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question mark.png5 Questions for Richard Pescatore, DO

Dr. Pescatore writes "What to D.O." for EMN, is the chief physician for the Delaware Division of Public Health and an emergency physician in New Jersey. He is also the host with Ali Raja, MD, of the podcast EMN Live, which focuses on hot topics in emergency medicine: Follow him on Twitter @Rick_Pescatore, and read his past columns at

1. What is the most challenging part of emergency medicine?
Existing within the fishbowl. Every decision you make is dissected by a hyperspecialist with infinitely more time and collected information (because of your efforts!). We are, almost by definition, never considered the experts on a disease, pathology, or presentation despite compelling data that diagnoses and treatments initiated in the ED change only a minority of the time.

2. What is the most rewarding part?
Being able to solve a complex or atypical problem in the heat of the moment, and watch a patient's fear, pain, or anxiety fade away.

3. What is your favorite medical word? Why?
Effluvium. Onomatopoeia be damned.

4. What is your favorite procedure? Why?
Subclavian central line (landmark). I feel that it's a disappearing procedure, and there are few things more satisfying than the rush of blood into the syringe on the first stick while someone is still wandering around looking for the ultrasound.

5. What sound do you love to hear in the ED?
I love when there's just the right balance of organized chaos—vents, monitors, radios, yelling. There's no place quite like it.

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