by Daphne Swancutt I’m having a weird, visceral reaction to all of the recent brouhaha surrounding the term “e-patient.” For some reason, semantically speaking, the term is slipping in to derogatorium. Up there with “cyberchondriac,” which definitely is derogatory. It’s kind of like research—one day, omigod, it’s Mecca; the next day, it’s the scab on a rotting wound. Whatever. I have a chronic condition—I’m not dying, it’s not fatal, I ...

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by Diana E. Lee Most of the resources I've read about how to prepare for a doctor's appointment recommend bringing a loved one with you so that person can help you remember what the doctor said and make sure you get your questions and concerns addressed. But when I read Paula Kamen's book All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable and ...

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If you had asked me what I thought forgiveness was when I was a young adult, I probably would have said that it is something you do for others—others who have wronged you in some way, to give them a break and let them know that you are no longer angry or upset with them. As I’ve matured emotionally over the years, my view of forgiveness has evolved significantly. Some of ...

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by Liz O’Brien A long time ago -- when managed care-style employee healthcare benefits were a new thing -- we worker bees learned we might have to throw our old family doc under the bus. We were given a booklet of providers on the network panel, and if the faithful retainer who had served our family for years wasn't on that list, it was sayonara -- unless we ...

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by Emmanuel King, MD What if you could improve patient safety, cut costs, broaden your medical knowledge and find 20% more time in your workday?  On October 1, 2010, that is just what we can expect when clinical pharmacists move from the back room to the bedside in ten general medical units at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. As we all know, medications play an intensely complex and ever-growing ...

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I walked into Room 22 to find a very interesting patient who presented to our ER with complaints of abdominal pain and associated nausea and vomiting. The patient sat on her cot with her pant legs rolled up above her knees, refusing, according to her nurse, Gwen, to put on a treatment gown. Her left leg hung in the air, her ankle crossed over the knee of her right leg. Her ...

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We all hate it when the cable company tells us that the technician will be at our house sometime between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Fantastic! Going to the pediatrician's office can be the same way. Your appointment may be at 9 a.m. but you may not get out of the office until noon. Unfortunately, this is the nature of running a medical practice. What should take ten minutes for one reason or another ...

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An excerpt from Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets. by Debra Satz

Sometimes what critics of pregnancy contracts have in mind is not the effect of such contracts on the relationship between reproductive labor and a woman’s sense of self, but their effect on her views (and ours) of the mother-fetus and mother-child bond.

On this view, ...

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Assumptions are ubiquitous. Neither patients nor physicians are exempt. Sometimes they are justified, other times entirely misguided. Webster’s defines "assume" as "to take as granted or true." The cliché’s have probably always existed: Doctors are greedy and paid too much, and are uncaring. Some patients believe doctors do care and that their doctor actually likes them. That’s an assumption too. Some assumptions are newer. Patients assume doctors will substitute their prescription ...

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Every time you subject the patient to an invasive procedure you take the risk of causing complication. I have done hundreds if not thousands of procedures which makes me even more aware of the risk I take every time I stick a needle or cut into the patient. We can do everything possible to enhance the safety, yet we cannot completely eradicate the risk of adverse events. With the recent progress ...

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