So, for the last week I have been at the American College of Emergency Physicians' annual conference, or Scientific Assembly, in Las Vegas. It was, as always, a very interesting and educational experience.
One of the things I enjoy most about the conference is hearing other EM physicians' war stories and realizing that no matter where you practice, the patients are still the same. While we don't have some of the inner city gang violence that LAC-USC encounters, we still face a lot of the same homeless and chemically-dependent patients.
Some of the other patients we all seem to share:
- the "I don't smoke in the house" parents who can't understand how their kids have been coughing non-stop over the last two days at home, but who miraculously improve once they're in the E.D. Or, why their kids seem to have so many ear and upper respiratory infections. Or, why is Johnny's asthma so bad.
- the "I know I'm having a heart attack right now, but I need to leave to take care of business" patient
- the "I don't understand why my kid is so fat when all he does is drink two liter bottles of Coke a day even though he's two"
- the "I know I called the ambulance because I was really worried about my vaginal discharge, but now that I'm here I just want to leave and what do you mean you need to do a pelvic?"
I could go on and on... but I'll leave those for future blog entries as I get to learn all about my patient population in the new place I am calling home... until then, the things I learned this year in Vegas in terms of patient care are definitely not staying in Vegas... however, regarding my encounter with CarrotTop, well.....