Even in the time-limited setting of the ER, it's important for providers to understand where our patients live, work and play. It's these conversations that allow us to diagnose and treat the real causes of our patients' ills.
Thanks to everyone for reading, and in particular to the many people who pointed out the critical necessity of teamwork--with nurses, physician assistants, technicians, nurse practictioners, case managers, students, social workers, and many more.
Indeed, it takes an entire team to provide true care. As people have commented on NPR's Facebook site, we in the ER rely on social workers--many of whom are overworked yet try so hard to help our patients. Whenever we as docs and nurses refer patients to social workers, they are always fantastic about helping us. It's critical for us frontline providers who see patients first to ask the tough questions and look beyond the "chief complaint" in order to know to involve the other members of our team.
I have been fortunate over the course of my training and career to learn from and work with many incredibly caring, highly compassionate, and superbly competent providers. It's also the community leaders and neighborhood organizations who provide care outside the walls of our institution, who are critical to the health of people.
On this Thanksgiving weekend, I give them, and all of you, my unending gratitude and deep respect. Thank you.