I enthusiastically shared the news of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)’s same-sex marriage endorsement with my medical school classmates yesterday. I even publicly posted the AAP’s article – the sole public posting on my private Facebook page – because to me, the strong endorsement of equal rights by an organization of 60,000 pediatricians seemed enormously important for my colleagues and for our world. I was disheartened to read the
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Before patients can become savvy consumers of healthcare, they need information about their healthcare choices.  Too often, such information is nearly impossible to get, especially when it requires doctors to give patients useful statistics about things like treatment side effects. Since publishing Critical Decisions this fall, I have received a number of emails from readers who have recognized their own medical histories in the pages of my book.  I received ...

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Recently, my family and the hospital care team have been guided by my father's healthcare proxy to avoid painful, invasive, or aggressive care at time when his multiple medical issues have combined to make his health decline irreversible. The healthcare proxy was extremely clear and enabled us to finalize the do not resuscitate and do not intubate orders.   We agreed to stop monitoring and stop all medications except ...

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For those who haven’t been following, earlier this month, Dr. Carol Warfield, a Harvard doctor and chief of anesthesia at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was awarded a settlement of $7 million dollars for gender discrimination. It was a massive settlement to be sure, certainly one of the largest ever for a gender discrimination case. But the large dollar figure is not the real story here. The real story is found in ...

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Most professional business enterprises nationwide understand that they could never expect to compete in the marketplace if they shut down their phones 20 – 25% of important business hours every day. Yet that is exactly what your medical practice is doing if you are shutting your phones down for a “lunch break”. You might be wondering how important can this really be for a medical practice? Can’t patients just wait an ...

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I am embarrassed.  I am a specialist taking care of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. I spend more than half of my time at work related to research regarding the benefits and risks of treatment options for these diseases.  Specifically, I aim to translate the vast medical literature published on this topic into tools for patients (and their parents) to help them better ...

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Let me tell you about this fabulous new test – it's far better than the old tests, I've got a decade's worth of research publications to show you, plus it's a floor wax and a dessert topping. Who am I?  Why, I'm simply an academic clinician, advocating for this test because it's the next great thing to help us tailor treatments to patients.  Does it matter that I'm on the unofficial ...

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My kid and I are outside in the front yard blowing bubbles, enjoying the blue skies and 70 degree weather when she says, “Cool Daddy! Look, there’s a police car coming down the street. Oh, cool! I think he’s coming to see us!” Uh, oh, I think to myself. Despite my kid’s excitement, I know that rarely does anything good come delivered by a policeman. My wife is inside, my one ...

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caps "Bongi, I have a patient who came in last night with appendicitis. Can you operate him for me?" My colleague was known to load shed and mostly I didn't really mind. That day, however, I just didn't feel like any extra work, so it took a bit of effort to fake enthusiasm. "Sure! Any time." I lied. "Anything special or straight appendicitis?" "Well, I saw ...

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The waiting is the hardest part Every day you see one more card You take it on faith, you take it to the heart The waiting is the hardest part. -Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers I’ve never been good at waiting for anything. Instant gratification has been my middle name, and I’ve gotten in lots of trouble because of it. I think that I have improved with age—I am less likely to become apoplectic when ...

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