Partial liver donation is the only life-saving deed that a non-surgeon can do for another person suffering from end stage liver disease. On the other hand, a major operation on a healthy individual with no indication for surgery has been viewed by society with caution and skepticism. One could wonder why a young, healthy individual would succumb to an elective high risk procedure. Simple answer: they want to save a life. ...

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I don’t remember three days of my life. I have generally felt in control of my life and behavior. Although I understand the future is always uncertain, I do as much as I can to plan for it and minimize risk to myself and my family. This includes focusing on avoidance of stress, healthy eating, and daily exercise. Despite this, anything is subject to change at any time for no apparent ...

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The Hippocratic Oath. Most medical students in America recite some version of this oath at their medical school graduation. Its text implies a sacred and overriding respect (ethic if you will) for the individual. Doctors are currently witnessing the profession of medicine moving from the ethic of the individual to the ethic of the collective. The passage of the Affordable Care Act has solidified this treatment ethic and, as a consequence, ...

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LOU-ME1 I started kissing patients in med school. And I haven’t stopped. During my third year pediatric rotation, I used to stay up late at night in the hospital, holding sick and dying children. I’d lift them from their cribs, kiss them, and sing to them, rocking them back and forth until they fell asleep. One day the head of the department pulled ...

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A few years ago, a medical journal piece about electronic medical records with built-in decision support announced that the days of super-physicians and master diagnosticians were over. Being a doctor isn’t very glamorous anymore, and being a good one seems rather obsolete with so many guidelines and protocols telling us what to do. A hundred years ago, William Osler, a practicing physician, had single-handedly written the leading textbook of medicine, reformed medical ...

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“I don’t get no respect!” -Rodney Dangerfield He was a little guy, munching on the taco lunch that his mother had brought into my office for him, his younger sister and herself. I was a little miffed, I won’t lie, that the family knew they had an appointment with me right after lunch, but they decided to make the appointment itself lunch. I tried to concentrate on my interview questions and assessment, shredded lettuce ...

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By its very nature, medicine involves close personal contact with others. Communication with patients, families, staff and colleagues is essential to success. All physicians have different ways in which they communicate -- some more effective than others. The best communicators are able to inspire, engage, and cultivate trust. Everyone is born with different skill sets and communication styles may vary widely. Recently, I came across an article in Inc.com ...

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Leana Wen’s Who’s My Doctor? campaign is an important step to help health care. She endorses a total transparency manifesto where physicians can describe their sources of revenue and other potential conflicts of interest. It’s an effort to build trust. We can’t fix health care without patients’ help. A quick look at the numbers for chronic disease are compelling enough-- half of Americans have at least one chronic ...

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I lost another patient to hospice last week. She was 49-years-old. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer. She was treated with surgery and chemotherapy and went into remission and stayed there until she died. After the chemotherapy, she stayed anemic. She was weak, didn't take care of her insulin properly and didn't eat. Her kidneys slowly lost function because of her noncompliance, her HgA1c climbed to ...

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Women in the Bronx get sick. Pregnant women in the Bronx get really sick. The patients of the Bronx live in a hard place that has some of the poorest zip codes in the United States. And if there’s anything I’ve learned from my medical training as a fellow at Montefiore -- and now as an attending in maternal-fetal medicine -- it’s that poverty can make you sick, not just theoretically, or ...

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