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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shutterstock_113731288 I never really watched medical shows, even before and during medical school. I watched maybe one season of ER, a couple of seasons of Grey's Anatomy and House MD and maybe one episode each of Private Practice, Chicago Hope, Emily Owens MD and other random medical shows. The only medical show I made an exception for was Scrubs, because it was ...

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shutterstock_125243891 Patient-doctor communication often has many facets, wrinkles, and twists.  Medical school prepares a doctor minimally for the ups and downs of these patient interactions.  There is no mannequin who can train each medical student how to deal with every personality, response, or even outburst by each patient.  On the job training is sine qua non. During and after medical school, it took ...

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When my sister, Jessica, was a nurse anesthetist student at the University of New England, she had the opportunity to rotate at Johns Hopkins, and she seized it. She was young and fairly new to the medical world and so she did not recognize at first the name of the neurosurgeon with whom she would be working -- Dr. Ben Carson. After receiving multiple comments from numerous people about how great it ...

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My patient had suffered a terrible, crushing injury to his chest leaving many ribs and his sternum fractured, his lungs and heart badly bruised and his body on the edge between life and death. He was on a ventilator, the tube through his mouth into his windpipe pushed air into lungs that couldn’t draw for themselves. He was on constant medications for pain and to sedate him while we used ...

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Do you remember Mad Libs from when you were a child? A story is filled with blanks, and as you fill them in with inappropriate and ridiculous words, you laugh until you can't see straight. You laugh until you can't breathe, and your parents beg you to stop! Let's be children again. Share these with the nurses, and give the shift a little levity. Pain medication. You see, doctor, my pain specialist ...

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