Lobsters of Medicine

I’ve never cooked lobsters but was reminded of the trick to the recipe today: if you try to put lobsters into boiling water you’ll have a big fight and it won’t go well, but put them in cool water and slowly turn up the heat, by the time they realize there’s a problem they’re cooked.

I thought about this while turning sideways between gurneys in the hall to get through to the next patient of many.

The temperature in my ED continues to climb, but I’ve been here so long it just seems like it’s getting a little warm.

ED’s everywhere have rising census, increasing demands, physical plants that aren’t keeping up with the crush.

Coal mines have canaries.  Medicine has lobsters.

It’s getting warm, but there’s plenty of time.



  1. Fort Worth seems to not be keeping up with the increasing population and demand for medical care. Having worked at a facility there recently I can attest to that. They need at least one more large hospital……

  2. Have you thought about moving where its colder? That way, you can at least open the door to let the heat out.

  3. A very clever analogy for a serious problem.

    Pamela Powers
    Managing Editor

  4. I just used the frog in boiling water vs slowly warmed water analogy just this week when discussing the increase in workload for nurses over the last 10 years.

    Seems everything is the same all over…overworked and under appreciated.

  5. This is going live at Better Health on Tuesday morning. :) Nice post.

  6. Wow. You kinda summed it up in one short post. Great job. Now that I am working nights it seems like I turned the heat down a smidge, but just a little.


  7. I am really very very impressd from this post……..its really powerful though and powerfull person who write this……