asco-logoI had never met the man, but from a brief reading of the notes in his medical record, I knew that this was not going to be easy. Thirty years old with stage III kidney cancer, the notes showed a long history of missed appointments and late arrivals. I had been asked to talk to him about sperm banking and so ...

Read more...

There have been recent discussions in the lay media about a growing trend of litigation cases focused not on the “right to live,” but rather on the “right to die.” These cases have involved patients who received aggressive treatment, despite having documentation of their wishes not to receive such aggressive treatment. Although unsettling, it is not surprising that this issue has arisen, given the national conversations about the exorbitant cost ...

Read more...

Recently, I attended a conference where a recognized expert in physician burnout was a keynote speaker. As I sat through this lecture on physician burnout, it struck me that we may be approaching burnout in an entirely wrong way. We either look at it from a disease standpoint along the lines of PTSD or depression. Alternatively, we view it as Read more...

STAT_Logo As a new doctor, I’ve learned that the best patient care happens as often outside of the hospital as inside. While we treat sick people and get them tuned up, each patient’s opportunity to get better and stay better often depends on their access to resources beyond clinical walls. One of those resources, I’m learning, could be mobile technology. I’ve ...

Read more...

Travel is one of our passions. Spending time in unique places, trying new foods, and meeting different people is enjoyable and exciting. We are also passionate about our jobs as otolaryngologists. Humanitarian trips allow us to combine both of these loves. During these trips, I have repaired cleft lips/palates, removed cancers, reconstructed facial disfigurations and improved breathing and swallowing. Few things are more gratifying than being able to provide life-changing operations without ...

Read more...

There are many different theories out there about the direction that health care should go, and what we need to be doing in the future. Passions run high, and peoples’ opinions vary wildly. It’s frequently difficult to find agreement on anything. There is, however, one universal truth I’ve found about the everyday practice of medicine, and what constitutes great medical care for any individual in any health care system. Having worked ...

Read more...

Physician-comedian Brad Nieder, MD says to eat less. Is it easier said than done? See more at the Healthy Humorist.

Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and George Michael. In just this past year, we have lost these four, and millions more, to chronic diseases. The CDC states chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and cancer are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. All of our lives have been affected by one, if not many, of these illnesses. As health care professionals, we counsel patients to eat ...

Read more...

How applicable are the lessons we learn in the hospital to other areas of our personal and professional lives? Over the past eight years in the emergency department, I have learned most about people. These lessons have been crucial to my success in the ER and as a father to my teenage children. These are my top 5 insights: 1. Clear communication is key and overly clear communication is even better. It ...

Read more...

On a recent visit to DC, I found myself feeling inspired; regardless of your politics, it’s almost impossible not to. At each monument, museum, memorial, and government building, I stood in awe of the boldness, faith, hope, and determination of our founding fathers and their unwavering belief in the future success of their American experiment. So many of these sites are inscribed with famous quotes from leaders who inspired generation ...

Read more...

I was thinking of giving politics a break for my next column, instead focusing on some interesting news in the medical world. But alas, politics has permeated all aspects of life, whether professional sports or the latest TV series. Few television shows don’t have a same-sex couple or transgendered individual. Sports news can’t avoid discussions of race, climate change or gun control. What about the medical world? Is that too overrun ...

Read more...

As physicians, we are regarded as intelligent. Are we, as a community, as emotionally intelligent as we could be? The answer is no. Let's face it. We are trained from the time we are medical students to disconnect and suppress our emotion, and we are taught to appear stoic and strong. Showing emotion in front of patients is discouraged, even in a situation that would be deemed acceptable by most. ...

Read more...

Since I was a little girl, I have been called a lot of things. Sensitive. Funny. Strong-willed. Outgoing. Take-charge. Friendly. Bossy. Focused. And my favorite — domineering. I’ve always been a direct person. I’m an extrovert, which means I walk into a room and I am energized by the people around me. I am also a positive person; I assume you are my friend until you prove otherwise. On most days ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 20-year-old male college student on the wrestling team is evaluated for a superficial skin infection. He has a history of several episodes of folliculitis and furunculosis over the past year that has required systemic treatment. His recurrent infections were treated with various oral antibiotics, including cephalexin, ...

Read more...

Be honest. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words "plastic surgery?" Breast implants? Nose jobs? Or maybe you’ll think about one of the numerous television programs out there that have featured the discipline: "Nip/Tuck?" "Botched?" "Grey’s Anatomy?" If so, you aren’t alone. Plastic surgery as a discipline is poorly understood by many, including primary care physicians, nurses, medical students and the public. Plastic surgeons perform many ...

Read more...

My wife and I married in our mid-thirties. Over the next five years, we had three sons. When our boys were young, we had no real desire to go anywhere or do anything unless it involved our family. Traveling and entertainment were a low priority unless it involved a Disney character, the Power Rangers and the like. My serious passions such as hunting and fishing were put on hold until ...

Read more...

Yesterday was the perfect storm. The combination of articles printed over the weeks seem to give me a morose outlook on the medical profession. Article 1: A specialist had reasoned the medical world was in shambles because "specialist" try to rule the world with unnecessary obscurity. His example was acid reflux and how addressing it was a failure in delivering simple remedies. My throat was bitter with betrayal. Article 2: An insurance company ...

Read more...

The data tells us when physicians run hospitals or clinics, those institutions have better health outcomes and higher employee satisfaction scores. So now, what do we do with that information? Watch and discuss. Jamie Katuna is a medical student.  She can be reached on Facebook.

Fifteen minutes. This is the typical amount of time allotted for any single follow-up or acute type appointment in Primary Care. 30-minute spots are reserved for new or complicated appointments. Now, I just want that to sink in for a minute. I want everyone to sit down and think real hard for a moment, about how much they can get done in 15 minutes. How long does it take you to ...

Read more...

I already know I sound like a broken record. Yet, I can’t fathom why I seem to be the only person talking about this. There have been numerous articles in both syndicated journals and the blogosphere about the many things wrong with the American health care system, including the overspecialization which we know leads to higher costs (but not necessarily better outcomes). Just as I feared, the New York Times ...

Read more...

Most Popular