“The patient’s pain is still 9/10, doctor. We’ve already given morphine IV and then changed to Dilaudid IV and then we increased the dose of Dilaudid. Can we give it every two hours instead of every three hours?” the nurse asks me over the telephone. I sigh heavily into the receiver, unsure what to do, feeling more like a drug dealer than a doctor. The patient is on horse-sized doses ...

Read more...

There have been huge advances in patient safety, but that doesn’t mean there is no risk when it comes to having surgery and anesthesia. Each year there are more than 100 million operations and procedures performed with anesthesia.  Doctors who specialize in anesthesia -- we’re known as physician anesthesiologists -- play a critical role in keeping patients safe and comfortable before, during, and after surgery. Before surgery, a physician anesthesiologist checks ...

Read more...

Dr. Wes has written passionately against MOC: ABIM Pleads for Mercy.

But perhaps we should ask first: Why MOC at all? Contrary to years of propaganda promoted through pseudo-science and journal article citations on the ABIM’s website, might MOC have really been created because the ABIM’s consolidated fund balance dropped 43.2% from $54,009,086 on June 30. 2001 to $30,691,329 by June 30, 2013 while the Standard and Poors 500 index increased 37.7% ...

Read more...

In order to interpret the world, we tell ourselves stories.  All day long.  About everything.  That guy in the grocery store who clipped your heels with his cart?  A jerk.  The car that cut you off at that intersection? A jerk.  A little old lady stopping in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store?  Senile. It is automatic, it takes no effort, and it is completely egocentric.  It is ...

Read more...

shutterstock_195401897 Have you ever tied your shoes and found that the bow unraveled and you almost tripped over your own laces?  Learning to tie your shoes is a life skills task that you learned as a toddler unless you were trained on Velcro straps!  You performed the task of tying your shoes nearly every day of your life believing that you were ...

Read more...

shutterstock_83139061 A few weeks ago Bill Maher made a number of critical remarks about medicine and physicians. I sent Mr. Maher the following response in an effort to address his comments. I am sharing this with you in hopes that other physicians will also speak out in defense of our profession. Dear Mr. Maher, Let me start by saying that I have been a ...

Read more...

shutterstock_114588181 In medical school, I was taught to keep my distance. To remember that the patient is the one with the disease. I was told to protect my heart, to be a little cynical, a little deprecatory, to keep a separation between me and the patient. Because they can hurt you. For 18 years, I met people on what was arguably the worst ...

Read more...

shutterstock_227904523 This morning, a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook that was titled, “Dear anti-vax parents, we’re not mad at you. Sincerely, your doctor.” She had captioned it, “Maybe when all the vitriol and anger and judgment dies down, maybe we can start having conversations like this, instead.” The funny thing is that I had posted the exact same ...

Read more...

Just because it’s simple doesn’t make it easy. Take a look at habits. Do you floss? We all know the advantages, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do it. Yet only 28 percent of people say they floss regularly. How about covering your mouth when you cough? Again, it’s not difficult, but we all know people who fail to grasp the concept. Unfortunately, the same is true for hand-washing. It’s ...

Read more...

Recently, the American College of Surgeons -- our profession's premier organization encompassing all surgical sub-specialties -- launched its updated website. Included in this website are online communities where surgeons from around the country and even further away, can connect. In my interpretation of these communities, surgeons can connect over shared subspecialty topics (e.g., colorectal surgery, general surgery, orthopedic surgery), shared clinical interests (e.g., ethics, geriatric surgery, surgical safety), or shared circumstances (e.g., surgeons practicing ...

Read more...

Most Popular