Wellness Strategies for Emergency Medicine Residents

Zachary Lutsky
Zachary Lutsky

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Zachary Lutsky spent over a decade working at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in Los Angeles. Before joining the center, Dr. Zachary Lutsky completed his residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Residents working in emergency departments are at elevated risk of burnout. It is crucial that residency programs emphasize wellness strategies as part of the residency program.

Sleep — Residencies in emergency medicine often require long shifts and an irregular schedule, which can negatively impact circadian rhythms. Experts suggest staggering shifts from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. and 3 a.m. to 12 p.m., rather than scheduling residents to work through the night.

Stress Management — Residents must build up resilience to handle the stressful circumstances they work under. To support residents, the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) set up the online resource Medical Student Well-Being to help students create a personal wellness plan.

Balance — Separation between work and home life is essential to preventing burnout. Residents should spend at least one hour a day focusing on non-work-or-school-related activities and set aside time to be with family and friends.


Medical Emergencies – Strokes

Stroke pic
Image: webmd.com

An emergency medicine physician, Zachary Lutsky, MD, has over a decade of experience in treating patients at a level-1 trauma center. While there, Dr. Zachary Lutsky dealt with such life-threatening medical events as strokes.

A stroke happens when blood vessels in the brain either become obstructed such that they cannot supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain or break open, resulting in bleeding in the brain. In either case, the blood isn’t getting where it needs to go, and without that blood, brain cells start to die.

Depending on the vessels impacted, strokes produce differing symptoms. For instance, strokes in the “right brain” may cause vision problems and paralysis affecting the body’s left side. A stroke in the “left brain” may cause paralysis on the body’s right side and speaking problems.

Although people may think of strokes as a brain disease, they’re often caused by health problems related to the circulatory system. Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease raise the risk of having a stroke.

The Causes of Common Salivary Gland Infections


 Salivary Gland pic
Salivary Gland
Image: webmd.com

An established Southern California emergency medicine practitioner, Zachary Lutsky, MD, has a dozen years of experience with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Experienced in a full range of conditions, Dr. Zachary Lutsky has assisted patients experiencing conditions of the ear, nose, and throat.

One area of the mouth susceptible to infections and other issues such as salivary stones is the salivary glands, which produce upwards of a quart of fluid on a daily basis. An essential lubricating fluid that allows swallowing, saliva also assists in digestion and safeguarding the teeth against bacteria.

Common bacterial infections include sialadenitis, which occurs when the duct of the parotid gland leading to the mouth becomes blocked. This is often associated with older people who have developed salivary stones, but may also impact infants in the weeks following birth. Characterized by a painful, pus-filled lump, the condition can also lead to high fever.

Another issue is viral infection, with flu and mumps resulting in swollen parotid glands on either side of the face. In cases of mumps, the “chipmunk cheek” swelling process is preceded by symptoms such as headache and fever, typically 48 hours prior. With early treatment a key to quick recovery, worrisome symptoms should be checked with a physician as soon as possible.

Recent Study Looks at Doctor/Patient Dynamic in ER Settings


Zachary Lutsky
Zachary Lutsky

An alumnus of the Chicago Medical School, Dr. Zachary Lutsky completed his residency in emergency medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more than a decade, Dr. Zachary Lutsky served as an emergency room physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and is engaged with current events in his field.

A recent study shows that patients in emergency rooms want to be more involved in the decision-making regarding their care, but often are hesitant to speak up, waiting for an invitation from the physician to take part in the treatment plan. The study was recently published in the medical journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).

According to the researchers, emergency room physicians are encouraged to invite patients into the decision-making process by using clear language that avoids overly clinical terms and confusing jargon. This will create a greater atmosphere of trust between doctors and patients and result in better outcomes.