"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved." - George MacDonald As we adjust her position on the surgical table, I spot some short, vertical scars on the front of her neck. The parallel slashes sit directly over her enlarged thyroid -- a goiter -- and appear to have been deliberately placed. There are two sets of scratches, one set on either side of the neck, nearly identical in length and evenly ...

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shutterstock_155241647 “So you’re a Rhodes Scholar, and you’re just a family doctor?” If I was paid a dollar each time I’m asked this question, I can safely retire. It seems innocent enough, and it’s usually asked without malice. But the fundamental assumption behind this question alarms me: that family doctors are somehow less competent and less valuable to society than specialist doctors. It’s an ...

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Patients want to receive health care that is of the highest quality. Physicians want to provide it. But what is “high-quality health care?” On that, few agree. Ask most Americans and they’re unsure where to find it. They know they want to be kept healthy, have rapid access to personalized care whenever they need it and be charged only what they can afford. Ask the leaders of the national medical and surgical ...

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“Hi, it’s Dr. Smith, are you taking consults today?” the voice on the other side of my short-range hospital phone said.  I recognized the caller's name as one of the new hospital doctors, known as hospitalists. “Of course,” I said, “What have you got?” I guess some groups have a specific doctor for the day “take” the consults.  If I am in the hospital, I am always taking consults. “Great,” the hospitalist ...

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“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein “Miracles happen every day; change your perception of what a miracle is, and you’ll see them all around you.” — Jon Bon Jovi “The miracle is this: The more we share, the more we have.” — Leonard Nimoy It is amazing when things in medicine work just the way ...

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shutterstock_125105294 As a plastic surgeon, I am interested in how people look. Whether I am piecing together a fractured face or reconstructing a cancer-scarred breast, I am focused on appearance, symmetry, contour, and lines. I am always thinking about how our bodies are the physical manifestations of who we are. What I am never thinking about is how that sentiment applies to me. An intern ...

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shutterstock_240724267 Like so many other medical professionals, I felt voiceless in the face of a gargantuan health care non-system built to do things to people, rather than for people. But after a decade of hospital practice, my “cry for help” looked slightly different than the typical midlife crisis: It involved the creation of a somewhat ridiculous blue-scrubbed rapping doctor alter ego. “ZDoggMD” could ...

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How-to-be-a-happy-doctor-640x424 I was a physician employee, many times for many hospitals and clinics. I’d stay a year or two, but eventually I’d quit. Then, in 2005, I opened an ideal clinic designed by my patients. Ten years later, I still love private practice. Why? I’m finally practicing medicine the way I had always imagined. When I decided to open a private practice, I was ...

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shutterstock_193958318 Like two ships passing in the night, we sidled up to each other at the nursing station on the hospital telemetry ward.  I had already been home, ate with the kids, and returned, while he hadn't left floors all day.  We typed away at our computer stations, and chatted from time to time. After we exchanged common pleasantries, we jumped into local politics. ...

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shutterstock_161298866 "The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: She succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up ...

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