The reports from India read more like the review of a horror movie rather than a detailing of a government funded surgical program: 83 women receiving a surgical sterilization leaving 11 dead and another 50 hospitalized, 20 of whom (as of this posting) are seriously ill. And all of this happened in six hours with one surgeon at a government sponsored sterilization camp. As an OB/GYN I want to tell you how bad this actually is. The most ...

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Trivializing the significance of losing one’s hair during cancer treatment Even after so many years, I take the process of starting someone on anticancer treatment very seriously. The drugs we use can cause damage, and that damage can persist long after the end of the last planned treatment. Platinum salts can cause neuro- and nephrotoxicity. Taxanes can cause neuropathy. Angiogenesis inhibitors can result in hypertension. The lists of potential ...

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Not too long ago before I was unexpectedly dismissed by my organization, I had the audacity to complain and request change for the betterment of my patients.   Forgoing the traditional route of a solo practice, I wanted to join a large organization which supposedly provides a worry free investment that normally comes attached with starting an independent medical practice.  I agreed to the terms and conditions of any large ...

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I am presently doing locum tenens shifts in a lovely community in Oregon as a hospitalist. I have been to this hospital before and was glad to return when they needed some help. I like this place and noticed on my first go around that patients got good care and that physicians and nurses all seemed to get along pretty well together. When I first worked here, 2 years ago, they ...

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Why do hospitals feed their staff so poorly? Why do hospitals feed their staff so poorly? I recently visited a friend who works at Google and was pleasantly surprised by the Bay-area tech giant's health-promotion efforts. Its crowded cafeteria offered mostly healthy food, with low-fat, low-carb, and high-fiber delicacies. Any dietitian would have appreciated the plethora of organic dairy products, the salad servers filled ...

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A sleeping dragon awakes. At our weekly health policy colloquium recently, the presenter described plans for our organization to form its own accountable care organization, or ACO. The idea behind an ACO is to find patients who get the majority of their primary care within our system, and then "attribute" their health care and all of its attendant costs to that system, making the providers ultimately responsible for providing both high-quality and ...

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Making primary care better for doctors currently in practice and attractive to medical students and residents is critical given the needs of our health care system. It also has been a major focus of the health care organization where I work. A few colleagues and I noticed that many primary care doctors still stayed later than others despite lowering patient panel responsibilities and the implementation of the nation’s most robust ...

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Having children during medical residency: 6 tips to survive We had our first child during the fourth year of my husband’s ophthalmology residency, and our second son joined us during the first year of a surgical retina fellowship. Juggling long hours, multiple medical commitments and the needs of two small children can be exhausting but every day is complete with fulfillment and laughter -- and who can ask for anything ...

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I was listening to the news on my way to work recently, and heard a story about the review conducted after the well-publicized security breach at the White House. Like many people, I was shocked when the story of the fence-jumper first broke. How was it possible that some guy with a knife managed to get over the fence, cross the lawn, enter the White House and get deep into the ...

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What is it about doctors that makes them think they don’t need help? It was a Friday morning, in the wee hours. I had come in to the hospital early to get caught up on the ever-present computer work. As I got a quick cup of tea, a young surgeon I’d seen around the operating room came in. He’d clearly been up most of the night. We exchanged a few pleasantries. And then he cut to ...

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