Mar 10, 2017

Announcer: Seven questions. Seven answers. It's Seven Questions for a Specialist, on The Scope.

Interviewer: All right. Time for another edition of Seven Questions for a Specialist. Today we're talking to emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen. Dr. Madsen, are you ready for seven questions?

Dr. Madsen: I'm ready.

Interviewer: All right. People have a much better chance of not ending up in the ER if . . .

Dr. Madsen: They wear a seat belt and a helmet.

Interviewer: All right. Knowing what you know, you cringe a little when you see somebody do what?

Dr. Madsen: Climbing a ladder.

Interviewer: Why is that make you cringe a little?

Dr. Madsen: I think because I've come close to falling off ladders before and having unstable ladders, and then I've seen some really bad ladder injuries. So yeah.

Interviewer: What do you know about emergency medical situations that the common person should know?

Dr. Madsen: I think that probably the biggest thing I know is how little I know in emergency situations if I come on a car accident, in terms of what I can do versus what an EMT, or, you know, someone in an ambulance can do. It's a common misconception, "Great. There's a doctor on the scene. We're all going to be fine."

Interviewer: It takes a special kind of doctor in each situation, huh?

Dr. Madsen: Yeah. I mean, I mean, really, in that kind of scenario, the best person to have there is an EMT. They've got the equipment. They've got the skills. Once you get them to the ER, I've got a lot more equipment and a lot more back-up there to do things.

Interviewer: What's the most common question you get asked when somebody finds out what you do?

Dr. Madsen: Can you look at this mole?

Interviewer: But you're not a dermatologist.

Dr. Madsen: I'm not. That's the irony.

Interviewer: What's something people do when they come into the ER that they think help the situation, but really didn't?

Dr. Madsen: It's probably more common among medical personnel, but they tend to give you maybe a lot more detail and try and lead you toward exactly what they think is going on. And I probably have done the same thing myself as a patient. They say that physicians and nurses make the worst patients, and that's probably true.

Give them detail, but try not to overthink it. Don't try and make it necessarily fit with whatever diagnosis you think you have. Just put the information out there like anyone might do that maybe doesn't have a whole lot of medical knowledge. It's helpful to have some medical knowledge, but sometimes too much can be dangerous.

Interviewer: So just deliver those facts.

Dr. Madsen: Just deliver the facts.

Interviewer: Oh, okay. What one medical skill should everybody learn?

Dr. Madsen: I mean, it's probably CPR. It's one of those things where there have been lots of studies that have shown that if people have bystanders who are doing CPR, they're much more likely to survive. So CPR.

Interviewer: What's a common misconception people have about what you do?

Dr. Madsen: I think the most common misconception is that our work is basically like an episode of "ER," where it's just common chaos with helicopters crashing outside the door, and people being carted in with sticks just protruding from their chest, you know, crazy things like that. Most of what I do is pretty routine. We do have a lot of crazy stuff. We do get trauma. Some days are ER days, as I like to call them, where it is like the show "ER," but not every day is like that.

Interviewer: All right. Excellent. Seven Questions with Troy Madsen. Emergency room physician. Nice work.

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