shutterstock_278653268 A couple of months ago I finally joined the swelling ranks of Uber customers. Several friends had been trying to persuade me for some time to start using the service, but me being generally skeptical of new technology (what they call a “late adopter”), it took an extreme situation to get me to finally download the app. It was a freezing February ...

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Count no man happy till his end is known.  - Herodotus This was true in ancient Greece 2,500 years ago. It is even more true today -- aggressive end-of-life hospital care, the lack of sufficient palliative care, and unduly restrictive assisted suicide laws make it impossible for most people to die with dignity. There is no worse death than a hospital death. Dying well means dying at home. This requires preparation and preparation ...

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Everything eventually expires. I looked down at the bottle of natural spring water in astonishment.  It had an expiration date.  Scanning the empty hospital cafeteria on an early Sunday morning, I wondered what on earth about spring water could go bad?  It had no living parts,  Nothing that serves as nourishment for wayward bacteria or fungus.  The container was sealed.  Pristine. I figured it was another fiscal hoax, perpetrated on unsuspecting consumers.  ...

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141231-hillary-clinton-mn-2130_14257f8a4ebbc2bf8806b492060dd415 Time magazine published this article about why Hillary Clinton is the perfect age to run for president. The author, Dr. Holland who is a psychiatrist, chose not to focus on Ms. Clinton’s vast political experience or her education but rather on Ms. Clinton’s menopausal status. Yes, you read that right, when it comes to qualifications for president of the United States menopause trumps a ...

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Who is a PCP? (And does that second “P” stand for “physician” or “provider”?) Who gets to say? Does it matter? Perhaps we should start with some basic qualifications: The degree of MD or DO, the satisfactory completion of an accredited residency in family medicine, and successfully passing the written examination of the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFP, an organization distinct and independent of the AAFP). Hard to argue with those. How ...

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shutterstock_77642626 Earnest Tipp was very overdue for his blood pressure follow-up. Almost a year and a half overdue, as a matter of fact. The last few times I had refilled his medications, I had added “needs follow-up” to the signum on his scripts. The other day I finally saw him in my schedule. I thought about him all morning. A tall, muscular 90-year ...

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shutterstock_216555211 I am lucky enough, from time to time, to be invited to speak to young women who want to be surgeons when they "grow up." I always have a hard time striking a balance between what I should share that is positive and inspirational and what I should share that is a little harsh and uncomfortable. Once, I turned to my ...

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As a patient, I would like a primary care visit that is pleasant, comprehensive, convenient, and efficient. As a future practitioner, I hope for a visit that is unhurried, educational, efficient, and holistic. We may have through all these years grown accustomed to the status quo -- on both ends -- that is, we have come to expect the 45-minute wait in the atrium prior to our beckoning by the ...

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shutterstock_164237078 Elizabeth Sedway, a 51-year-old undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma, was outraged to be removed from a Hawaii-San Jose flight due to concerns about her health.  Wearing a mask to prevent infection as her immune system was compromised from chemotherapy, she requested handicapped seating and told an airline employee she felt “weak.”  The employee consulted with an airline doctor who was concerned ...

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The tragic deaths of Oscar Grant, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, and untold others, deeply grieve our national conscience. But more black men die in America from heart disease than from police brutality, and we never mention those parallel realities in the same breath, let alone collectively mourn those dead. Why is that? Because it’s not just that African-Americans have higher rates of heart disease and its related risk ...

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