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From the Heart
May 29, 2019

A Change of Heart

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
JAMA Cardiol. Published online May 29, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2019.1197

As the sun set during one of my 28-hour calls as a newly minted senior resident on the cardiology wards service, I finally found a moment to gather my breath and sneak a bite to eat. My pager broke the silence with an insistent chirping, calling out another admission. “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] exacerbation, please call,” read the screen. As this was not quite what I expected to admit to the cardiology service, I quickly called back the emergency department (ED) to clarify. As I listened, my nonchalance gave way to dread.