In the years since the medical community first got revved up on the idea of “value-based care” -- the conceptual antithesis of the “more is better” fee-for-service model -- a common target of criticism has been the routine physical, one of the most time-honored traditions in medicine. The attacks come from all angles: The annual check-up isn’t cost-effective, it doesn’t lead to better outcomes, it actually might lead to ...

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Today I saw a news story about Walnut, an 18-year-old whippet in the UK, who had his last "walk" on the beach with his owner who had asked social media followers to join them. Shortly after that walk, surrounded by hundreds of family, friends, and supporters (human and canine alike), Walnut was put down. His last moments were spent as near to Heaven on earth as his owner could create ...

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My new patient looked around dodging my eye contact, scanning the ceiling, the room, and me. I felt that she was hiding something. In my clinic, I often find it one of the most difficult challenges to get new patients to open up, and one of the most beautiful moments when they finally do. I stopped interviewing midsentence and took a step back. “Let’s just get to know each other. I’m ...

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While visiting a family member in the hospital recently, I noticed the unkempt attire of one of the lab people coming in to draw blood. As she knelt down to better reach my family member’s arm, I noticed her scrub pants were frayed and dirty from her walking on them. Shortly after I made note of this, one of her co-workers came in the room to see ...

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seanpetrosuicide-900x600 Cheryl lost her son Sean to suicide in medical school. Just a few months ago. Her only child. Cheryl didn’t know that medical students were at high risk of suicide -- until her son was dead. Nobody warned her. Rhonda lost her daughter Kaitlyn to suicide in medical school. Unable to recuperate from the pain of her daughter’s suicide, Rhonda died by suicide ...

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Part of being a resident or fellow is to be on call overnight and on the weekends. As any new resident, you’ll be nervous the first time because you think you don’t know anything. Over time, you’ll gain the knowledge and expertise to be able to ask the right questions, improve your exam skills and make the right clinical decisions. Trust that you know more than you think you do. Throughout your ...

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asco-logo I was sitting in a meeting, listening and participating, but at the same time keeping an eye on my email. I always do this, sometimes to my peril. Email is distracting, and more than once I have been called on to say something and I have no clue where the discussion had gone as I glanced at my inbox. At this ...

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Early in my career, I learned that keeping my focus on patients would help me define the physician I wanted to be. One of my first offices was in a cell of a repurposed juvenile detention unit with cinder block walls painted pasty white. Occasionally, I had to apologize to my patients as I explained that the smell was sewage from the toilets backing up. In that cold, harsh room, ...

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To my dear patients, This has been a difficult time to be an American. I will never forget my walk through Central Park on the morning after the election; I have never felt New York so flat and somber. This election has brought out the worst in many. I have seen its ramifications in people’s health and fear that it may continue to have an impact. I want to express my ...

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Thanksgiving is this week, and I have a lot to be thankful for, both inside and out of medicine. Life isn't always easy as a resident, and to quote the lyrics of Journey, "And lovin' a [medicine] man, ain't always what it's supposed to be." What's a life in medicine mean to me? It's certainly not the glamorous. I'm on the back half of 30 years old. I've been a doctor for little over ...

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