The last few days have been really busy, but they still felt controlled, almost leisurely and smooth. Patients have been seen on time, my office notes have been completed in real-time, and my superbills have been submitted before each patient reached the check-out station. Things were really humming. The new nurse noticed that I was humming each time I dashed back to my desk to grab a printout, my tuning fork ...

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Purvi Patel was found guilty of both feticide and child neglect in Indiana in February and now faces 70 years in jail. A jury deliberated for about 5 hours, even though there are no facts supporting either the feticide claim or the neglect, never mind the travesty that child neglect and feticide are incompatible charges. It’s hard to neglect a baby you have already been found guilty of killing as a fetus. ...

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Alarming headlines, based on a recent study, declare that diagnosis with ADHD doubles the risk of early death. Psychiatrist Stephen Faraone, commenting on the original study published in the Lancet, concludes that: “for clinicians early diagnosis and treatment should become the rule rather than the exception.” This conclusion represents a false assumption that the deaths occurred in cases that were not treated. The large cohort study in Denmark, that looked at records of ...

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What does patient safety mean to you? I believe patients get the safest care when

  1. The patient is known as an individual.
  2. The health care team gives the patient their undivided attention.
  3. The team is well-supported with efficient workflows and organized, easily accessible information.
  4. The health professionals find joy in their work.
By being “known” I mean, that the nurses and physicians know the patient as a real person, what their life is like, who are their supports, what are their ...

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Although I pride myself on catching the obscure snapshots of typical life moments that occur daily while dealing with patients and their families in the emergency department, occasionally there are times when I am so focused on the task at hand that I completely fail to see a glaring moment of obvious humor, sadness, or tenderness. At times like this, then, I am glad to have our hard-working nurses and ...

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The following is Dr. Pamela Wible's testimony in support of medical student mental health to the Missouri State Legislature for House Bill 867. I’m Dr. Pamela Wible, a family physician in Oregon. I’ve submitted my CV, witness form, and transcript of my testimony to Chairman Frederick. My schedule prevents me from traveling to Missouri for today’s hearing; however, I thank Vice Chairman Morris and the Committee for allowing me to ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Brain Cancer: Did '60 Minutes' Report Raise False Hope? A glioblastoma therapy touted in a "60 Minutes" report that aired Sunday evening, focusing on the use of the polio virus to treat glioblastoma, isn’t a particularly new idea and results are still unpublished -- but some oncologists are worried that patients ...

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I used to think that there was a communication gulf between doctors and patients.  Somewhere in the hubbub of the harried office visit some secret sauce was missing.  A divide that was so fundamental that both parties often left the room feeling disjointed and uneasy.  Patients wondered if doctors truly heard them.  Physicians wondered if anyone was listening to what they were saying.  The tension ebbed and flowed but never ...

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Our specialty of hospital medicine has grown exponentially over the last decade and now finds itself at the forefront of American medicine. I’m proud to be part of such a growing movement and must say that I find the job just as rewarding as when I first became an attending physician when the specialty was still in its fledgling stage. As the number of us soars towards the 50,000 mark, the ...

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“You have the nurse hand you the equipment, that way she doesn’t just stand and stare like a chaperone,” my doctoring mentor explained to me before we entered the room to do a pap smear on a young, 35-year-old woman. My doctoring mentor is a middle-aged, 6-foot-5, exceptionally hairy, broad-shouldered man that carries a warm, jovial presence. Yet the reality of the fallen world is that no matter how sweet, happily ...

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Like most of my age cohort, I was brought up to believe that the great Satan threatening to undermine the bloated American health care system was our broken-down, antiquated, self-interested model of reimbursement for care provided called "fee-for-service."  Being a professional who, to the best of my ability, tries to maximize the value of the care I provide to my patients, I subscribed wholly to the notion that the cause ...

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Recently, I had the opportunity to sit at the table with some of the nation’s top thought leaders. We convened at the Newseum in Washington, DC, for the Healthcare Leadership Council’s National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation; it was like a health policy nerd red carpet. Center for Medicare Director Sean Cavanaugh was there. Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder was there. America’s favorite bioethicist–oncologist–provocateur Zeke Emanuel was there. The chief executives ...

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It’s hard enough to sustain a good relationship when neither partner is facing a health challenge. Illness ranks high on the list of life’s stressful events, so it’s no surprise that it can have a negative impact on a close relationship. Couples may benefit from counseling, one of the principal reasons being that the presence of a neutral party in the room can facilitate more calm and constructive communication. What follows ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Nephrologists Iffy About Dialysis in Expectant Moms. A third of nephrologists reported being somewhat to very uncomfortable caring for a pregnant patient on hemodialysis despite a growing number having to do so.
  2. What Makes an Opioid Stronger or Weaker Than Morphine? A February 2015 report from the Centers for ...

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3-D printing has been documented as an innovation that’s being rapidly deployed in the medical field.  Doctors and researchers have been creating intrinsically realistic models of organs, bones, appendages and sometimes, implanting them into patients.  In 2012, University of Michigan doctors implanted a splint to hold open a 3-month-old child’s airway tube.  They published their results in the New England Journal of Medicine and opened the gates for others to ...

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Perhaps we thought we could get away with ignoring the relationship between doctors and patients. The Kaiser Health News article, "Efforts to Instill Empathy Among Doctors is Paying Dividends," explains why we can’t. Patient satisfaction scores and reimbursements aside, this relationship was once considered the cornerstone of quality care. Doctors are healers but in recent years many have been reduced to diagnosticians, electronic medical records (EMR) data entry clerks, and health ...

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1. Be yourself and learn to be flexible. Don’t ever change who you are as a person. It’s OK to have a personality of your own. If you secretly listen to Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off on the way to work, it’s OK. As a junior member of the team it’s very unlikely your iPhone playlist will make the cut for the operating room (OR) entertainment anyway, so go ahead and keep it ...

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Experiment 1. Stop five random people on your way to work and ask them to name the top public advocates of health and wellness that come to mind. Do I dare speculate that more than a few would mention Dr. Oz. Or Jenny McCarthy? Experiment 2. Stop five medical colleagues and ask them to list their top physician writers and journalists. Do I dare speculate that more than a few would only have ...

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If it weren’t for the coming together of people from all over the globe, the influenza pandemic of 1918, also known as the Spanish Flu, would not have had the devastating effect that it did. It is estimated that at one point this deadly strain infected one out of every five people on earth and ended up claiming the lives of approximately fifty million people (in comparison, nine million combatants ...

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March30-copy-640x480 I’m in a room full of doctors at my mom’s 50th medical school reunion when I announce, “It’s almost March 30th!” I pause. “Doesn’t anyone know what March 30th is?” Nobody has a clue. March 30th is National Doctors’ Day! Who knew? I never heard of it -- until a friend told me last week. Veterans know about Veterans Day. Mothers know about ...

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