Emergency doctors are the ultimate in the practical; we do everything
with nothing, and we make things work. And yet, here I sit, reading and
dissecting a series of malpractice cases which are based on the lack of
A new physician-written book sheds much-needed common sense on end-of-life care in the ED. “The Spirit that is in all beings is immortal in them all: for the death of what cannot die, cease thou to sorrow.”
Applying physics lessons to daily life in the emergency department has never been more enjoyable.
“God does not play dice with the universe”
Democracy, like love, is often blind, lacking cool objectivity and
critical distance. But the deepest truths are written in braille. If the
directions which our profession should take are not felt, they are not
truly internalized. This country is in trouble, and I’m a patriot. But a
true patriot weeps more than he brags.
A Samuel Beckett play is somewhat like a confession without hope of absolution. A sense of sin that lies too deep to be expiated. Past societal guilt about present actions continue and such remorse is denied relief. Beckett’s characters reach out for affection, and frustratingly embrace only the tormented feelings of themselves.
It’s that time of year again, when I am “forced” to prepare for the ACEP national meeting, the Scientific Assembly. It’s in San Francisco this year – not bad. It has a list of courses that boggles the mind and virtually every committee of the college, as well as the ACEP Counsel and Board of Directors, comes together to debate the issues of our time.
Having begun the discussion on power last month, we move now to the
types of power that emergency physicians actually possess, and how they
can be utilized. The first is the power to reward. I urge you to use it
early, often and with reckless abandon.
Power is an unusual commodity for many reasons, not the least of which
is the fact that you first have to decide what it is. To my mind, the
most useful definition is “the ability to influence events and outcomes
in one’s favor.”
Pope John Paul II, in his seminal work Fides et Ratio, states that
“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to
the contemplation of truth.” Democracy, more than any other form of
government known to history, requires the exercise of reason on the part
of its citizens in order to function.
Inductive reasoning begins with observation and moves with variable
speed to generalized theory. Deductive reasoning moves the other way:
theory, hypothesis, observation and finally confirmation. But when you
are dealing with risk management issues you need to do both
simultaneously or you can be caught by the tsunami of thought and blown
out with the tide of history.