We have all seen the statistics; America is an aging country. The baby boomer generation is retiring, and families are having fewer and fewer children. In health care, we often hear about this issue in the context of an inadequate health care workforce. An aging population in conjunction with the ACA has created a quickly growing pool of patients that outpaces the slow growth in the supply of health care providers. But ...

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Those of us in health care face tough decisions every day. Should we spend less time with patient A so we can have more time to tell patient B about a bad pathology report? Should we work through lunch to see a few more patients but risk burning out our office staff at a time when morale is at an all-time low? Should we skip our child’s piano recital to attend that ...

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shutterstock_92410900 For my entire life as a physician, from medical school, through residency and now until this 22nd year in practice, I have subscribed to the idea that I should have a chaperone when performing breast, pelvic or rectal exams on women. I was taught to do this from the beginning, and I still do it. Why is this? On some level, the ...

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I boarded the 8:30 Metro-North railroad train home from Manhattan recently after leaving a medical meeting. It had been a long and productive day, but now I was searching for a mint in my pocketbook because I had a weird taste in my mouth. All I found was a lollipop. Just before the train left Grand Central, a family of three hurried on and sat near me. The father said, “My ...

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Have a little faith in me. - John Hiatt Spring ushers in major holidays in many faiths and religions. The rites of spring and the vernal equinox, new life and rebirth are springtime themes and touchstones across many cultures. Faith is important to many people and across many cultures and religions. I would assert faith is even important to atheists and agnostics, and those without a formal religious tradition. Faith is important ...

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The theater darkens; children stop laughing, adults sit forward in their chairs. Framed by a single light in the center of the stage, he stands; tuxedo, white shirt, black tie. He stares into the silent crowd, slowly turning his head, lips touched with the slightest, smallest, cruelest of smiles. His gaze fixes upon you; he is just feet away. His hand rises to the brim of his tall hat and ...

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shutterstock_278653268 A couple of months ago I finally joined the swelling ranks of Uber customers. Several friends had been trying to persuade me for some time to start using the service, but me being generally skeptical of new technology (what they call a “late adopter”), it took an extreme situation to get me to finally download the app. It was a freezing February ...

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Count no man happy till his end is known.  - Herodotus This was true in ancient Greece 2,500 years ago. It is even more true today -- aggressive end-of-life hospital care, the lack of sufficient palliative care, and unduly restrictive assisted suicide laws make it impossible for most people to die with dignity. There is no worse death than a hospital death. Dying well means dying at home. This requires preparation and preparation ...

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Everything eventually expires. I looked down at the bottle of natural spring water in astonishment.  It had an expiration date.  Scanning the empty hospital cafeteria on an early Sunday morning, I wondered what on earth about spring water could go bad?  It had no living parts,  Nothing that serves as nourishment for wayward bacteria or fungus.  The container was sealed.  Pristine. I figured it was another fiscal hoax, perpetrated on unsuspecting consumers.  ...

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141231-hillary-clinton-mn-2130_14257f8a4ebbc2bf8806b492060dd415 Time magazine published this article about why Hillary Clinton is the perfect age to run for president. The author, Dr. Holland who is a psychiatrist, chose not to focus on Ms. Clinton’s vast political experience or her education but rather on Ms. Clinton’s menopausal status. Yes, you read that right, when it comes to qualifications for president of the United States menopause trumps a ...

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