shutterstock_2360943 Right now, there's nothing more angst-producing to physicians than maintenance of certification (MOC). Go to the physician-only message board Sermo, and you'll see dozens of threads on the topic.  Not surprisingly, all are negative. But rather than debating MOC itself in this post (if you want to do that, there are other places to do so), I want to take a step back ...

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shutterstock_218855221 There's a lot of angst when it comes to board recertification.  The general consensus is that doctors find the requirements onerous, while a more cynical segment calls the whole process a money-making operation for our professional societies and those that profit from recertification courses and materials. Cardiologist Wes Fisher has articulated the many criticisms against board recertification: "Does board recertification do ...

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shutterstock_151790942 A version of column was published in USA Today on September 14, 2014. The public can rate and review most things today: books, hotels, and restaurants, to name a few.  Even doctors.  There are more options than ever where patients can rate their doctors online, and hospitals also routinely survey patients about how satisfied they are with their physicians. But while you're pretty much ...

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shutterstock_95239396 A version of column was published in USA Today on July 2, 2014. There are some who think that I’m overpaid as a physician, and that my salary fuels rising health costs.  I can understand their point: A May 2014 survey released by the Medical Group Management Association found that internal medicine doctors like myself have a starting median annual salary of $190,000, ...

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shutterstock_153912641 What can physicians learn from the Union Street Guest House? For those who don't know, this hotel in New York threatened to fine those who dared write a bad review.  The New York Post got wind of this, and needless to say, the fallout has been ugly. The hotel has hundreds of 1-star reviews of Yelp for its efforts. This leads to a question ...

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va health care scandal "I will not stand for it.” That’s what President Obama said about the deepening VA health care crisis.  It’s also a lightening rod for how partisans want to frame the ongoing health debate. Some are eager to link the VA scandal to Obamacare, and more broadly, government-run health care. Others extol the virtues of the VA, holding it as ...

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cost of medical school Whenever new physician salary data is released, reporters and policy experts often compare doctor salaries in the United States to those of other countries: most notably, France. And on cue, Vox's Sarah Kliff -- normally an excellent health care writer, by the way -- is uncharacteristically lazy in framing physician salaries through a biased lens. After presenting the data, ...

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A version of column was published in USA Today on April 2, 2014. Patients in my clinic increasingly use health apps on their mobile devices.  Many of these apps track various health metrics, such as weight or calories eaten, while others go a step further and help patients make sense of their symptoms or even suggest diagnoses.  It’s estimated that 500 million people worldwide will use a health app by 2015, with ...

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shutterstock_116541763 Is being a physician a good gig, or not? In a piece that's gone viral, internist Daniela Drake writes a strongly-worded column in the Daily Beast about how miserable it is to be a physician:

To be sure many people with good intentions are working toward solving the healthcare crisis. But the answers they’ve come up with are driving up costs and driving ...

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A version of column was published on March 5, 2014 in the New York Times’ Room for Debate blog. To remedy our fragmented health system, reformers want to consolidate health care.  President Obama, for instance, has praised integrated health systems like the Mayo Clinic as a model for national reform.  To that end, the Affordable Care Act drives more hospitals to become more Mayo-like by purchasing physician practices.  Today, about 39% ...

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