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How to write good discharge instructions

Discharge instructions are often provided as an after-thought. You’ve gone through a complex diagnostic process, interpreted various tests and imaging and initiated life saving treatment. After several high-fives, now it’s time for the patient to go home. Your job is done. Throw some pre-printed instructions at the patient, they’re on their way, and you’re on to your next patient.

But think about what the discharge instructions represent. Your patient probably only spent a few hours with you. They will be spending days with whatever information you give them to take home. This is continuation of therapy. This information is vital for the patient. This frames their ultimate understanding of what happened in the ER and what needs to happen next.

So let’s learn to do it properly. Watch the following video on how to write good discharge instructions and then bring a set of instructions you (or your attending) wrote to class. Let’s see how you did.

Is Emergency Medicine right for me?

I always found this to be a very difficult question. It’s just like having to guess if being a physician is right for you. There’s really no way to know until you’re already a doctor, living the doctor’s life. And by this point… it’s too late! You can never really know until you’re living the EM life, but you stil have to make the choice. So…