shutterstock_138966065 There isn’t any such thing as an ordinary life.  - Lucy Maud Montgomery Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary. - Gerard Way My colleague, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, is currently on leave from his academic anesthesia practice as well as from his post as speaker of the house of delegates for the Massachusetts Medical Society to serve as Lt. Commander Jesse Ehrenfeld, combat anesthesiologist in Kandahar, ...

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I'm no stranger to dealing with the medical world and its billing systems. I'm a triple cancer survivor, had knee surgery in 2012 and now have ulcerative colitis. All told, I've had eleven surgeries and fourteen colonoscopies. Paperwork is practically my middle name. But the last twenty-four hours have been ridiculous. In that time, I've had three different encounters with healthcare billing -- each absurd in its own way, and each more ...

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How many times each week do we hear the phrase, "If you're not completely satisfied, we'll refund the purchase price -- no questions asked." This is more often a marketing ploy than a true money-back guarantee.  I have a sense that trying to obtain a promised refund on an item that dissatisfied us is about as easy and carefree as changing an airline ticket reservation or reaching a live human when ...

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When I was in residency, sexual assault exams were part of our training.  We spent a lot of time learning how to ask the right questions, how to be gentle and empathetic, how to gather evidence appropriately and thoroughly. While many hospitals now have SANE programs (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner), I have never enjoyed the privilege of working with one of them.  I have, for two decades, performed sexual assault exams on ...

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As much as I have given the "ologists" and other members of the dysfunctional U.S. health care system a hard time in previous posts, it’s only fair that I call out bad family medicine as well. I have a great example. I recently saw patient who is relatively new to the area who had seen another family physician in my community. He is 39-year-old male, and his only significant potential health ...

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Since leaving medicine, I’ve been an entrepreneur and an independent artist. They are similar pursuits, and both have taught me about the experience of living in creative rather than reactive mode. How do you know if you’re living in reactive mode? If you define and measure yourself based on external circumstances, and you believe you really are limited by what’s happening outside yourself, you are in reactive mode. Most of our ...

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Michael Davidson’s death was the result of a senseless act, and it has shaken our community to its core. We physicians are part of a profession that prides itself on healing and restoring lives, and it is difficult to accept an untimely and unjust death in any context. It is all the more incomprehensible that such tragic circumstances could exist as to result in such an irrevocable end to one ...

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shutterstock_114973210 As clinicians, we often forget or become desensitized to the image that society has of medicine and doctors. Alongside teachers and scientists, we are seen to be among the most trustworthy of professionals, yet our morale is low, with almost 50 percent describing it as “low” or “very low.” You can imagine, then, why I often describe medicine as ...

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shutterstock_137251094 I have to admit, I’ve been excited to see radiology slowly infiltrate into the mainstream of sports.  Fifteen years ago, it was rare for the public to know when an athlete had an MRI. Now I hear people in the coffee shop saying: “Man did you see Derrick Rose go down last night?” “Yeah, we’ll just have to see what the MRI shows.” In ...

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We all accept that we can't vote until we are 18 and can't order alcohol -- at least legally -- until we are 21. We know that if we speed 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, we risk a traffic ticket or accident. We get used to these numbers and pretty much know the risks if we break them. However, the practice of medicine is becoming more and more ...

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