Science makes me a better doctor, faith makes me a better personSome have argued that there is an innate conflict between faith and science. I am not sure that is so. Not only do the two seem to co-exist; but to my mind, they may even be synergistic. A few months ago, at Schwartz rounds, a case of a pregnant patient who was being given chemotherapy was presented. When the nurse ...

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Groupon and other similar social sites, like Living Social and CoupTessa, are all the rage now.  But is it legal for doctors and dentists to advertise their services on these websites? Groupon is a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies.  If a certain number of people sign up for the offer, then the deal becomes available to all; if the predetermined minimum is not met, no one ...

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As I greeted my next patient of the morning, I knew from the early folder number that I had seen him six or seven years before.  I no longer expect to remember everyone I have ever met professionally. The man before me was tall, fit and well built. There is usually some inkling of recognition, but nothing about him was familiar to me at all. We made small talk for some ...

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It is my strong contention that patients facing cardiac surgery should choose an institution, not a particular heart surgeon. Although individual judgement and technical dexterity are obviously important, best surgical outcomes reflect the performance of many medical providers before, during and after the operation. Professionalism and a competitive business environment both stimulate open heart centers to continuously focus on quality assurance programs to improve patient safety. Also, continuing medical ...

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AMA: Act quickly on Medicare deadlinesA guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. There are several upcoming deadlines that are critical to physicians who care for Medicare patients. November 1, November 23 and January 1 are dates that should be marked on all of our calendars. The deadline for physicians to apply for a hardship exemption in order to avoid the 2012  Medicare ePrescribing penalty ...

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Congratulations! You are an amazing group of young men and women. In college, medical school and residency your dedication and discipline, but most of all your idealism helped you to persevere and conquer some difficult challenges. In college your friends studying philosophy and literature and history wondered how you had the endurance to study biochemistry and organic chemistry and calculus. Not to mention the Krebs Citric Acid Cycle. You studied hard ...

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Every medical student goes though a process of elimination when deciding what kind of doctor they want to become. We hear the old saying, "Internists know everything and do nothing; Surgeons know nothing and do everything; Psychiatrists know nothing and do nothing; Pathologists know everything and do everything but it's too late." We hear that pediatricians wear bow ties, are short, and love to laugh and play; that surgeons ...

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Ask most patients, and they say their doctor has a good reason for ordering tests and prescribing treatments.  Turns out their doctor may secretly disagree.  That's the conclusion of a new study. The implications are more than a bit disturbing. Researchers from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy conducted a survey of more than six hundred physicians. Forty-two percent of family doctors admitted that patients in their own practice receive too much care - meaning ...

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ACP: Relationships enhance patient careA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Up until 2001 I practiced medicine in the hospital where I was born. I still work in the hospital that was built to replace it. In our mobile society that is clearly the exception rather than the rule. I love what I am able to offer my patients as ...

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Doctors are in the cross-hairs of the nation's politics more than ever. We're all being asked to achieve more with less. We must cope with nightmare scenarios precipitated by cracks in the social and healthcare infrastructure so often these days that medical schools insist students become effective patient advocates as well as healers. Practicing good medicine necessitates navigating a minefield of competing interests. Doctors are increasingly tempted to just walk ...

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