I’m walking very slowly with my dad down the produce aisle at the local supermarket, past the colorful waxed apples, Mexican mangoes and Rainier cherries, and imagining my life's blood trickling onto the floor from an invisible wound. As I pass by the misting system spraying the bins of green, red, yellow and orange peppers, past the lady reaching for carrots, past the stock guy balancing the heirloom tomatoes into a ...

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I’ve just finished sitting through a wonderfully aptly named lecture: Probability and Statistics, in which, among other things, we learned (again) that the utility of various clinical tests depends at least as much and generally more on the patient and condition involved than on the specific test itself. From stress tests to mammograms to PSAs, the relationships of true and false positive and negatives, positive and negative predictive values all ...

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shutterstock_180321404 I have always been one of Angelina Jolie’s biggest fans.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw fit to reward her 1999 performance in Girl Interrupted with an Oscar, but I wasn’t well and truly smitten until the second Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie was released in 2003.  In that film, Jolie, who performs her own stunts, is seen ...

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While working at small rural hospital I was once again faced with the emergency physician’s dilemma.  Admitting  a patient and being told to write holding orders.  In the midst of a very busy department, I sat with a nurse who guided me through the ridiculously complex and counterintuitive electronic orders system.  All this so that the admitting doctor wouldn’t have to log onto the computer, from home mind you, and trouble ...

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By now, everyone in health care is accustomed to the idea of patient satisfaction data and the multi-million dollar industry ($61 million in annual revenue for Press Ganey alone) which exists thanks to the health care leaders and policy makers who embrace it.  Most physicians believe it is absurd to use it as a marker of quality care, but have accepted it anyway.  We will “play the game” in order ...

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Dear Bill Maher, I respect your First Amendment right to exercise free speech. In regards to your recent comments on doctors, however, your words don’t matter. Here’s why. There is a concept known as the beauty of medicine; I attempt to capture it in the following paragraphs. If you present to the emergency department with acute chest pain, we will work you up for heart attack, blood clot of the lungs, blood vessel ...

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The sad thing is, I hardly remember the patient. Everything about her is just an overhead pediatric trauma alert followed by the flurry of cutting clothes off, throwing IV lines, and calling out our primary and secondary survey -- "blown right pupil," "unequal breath sounds," "gross deformity to left ankle," and then, "no pulses" -- followed by the age-old barbaric resuscitation efforts that are now muscle memory to us, as ...

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Lifetime has an unscripted series, Born in the Wild, which documents couples’ decisions to forgo birth in a hospital and instead give birth in nature on their own terms without assistance:

In this new series, families take one step beyond home birth and make the powerful choice to experience childbirth in the great outdoors. No inductions, no epidurals ... just expectant mothers facing and giving birth in the arms of Mother Nature. ...

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o-SULLY-SULLENBERGER-BABIES-facebook The story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger -- the “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot -- is a modern American legend. I’ve gotten to know Captain Sullenberger over the past several years, and he is a warm, caring, and thoughtful person who saw, in the aftermath of his feat, an opportunity to promote safety in many industries, including health care. In my continuing ...

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As a traveling physician, I’m often asked if I have a favorite place to work. Since I have licenses in 14 states, I have an unusual vantage point from which to compare hospitals. I know that people who ask this question presume that my answer will be heavily influenced by the town where the job is located, and all the associated extra-curriculars, environmental peculiarities (ocean, mountains, desert), and potential amenities. ...

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