shutterstock_125105294 As a plastic surgeon, I am interested in how people look. Whether I am piecing together a fractured face or reconstructing a cancer-scarred breast, I am focused on appearance, symmetry, contour, and lines. I am always thinking about how our bodies are the physical manifestations of who we are. What I am never thinking about is how that sentiment applies to me. An intern ...

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shutterstock_240724267 Like so many other medical professionals, I felt voiceless in the face of a gargantuan health care non-system built to do things to people, rather than for people. But after a decade of hospital practice, my “cry for help” looked slightly different than the typical midlife crisis: It involved the creation of a somewhat ridiculous blue-scrubbed rapping doctor alter ego. “ZDoggMD” could ...

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How-to-be-a-happy-doctor-640x424 I was a physician employee, many times for many hospitals and clinics. I’d stay a year or two, but eventually I’d quit. Then, in 2005, I opened an ideal clinic designed by my patients. Ten years later, I still love private practice. Why? I’m finally practicing medicine the way I had always imagined. When I decided to open a private practice, I was ...

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shutterstock_193958318 Like two ships passing in the night, we sidled up to each other at the nursing station on the hospital telemetry ward.  I had already been home, ate with the kids, and returned, while he hadn't left floors all day.  We typed away at our computer stations, and chatted from time to time. After we exchanged common pleasantries, we jumped into local politics. ...

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shutterstock_161298866 "The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: She succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up ...

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shutterstock_260155397 As a physician journalist I find myself in a very fortunate and quite unique position: I am able to reach vast numbers of Americans on a daily basis and provide them with credible (and hopefully impactful) news on health and wellness. Medical journalism is similar to the practice of medicine in that we must put the patient first. Just as physicians provide patients ...

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“What is the meaning of life?” A perfectly reasonable question, albeit a strange one considering that I was in the third grade, it was recess time, and I was having a philosophical conversation about death with a grasshopper I had just caught. Ever since I could remember, I was fascinated by death. But my life was characterized more by loss than by death. When I was three, there were no funeral processions ...

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In the past few years there has been tremendous criticism of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM’s) maintenance of certification (MOC) program.  The MOC program was significantly expanded in 2014 and required doctors to get 100 MOC points every 5 years and do at least one MOC activity every 2 years. These requirements also came with increased fees for the MOC program and increased failure rates for the recertification ...

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shutterstock_109286840 I have given a number of medical talks over the years -- reports on my research, reviews of surgical topics, mentoring speeches, and grand rounds, among others. I prepare for these talks extensively but tend to speak extemporaneously to engage better with my audience. I’m pleased to say that, in general, I have received good feedback. Several times, however, I have been ...

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“We have an admission.” The dreaded four words for most interns on a day you are swamped with discharges while trying to get your post rounds orders in. “Hypertensive emergency and possible osteomyelitis of the foot,” my senior informed me with a few other details as we made our way to the emergency department. Mr. Rodriguez was a very pleasant middle-aged gentleman, with graying hair and a goatee.  I introduced myself, explained ...

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