It is unethical not to be compassionate when you are a physician.  Treating people or their families poorly isn't helpful to anyone in a stressful situation.  But a big problem exists there - ethics is not taught in medical school.  Then again, neither is compassion.  So where do you learn them?  Can you learn compassion, or is it something you just have? Or don't have? She could have been anyone's grandmother.  White ...

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As the number of people undergoing plastic surgery rises, the number of people who get bad results also increases. Numerous cases of botched plastic surgeries persist to linger the news which continue to put plastic surgery in a bad light. As a doctor specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery myself, I am saddened by the fact that such cases carry on. With more and more people choosing to undergo plastic surgery, ...

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“So like a concierge doctor?” That was the most common response upon explaining my future direct primary care practice while in residency. That perception and label really perturbed me. My vision was to care for a diverse group of people. I spent the majority of my residency clinic hours in an urban safety net clinic, but certainly didn’t want to swing the pendulum to the opposite 1%. To avoid that stigma, I ...

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2014-06-09-collegestory-thumb When my sister and I were little, we had an almost daily ritual with my father: drawing stories. He would sit us on his lap and get out his clipboard, a piece of paper and his black click pen. He'd divide the paper into four parts, and draw as he told a story. Sometimes he drew old favorites and we knew what ...

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Her wary eyes, magnified from her thick-lensed spectacles, watched my every move as I pulled room 21's curtain to the side and entered her room. In her early eighties, it was apparent to me that my entrance into her life was more important than the abdominal pain that brought her to our emergency department. In the corner sat a slight man with wispy gray hair poking out from the border ...

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You may have already seen them -- medical scribes hunched over tablets in hospitals and doctors’ offices, working away like Kim Jong-Un’s omnipresent cadre of note takers (though in this case, they’re actually getting things done). Recently, this piece about the phenomenon was making the rounds in my corner of the Twitterverse. In a conversation with a reach so high that it at one point drew in Dr. Farzad Mostashari (former National Coordinator for ...

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One typically thinks of advances in medical science and technology as having unalloyed benefits. The ability to cure illness, the mitigation of pain and the possibility of making diagnoses that are more accurate are some of the uncontroversial results of medical progress. Yet as a new study of vegetative states demonstrates, such advances can raise ethical quandaries for physicians and the families of patients diagnosed as vegetative. The Read more...

I chose to leave clinical medicine in 1996 after just three years as a general internist. At the time, I was certain that it was the right decision and necessary for my overall health, but could not have articulated all the reasons why I needed to leave. I loved both the intellectual challenge and the art of medicine. I thoroughly enjoyed my connections with patients. I regarded my professional life ...

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We’re living in a world or ratings. Books get rated on Amazon, dry cleaners get rated on Yelp. Doctors are getting rated, too -- not only on web sites, but also in ways that end up dictating how much money we can make, or whether we can keep our ability to work in a hospital. Is this a good way to improve medical care or medical outcomes? Is it ...

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Prestige in medicine often follows research. Physician-scientists who do basic science research have often been considered among the giants of medicine. As the field of medicine advanced, the gap between what we knew from basic science and how we practiced grew. This created a need for more translational researchers: physicians who could bring what they knew from the laboratory bench to the bedside through large clinical trials. Now, the next great gap ...

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