It was my first day at my new job, practicing a new specialty. Having spent fourteen years as an ICU physician–including a four-year pulmonary/critical-care fellowship in this very hospital–I had just completed a palliative-care fellowship. Now I was the hospital’s palliative-care consult attending.
When I set eyes on the patient in room 1407, my first thought was: THIS LADY NEEDS TO BE INTUBATED–STAT!
The only trouble was that my job was to ease