osman-bhatty

Osman Bhatty, MD

Upcoming PGY1 Internal Medicine Resident at Creighton University. Dedicated to providing a human narrative to a technical field. Avid reader, writer, and tweeter. Catch me @osmanbhattyMD and dreamerdocMD.com

http://dreamerdocmd.com/

Physicians: A History of Healing and Torture

“Primum Non Nocere” – Do No Harm Every year, just before the weather chills and the trees begin to brace themselves against the long nights ahead, loads of medical students around the country gather in auditoriums across the country to recite the immortal phrases set down by Hippocrates thousands of years ago. So famous are these words and so oft repeated that many outside the medical community could recognize the sentences if not even in their original Latin forms. We are sworn into the medical profession by promising to uphold these virtues. It is this promise that binds us in commonality, as Father Time slowly transforms us from the homogenous mass of wide-eyed, eager medical students into the commanding surgeons, inquisitive internists, or tech-savvy radiologists that we were born to become. More than that, it connects us to a rich history of service, dedication, and self-sacrifice that millions before us have undertaken. How is it then that the fabric of our undertaking can so easily be undone? It’s been over a week since the CIA released its “torture report” and in it the shaming admission that medical physicians themselves were at the forefront of such grotesque crimes against humanity. Atul Gawande, renowned surgeon and author of books like “The Checklist Manifesto” in which he provides guidance on how to reduce mental errors has much less patience for the physicians...

A Surprising Story About Healing

A couple months ago I walked into the room of a man with stage IV colon cancer with metastasis to his liver and lungs.  He was on a full regimen of chemo drugs and had been admitted to the medical floor because his white count had risen. By now we had ruled out infection with blood cultures and the residents were ready to tell the attending to sign off on him. The morning before we started rounds one of the seniors came over to me and asked me to do a rectal exam because he had noticed a low h/h. I stood in front of the patient’s dim room with a pocket full of lube and a head swimming with doubt. The only light came from the strands of sunlight that had snuck their way between the slips of the curtain on this breezy summer morning. Darker still was this man’s prognosis; the residents had mentioned that they weren’t expecting him to make it past 4 or 5 months. I remember reading the results of the CT and cringing each time the radiologist dedicated an extra line to describe the dimensions of a metastatic nodule that had appeared on imaging. No one would say it, but we were all waiting for him to die. The utter significance of that realization at 6:30 in the morning rooted me to the spot. While the rest of...

Caribbean Medical School – A Reason to be Proud

  Off to Sea It wasn’t excitement that gripped me that early morning in May some four and a half years ago. As far as I could remember it was this vague mixture of anxiety, fear, and optimism I didn’t trust that was swirling around in my bowels as I sat through the commencement address of a large northeastern private university. Some Ivy league banker was giving the typical “you’re a college graduate, time to improve the world” speech. Funny enough this was right after the Wall Street implosion when the government had to bail them out, so in between his words of wisdom were subtle hints at apology and explanation. Maybe he was trying to show us young kids what it was like to be humble. Who knows. I certainly didn’t care slumped in my chair sweating through my shirt and suit [that my parents begged me to wear]. As soon as I would walk off that stage, degree from my dream school in hand, it would be a 3 month march to the day my bags would be packed and sunshades bought. I was heading to medical school in the Caribbean and I couldn’t have been more afraid.   Slow Start A coconut flew across the deck inches away from the balcony glass which my face was glued against. I reacted instinctively and jumped backwards tripping over my suitcases...

The Guide to Your First Day of Sub Internship

I remember walking onto the floors of my first rotation exactly one year ago. It was like spectating an intense game of basketball right from center court. “Oh excuse me am I in your way?” “Oh ya, let me get that for you!” “Hey, want some water?” Feeling out of place was an understatement, and most days I looked forward to didactics and morning rounds because at least they offered some semblance of structure. But even in the middle of those sessions I would still feel a creeping sensation of ineptitude that would crawl up my legs and settle somewhere between my stomach and chest. Attendings and residents would rattle off imaging results, lab values, and H&Ps like they were naming the colors of the rainbow and I was still splashing around in the basic science pond proud of the fact that I knew that Hurthle cells were “pathogonomonic” for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Yup, as long as you didn’t ask me to read the EKG, point out the lesion on a CXR, or pretty much do anything of value I would be the best MS3 ever. Oh ya, I was kind of scared of the patients too. I just didn’t want to hurt them! So much was my care that I reserved myself to pretty much obtaining the entire history from the notes written by prior doctors. Good thing I...