Over the past couple of months, I have had the privilege of meeting with several colleagues in my community. When I contacted them, I offered to bring them lunch if they would give me a few minutes to share an idea about a project that I am really excited about. However, what I really wanted was a chance to engage with physicians who I knew little more than their name ...

Read more...

It’s the first day on my 4th-year elective in the emergency department. I had orientation in the morning and just my luck I am scheduled for a night shift. I had the good fortune of finding an emergency physician in New York who let me shadow him before my rotation, but the truth of the matter is, I had no idea that what I was getting myself into. I guess ...

Read more...

I was the "TV doctor" at the CBS, NBC, and ABC affiliates in Minnesota and Chicago for 25 years. I was on air several times a day and anchored my own news block. I did some good. I organized a colon cancer early detection campaign while presenting a series on the illness. One-hundred thousand viewers picked up Hemoccult tests, 25,000 sent them in, and I received a plaque that says, “Thank you for ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 24-year-old woman undergoes routine evaluation. She is pregnant at 12 weeks' gestation. Medical history is notable for homozygous sickle cell anemia (Hb SS). She has had multiple uncomplicated painful crises treated at home with hydration, nonopioid analgesia, and incentive spirometry. She requires hospital management for these episodes approximately twice per year. ...

Read more...

Slave, I am not Servant, I may be Arrogant, I am not Ignorant, I may be Un-engaged, I am not However, Quiet, I may be. Your coat is long, mine short Your knowledge mile deep, mine mile wide You have seen 100 patients this week, I have seen 10 You trained for 10 years, this is my first If I look scared, it’s because I am If I seem intimidated, I indeed am If I appear confused, I in fact am If I ...

Read more...

In high school and college, I waitressed in a Dunkin’ Donuts shop that sat between Boston Common and the Combat Zone’s porn shops, strip clubs, and bars. The wages paid for school, clothes, rent, and food. At the time, I didn't realize this job would provide useful skills for my later medical career, an early pre-med training of sorts. Look the part. I donned the bubblegum pink polyester uniform that clearly identified ...

Read more...

Laws that allow assisted suicide restrict the provision of “aid-in-dying” drugs to patients whose mental status is not impaired and who are capable of sound judgment. Medscape recently featured a video interview of Timothy Quill, the palliative-care specialist and long-term assisted suicide activist. He is interviewed by the ethicist Arthur Caplan, and the two discuss the psychological evaluation of terminally ill patients who request physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Several points ...

Read more...

An excerpt from The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive In Your Work. Do you ever feel panic at the end of a long weekend or vacation, wondering where the time went? Do your days, weeks, and months blend into one another, each ...

Read more...

In what has been called the “opioid epidemic,” we talk a lot about two groups of people: 1. Patients who try to con their physician to get an opioid prescription, and 2. Physicians who capitalize on these patients by creating “pill-mill” clinics (that dispense opioids generously). This narrative results in top-down regulations that restrict the relationship between physicians and patients everywhere. Doctors are often blamed for the problem, so new guidelines target them. ...

Read more...

“Who’s in charge of the case?” the doctor asked a bit impatiently. My husband was in the hospital, and his care seemed disjointed and fragmented. I was concerned and called his primary care physician (PCP) to ask advice. He hadn’t known my husband was in the hospital again and seemed frustrated. I thought about his question for a minute and answered, “I guess I am. I am the one who talks to ...

Read more...

An excerpt from Flatlining:  How Healthcare Could Kill the U.S. Economy. In recent history, the U.S. economy has experienced the near catastrophic failure of two major market segments. The first was the auto industry and the second was the housing industry. While each of these reached their breaking point for different reasons, they both required a significant government bailout to keep them from completely melting down. What is also ...

Read more...

I grew up studying my physician parents. My dad, a pathologist, was a hard-working hospital employee with multiple odd jobs on the side. He always worried about whether he’d have enough for retirement, though he never really wanted to retire. My mom, a psychiatrist, is more of an entrepreneurial businesswoman. She had her own private practice (even though all the other employed doctors warned she’d never make it ...

Read more...

Let’s start with the most important part first. Your primary goal while in residency/fellowship is to become a great doctor. The kicker is that you also have to devote some time to your finances and not completely neglect them. We will outline the few financial items you should worry about while in residency. Student loans If you don’t have student loans, go ahead and skip to the next item; however, the unfortunate ...

Read more...

A couple of years ago, I took care of a 12-month-old boy with a cough. He had been seen by three other doctors over the last two days. Initially, he was seen by his pediatrician, who told his mother that it was “just a virus” and that his symptoms would go away on their own. Unsatisfied with this answer, she left the pediatrician’s office and drove immediately to an urgent ...

Read more...

An article released in the JAMA sites evidence that the suicide rate in America has risen by 24 percent in the last 15 years associated with a significant reduction in the numbers of psychiatric beds available. The U.S. has had a lower capacity for psychiatric patients than comparable countries in Europe for years, but between 1998 and 2013 that number dropped even further. Waiting in the ER for days This ...

Read more...

Over the 2016 Christmas weekend, 27 Chicago citizens were shot, of which, 7 were shot fatally. While studying in a Chicago medical school in 2011, I saw the effects of gun violence first. It saddens me to realize that six years later, little, if anything has changed. This past year, Chicago has reported a total 745 homicides, a 56 percent increase since last year and the first time in over ...

Read more...

Yes, suggestions for improvement are coming at you from every angle.  Administrators, your patients, your colleagues, your mother, yourself.  It’s quite possible that the last thing you feel you need are resolutions.  But for those of you that are looking to make some concrete changes in 2017, here are some to consider: 1. Take care of yourself as well as you take care of your patients. 2016 has proven to us ...

Read more...

At the start of the first week of the medical school at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, students get introduced to the anatomy lab, and by the end of the week, the first dissection occurs. Students study muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and other structures on dead bodies they dissect under the instruction of Dr. Abdo Jurjus, the anatomy course coordinator and instructor. First-year medical students spend around 3 hours a ...

Read more...

The drama in Syria captivates much of the world. We sit and watch horrified as innocent civilians and children suffer. The pictures coming out of the devastated city are truly heart-wrenching and the fabric that nightmares are created out of. As if to add to that unbelievable suffering, a bomb exploded in a Coptic church in Cairo, Egypt targeting women and children. Their only crime was going to attend the ...

Read more...

On June 30, 2015, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 277 (SB277), which tightened requirements so that parents could no longer opt out of vaccinating their children if they were attending state licensed schools, daycares, and nurseries. Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician, sponsored the legislation, which quickly became a nationwide litmus test on the debate over personal liberty versus public health in the aftermath of the large, ...

Read more...

Most Popular