Recently, millions of people around the world witnessed a remarkable feat. Daredevil Felix Baumgartner rose to remarkable heights in a capsule tethered to a helium filled balloon. At approximately 128,100 ft (24 miles) and a speed in excess of mach one (faster than sound), he leapt from his capsule and endured a free fall of 119,846 feet. At one point in the dive, he began to spin dangerously ...

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Mothers who deliver prematurely face serious health risks that are often neglected when we talk about prematurity. Today, in honor of Savita Halappanavar’s death from sepsis that was a direct result of her previable premature delivery, I would like to let the world in on the physical perils faced by mothers who deliver prematurely. Many of us have infections. We rupture our membranes prematurely, and for 40% of us ...

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Consider the following two clinical scenarios:

1. William, a 62 year-old accountant, has been feeling “depressed” since his divorce 5 years ago.  His practice, he says, is “falling apart,” as he has lost several high-profile clients and he believes it’s “too late” for his business to recover.  His adult son and daughter admire him greatly, but his ex-wife denigrates him and does everything she can to keep their children from seeing ...

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By now you’ve probably heard of the concept of “concierge medicine.” To me, it’s an idea that’s Win-Win-Lose: Win: Doctors. Those in concierge practices have chosen to forgo the traditional business model in favor of  charging annual fees that range from $1500 to $15,000 per patient. How much you pay depends on the market, exclusivity factors, and amenities, like comprehensive annual physicals with add-ons like a dermatology appraisal and nutrition consultation. Concierge ...

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Dont overwhelm patients with unnecessary detail It is not an easy time to be a physician in the United States.  Attempt to order an expensive test for a patient and an insurance company is likely to second guess your decision.  Try upholding the bottom line for your medical practice and the government will probably start questioning whether you are overcharging for your services.  To make matters worse, ...

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I recently saw a 90-year old patient in my cardiology office practice. She was demented, but cooperative with the exam. A devoted daughter, with whom she lives, accompanied her to the appointment. Her dementia was severe enough to make a cogent history from the patient impossible. However, the daughter had something on her mind, and it had nothing to do with her mother’s heart condition. “My mother’s primary care doctor wants ...

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Why doctors should have clean and organized desks What is your impression of an airlines when you sit down and open the tray on the back of the seat in front of you and find food and coffee stains on the tray?  You may just worry if the same attention that was given to tray tables carries over to the maintenance of the engines.  Or what is your opinion ...

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Doctors: How to improve your workplace relationship with nurses Accepting a promotion in the workplace is never easy task.  One must take on a higher level of responsibility, carry out new job objectives, and must quickly form new working relationships with colleagues at the office. Taking on the role as a newly-branded doctor after years of being a medical student is no different in this aspect from becoming a junior partner ...

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A story about dying that ended up being a story about living I want to tell you a story about dying that ended up being a story about living. A few years ago, I was an eager-beaver third-year medical student, and relished the opportunity to finally work on the wards. One of my patients was Mr. Taylor, a middle-aged man with pancreatic cancer—a disease that, of course, carries a bleak prognosis. He was emaciated, ...

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4 reasons why doctors should be outraged Outrage #1: Wasting time of skilled caregivers. Everyday skilled nurses and physicians’ assistants waste hours of time on the telephone either getting approval for medications that we prescribe for our patients or trying to fight a rejection for a medication we requested. Outrage #2: Choosing a medication for cost, not effectiveness. A child cannot breathe because the acid and other nasty stomach ...

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