When a photograph of an emergency room doctor grieving for a 19-year-old patient was posted online recently, it went viral with thousands of shares, likes and comments. Most of this stemmed from the fact that doctors are not known for showing personal emotions. Like all healthcare staff we deal with difficult, sometimes hugely distressing scenarios every day. We have all had moments like that doctor. Where a patient has affected us so profoundly, we cannot hold it together and need some space. This is a tribute to just five of the patients that have taught me to be a better doctor. Identifying details have been changed to preserve patient anonymity.
Relegating the four-hour target in importance and looking across a richer set of indicators like these could be an important way forward. But doing this will mean moving away from the weekly fix of headlines about hospitals 'underperforming' or, alternatively, meeting the target. Are politicians brave enough to go cold turkey on the totemic four-hour A&E target?
You are stuck in a busy, noisy, unfamiliar building. You are unsure of where you are or even what time of year it is. All the corridors look the same. You find it hard to judge how far away the floor is. You can't remember where the toilets are. You can't remember why you're here. You feel a rising sense of panic as you search for clues to where you are, and even who you are.
Despite repeated calls from numerous medical experts and various health intellectuals hospitals across the UK continue to serve junk foods to sick people. As recently as last year Doctors themselves meeting at the BMA made the strongest recommendation that all hospitals should stop this practice completely because it was exacerbating almost every medical problem they faced.
It is completely OUT OF ORDER that our hospitals, a place that should be a champion of health and well being, a place that should be the first to educate the masses and promote healthy eating and conscious living, are encouraging the consumption of the very things that cause a large number of the diseases they are treating in the first place.