An excerpt from Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity. Sometimes a simple gesture and a few well-placed words can signal presence. One day on rounds in the hospital, as we walked into the room, Laura Hogan, a nurse-practitioner on our palliative care team, said three words to the patient: “What beautiful flowers.” ...

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Health behavior was my emphasis in my MPH. Add a faculty development fellowship, time as residency faculty, work in a private practice, and increasing interaction with medical students now as faculty at a medical school; the outcome is not just an emphasis, but a mindset. A mindset of health behavior that is not just for patients, but for physicians, as well. I must have company in this concept as ten invitations ...

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A hospital stay is a right of passage for any patient, but the road to health is often a marathon and not a sprint. Discharge is an essential step in the patient journey, but it can be as exciting for a family as it is daunting. Families can prepare ahead and put all the right pieces in place in order for a “soft landing” home. Here are some of our ...

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America’s health care system is broken and no longer works.  Many practicing physicians are unhappy with the way insurance companies control medicine.  Most patients are unsatisfied with the benefits they receive from the health insurance companies and with the lack of choice they have in who cares for them.  Patients are frustrated with the exorbitant cost of prescription medicine.  They wonder why this system often doesn’t allow them to receive ...

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american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. During the course of our careers as physicians, we have cared for or are aware of an elderly patient in the intensive care unit or ward who has exhibited delirium, or an acute confused state. This is particularly common after surgery and anesthesia. While simply being ...

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My stomach had been in knots that morning. “Are you pregnant?” my classmate laughed after I returned to the gross anatomy lab for the second time after leaving for fresh air. “No,” I spat, dissection through fat and fascia, teasing out muscles from nerves. But, I wondered. After lab, I bought a pregnancy test. I began medical school in my late 20s, already having discussed with my husband appropriate times to start a family during ...

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With all this talk about medical student, resident, and fellow burnout, I thought we might take a break to discuss the small delights that sprinkle throughout medical training. This is not a “You should publish as a trainee” manifesto. It’s more of a DIY guide for those who are interested but can’t find the time or the mentor. And after a decade of rejected manuscripts, unfortunately, I’ve got ...

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Years ago, after I suffered a deep personal loss, my doctor prescribed Prozac, and I joined the millions of Americans who have taken an antidepressant. A few weeks later, I had my first panic attack — heart racing, sweating profusely, gasping for breath — sensations of terror normally reserved for life-threatening events. Attacks continued every half-hour and were so incapacitating that I could not even leave my house. My doctors ...

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My car says it’s 2:10 a.m., 17 degrees. I just left my warm bed — and snoring husband — threw on scrubs and my contact lenses and quickly brushed my teeth and hair. I’m shivering as the car warms up and I hear the crunch of the snow as the car rolls out of the driveway. I’m the first one out on the fresh snow, and it glistens in the ...

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In the United States, the patent protection process — as it relates to the drug industry — has been distorted by the political system, intense lobbying and large campaign contributions. The result has been pricing contrary to the greater good of the nation. Patents originated in ancient Greece. This legal protection assumed greater importance in 15th-Century Venice as a means to protect the nation-state’s glassblowing industry. The first patent granted in ...

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