Physician wellness begins in realizing our identity in medicine and society. Shamans, priest, and healers have existed in ancient times and in small and large indigenous tribes since man began to gather together in social packs. The unique role of tribal and community leaders who guarded health and wellness was understood as important for the whole of society. All doctors have degrees of empathy. We as an order select for this ...

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Patients seem to be increasingly comfortable managing their health care through digital media. Last summer, our private practice of eight retinal specialists decided to find out exactly how comfortable. From July to August, 2015, we conducted a survey of 200 of our patients during their office visit and asked them what health-care related tasks they were already doing online. Using this data, we’re starting to look at how our medical practice might ...

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It is selfish of a leader of a nation to drop dead during office. Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, died suddenly at 74, apparently from a ruptured aneurysm. His aneurysm, allegedly, had something to do with Edwina Mountbatten, the wife of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India. Shortly after Nehru’s death, Pakistan attacked India. Nehru’s replacement, Lal Bahadur Shastri, died mysteriously in Tashkent two years after Nehru’s death, ...

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We have all heard the grumblings regarding the 80-hour resident workweek.  This is due to the opinion that jobs after residency typically require hours that surpass 80 hours a week. But, why?  Why does medicine have to be this way? I have worked 100 plus hour weeks for over 20 years, and I am exhausted.  I am burned out and I can not catch up because of the sleep deprivation. This ...

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The day I met Mr. Lightfoot, he was a medical curiosity on teaching rounds, “a great example of a Sister Mary Joseph’s Nodule,” a sign of metastatic stomach cancer. Earl was lying in a hospital bed in the cancer unit of the hospital, his stomach completely distended, nauseous and vomiting, unable to eat anything. He had undergone a cycle of chemotherapy only days before. I organized Mr. Lightfoot into a problem ...

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I was seeing a patient who brought me a bag of supplements she bought from another specialist. I looked skeptical and then she pulled out the list of lab results the other doctor ordered on her. I reviewed the results with her and asked why all these tests were ordered in the first place, some of which I had never ordered in my life. She said she told the specialist ...

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In 2009 the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was signed into law by President Obama and this law quickly changed the way medicine in the United Sates is practiced. The law was a first step in requiring all physicians to utilize electronic records. The president promised that creating and electronic record mandate for physicians would result in a national, universal electronic medical record system and ...

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Medical couples are experts at delaying gratification. Medical school’s rigid, unpredictable, and demanding schedule forces couples to postpone vacations, outings, dinner plans, and relationship progress. Glen Gabbard and Roy Menninger, in their book Medical Marriages, call this common trend among single- and dual-physician couples “the psychology of postponement.” They explain that medical school and demanding attending physicians become “a convenient scapegoat” for couples looking to avoid living their lives or ...

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In 1996, Jerry Maguire was fired for advocating a reduction in his sports management firm’s client base thereby risking the firm’s profits.  While writing his infamous memo (or as he would tell you, his mission statement), he recalled his mentor’s advice: “The key to this business is personal relationships.” Tom Cruise’s voiceover continues: “Suddenly, it was all pretty clear. The answer was fewer clients. Less money. More attention. Caring for them, ...

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figure-1-for-kevin-pho Do doctors make too much money? I don’t think so. I read with great interest the blog by Dr. Michael Kirsch defending physicians’ salaries: "If you think doctors make too much money, think about this." Unfortunately, the public’s perception of physicians’ incomes has been that physicians make too much money. Whenever I hear this remark from patients or even non-physicians, I show ...

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sepsis-blog-9-2016 CHEST_sig_horiz_PMS-TMSeptember is Sepsis Awareness Month, a month which aims to raise awareness of sepsis and strategies for prevention and treatment. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to infection becomes dysregulated and white blood cells and chemicals cause injury to organs throughout the body. Earlier this ...

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Dear Dr. Wible, I am writing to you with great sadness, but with relentless determination to ignite change. I am a doctor with a disability. Two years ago I began residency training in pediatrics. The privilege was overwhelming as I stood a doctor in the very halls where I had been wheeled in as a patient with a brain tumor. I couldn’t believe that I had actually made it, that I ...

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Treat Yourself: An ode to everyone suffering during this opioid epidemic. From the one and only ZDoggMD.

As physicians, we often don’t have time to down a cup of coffee, much less spend extra time on patient education, but we might want to rethink this. I’ve been involved in a study that illustrates a strong connection between educating patients about medical technologies and their decision to go forward with necessary treatments. This study assessed sinus surgery candidates’ opinions on endoscopic sinus surgery before and after the ...

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When a person gets depressed over their divorce, they are said to have a mental illness. When a person becomes psychotic from a manic episode due to their bipolar disorder, they are also said to have a mental illness. But are both of these illnesses mental illnesses? The definition of mental is that which relates to cerebral, brain, cognitive or intellectual processes. Many disorders occur from problems in the anatomy or ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. This September, I reached a milestone, the tenth anniversary of my electronic health record (EHR) “go live.” Note that I did not write “I celebrated my tenth anniversary,” because while the event was the most disruptive change in over 25 years of practice, the word ...

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The television doctors: Striding purposefully through the ER, giving orders, surrounded by a gaggle of eager learners and a super-team of nurses and techs. Or spending hours operating, then sipping martinis while waiting for the next disaster. Maybe saving lives in between daydreams and liaisons with hot colleagues and nurses. All in a day’s work! Maybe not. A new study looked at what doctors really do all day. In the real ...

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One of the biggest shifts in American health care over the last several years (and we’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg so far) is the shift of the system away from the traditional fee-for-service model, and towards a system based more on quality, outcomes, and yes, a degree of rationing. By all measures, we know that the pure fee-for-service model -- at least mostly funded by Medicare -- ...

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In March, 2016, the CDC released guidelines for prescribing opioids.  The guidelines were a response to a serious and growing problem: millions of pain patients became addicted to prescribed opioids, and hundreds of thousands died as a result. Since the guidelines were released, reports of pain patients being abruptly cut off of their medication or having their medication abruptly reduced have become rampant. These patients report they were using opioids long ...

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The recent release of Pokémon Go, the mobile phone augmented reality game, has taken the world by storm. The game has become a fitness icon, requiring players to walk or run around in the real world to catch Pokémon creatures in their virtual world. While evidence on the long-term health benefits is not clear, it is apparent that the game does more than just allow players to live ...

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