It is an oft-recited paradox that Americans like the men or women representing them in Congress while hating Congress as a whole. In fact, respect for Congress is near all-time lows. In what has to be seen as a bad sign for the medical profession, people’s attitudes towards physicians are beginning to look downright Congressional. Most Americans like their doctors, with surveys showing that the majority report being completely or very ...

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shutterstock_27236638 I went into an all night pharmacy recently, after getting off of work at 10 p.m. I had to pick up a prescription for my endless, insomnia-inducing cough. Walking up to the counter, I was bathed in the smell of cigarette smoke, carried on the coats of patrons. Eight of us stood by the counter, outnumbering the staff by 100 percent. ...

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The quality-measurement enterprise in U.S. health care is troubled. Physicians, hospitals, and health plans view measurement as burdensome, expensive, inaccurate, and indifferent to the complexity of care delivery. Patients and their caregivers believe that performance reporting misses what matters most to them and fails to deliver the information they need to make good decisions.
Thus begins a recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine. It was accompanied by ...

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shutterstock_172067600 It seems everywhere you look in health care today; some consultant is telling you that "less" is actually "more."  Less care leads to more quality.  Less expense brings better outcomes.  Nurse practitioners with less training are more cost effective.  Fewer work hours for residents builds a safer hospital environment. Never in our entire history have we gotten so much for so little. Arshya ...

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asco-logo I am looking out of my window on a cold and cloudy Boston afternoon and find myself pondering about life: How unpredictable it is, and how one minute can hold no assurance for what happens after. Before I left for vacation, I saw Joan.* She has been under my care for a number of years, living with and thriving despite ...

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shutterstock_92569954 Dear anti-vax parents, In the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak, there’s been a lot of heated talk about parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. It seems like the medical community is now protesting even louder than the anti-vax groups were a couple years ago. But I want to take a moment and apologize for the harsh tone some of ...

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Ever since we are children, our parents and society teach us how to play together with others. What we don’t realize is that this lays the groundwork for developing important teamwork skills -- the same skills that enable success and positive outcomes in the workplace. My own experiences in hospital medicine practice throughout the last decade continue to increase my appreciation for these seemingly simple yet invaluable techniques. Like many young ...

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Some people who know what I do don’t really know what I do. They picture me floating through the hospital extinguishing lives, blowing them out one by one like candles down an endless corridor. They think I practice euthanasia, that my presence alone hastens death -- that I consume hope and happiness like a black hole, compressing it all into nothingness. Some call me the Grim Reaper, others the Death Doctor. ...

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Many physicians I know are struggling to make ends meet while making several hundred thousand dollars per year. Despite growing incomes, their savings rates remain extremely low due to ever increasing expenses. What they do manage to save, they turn over to professional money managers. How does this happen? Why are some of the smartest, hardest-working and most responsible members of our society unable to create real wealth? The answer is ...

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There is a scene in the movie, The Matrix, in which the main character Neo is offered a choice between the red pill and the blue pill.

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -- you stay in Wonderland, and I ...

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