Dear American Board of Pediatrics: On December 17 2015, at 3:01 in the middle of my busy day seeing patients, I voluntarily gave up my American Board of Pediatrics certification. I thought I should write this letter, hopefully preempting any more threatening emails warning me that I must pay up or lose my certification. This was not mere oversight on my part. This was purposeful. The reason I am no longer ABP ...

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Within the last several weeks, I’ve had two plumbing issues that have caused me to reflect on the honorability of various professions and the way in which people go about earning an honest day’s crust. Let me take you back to the beginning of the story. I was actually working nights a couple of months ago when I noticed, just before I was about to leave for the hospital, that my ...

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Requesting a second opinion can be a touchy subject for a patient. I’d like to think that when I was in practice, I was never offended when a patient’s family requested a second opinion, but that probably doesn’t universally reflect my response in every circumstance. But I am confident in saying that as often as not, I would be the one suggesting that we get another pair of eyes to ...

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american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Fire Prevention Week.  National Volunteer Week.  Save Your Vision Week.  The list goes on! These observances or “awareness weeks” aim to advocate important messages both locally and nationally to the media and public. You may wonder about the effectiveness of an overload of awareness weeks, ...

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“Oh God!” she groaned, looking upward with tears flooding her cheeks, which were stretched into the shape of agony. Her chest heaved uncontrollably with grief. “I am so very sorry,” I whispered again while leaning in and stroking her hand. This is what death notification often looks like and feels like. We doctors should be masters of delivering some of the worst news that could ever be uttered; the worst news that ...

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If you have a life where you never, ever say yes when you mean no, then you can stop reading right now. But I guess that you’re a lot like me. Now and then, you get caught off guard. And before you know it, you’re staying late to see that emergency patient. Bringing cupcakes for the second-grade class. Volunteering for the coffee meet-and-greet at church next Sunday. What’s up with that? We’re smart. ...

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I was a licensed naturopathic doctor in two states. I quit practicing naturopathic medicine after discovering my former boss, also a licensed ND, had been importing and administering an illegal cancer drug. I trusted my boss, as did his patients, because he was well respected in the naturopathic community and his credentials included “FABNO” (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology). This FABNO treated any kind of cancer, even ...

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Every business on earth has an angle on the market.  Business leaders around the world work tirelessly, attempting to edge out their competitors by delivering the best service to their customers. When all is said and done, physicians want to deliver the best care they can to each patient.  As medical students who are eager to serve, we are committed to examining the space where business and medicine intertwine ...

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As I sat in my hospice interdisciplinary group meeting, reviewing the many patients who have died in the past two weeks as well as our new patients, there was a slight break in the discussion. Being ever the multitasker, I clicked on a New York Times article I had been meaning to read and scanned the first two sentences:  “When my husband died from cancer last March at age 37, ...

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Thomas Hobbes described life as pitifully “nasty, brutish, and short.” Thanks to the free market and the state, life is no longer a Hobbesian nightmare. But death has become nasty, brutish, and long. Surgeon and writer, Atul Gawande, explores the medicalization of ageing and death in Being Mortal. Gawande points to a glaring deficiency in medical education. Taught to save lives and fight death, doctors don’t bow out gracefully and ...

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