We cannot let the anecdote rule over us.   We don’t make sound policy if we are swayed by isolated emotional vignettes.  Of course, a vignette describes a living, breathing human being, but we must consider the greater good, the overall context and the risk of letting our hearts triumph over our heads when making general policy.  Consider these examples. If an expensive drug treatment program keeps five addicts clean for six ...

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Electronic health records (EHR) have been used for several years. It is the form that physicians use to login sensitive information about their patient. Security and confidentiality of such delicate, valued protected health information (PHI) has historically been a concern, and rightfully so. Over the course of a few years, hacking on broad scales have been common occurrence and PHI is considered a high priority target by such malicious actions. An answer ...

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American doctors are unhappy about a lot of things. Americans, in general, are unhappy about a lot of things. In many ways, both groups share similar concerns. But the road back to happiness may follow a similar path for both, as well. American doctors once felt part of something special. American health care, by reputation at least, was the best in the world, and we were its proud emissaries. We functioned ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 54-year-old man is evaluated for a 4-month history of intermittent, nonprogressive solid-food dysphagia. He has a long-standing history of heartburn that has been well controlled with once-daily proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy for the past 5 years. Results of a screening colonoscopy 4 years ago were normal. ...

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Do you ever have that “aha!" moment? That moment when a revelation hits you with such a level of intensity that your physical being is jolted. Attention is obtained as if a Louisville slugger or defibrillator pad made contact at an opportune moment. That moment of revelation when a crimson string interwoven through the fabric of your life makes a connection, transcending childhood, college, young adulthood, professional and personal relationships. ...

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Eighteen months ago, I wrote about my plan for maximizing menopause preparedness. As with so many missions, this one has experienced both successes and failures. Since January 2016, I have grooved my exercise routine in the most awesome way. I am all over the TRX, doing Spiderman push-ups, incline presses, pistols and more. I ...

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To me, five years ago: Right now you are 28, seated at the top of everything: chief resident of the entire pediatric department. You are in charge of 19 other interns and residents. You are resilient, kind, funny and determined. You seem to have the solution for everything, yet you don’t actually have the answer to anything. At least that’s how you’ll feel on most days in your new leadership role. ...

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The two biggest sources of frustration for the majority of physicians are the EMR systems and bureaucracy within the work environment that physicians are forced to deal with daily. EMRs are a ship that has sailed, unfortunately, and our only option currently is to try and improve this situation. However, the bureaucracy and administrative burdens that physicians encounter are issues that we should challenge, and I feel single payer is a ...

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If you had told me I would be writing someday on women’s issues, I would have grabbed a pulse oximeter and placed it on your finger to check your oxygen levels. As a physician scientist, I have spent the majority of my career reading, studying and writing on clinical medicine. Then, something changed. For years, I have had the pleasure of working with and for some pretty phenomenal men in medicine. ...

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Physicians have so many tools available to us that can turn them into powerful health care influencers. A KevinMD keynote video excerpt.  I'm currently considering opportunities for 2018: Please visit my physician keynote speaking page to find out more.

A sense of purpose inspires one physician to seek ways to help others. “Loving what I do makes it very easy to get up out of bed and come to work, even when faced with potentially really serious situations.” #BornToHeal Courtesy of the American Medical Association (AMA).

“I think my friend has attempted suicide” an 11-year-old child haltingly admitted after I introduced myself as a crisis counselor with a national hotline and asked how I could help.*  Over the next half hour I learned that this child and her friend had been facing ongoing cyber- and face-to-face bullying at school that was such a common occurrence the caller sounded nonchalant. The caller’s friend, however, had already attempted suicide at least ...

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As many of you know, much of my focus has been on how we can improve health care information technology, and build on the systems that we currently have to make them more user-friendly and less cumbersome. At the crux of the problem is the issue of the disproportionate amount of time they take to navigate and how they turn the noble and personable art of being a doctor, into ...

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The other day I was sitting at home looking out the window at an achingly crisp, clear blue sky.  A slight, cool breeze was wafting through that open window, and faint birdsong accented a view of tree tops in blooms of pink, red, and white.  The blue-tinged mountains were hovering in the distance, proud and majestic. Only, no.  I was actually at work.  Underground.  In front of a computer screen, whose ...

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Medicine is a lot like grade school mathematics. The days are long gone when instantly knowing or quickly arriving at the right answer was enough. Now it’s all about showing your calculations. Process is everything. It’s almost like having the right answer doesn’t matter anymore. If you ask a patient with a given symptom, like tremor, lameness or a skin eruption, only a few questions and then conclude that they have ...

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Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming solar eclipse and how to safely view the eclipse without losing vision from solar retinopathy. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon casts its shadow, known as the umbra, on Earth. Partial or total eclipses occur somewhere on Earth about every 18 months as ...

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asco-logo I’d known her for almost 3 years. She had advanced ovarian cancer -- clear cell -- and was diagnosed with disease already in her chest, stage IV. She had a terrific response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which had resolved her extra-abdominal disease sites after three cycles. She had an aggressive interval surgery which achieved complete resection ...

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STAT_LogoIt is easy to mock the ridiculous and potentially harmful health advice and product lines promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow and her team at Goop. Sleeping near healing crystals, lugging around jade eggs in the vagina, swilling moon juice, undergoing raw goat milk cleanses, dabbing on sex dust, and snapping photos of your aura are ...

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Dr. Leon Pedell on why doctors need to become pharmacologists. Courtesy of Before the Floors.

A patient of mine recently came to see me in a follow-up appointment after an emergency department visit. He had been working out at the gym, on a hot day, after he had skipped breakfast, and after his usual routine he felt extremely lightheaded. Everyone told him he looked "white as a sheet", and a physician who was at the gym told him he must go to the emergency department. In ...

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