Playing in the Band

Playing in the Band

I got my first guitar when I was 14. It was an Alvarez acoustic with an electric pick-up, and I played it every day—at least for a while. I thought it would make me cool and make the girls take notice. But after about a year, when neither of those things had happened, I just about gave up the guitar for good. There simply wasn’t much joy in always playing alone. What revived and has sustained my interest was joining some of my high school friends and forming a band …
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Addressing Without Managing: Defusing the Ticking Time Bombs in Urgent Care

In the world of urgent care, it’s assumed that we exist to provide immediate, episodic care for discrete problems. The sore throat, sprained ankle, and laceration are our bread and butter. However, we do not practice in a vacuum. We share patients with other clinicians who longitudinally follow and manage their multiple comorbidities. Additionally, for the growing number of patients without a primary care provider, we commonly serve as the sole point of contact with the healthcare system and, therefore, offer the only opportunity to identify undiagnosed and potentially dangerous …
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When Walk-Ins Aren’t Welcome

Patient volume has always been a delicate topic between the clinical staff and administrators of urgent care centers. It’s no secret who stands where in this ongoing debate. Regardless of each side’s opinions, UC volume has been largely stochastic historically, fluctuating at its own whim without regard for who wishes it were higher or lower. Things are different now, though. Thanks to COVID, UC overcrowding has become the new ED overcrowding—ubiquitous. The large volumes of COVID-related visits have guaranteed that virtually every UC center in the U.S. is filled from …
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Toxic Positivity in Medicine Feature Image

An Underrecognized Epidemic: Toxic Positivity in Medicine

Joshua Russell, MD, MSc, FCUCM, FACEP A colleague, Dr. Mitchell we’ll call him, told me about a PA that he was supervising recently who made a great catch in a patient with a swollen, blue finger: Achenbach syndrome. When the PA presented the presumptive diagnosis, Dr. Mitchell, unfamiliar with the condition, had to Google it before seeing the patient. Our PA was right, though. The patient walked out of clinic, happy to have a benign explanation for her symptoms, the PA beamed with pride at his diagnosis, and Dr. Mitchell …
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Stepping Outside Yourself, Self-Distancing

Stepping Outside Yourself

Joshua Russell, MD, MSc, FACEP Until recently, I’ve had the rare luxury of working in busy urgent care centers where I was virtually always working side-by-side with another provider. However, with changes in my career and UC staffing models in the wake of the pandemic, I find myself working in single coverage situations the majority of the time nowadays. While I do miss the camaraderie of multi-coverage practice, I miss the unfettered access to a second clinician’s brain the most. Have you ever found yourself caring for a patient and …
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