Collaboration between medical professionals and the healthcare products industry has long been vital to advancing patient care and safety.  Healthcare professionals help companies better understand unmet clinical needs, while companies invest in innovative research and product development that are squarely focused on improving patient care and enhancing patient safety. As a society, we should acknowledge the value of these bona fide relationships. Balanced provider input into corporate decision-making has broad ...

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Why is a trip to the doctor’s office more like going to the DMV than going to Disney World? Both the DMV and Disney World involve waiting in long lines, but Disney has made the entire experience fun and exciting, while the DMV has made it cold and frustrating. "But medicine is different," you may say. Seeing the doctor was never meant to be a fun or exciting experience, after all. ...

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Our kindergarten teachers and Hippocrates taught us to share. But after school, capitalism takes over among American medical researchers. Eric Campbell writes in "Data Withholding in Academic Genetics" that it was frequent for investigators to be denied access to data. The reasons for denials include "too much effort" and protecting potential publications of students and themselves. The respondents expressed only a little worry about protecting the commercial value of results: ...

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A doctor’s primary responsibility is to heal, and all of our efforts and resources should be devoted to that goal.  At times, it is impossible to restore a patient to perfect health and he or she must unfortunately deal with some degree of chronic disability.  Still other times, though, the line between "perfect health" and "disability" is blurred, and nowhere is this more problematic than in psychiatry. To illustrate, consider ...

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Patients expect excellent care from their physicians.  Unfortunately, not all receive such care and most of us realize this.  Many who do understand the wide variation in patient care probably believe it is due to the clinical knowledge and attitude of the provider—a very knowledgeable physician or nurse who is passionate about his or her job will deliver the best care.  Although these ingredients are necessary for excellent patient ...

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Today’s article addresses a common complaint about physicians. “Freewheel” responded to a previous article by writing the following, “you will not make me wait more than 10 minutes.  My time is important, too.”  One of the most common complaints I hear is “I waited over an hour to see you!”  Waiting for an appointment, particularly when you are sick, is frustrating.  Once you have that appointment, waiting for a doc who ...

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In New York State, the issue of scope of practice is at the fore.  Mainly, what activities can non-physicians (NP’s) engage in, with or without physician supervision?  It is a heated subject here where I reside, but not the one I will address below. The New York Times discusses a similar matter, although altogether more controversial.  Many of you are aware nurses are obtaining doctorate degrees and advancing their training. The divisive ...

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As someone whose livelihood is dependent upon successfully recruiting physicians to various practice opportunities, whenever possible I use the tool of a "signing bonus" and it may not be for the reason you think. If you have found yourself in the role of recruiter for your practice, you should be open to use of this valuable tool within the physician recruiting process. Now, I must say, that whenever this is brought ...

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Language matters. The words we choose can have far-reaching impact on those we interact with. This is arguably more true in medicine than in any field. Ryan Madanick wrote a recent blog post on the use of descriptor terms used by physicians in patient’s charts. He felt that the use of phrases like “is a very pleasant 52 y/o woman” or “is an unfortunate 16 y/o boy” is inappropriate. I agree. ...

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Dr. Keith Ablow is an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. So am I. Ablow has a problem with transgendered people. I do not. I first learned about Ablow's well publicized stance Wednesday via an email to the Tufts community, signed by the university's president, the dean of the medical school and the chair of the psychiatry department. The university reaffirmed its commitment to the complete inclusion ...

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