Think keeping your life organized is hard? Try keeping your doctors organized. In this era of fragmented health care, patients find themselves in the impossible position of having to coordinate their care themselves -- a task that many can’t meet. Having multiple chronic medical conditions often means being subjected to a dizzying assortment of specialists, medical terminology, and tests that can quickly overwhelm patients. How many times have you found yourself in ...

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I recently was speaking to two doctors about newspapers. Neither of them subscribed anymore. “Who has time to read the paper?” they agreed. “And any news you need is free online anyway.” No big news there, right? Plenty of people -- in medicine and otherwise -- have made similar decisions since the rise of the Internet in the mid-1990s. But what was striking to me is that these were not millennial ...

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In a recent interview, Dr. Farzad Mostashari (former national coordinator for health IT and current CEO, Aledade ACO) gave some advice to physicians on how to avoid burnout and “restore their role as caregivers”:

The key is two things. One, if you're in a kayak in the rapids, you have to lean in and dig your paddle in and push ahead. If you lean back, you're done. You're going ...

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This spring, the California Board of Optometry shut down the only optometrist providing services to homebound patients in the San Francisco Bay Area. I learned about this because affected patients included several referred from our UC San Francisco Housecalls program, one of a few non-profit, non-concierge home-based practices in the state providing geriatrics care to homebound adults. With over 1 million adults homebound in California, why would any board deliberately limit ...

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Give me technology which improves my life and that of my patients, or give me death. Medical records must be informative, efficient, and flexible; like the physicians they serve. For me, a medical record does not contain just a collection of problem lists, prescribed medications, and immunizations; it is a noteworthy account of the health care provided to another human being over a lifetime. Recently, I attended a baby shower of ...

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The term "vaccine hesitancy" is a relatively recent term in medicine, a term used to describe patients who are worried about the safety, efficacy, or necessity of receiving immunizations. Vaccines are safe and have a proven track record of saving lives. As a result, doctors been caught somewhat off guard by the notion that anyone would have second thoughts about the benefits of immunization. Recommendations commonly publicized on how to respond ...

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The Washington Post featured an article by Dr. Michael Stein, "We all want doctors to be kind. But does kindness actually help us get better?" He presented intriguing but inconclusive data regarding the benefits of a "kind" doctor on control of diabetes or on perceived duration of colds for instances. In the end, Dr. Stein concludes, "At the moment, the best answer to the kindness contrarian is: Even ...

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The New York Times and NPR recently published articles related to the Goldwater Rule. In short, a magazine sent a survey to over 12,000 psychiatrists in the U.S. with the single question of whether they thought presidential nominee Mr. Barry Goldwater was fit to serve as president. Few psychiatrists responded. Of those that did, more than half -- still over 1,000 -- said that he was ...

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Sometimes the business plan completely falls apart. I look at my clock; it’s 11 a.m., and I only have two patients remaining for the morning? Something must be wrong. Every fail safe measure to keep the assembly line going must have failed. The initial card with the appointment time to carry in the wallet? Failed. The reminder phone call the day before? Failed. Even the insurance company gift card to ...

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By the end of my first year of residency, I knew I was in trouble. I was overwhelmed by the 15-hour days, the unbearable sadness of the tragedies I witnessed, my feelings of impotence and my fears of making a mistake. My life was my work, and everything else seemed to be falling apart: my physical health, my relationships, my ability to sleep after months of night shifts. Yet, I came to work ...

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