american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Clearly, physicians are the leaders of the health care team.  We were educated and trained for that role. But on the business and political sides of health care, maybe not so much. One reason is that the word “leadership” has a lot of different meanings.   A leader in one ...

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shutterstock_146913263 I recently sat down with a well-known physician within the orthopedic community as well as among the medical socialites of social media.  When I walked into his office, the first words out of his mouth were about my attire.  As I was concerned about first impressions, I broke out the fancy suit, custom tailored, of course, a matching shoe and belt ...

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shutterstock_173798813 I was asked by one of my readers recently to write a post on how I maintain work-life balance during the all-consuming intern year of medical training. I love this idea because keeping myself sane while spending 80 percent of my time in the hospital has proven to be a constantly challenging task, and I’ve come up with a few ways ...

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"Safety first" is a mantra of today's hovering parents.  It's the default explanation that a parent invokes when an edict has been issued that cannot be challenged or reversed. "Mommy, can I please have a water pistol?" "I'm sorry, honey.  You know how Daddy and I feel about guns.  This is a safety issue.  Now go and practice your violin and afterwards help yourself to some kale chips." The safety concept has crept ...

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I remember being more confident that most of my peers.  The look of dread on my fellow interns face pre-call, and the fatigue post-call always seemed unnatural to me.  Maybe it was on account of my lifelong pursuit of medicine.  I felt nothing but elation at the newly branded "M" and "D" that came after my name on the hospital badge.  I was no longer a volunteer, no longer a ...

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shutterstock_76711840 A couple of weeks ago I was on-call and had to go down to the emergency room to see a patient. Before I entered the room, I was told that the patient was accompanied by her long-time physician who was a bit “crazy and old school." “Hmm … that’s strange … why would her physician be in the room with her?” I ...

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“Doctor, I have trouble breathing when I walk up stairs, and I cannot lie flat in bed, so I have to sleep sitting in a chair. I feel much worse than before I got pregnant.” I recognized the diagnosis at that point, but I continued the appointment to confirm my suspicions and to revel in the art of medicine. I listened to the young woman’s lungs, full of crackles from fluid backup, ...

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I’m walking very slowly with my dad down the produce aisle at the local supermarket, past the colorful waxed apples, Mexican mangoes and Rainier cherries, and imagining my life's blood trickling onto the floor from an invisible wound. As I pass by the misting system spraying the bins of green, red, yellow and orange peppers, past the lady reaching for carrots, past the stock guy balancing the heirloom tomatoes into a ...

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I’ve just finished sitting through a wonderfully aptly named lecture: Probability and Statistics, in which, among other things, we learned (again) that the utility of various clinical tests depends at least as much and generally more on the patient and condition involved than on the specific test itself. From stress tests to mammograms to PSAs, the relationships of true and false positive and negatives, positive and negative predictive values all ...

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shutterstock_180321404 I have always been one of Angelina Jolie’s biggest fans.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw fit to reward her 1999 performance in Girl Interrupted with an Oscar, but I wasn’t well and truly smitten until the second Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie was released in 2003.  In that film, Jolie, who performs her own stunts, is seen ...

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