Heroin abuse in the United States is reaching epidemic proportions.  According to SAMHSA, between 2007 and 2012, the number of Heroin users has doubled from an estimated 375,000 to over 665,000.  Additionally, in 2010, the number of deaths as a direct result of overdose surpassed auto accident deaths. It is impossible to avoid the facts about heroin.  We are bombarded daily by the national and local media and extensive online resources.  ...

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I’m entitled and lazy A whiny little baby I’m a disgraceful human in general Because I am a millennial And people say we are the worst Always putting ourselves first We should get a real job and settle down But our priorities are reversed Every old generation Thinks the new one is mistaken And so every new generation Is made fun of and hated This old adage has been true for ages so Just embrace it Because we dictate the future We are powerful ...

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As a first-year oral and maxillofacial (OMF) surgery intern, I was the first responder to any facial trauma at a hospital in Queens, NY. Therefore in the past 12 months, I was a primary care provider for numerous facial lacerations of women due to domestic violence. And was a 1st assistant in providing care to patients (both men and women) with orbital floor fractures and mandible fractures due to domestic ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. One of the things that I dread the most about January 1 is that it’s the start of “prior authorization (PA) season” for prescription medications. It is time consuming and frustrating, plus it often jeopardizes patient safety and quality of care. A recent Viewpoint in the ...

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Most of us have grown accustomed to Google and Facebook. When I had an Android phone, I quickly got over the initial creepiness factor of going into a restaurant, bar, or store and having a message from Google popping up with reviews, menus, or coupons. I liked that Google could recommend times to leave or asked if I went to a certain spot often. But Facebook and Google are basically ...

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From my wife's grandparents' Manhattan apartment, I could hear the noises of traffic and pedestrians in Central Park seven floors below. The sounds were a refreshing change from the beeping monitors, overhead pages and ringing phones that are the usual backdrop to my work as a physician in a large Philadelphia medical center. Here the only background conversations I heard were those of loved ones in the kitchen, not those ...

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This week is Physicians Week, and this is one in a series of interviews with members of the physician community that are bringing a variety of ideas and networks together in order to improve the relationships between physicians and between physicians and their patients. Dr. Colm Murphy is a cardiologist and the founder of a tech company that is about building a community of physicians in order for them to help ...

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Infants with a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with celiac disease, and who carry an at-risk (DQ2 or DQ8) gene, have a higher risk of developing the autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten-containing foods. Many parents, especially those with a family history of celiac disease, are understandably nervous about introducing gluten into their child’s diet. They wonder whether there is an ideal time to introduce gluten, if they can prevent celiac ...

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Burnout syndrome is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. I burned out early. Right out of fellowship, I no longer wanted to be a doctor. The grueling hours, my grumpy co-workers, and distant patient engagements left me totally exhausted. However, over the course of a year, I was able to rediscover my passion for medicine. Some tactics were deliberate, mindful behaviors, some occurred ...

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“I was surprised when the emergency doctor at Cityside Hospital said he was going to call you to discuss my case," Farmer Carr said when I saw him today. “I figured you’d be asleep at that hour.” I smiled as I recalled the cell phone call that had come in at 9:30 the night I had sent him back to the hospital for a reassessment. “No, I was sitting in my camping ...

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The redefinition of a potentially functioning medical system in which each individual is able to utilize financially non-prohibitive care into a disjointed balkanized realm of income-based insurance tribes is aided by the protean definitions of the political buzzword “access.”  Access to medical care does not entail the ability to reliably obtain medical care much as medical insurance reform is not, in point of fact, healthcare reform.  Regardless, the conflation of ...

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Last week I finally got around to watching La La Land. As a fan of musicals, I had wanted to see it for quite some time, and before I stepped into the theater, I didn’t know what it was about nor what kinds of reviews it had been getting. Spoiler alert: Don’t read on if you haven’t seen it and intend to watch it (and I’ve never told anybody before ...

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This week is Physicians Week, and this is one in a series of interviews with members of the physician community that are bringing a variety of ideas and networks together in order to improve the relationships between physicians and between physicians and their patients. Dr. Marion Mass is a pediatrician in Philadelphia and a board member of a physician advocacy group, a large physicians-only network that started as a group on ...

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Contrary to what my wife and colleagues think, it is not all about me. Well yes, I do get lonely sitting at my desk late at night, when my wife is busy, and the long-ago-moved-away kids are not available, and there is nothing running on NASCAR.  Nonetheless, it is not really about my needs.  I am talking, of course, about why I give patients my cell phone number. It is printed ...

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It sounds great, almost too good to be true: Coverage for all with lower costs, a broad choice of providers, and minimal paperwork. The problem is that it won’t work. For more than half a century, advocates for a government-run, single-payer approach to health care coverage have touted its potential. With debate over the Affordable Care Act heating up by the day, progressives, both at the state and federal levels are now ...

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His voice was gruff and his expression surly. "I don't want any more medications." His face was indented by deep clefts, remnants of eight decades of life hard lived. His tone was commanding and certain. I knew that he was fond of me, but I could feel his patience slipping. He neither asked about nor accepted his diagnosis of heart failure. I could tell him till I was blue (or he was ...

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This week is Physicians Week, and this is one in a series of interviews with members of the physician community that are bringing a variety of ideas and networks together in order to improve the relationships between physicians and between physicians and their patients. Dr. Kim Jackson founded a large network of physicians and future physicians that started as a group on Facebook. As patients lamented increasing costs in health coverage ...

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Despite living in Michigan for over 30 years, my cold hands disclose my Southern California origin. As a physician, these cold hands have touched many lives. For my pregnant patients, they usually sigh with relief as I touch their bellies, the coolness of my hands offering them respite from the inferno growing inside them. They smile when I tell them I can feel their baby squirming and how it is ...

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My husband and I, both anesthesiologists, enjoy our Sunday mornings together -- coffee, the New York Times, a leisurely breakfast. No rush to arrive in the operating room before many people are even awake. Today, though, seeing reporter Jan Hoffman’s front-page article in the Times -- “Staying Awake for Your Surgery?” -- was enough to take the sparkle out of the sugar. Her article on how much better it ...

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I did a second stint on a talk radio a few weeks ago which I really enjoyed.  The callers represent a genuine, down-to-earth view of the reality of connected health adoption.  The first time around, most callers were cautionary, raising concerns about data security and wondering about physician endorsement.  This time the theme that spontaneously emerged was one of people telling stories from the heart, about loved ones ...

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