Earlier this May, nurses around the country were acknowledged on a countrywide scale for their hard work and dedication to patient care during National Nurses Week.  Unfortunately, as with most national appreciation days that I cannot personally be recognized for, I failed to take much notice. Now that new doctors around the country, including myself, are in the process of growing into our roles as team-based healthcare providers, we are in ...

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We recently spoke with Nayan Kothari, MD, associate dean for education, chair and program director of the department of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine/Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. He is 74 years old with long-standing spinal stenosis. He told us that his condition did not prevent him from biking and hiking regularly, and he was otherwise in good health. His medications included baby aspirin, atorvastatin ...

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Mommy wars aside, I think you’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard the enormous and real benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is awesome on so many levels. Health of baby and mom alike. Both physical and emotional. But, what if it doesn’t work? What if you’re a mom (like me) who couldn’t produce enough milk? Hardly any in my case. What if you’re an adoptive parent or your baby ...

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A very insightful editorial appeared recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine.The article gave several examples of overdiagnosis in medicine, but I thought the authors did a particularly good job explaining the false hope of CT scanning to detect pulmonary emboli. Emboli occur most often when a blood clot in the veins of the legs breaks off, travels through the right side of the heart, and gets stuck ...

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When I was a resident physician, I had the coolest classmates ever.  We worked together, laughed together, learned together and many of us stay in touch to this day.  Our practices have crossed the gamut of emergency medicine, with some in academics, some in private practice, some administrators, two involved in auto-racing medicine, one a bush-pilot/fishing guide and one an amateur mountaineer. But one of the things that united us, one ...

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The only religion that my patients see me practice is medicine When I was the director of undergraduate medical education for OB/GYN at a Midwestern university (a state school), it came to my attention that a medical student was refusing to have anything to do with contraception as it was against her religion. So I spoke with her. I explained that over the course of her career she would undoubtedly see people from ...

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There is a broad consensus among healthcare policy wonks that the 800 pound gorilla in the healthcare cost debate is that a big chunk of the medical care we provide — some say as much as a third — does not help. It may even make things worse for patients.  Aside from the ethical issue of doing things that don’t help, and may hurt, this useless and dangerous care is ...

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The Surgeon had been handicapped by a burr in the plantar aspect of his left foot.  All summer it had been causing discomfort on jogs, during soccer games, and,eventually, even just walking barefoot across the hardwood floors in the morning.  There was something lodged in the thick skin of the strikeplate of his foot--- a splinter, a piece of glass, whatever the hell--- and it was really starting to cramp ...

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Moving from paper death certificates to an online process called the Washington State Electronic Death Registry System, or EDRS. Sounds like a simple 21st century process that should make the process of completing a death certificate faster and easier right?  Oh, the government designed the system.  Oops. I’ve been so frustrated by the unintended consequences of a new state governmental process for completing death certificates. Beginning in early 2012 Washington state started ...

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We had one of each in our house: one baby that we let cry for periods of time to self-soothe and one where I simply couldn’t bear to hear the crying in quite the same way. You’d think it would have been just the same for both of our boys, but it wasn’t. Clearly I wasn’t the same parent each time around. There are many things that go into the equation ...

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