Mea sententia...

Mea Sententia (which translates roughly as 'My Opinion') has been my intermittent blog since 2011. Much of my writing is about medical issues, but my topics range through philosophy, behavioral and decision making, management, humor, and persona/family anecdotes.
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Dehydration and tachycardia

Bob was 18, a high school senior, a good student, played soccer and ran track, excelling at the 400. He was in the office with his mother to follow up after an ED visit and brief hospital stay earlier in the week. The discharge sheet they brought in noted that he had responded promptly to treatment for a viral illness with vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration (VDD), but because of an unexplained tachycardia he was advised to be seen ASAP to obtain a referral for cardiac evaluation.

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Monthly mangled medicalese

The language of medicine is highly evolved and complex and allows clear, detailed, specific and unambiguous descriptions. Except when it’s not.

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Scribes and managers: compare and contrast

What do scribes and managers have in common? (And how are they different?)

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The meaning of lilacs

My Dad was not a gardener, and yard and garden chores where never a major interest for him. Lilacs, however, were special. He would always stop to comment on the scent and beauty of blooming lilacs. Here, in his own words, is the explanation.

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The anatomy of problem solving

How often do we think about what goes into solving a problem or making a decision? There are always at least half a dozen separate opportunities to take a wrong turn, so it pays to review the components of problem solving and decision making. In many ways, the medical model works well.

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Lessons from the other end of the stethoscope

My wife had to undergo a minor outpatient surgical procedure in a nearby medical center. Their system was efficient and the people we dealt with friendly and helpful, from parking and access, through signage, registration, medical intake, explanations of the process, keeping me informed of her status, post-procedure monitoring and the discharge process. It was after the discharge and while we were packing up our things and getting ready to leave that we had the most extraordinary experience.

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Apathy to activism in four (not so easy) steps

The hospital where I work has recently recognized the serious negative impact our disengaged and non-participatory community of providers is having on the ability of our medical center to innovate and achieve excellence. Evolving from an apathetic to an activist staff is not easy. 

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Management 2.0 and healthcare

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last 5 years, you have heard lots of talk about Web 2.0 and Health 2.0, the 21st Century versions of the internet and the health care system.  Changes in technology, social structures, medical science and culture has led to huge changes. Is the same thing happening in the fields of management and leadership? Is there a management (or leadership) 2.0 just over the horizon? If so, what would it look like in health care?

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The troublesome eye exam

During medical school we were admonished never to take short cuts. High on the list of forbidden behaviors was to fail to do a complete physical exam, regardless of how focal the presenting problem seemed. For one thing, our diagnostic skills were in their infancy, and narrowing the focus too early was a way to miss important things. For another, there is a wide range of normal and multiple exams would help us recognize an outlier. The relationship with the patient was felt to be enhanced by the process of a methodical and attentive exam with laying on of hands.

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Monthly Mangled Medicalese (MMM)

The language of medicine is highly evolved and complex and allows clear, detailed, specific and unambiguous descriptions. Except when it’s not.

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