shutterstock_73822633 Perhaps doctors should be more like the president. After all, we also carry the ultimate responsibility for our constituents, even though we, too, have team members who do part of that work. The way I understand things to work at the White House, those other team members collect, review and prioritize the information the president needs in order to manage his, and all ...

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“Blessed. I’m so blessed.” She kept repeating this, from her seat on the examining table. “I’m so blessed.” I unwrapped the bandage holding on the splint that had covered her arm for the three weeks since the bullet went in above her elbow and came out through her forearm, hitting no bone, touching no major artery. “Blessed.” Homeless. With diabetes that needed insulin, which needed a refrigerator, that she didn’t have. Vulnerable. A few years earlier, ...

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Happy 2015! Health care in the United States continues to change faster than any of us can keep pace with and this shows no signs of slowing down. Having written a lot in 2014 on a variety of different topics, I wanted to focus on my own 5 wishes for hospital care this New Year. A lot of you may think that what you’re about to read sounds like wishful ...

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As we welcome another year, many of us make resolutions to live a better life, usually one that is healthier than the year before. As I planned my own resolutions for 2015, I was reminded of a talk given by my rabbi, David Ingber of Romemu. His sermon centered on the Torah portion about the importance of “the Shemittah” or the sabbatical year, noting how we as a society should be observing the “five Rs” ...

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Ever since the first invocation of the dogma "publish or perish" in the 1930s, modern medical practice seems to have followed in the ways of Darwinian evolution: It’s survival of the fittest. This doctrine, concise yet striking, refers to the competitive nature of the academic profession in which we have been raised and continue to grow. Although obtaining a medical degree reflects many years of effort, discipline, and camaraderie, ...

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american society of anesthesiologists In a hushed surgical theater in Boston in 1846, anesthesia changed medicine forever. The first successful public demonstration of ether anesthesia allowed patients to undergo surgery they would otherwise not have been able to tolerate. Previously, patients who had been subjected to biting down on cloth or looking into a blue light could finally undergo surgery ...

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An excerpt from The Communication Panacea: Pediatrics and General Semantics. If one pays attention to the language used in the context of all of these developments, it is clear we have moved into an entirely new semantic environment. Just as in the civic realm the word “citizen” has almost entirely been ...

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shutterstock_223911598 I have issues with the customer satisfaction paradigm, but it’s not generally hard to make patients happy. Sometimes, though, it can be nearly impossible. It all depends on our own inner life as physicians and human beings. The key to medicine, to being a beloved physician, is to love our patients. This can be a tall order. Human beings are remarkably difficult ...

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Can primary care survive? At a time when the services of a well trained, well-supported primary care physician are needed more than ever before to help patients negotiate through the confusing health care maze, the specialty is under siege. We are overwhelmed. Those of us in primary care are overwhelmed by the growing weight of medical, legal, financial, and clerical responsibilities placed on our shoulders. The quality of care we can ...

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The truth is, I know it's easy to go to the Minute Clinic.  I know the enticement of not needing an appointment, of being able to shop while you wait, of having the prescription ready to pick up by the end of your appointment.  Who doesn't like convenience and a friendly smile to add?  Who doesn't like the customer service offered at CVS, Target, or your local pharmacy?  I certainly ...

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