shutterstock_90578188 Dear patients, It has been a hard week. I wanted to take a moment to personally apologize for all that you have endured. As one who has witnessed your pains and struggles, I can only wince with each new passing hurdle you are forced to leap over. This business of disease and illness is not for the weak of heart (metaphorically, that ...

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In my practice, as in most medical practices, we accommodate patients' particular needs in all kinds of ways: wheelchair accessible rooms and hallways, interpreters of virtually all languages including American Sign Language, gowns and instruments in a wide range of sizes, information sheets and videos suitable for patients with a variety of educational backgrounds. No one questions the appropriateness of these accommodations. But what about when the doctor or nurse requires an ...

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Online dating is a bad idea for teens -- especially young teens. That’s why it wasn’t particularly responsible of Seventeen Magazine to publish a blog in which “dating blogger” Isabelle Furth floated the idea of using sites like Match.com to find dates. To be fair, she had concerns about the idea, and she’s in college, so theoretically old enough to make these decisions. But college kids don’t read Seventeen. Middle school ...

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"It looks like you've done very well, Mr. Smith." "Thank you, doctor." He left the patient's room and ambled back to the nurses station, legs tired and ankles somewhat swollen.  It had been a long case and now he just had to type his note, send an email message, and review his schedule for the following day.  He sat down at the computer and logged in.  That's when he looked up briefly ...

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Great-Mountains-mountains-and-waterfalls-9841962-1920-1440 Not long from now, the last cancer will be defeated, and even today most with the dread disease survive.  However, many still fall.  This leaves us with one of the toughest questions of life.  How long do you continue to fight, when death is certain?  When does striving become vain hope which drains quality and creates only suffering?  What makes struggle worth the ...

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Just as in marriage, the ability to communicate is essential to any successful doctor-patient relationship.  In fact, the most successful doctor-patient relationships are a lot like a marriage.  Both parties must be willing to listen, to negotiate and to support each other’s decisions.  Outcomes improve significantly when patients are engaged in their own healt hcare.  Engagement only occurs when doctors and patients are able to effectively work together to solve ...

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Four months after having a knee replacement, I stumbled into the bathroom at 3am, not fully awake, hoping to urinate. Losing my balance, I fell. The result was a compound fracture of my left leg -- the one with the prosthetic knee. Gazing at my shiny white kneecap, I lost all logic, all control. I simply cried. At eighty, I was unprepared for this unexpected anatomy lesson: my twenty-nine years as a surgeon ...

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A few weeks ago, a middle-aged man decided to tweet about his mother’s illness from her bedside. The tweets went viral and became the subject of a national conversation. The man, of course, was NPR anchorman Scott Simon, and his reflections about his mother’s illness and ultimate death are poignant, insightful, and well worth your time. Those same days, and unaware of Simon’s real-time reports, I also found myself caring for my hospitalized ...

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When I was a resident in radiation oncology, I thought I already knew a lot about medicine.  After all, I had just completed an internal medicine residency, and had taken and passed my boards.  Needless to say, I was more than a little bit irritated the first time a patient “coded” in the radiation therapy department and I was shoved out of the way by the intern on the code ...

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acls Folks must think than all doctors know all things medical. I know this is true by the questions that I have been asked over the years. While my expertise spans hemorrhoids to heartburn, I am routinely queried on medical issues well beyond the specialty of gastroenterology. When I can’t answer questions about a new medicine for hypertension or if an MRI of ...

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