AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
By Joe Goldeen, The Record, Stockton, Calif. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jun. 2--In doctorspeak, the unassigned male patient presented in the ER like a train wreck.
The fortysomething man with no doctor and no insurance was passed out when he was brought into the emergency room at Lodi Memorial Hospital this spring. That made getting his medical history upfront next to impossible.
What the ER medical staff could tell was that the man was under the influence of alcohol -- in fact, he had a history of drinking -- his vital signs were not very stable, he was anemic, he was bleeding internally.
When he regained consciousness, he suffered from mental confusion as the result of liver failure, what appeared to be end-stage liver disease. To top it off, he had pneumonia -- his breathing was so bad, he had to be intubated.
"It was just a nightmare when he came in," recalled Dr. Marie-France Scherer, one of the physicians who supervised the man's care once he was admitted to the hospital and who was pleased to say he survived the ordeal.
The outcome might have been different if not for Scherer and the nine other physicians affiliated with Lodi Memorial since Feb. 17 who work as hospitalists -- on-site doctors responsible for managing the care of hospitalized patients admitted from the emergency department.
"Hospitalist medicine is the fastest growing field in medicine today. It's one of …