The American Medical Association recently released its membership numbers, and they're declining. According to MedPage Today, the AMA "saw another steep drop in its membership in 2010 -- this time losing about 12,000 members or 5% of its total membership." It's been well publicized that the AMA only represents a minority percentage of physicians, depending on what you read, it's between 20 and 30%.  But it seems many physicians have little ...

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I've heard that a few academic medical centers, the identities which I will keep anonymous, are advising incoming medical residents to stay off social media.  Meaning, they have to close their blogs, and shutter their Twitter or Facebook accounts. As hospitals and doctors try to best use social media, and prevent damage from its improper use, taking the extreme measure of forbidding doctors in training from utilizing social is ...

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For the past few Sundays, the New York Times has published provocative op-eds involving physicians. The first tackled physician bullying.  Next was the cost of medical education.  And, most recently, the phenomenon of part-time, mostly female, physicians. This is obviously a live-wire topic, sure to generate passionate commentary. In the piece, anesthesiologist Karen S. Sibert goes over ramifications of part-time ...

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The following column was published on May 28, 2011 in FoxNews.com. Theresa Brown’s New York Times op-ed, Physician, Heel Thyself, recently introduced hospital bullying into the national health care conversation. In it, she recounted a hospital vignette while working as an oncology nurse.  A patient asked a doctor who should he blame for a late test result. ...

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This past spring, I took the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam. 7 weeks later, I received my results.  Thankfully, I passed. This was not entirely a surprise, as the pass rate for first-time test takers was 88%.  But it definitely requires some studying.  It's not a gimmie. Considering that I last took my board exam ...

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Not all cancer screening saves lives. I alluded to this recently in a New York Times' Room for Debate piece, discussing why Medicare shouldn't pay for prostate cancer screening in men over the age of 75. And, when it comes to ovarian cancer screening, a recent study showed that annual CA-125 antigen testing and transvaginal ultrasound did not save lives. ...

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Occasionally, I'm given the opportunity to write for the New York Times' Room for Debate blog. For those who aren't familiar with the site, every day Room for Debate addresses one question, with various experts chiming in with 300-word op-ed style pieces.  Writers normally have overnight to submit their columns. The recent question asked, "What items and procedures should Medicare stop paying for now, even if patients and their families object?" Of ...

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Medical school should be free. That's an argument made by physicians Peter B. Bach and Robert Kocher in the New York Times. This isn't a new concept.  I've discussed whether medical school should be free for students who choose primary care.  And, for some in the country, it's already happening.  Like at Case Western Reserve University, for instance.  The ...

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According to one of the  the guidelines set forth by the AMA about professionalism in social media, "When physicians see content posted by colleagues that appears unprofessional they have a responsibility to bring that content to the attention of the individual, so that he or she can remove it and/or take other appropriate actions." With that in mind, Bryan Vartabedian, ...

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There's an underlying tension between physicians and health policy experts. Health policy experts take subtle jibes against physicians in their analyses, with many feeling American doctors are overpaid, which exacerbates health costs.  They tend to be politically progressive, and generally dismiss the issues that most doctors care deeply about.  Medical malpractice, tort reform and the cost of medical education, for ...

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