You may have heard of the “Dean’s Lie“, the artificial padding of numbers allowing medical schools to claim ever-increasing percentages of their graduates are going into primary care medicine. This is accomplished by counting everyone going into internal medicine, pediatrics, and med-peds, in addition to family medicine as “primary care.” It makes their schools sound more attractive by seeming more progressive, but it does nothing to enhance the supply ...

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"Disruptive physician" is one of the most misused terms in healthcare these days. In many organizations, those two words have become the c-suite's trump card to quash any physician resistance to new administrative programs. These programs are often have purely financial motives or are a brazen attempt to dump additional tasks on the physicians with no regard for their workload or stress levels. The doctor’s legitimate concerns about quality of care ...

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shutterstock_111665426 In March 2008, prominent Denver business owner Leslie Fishbein suffered cardiac arrest and died after receiving trigger point injections with bupivacaine for chronic neck pain.  Ms. Fishbein owned a chain of high-end furniture stores.  She was well known within the community because of her starring role in television commercials promoting her business.  Her death drew tremendous media attention and heavy scrutiny for ...

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I could see through the two window shields into her car.  Her forehead creased into a petulant frown and she mouthed the words over dramatically. Asshole! Five minutes earlier, I was packing up my papers at the nursing home when my pager went off.  I fumbled for the desk phone, my arms constrained by the bulky winter jacket I had just climbed into.  I tapped my feet and waited impatiently for someone to pick up ...

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shutterstock_45483184 I am writing this letter because I feel that our leaders and lawmakers do not have an accurate picture of what it actually entails to become a physician today; specifically, the financial, intellectual, social, mental, and physical demands of the profession. This is an opinion that is shared amongst many of my colleagues. Because of these concerns, I would like to ...

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I began the medical school application process 10 years ago.  I was 23, single and most of my role models worked full time.  I had no idea that a part-time medical career lay in my future.  Quite a bit has changed since the days of hoping and praying and crossing my fingers for a medical school acceptance letter.   In the past 10 years I have, at varying times, declared ...

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chris christie Former White House physician Connie Mariano, MD, set off a firestorm recently by stating the patently obvious fact that New Jersey governor Chris Christie ought to address his morbid obesity prior to entertaining thoughts of running for the presidency in 2016.

“It’s almost like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before he runs for office,” Mariano ...

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A loyal reader sent me a doctor-written column with the provocative headline, “My Patient, Killed by The New York Times.” First, keep in mind that the website that posted this, Mediaite, is all about the media covering (really fawning and dishing) itself. The purpose of this story, with its provocative headline, sad outcome, and mea culpa tone, is to generate “buzz.” Then understand that this is a story of one patient who made ...

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God helps those who help themselves. -Something that sounds like truth but fortunately isn’t mentioned in any religious text “I’m gonna beat this thing again, Doc! I just know it!” Over the course of several years, I helped care for a man with a very rare cancer that recurred over-and-over. With each new tumor, he became more focused on beating the disease and despite the repeated setbacks, he remained eternally positive. He spent ...

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Everyone knows that life in the ER is fast-faced, extremely busy, and ever-challenging. When things get crazy, it becomes habit for busy physicians to see patients as “the chest pain in room 6” or “the broken wrist in the hallway.” We turn people with their amazing lives and fascinating stories into a nameless number and a “chief complaint”. It’s a practice that’s easy to justify—after all, taking a long ...

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