking they are doing something positive to protect their hearts. Now, we physicians are back-tracking on those recommendations. What gives?
Recommending weight loss in this simplistic manner can be more than frustrating to the patient; it can be dangerous.
As healthcare workers, we are problem solvers. We have to be. There are a handful of people whose lives I have saved with quick thinking. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything. But wanting to jump to a solution means we sometimes fail to listen, to sit with a friend, patient, or colleague, and be a companion in their suffering.
After so many years on this path, who was I?
I now know that everything that I was taught about opioids was wrong.
One young man told me his kid will spend her first father's day without him as he struggles to get sober. The pain on his face almost cracked me open. Sometimes in my work I stumble on a kind of sadness I will never experience, one that pulls at the edges of my heart until my whole world opens up.
In-flight emergencies are just another reminder that you're never not a doctor.
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