nursedoc gomerblog Nurse Shannon Wilkens on floor 4 west thought she saw someone she knew in scrubs walking into room 414. “He was tall, I swore he looked familiar. Our charge nurse informed me he was recently hired and volunteered to work nights,” Wilkens recalled. “So being that it was slow, and I had only three patients as opposed to ...

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Ever wonder what your doctor is thinking while taking your history? If we’re doing it right, we’re looking at you instead of a computer. We’re making appropriate eye contact while displaying welcoming body language. And we’re letting you tell your story with as few interruptions as possible. Clearly we are listening intently, but did you ever wonder what’s going through our minds while you’re speaking? I’ve been thinking about this lately ...

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There have been countless instances in which the traditional practice of medicine has been disproved when someone actually took the time to perform a study. But who cares if a treatment doesn’t work -- why does it really matter? Let me walk you through why it’s important, starting with the Hippocratic oath. As physicians, our top priority is to “do no harm.” But this priority often clashes with the patient’s reason for ...

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It has been fourteen years since I graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School. I have journeyed far from the field of medicine, and yet my heart keeps hearing the call to return to my physician communities and share what I have learned. I simply cannot ignore my sense that the pain within our health care system - now felt at every level, including patients, physicians, and payors -- ...

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How informed are doctors? The answer is not obvious. Doctors know enormous amounts of data and have years of clinical experience. Many have solid science backgrounds and some conduct research keeping them at the top of their field.  Most rely on published studies to make their decisions on which products to use. However, only a small percentage of all published studies are level 1 studies: the studies with data that is ...

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There will are lots of things I hope improve in our health care system in 2015, but I’ll just mention one wish today. My wish is that the worthless wellness programs that have sprung up all over corporate America will fade away. I have criticized these programs in the past, but more ammo has come to light. A recent article in Employee Benefit News lists seven factors explaining how wellness programs are ...

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shutterstock_197629736 You are human and fallible. - Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre Alas, the frailty is to blame, not me -- for such as we are made of, such we be … - William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Sha-doo-bee, Shattered … - Mick Jagger, “Shattered”, The Rolling Stones, Some Girls (1978) The image of the surgeon is synonymous with strength. Surgeons are stereotypically charismatic, commanding, confident, even arrogant. Strong minds, strong bodies, strong wills. Leaders, especially ...

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I am a doctor today because of Dr. J.W. Epstein, my pediatrician in Cleveland in the 1950s. An immigrant from the Nazi terror in Europe (it was family lore that he had escaped the Holocaust), he had trained in Vienna and spoke English with a Germanic accent. His house calls are etched permanently in my memory. His visits were heralded by a fury of activity, led by my mother. “The ...

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shutterstock_216030211 Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable.  Black America’s favorite physician is under fire.  Multiple allegations have surfaced and re-surfaced accusing Bill Cosby of various insidious perpetrations.  This blog is not intended to persecute or defend Mr. Cosby, but rather to highlight something to minority physicians that can be easily overlooked. Ask any black male physician under age 40 to name five black doctors who inspired ...

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I assumed many things that morning.  For instance, I thought it was likely that Ronald's fatigue was from lung cancer that had metastasized to the liver.  Or that he decided to stay in his room in the nursing facility because the decision to elect hospice had finally taken its toll. I was sure that he was both physically and emotionally spent.  I reasoned that I wouldn't want to get out ...

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