medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. President Promotes ‘Patient-Powered’ Genomics Project. Imagine if physicians could select a personalized cure for a particular patient's cancer in one easy step.
  2. Match Not to Blame for Low Resident Salaries. Resident salaries are low, but it's not the match's fault.
  3. Mixed Results for Obamacare Tests in Primary-Care ...

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This past week I spoke with a patient who noted that since his wife’s death six months ago, he had lost 40 pounds, slept a maximum of four hours nightly, and stopped enjoying activities he used to take pleasure in. He found it difficult to concentrate at work, and getting out of bed each morning was described as his greatest struggle. While relaying this story, the man was on the ...

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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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medpagetoday A woman told me she saw her physician recently and, when she told him all the things she was doing to help herself, naturally he told her he practices Western medicine and that he does not believe in that stuff. Not a good conversation. A number of research studies have found that one in three patients routinely use alternative treatments, but ...

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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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Although the Affordable Care Act’s second enrollment period is nearly over, politicians, medical professionals, and the public still debate its implications. According to David Houle and Jonathan Fleece, one-third of all hospitals in the United States will close or be reorganized into another kind of health care provider by 2020. What will differentiate the winners from the losers? Simply put, it will be high patient satisfaction. In consumer terms what ...

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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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freedom formula An excerpt from The Freedom Formula for Physicians. Get the last copy of your pay stub. What is your year-to-date compensation? What is your annualized compensation? Hint: Take your current compensation and multiple it by 12, divided by the number of months already compensated. For example, using an end-of-the-month May check, multiply the amount by 12 divided by 5. Get the ...

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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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As a pathologist, I recognize the importance of every diagnosis. Behind each slide is a patient, a family, a network of family and friends. A string of dominoes that is set into motion with my diagnosis. All treatment begins with a diagnosis. Each day I make these diagnoses, but on holidays, it takes on even more meaning. As the rest of the world is celebrating the season, coming together, medicine ...

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Recently the Mayo Clinic named a patient as a visiting professor for 2015. The patient, Dave deBronkart (otherwise known as “e-Patient Dave”) was chosen by the internal medicine chief residents to fulfill this unique role, where he would have the opportunity to lead grand rounds, give educational talks to medical students, residents and faculty, and truly emphasize the message of patient engagement and empowerment. So what is an e-Patient? ...

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Recently, at a holiday meal with my extended family, it came to light that neither of my typically developing teenage children really knows how to tie his or her shoes. It seems that for the past decade or so, both have been using the “bunny ears” technique introduced to preschoolers for tying their shoes. My children appear never to have moved on from there to the mature “around the tree” ...

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The following is based on an actual case that occurred a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A 65-year-old man arrived in the emergency department by ambulance after being found unresponsive. His respiratory rate was 40 per minute, heart rate was 170 per minute, and temperature was 102.2°. He did not respond to Narcan or an ampule of 50 percent dextrose. Blood sugar was 600 mg/dL. The diagnosis ...

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There’s a great song by Don McLean called "American Pie.” The chorus talks about “the day the music died.” I thought about that song in my hospital a couple years ago, when the music died there, too. I’ve noticed that our physician burnout and nurse frustration have increased in the years since the music died. Could it be a coincidence? McLean’s song was about a plane crash in 1959 that claimed ...

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A medical student asked to speak to me about a month ago at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where I am an Instructor of family medicine. He has been very active in our school’s Primary Care Scholars program and community health outreach activities. “Dr. Chan,” he said, “I am so torn. I really love primary care, but I am so worried that I won’t be able to get my ...

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Last August, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement regarding school start times, really a plea to all middle and high schools to start the school day no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The statement emerged as a result of accumulating evidence showing that earlier school start times effectively restrict an adolescent’s ability to get regular healthful sleep. The timing of the AAP’s statement came on the heels of another sentinel event ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today: Long-Term Danger for Kids' Tackle Football? Cognitive impairments in retired professional football players with behavioral or mental complaints were more pronounced in those who had played tackle football prior to age 12. Skipping Doses to Save $$$. Nearly 8% of adults in the U.S. did not take their medications ...

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new study about physical activity, obesity, and mortality has been propagating so many headlines and so much commentary, it's pretty much a given that if you are seeing this, you have seen something like: "Inactivity kills more than obesity." As is generally true in such cases, few of the people opining about the study seem to have actually read it. I suppose that's understandable -- once you get to particulars ...

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Mr. Dwyer isn't my patient, but today I'm covering for my partner in our family practice office, so he's been slipped into my schedule. Reading his chart, I have an ominous feeling that this visit won't be simple. A tall, lanky man with an air of quiet dignity, Mr. Dwyer is eighty-eight. His legs are swollen, and merely talking makes him short of breath. He suffers from both congestive heart failure and renal ...

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Recently a friend of my husband’s in San Diego had a mammogram that showed some suspicious microcalcifications in her right breast.  She underwent a stereotactic biopsy which revealed ductal carcinoma in situ, the earliest form of breast cancer also known as stage 0 breast cancer.  This type of cancer is non-invasive and does not metastasize, however, if untreated it can progress or recur as a more serious type of breast ...

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