Medical students are brilliantly frugal. And it’s no surprise -- according to the AAMC, the average U.S. medical student incurs $170,000 of debt from medical education. We are a resourceful, smart, and cost-conscious group -- so why is the medical school curriculum practically silent on the cost of medicine? During medical school, we are taught to be excellent diagnosticians. The third and fourth years of training provide 60 to 80 hours a week of ...

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As of October 2013, the average medical student graduated with $169,901 of debt with nearly 80 percent of all graduates owing at least $100,000. Although these numbers are daunting, medical school educational debt is part and parcel of our profession. Truth be told, at the end of our training (which can range from three to ten years post-medical school), almost all of us will make at least $150,000 and ...

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In June, a man became very ill during a flight into Lagos, Nigeria. On the plane, he developed vomiting and diarrhea, and he collapsed in the very busy airport. Contacts on the plane and on the ground had no idea that he had Ebola -- initially, he was treated for malaria -- and many health care workers and bystanders on the plane and in the airport were exposed to his ...

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Years later, I now wonder if I overstepped my boundaries. Nancy was a pleasure to have as a patient.  A physician assistant in her early twenties, we often chatted amiably during visits.  Our conversations randomly ambled between personal and professional topics.  She recently married and was looking forward to having children.  Her gynecologic history was complicated and after a period of months of unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, she visited a ...

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Ebola virus has grabbed headlines since the epidemic started in West Africa nearly a year ago. The death toll is estimated at 4,500 people, and the epidemic continues to spread. One person infected in Liberia returned to Texas with the disease and died, infecting maybe 2 health care workers. Ebola is a nasty virus, surely, with a case fatality rate of 80 percent. Overall health and nutrition as well as living ...

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The observation status problem has continued to grow both larger and worse. My hospitalist colleagues and I are caring for patients in hospital beds in the exact same way as other patients in the hospital, but we are told that we must give them the designation called observation status.  CMS recognizes observation status as outpatient care, like seeing a patient in a walk-in clinic. We don’t decide to make a patient observation ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 31, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Minor Memory Problems Merit Attention. Patients who reported having lost a step mentally were at nearly triple the risk of being diagnosed with definite cognitive impairment later on, albeit with a lag of about 6 to 10 years.
  2. Munchausen by Proxy: A Case Study of Abuse. If you do ...

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The problem with wedding planning when youre a surgeonThe other day, I got into an argument with my parents about choosing wedding décor -- and I blame it on my surgical training.  My parents had borne the brunt of the work for the previous eleven months. allowing me to focus on my elective surgery rotation, flying to fellowship interviews, publishing my first article, and putting out the types of ...

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Just yesterday I was searching for a local surgeon, and on one website he had 2 out of 5 stars.  Hardly anyone was recommending him.  Yet prominently featured on another site he had 4.7 out of 5 stars.  Both sites had a good number of reviews.  What’s going on?  Is one site cherry picking the reviews?  Is someone falsifying reviews on one of the sites?  Which reviews can I trust? ...

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The present time has one advantage over every other - it is our own. - Charles Caleb Colton The cherubic young man smiles from the black-and-white class photo. His open, relaxed appearance captures my attention. He sits on a wooden bench at the far right end of the front row, his sharp white shirt and patterned tie cinched tightly beneath his three-piece wool suit with the stylishly wide lapels. He looks directly at the camera ...

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