I practice in the rural, northwest corner of South Carolina, also known as “The Upstate.” It is a place of expansive lakes, white-water rivers and the mist covered foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The area includes thousands of acres of Sumter National Forest. The natural beauty is breathtaking. Sumter National Forest and our various parks are laced with hiking trails, which are lined with unique plants and trees, some ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer Only a quarter of baby boomers take advantage of preventive services such as flu vaccines and cancer screenings, a new report from the government and two powerful interest groups says. At the same time, states are falling behind goals to increase certain screenings and reduce unhealthy behaviors, according to the ...

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Originally posted in HCPLive.com by Lisa Schulmeister, RN, MN It's well known that many physicians are "on call" after hours and on weekends and holidays. "Call schedules" are commonplace in healthcare facilities and answering services. In an interesting study conducted at two Canadian hospitals over a two month period of time, Dr. Brian Wong found that 14% of all pages were sent to ...

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A version of this op-ed, co-written with Doug Farrago, was published on October 26th, 2009 in Medscape. It's tough to be a doctor these days. Whether it's listening to the difficulties of our medical colleagues as they try to best care for their patients, or engaging other health professionals about the uncertainties surrounding health reform, we've noticed a tense, sometimes gloomy, atmosphere among physicians. A recent survey from the Annals of Internal ...

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In medical schools, primary care continues to be among the least respected fields a student can choose. No where is that more starkly illustrated than in Pauline Chen's recent New York Times piece, where she tells a story of a bright medical student who had the audacity to choose primary care as a career:

Kerry wanted to become a primary care physician. Some of my classmates were incredulous. In their minds, primary ...

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Personal injury lawyer Eric Turkewitz responds to my recent USA Today piece on fixing the medical malpractice system. by Eric Turkewitz In a USA Today op-ed, Kevin Pho tackles the medical malpractice liability system. Some stuff I agree with, but suggestions regarding improvement of the current system are unlikely to work. Kevin correctly states that malpractice legal fights often go on for years. In New York, it could easily take three years ...

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How important is it for doctors to have computer skills?

It's imperative.

Emergency physician Shadowfax is recruiting doctors for his hospital, and balances the typical choices one must make balancing clinical knowledge versus interpersonal skills.

One deal breaker, he notes, is the lack of computer skills:

Unfortunately, in this modern age, if an employee can't use a computer effectively, they are a liability. Our group performs most of its essential communications ...

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I recently cared for a patient who raised my heart-rate a bit. Of course, any emergency physician will tell you, the potentially difficult and complicated cases often come at the end of the shift, as you’re trying to clean up all of the paperwork and ‘head for the house.’ Nurse Ginger came to me and said, ‘we need a doctor in room 11.’ I snarled, snatched the paper, grumped and ...

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According to recent data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, upwards of 60 percent of patients first consult the internet for their health issues. This is leading to more educated patients, taking an increasing role in their own health care. And that's a good thing. I'd rather be seeing patients who are interested in staying healthy and conscientious about their conditions. But it's unfortunate that the incentives within ...

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A version of this op-ed was published on October 26th, 2009 in the USA Today. President Obama has acknowledged that changes in the medical malpractice system must be considered with other health reforms, and recently ordered that pilot projects to improve the way we compensate injured patients be implemented. Reforming medical liability has historically been a source of major contention. Physicians argue that the system is expensive, promotes multi-million dollar awards ...

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