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How I work: Managing My Reference Manager

My first time using a reference management system was a high school research paper on the Meiji Restoration. References weren’t found using an Internet search, as Al Gore had only recently invented it. I managed my references with a pile of index cards, handwritten in pencil, and organized alphabetically in a small box. Research has come a long way since then. We spend less time in the library and more time on computers. Articles are often electronic rather than print. Reference managers are the modern day box of note cards except faster, more flexible, and less embarrassing to carry around. The Read more [...]

Here Is My Notice. I Quit!

 Recently, a friend approached me to discuss his career options after his first job. He started by explaining the main reasons why he is quitting and looking for an alternative job. He worked at a private setup in a small town. He had a boss who did not provide what was necessary to improve his productivity. And finally, he did not get the bonus he was promised as his RVUs came $200 short. It was clear to me why he needed to find another job, and sure enough, he landed at a better deal a few weeks later. A few months earlier I had gone through a similar experience of switching jobs. While Read more [...]
A prototype game, courtesy BreakAway, Ltd

New frontiers in Pediatric Emergency Medicine

The PEM world appears to be running out of innovative ideas.  We're always a niche specialty, there will always be demand for our services, but the latest items are reaching a maturity that makes us susceptible to the next best thing.  In any big organization (and let's call the PEM world a loose confederate organization), an innovative concept goes through several stages of transformative change:  All transformative change begins with a mild xenophobia to resistance and turmoil from status quo before it can resurface to become the new status quo Do you remember the backlash or disbelief at Read more [...]
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Our Top 10 of 2015: Of Dry Drowning, the Price of a Doctor, and Cute Babies

Happy New Year from the PEMNetwork! We're starting 2016 by looking back at some of our most read posts from this last year. We used Google Analytics to identify the most popular posts of 2015 based on number of page views. Let us know what you think and what you want to hear about in 2016 by following us on Facebook and Twitter.  Author & Date Recap #1 Angela Lumba-Brown, Washington University June 11, 2015 Mythbusting Dry Drowning Exploring the controversial concept of “dry drowning,” whether it is real, and what we might need to know about drowning in Read more [...]
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New kid on the block- diagnostic error

Pediatric emergency care has improved exponentially in the past decade!  In 2015  most of the 7500 + children seen across the US in the ED each day  receive the right care, in the right place at the right time. This improvement was highlighted in the Pediatric Readiness Survey published in JAMA.  The report noted significant improvements in care across the 4200 US EDs surveyed (including improved access to pediatric equipment, resources and training).   The sentinel report "2007 Growing Pains" was a call for action to improve Pediatric care in the ED after the attention brought to patient Read more [...]
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MD Cents: Is Becoming a Doctor a Million Dollar Plus Mistake?

I came across an article a couple of weeks ago that asked whether becoming a doctor was a million dollar mistake. This got me thinking. Most of us would say that the work we get to do each day is amazing. We get to help children and families at some of their most vulnerable moments. From a purely altruistic viewpoint, there aren't many jobs that are more rewarding and really allow you to make good on your interview statement that you "really want to help people." Despite the incredible nature of our jobs, I want to discuss this article and some of the points the authors make. The first Read more [...]

The Troubled Winter

Winter is coming! Is it just the ominous motto of House Stark in the famous HBO show Game of Thrones? I think it should be our warning motto in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. It is the season of long wait times, the influx of unprecedented numbers of patients, the wonderful bronchiolitis, the respiratory viruses that would bring every patient possible with asthma exacerbation, the holidays that bring with it the upset stomach and gastroenteritis. Many emergency rooms around the country are staffed and supplied according to costs rather than needs. This will lead to understaffing and Read more [...]
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The Internet: Academic Publishing Savior or Killer?

I recently turned in my annual academic review form in to my division administrators. Among the almost too numerous to count accomplishments (I’m hoping my division chief is reading this), there is a section for publications. While no longer the only determinant of academic success, the science you publish and where you publish it remains a badge of honor for many of us in pediatric emergency medicine and a general marker that you haven’t whittled away your past 365 days. But a closer examination of our current model of scientific publication makes me rethink why it exists as it does in Read more [...]