shutterstock_99364631 As a child and family therapist and as a parent, I often see the efforts that families make to try to maintain a sense of family connection in an era of technology, increased demands and very busy schedules. Most families express a desire for more quality time together and an increased sense of connection amongst family members. The medical families that ...

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shutterstock_182066816 Imagine an institution where the occupants are routinely left immobile, deprived of sleep and fed a diet that is tasteless and nutritionally marginal. Imagine further that they experience the indignity of losing any semblance of privacy and get stuck multiple times a day with needles. Sounds like a brutal prison, right? Yet the same description could apply to a typical U.S. hospital. As ...

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shutterstock_143614549 It's been a very slow week in my office.  Today we almost pitched a no-hitter, having only one patient come in toward the end of the day.  Overall, we've been quiet in nearly every way: few phone calls, few patients stopping by, few appointments, few secure messages. What's wrong? That was a trick question.  This is exactly what should be happening when things are going ...

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When I was in training, the rule was: See one, do one, teach one. That was the rule for everything. It could be starting an arterial line, suturing a wound, dictating an operative report. No doubt, that rule is still in play. But now, the playing field has changed. Could you be sending out the wrong message? Demonstrating a poor way to proceed? Before you say “No way!” -- Think about this: Have you ever ...

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shutterstock_116541763 You could hear a pin drop. The awkward silence at a dinner table after my pager went off. Eyes locked on me. For a split second, the laughter ceased, forks held in mid-air, chewed food, half-swallowed. The nervous system of every doctor adapts to the sound of his or her pager during residency. Early in training, widening pupils and hair-raising palpitations fade ...

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shutterstock_216645019 asco-logo We all have our fair share of so-called “difficult” patients. And, I would suggest that how we define “difficult” is as diverse as we are as health care providers and as individuals. Some patients come to us with that reputation -- perhaps, a vague descriptor in a referral letter or ...

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shutterstock_122391511 Leave early. Two words. Simple concept. But, one worth thinking about. James Altucher explains it well, but this is the same guy who also thought he could save his business by becoming more like a Jedi Knight. Admittedly, the Jedi thing seemed to work for him, and his businesses, as well as the uncountable number of people he’s helped since then. ...

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shutterstock_266789546 Last night, one of my close and friends told me the story of her recent trip for her annual gynecology appointment. Her longtime gynecologist had retired, and she was meeting her new physician. After taking a history, the first new physician explained to her that since she always had normal Pap smears, including recent ones from the past several years, she ...

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New_Image “What’s up with the ABIM?” “I just got a note about an alternative board. Should I join it?” “Aren’t you glad to be off the Board?” These days, I get these questions from friends and colleagues regularly. When I first joined the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in 2004, the organization was a well-respected pillar ...

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shutterstock_144352681 When I chose a career in pediatrics, everyone had something to say about my decision. While most of my friends and colleagues were supportive, there were more than a few that just couldn’t understand why I would sign up for a lifetime of “ear infections and runny noses.” Even among other medical professionals, it’s not uncommon for pediatrics to be viewed as a less-than-serious ...

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