caitlyn_jenner_e This piece will likely draw ire from many, but I do not intend it to be inflammatory.  I write it to explain why Bruce Jenner’s recent, and very public, transformation into Caitlyn shouldn’t necessarily make us feel all warm, fuzzy, and optimistic.  This is not meant to insult or degrade any individuals who are transgender or merely confused about their own ...

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shutterstock_222192721 There’s a simple way to define value. Ask why we exist. Imaging exists because clinicians are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Imaging exists because emergency physicians feel that being 98 percent correct about the absence of pulmonary embolism is not good enough. Radiologists exist because imaging is not an assay on a Western blot with a 100 percent accuracy. Radiologists exist because information is ...

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, was my first physician role model when I was a kid. She had full scope of practice in the Wild West, and what kid doesn’t like a good Western? But it wasn’t until later in high school that I started considering a career in medicine. A great biology teacher sparked my love for science. That, coupled with my passion for helping others, made medicine seem like ...

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shutterstock_267055247 Our job -- though many of us actually see it more as a calling than a job -- is to care for patients. Documentation is a process whose primary purpose is to support the patient care process. Coding, billing, population management, meaningful use and many other processes may be important to an institution but are of little or no use (and provide ...

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shutterstock_138554978 Dr. Margaret Wood, who chairs the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University Medical Center, has published a wonderful article titled "Women in Medicine:  Then and Now," in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia. I think I speak for many of us in admitting that Anesthesia and Analgesia doesn’t occupy a prominent place on my bedside table. Many readers may have missed Dr. Wood’s article. ...

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shutterstock_132875531 In the last several shifts I’ve worked in the ED I’ve had more people stop and compliment me on my care. I’ve heard the usual, “Do you have a private practice?” compliment and, “I’ve been here a lot and you really took the time to hear what I was saying, I appreciate that.” Kudos are nice. They are what makes a tough ...

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shutterstock_174393956 One Google search can sometimes change everything. After learning something new about our child’s health or condition, especially for worried parents and caregivers, leveraging online search as a resource in diagnosis, clarification and education is typical behavior. Searching out support, camaraderie and tips online just makes sense. In fact, 2013 data from the Pew Research Center finds that 1 in 3 Americans ...

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shutterstock_131652026 My inbox has been flooded lately with emails from fellow pediatricians begging for help fighting the American Board of Pediatrics MOC program. These are doctors with decades in the care of children, now threatened with complete loss of their ability to practice because of the onerous ABP MOC process.  In trying to help my colleagues, I visited the ABP website today and ...

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shutterstock_161647064 Being related to a famous person is somewhere between a cruel joke and a minor distraction. My father was immensely talented and worked very hard at his writing, but the degree of his success was a fantastically unlikely bit of luck. There are lots of talented, hard-working artists who don’t make it. The important thing in overcoming mental illness, whether or not ...

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shutterstock_238626826 Recently I was asked to talk to a special group: the doctors and staff who teach new doctors. I reached out to my community and the suggestions that came pouring in of how to improve physician burnout were amazing. What I learned is that a key element of guiding young doctors and avoiding burnout is to stop for a minute. Can you believe ...

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