o-SULLY-SULLENBERGER-BABIES-facebook The story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger -- the “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot -- is a modern American legend. I’ve gotten to know Captain Sullenberger over the past several years, and he is a warm, caring, and thoughtful person who saw, in the aftermath of his feat, an opportunity to promote safety in many industries, including health care. In my continuing ...

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As a traveling physician, I’m often asked if I have a favorite place to work. Since I have licenses in 14 states, I have an unusual vantage point from which to compare hospitals. I know that people who ask this question presume that my answer will be heavily influenced by the town where the job is located, and all the associated extra-curriculars, environmental peculiarities (ocean, mountains, desert), and potential amenities. ...

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As with the beginning of each new year, the word “improved” gets bandied about: improved patient care, improved patient satisfaction, improved efficiency. Physicians are constantly being told to push past their burnout and embrace multitasking for the sake of improved health care delivery. Patients are told to “hurry up and wait” as they line up for health care like lemmings on the top of a cliff. In a world in which ...

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Physicians need to complete about 50 hours of some kind of continuing medical education (CME) every year. The ideal kind of class is one that we actually attend in person, with teachers who are expert in the field being taught and are somewhere near the cutting edge. CME classes are especially nice when they include something hands-on rather than just a lecture format because much of medicine is hands on ...

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I recently took another survey confirming the obvious: As a resident, I am horribly burnt out. I sat, along with a half-dozen health care providers and bemoaned our current states. What, if anything, can we do about this? The typical answers came up: sleep more, increase our commitment to enjoyable activities outside of work. Oddly enough, there was little talk about the daily work itself, and how the medical culture ...

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Referring physicians are critically important not just for the care and attention we provide patients but also for the referrals we make to specialists. Patients don’t have access to the same data or knowledge that we as healthcare professionals possess, so as referring physicians we can have a significant impact on our patients’ health after they’ve left our immediate care. Big data has given us more information than ever in making ...

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Tournament time! The time of year that brings friends, family, and colleagues together to cheer and commiserate over brackets and games. When it comes to the final two weekends, it is often the same teams year after year. What can the coaches of great teams teach us about doctoring? Preparation and fundamentals (John Wooden, UCLA) The first thing coach John Wooden taught his players was how to put on their shoes and socks. ...

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“Samantha is your next patient,” my medical assistant informs me in my primary care clinic.  Samantha is a Caucasian woman in her late 40s, and I typically find her in the room with well-groomed blond hair and a cheerful outfit, such as a pink blouse, a flowery skirt, and golden sandals. She has been my patient for over a year, and I know that her life is anything but cheerful. ...

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shutterstock_117726904 I suppose it is obvious that I am a fan of stories. I like to hear them, read them, watch them, collect them and tell them. I believe I am participating in stories every day of my life. The story of my family is a beautiful epic. The stories I hear at work can break my heart. One of my favorite ...

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Wheel-of-Fortune-and-Jeopardy-Moving-to-THQ-2 The last few days have been really busy, but they still felt controlled, almost leisurely and smooth. Patients have been seen on time, my office notes have been completed in real-time, and my superbills have been submitted before each patient reached the check-out station. Things were really humming. The new nurse noticed that I was humming each time I dashed back to ...

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