I may not accept your insurance, but I will always accept you Just for the record: I am happy to see you -- irrespective of your insurance. I accept most insurance plans. And if I don’t accept your insurance, I have a very good reason. I will not sign a contract with a health insurer that: Abuses and bullies me and/or my patients. Denies all my first claims. Reimburses me so little that I may go out of ...

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She seemed awfully angry and at the very least dubious that I couldn’t do more for her father. After 7 hours of surgery trying to salvage her father’s leg, I tried patiently to explain that this new (third) bypass we had just successfully completed was unlikely to provide her dad with a long-term solution. Ultimately, he would lose the leg, if we were lucky he’d have it for another year ...

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It's a seductive idea.  We doctors possess knowledge and experience which can not only help people, but can save their lives.  We get opportunities to be the right person at the right time to offer the right help that makes all of the difference.  It's one of the greatest things about our profession.  It's also one of its greatest traps. I've heard many doctors refer to themselves as "healers," as if ...

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Doctors today: Young, broke and human “Oh, you’re my doctor? A woman?” Who do you picture walking through the exam room door at your new doctor’s office? Is it the Norman Rockwell depiction of an older, jolly looking male? After residency I was alarmed at how many patients commented on my age and gender: “How old are you, 12?” or, “Oh, you’re my doctor? A woman?” This got me thinking about ...

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Recently, the American Board of Medical Specialties' (ABMS) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program debate reached a larger mainstream media audience when the Wall Street Journal published their article by Melissa Beck entitled "Skill Reviews Upset Doctors." While it is certainly nice to see an article reaching the main stream media concerning doctors' concerns with the MOC program, the issue with the MOC debate is not that doctors are upset.  The real issue is ...

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Part of a series. Is concierge medicine for everyone or is it just for the rich, the 1%? Most people assume it is for the elite and cannot be afforded by the common man, the masses. That is unfortunate because in many cases it can be quite affordable. Here are three examples. AtlasMD in Kansas City and others like it think of themselves as “blue collar” concierge practices. According to ...

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One of the skilled nursing facilities I work with has a hospice unit.  We occasionally have patients on the hospice unit who might benefit from physical therapy.  The physical therapists that see patients in the skilled nursing facility say they will talk with the patient about their goals, and if their goals are to maintain their current level of functioning, they will work with the patient.  If the goals are ...

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The house was getting cold.  My wife and kids snuggled in their blankets as I crept out of bed and checked the thermostat.  The subzero winter air howled as a blustery morning took shape outside our windows.   I looked at the digital display with disbelief and manually tapped the screen with my finger, hoping that the jarring motion would loosen the exact faulty screw leading to our frigid state. ...

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Today, I celebrated mental health care.  And this was after a morning of battling with insurance companies, patching together community care plans, trying to create an inpatient bed for a suicidal patient where none exist, and arguing with agencies for better patient support. I work on a busy inpatient psychiatric unit that provides a daily reminder of the beauty, heartache, and pain that define living with mental illness.  The diverse stories of ...

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“Dr. Liu, I don’t think he has diverticulitis.” So said the second-year medical student. She had just completed her first year of anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, and introduction to doctoring at the local medical school. One of the sharpest medical students I’ve proctored. Like many summers, I’ve been fortunate to spend time with the next generation of doctors. These future doctors were brimmed with enthusiasm and energy.  Instead of taking time off to ...

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