The New York Times had a front-page story about the growth of urgent care clinics nationwide. These are the places that are often referred to as “minor emergency rooms,” or “doc-in-a-box” outfits. Their value proposition is simple: You don’t need an appointment. The costs are “reasonable,” and much more transparent than usual medical care at a doctor’s office, emergency room, or hospital. Best of all: They can treat a majority of acute conditions and ...

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Delivering bad news: Dont pass the buckWhen I was a fellow, part of our training involved doing consults for patients, most of whom had just learned they had cancer or recurrence of disease. These consults were never easy, but the importance of sitting with someone who had just learned of their diagnosis was an integral part of learning the medicine and art of oncology. Even after many ...

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I am a regular reader of patient blogs, and I find myself frequently gasping at the mistreatment they experience at the hands of my peers. I recently had the “pleasure” of being a patient myself, and found that my professional ties did not protect me from outrageously poor bedside manners. I suppose I’m writing this partly to vent, but also to remind health care professionals what not to do ...

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Most busy doctors completely forget (or ignore) the importance of integrating personal downtime and self-care into their schedules. It’s no surprise so many doctors wrestle with overwhelm. Downtime is crucial for stress management. What about you? Are you guilty of skipping your “you time?” No, I don’t mean attending a seminar, reading an article, or talking about stress reduction at a staff meeting. I mean, when is the last time you scheduled some real ...

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When it comes to preserving health and prolonging life, study after study shows that prevention is essential. From type 2 diabetes to early-stage prostate cancer, clinical trials have demonstrated that countless diseases can be avoided or even reversed through (often simple) lifestyle changes. We know the solution. Yet the challenge is reaching it. For example, tens of millions of overweight Americans are dieting at any given moment, but only a ...

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A baby’s smile reflects the purity in their heart.   An infant’s world is a marvelous place of possibility and love.   Children see themselves as special, capable, even omnipotent.   Time teaches failure, loss, and mortality.  How much we lose of that original perfection, that first excitement, that natural confidence, determines how we face the challenges and tragedies of life; whether we will be happy.  It may even determine how we cope ...

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Top 10 ways to know its time to quit your job as a doctor Attention all doctors: The first three are mine. The rest are from miserable colleagues. All true. And common. If you’re a doctor and you recognize anything on this list, please quit your job. 10. You feel nauseated when you see your clinic logo; you alter your commute to avoid streets with your clinic’s billboard. 9. Discouraged by the general despair among staff, you ...

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Over the last year I’ve become rather addicted to golf. Having always been more into cardiovascular sports I’m actually quite surprised with how much I’ve taken to it. Fresh air, outdoors, lots of walking in beautiful nature and spending time with friends -- what is there not to like? Anyway, I’ve frequented several different courses in the Boston area in just the last few months. Last week, we were due to ...

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I was shocked and deeply saddened when my daughter announced at the dinner table that Robin Williams had died of an apparent suicide. My wife and I and the three of our children home at the time all pretty much gasped audibly in unison, and then for a moment after, you could have heard a pin drop. For a bit after that, we talked about our shock and sorrow. And then after that, ...

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William was doing great.  His C. Diff  was finally gone after a month taper of vancomycin.  He was stronger.  The nursing home staff reveled in how much progress was being made over such little time.  It seemed every one was ecstatic, except for, of course his family.  Every step this octogenarian took forward was accompanied by a litany of concerns and complaints from his daughter. If he was not gaining weight, ...

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