shutterstock_161227907 Many people used to believe that Facebook was an extremely defensible business and that it would be almost impossible for another social network to compete. It has grown to an enormous scale with massive troves of data and more than 1.5 billion monthly users. The thinking around their defensibility was that because all of your friends and photos and updates are already stored on Facebook, it ...

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shutterstock_133750277 In the movies, pain is glorious. The runner pushing to the edge. The magic of childbirth. The soldier battles impossible odds to conquer. Pain? “Suck, it up, maggot, pain is nature’s way of telling you that you’re alive.” But, to the cancer patient, in the real world? Pain is nature’s way of saying “you may soon be dead.” For a patient suffering ...

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caitlyn_jenner_e This piece will likely draw ire from many, but I do not intend it to be inflammatory.  I write it to explain why Bruce Jenner’s recent, and very public, transformation into Caitlyn shouldn’t necessarily make us feel all warm, fuzzy, and optimistic.  This is not meant to insult or degrade any individuals who are transgender or merely confused about their own ...

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shutterstock_119970649 Ask any premed student what they fear most and the answer will always be the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test. After 25 years, the MCAT is being revised, becoming longer (by three hours) and covering a broader range of topics than simply chemistry, physics, and biology. One-quarter of the new test covers "psychology, sociology and the biological foundations of behavior." ...

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will-work-4-likes For physicians interested in growing their social media presence, this is what not to do. James Chang is a radiologist and author of Oh Doctor, The Places You Will Go… He blogs at Poor MD and can be reached on Facebook.

shutterstock_222192721 There’s a simple way to define value. Ask why we exist. Imaging exists because clinicians are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Imaging exists because emergency physicians feel that being 98 percent correct about the absence of pulmonary embolism is not good enough. Radiologists exist because imaging is not an assay on a Western blot with a 100 percent accuracy. Radiologists exist because information is ...

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A continuing series on physician online reputation.  Created in partnership with The Doctors Company as part of their social media resources for physicians There are two ways that physicians can establish their online reputation. The first way is to use existing physician rating sites. What physician rating sites will do is create a profile page of every single doctor in the United States. This ...

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academicMedicalCenterTwitter Ever since I began residency, I have been encouraging, prodding, and at times, persistently pestering department leadership of my belief that our ophthalmology department should have a dedicated Twitter feed. After months of persistence combined with good timing and supportive leadership, the Twitter feed was launched on June 1, 2015 for the University of Iowa department of ophthalmology and ...

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A patient undergoing a colonoscopy pressed "record" on his smartphone before being sedated, hoping to capture instructions from his physicians after the procedure.  What he heard instead was shocking: "In addition to their vicious commentary, the doctors discussed avoiding the man after the colonoscopy, instructing an assistant to lie to him, and then placed a false diagnosis on his chart." The incident cost his anesthesiologist $500,000 in the ensuing malpractice and defamation ...

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shutterstock_252181402 In 2008, at the age of 22, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and began my experience with the American health care system and how to care for myself in it. When I was in the process of diagnosing my illness, I went to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland to meet with an endocrinologist and have my ultrasound results interpreted. ...

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In many communities around the country, hospitals are one of -- if not the -- largest employers. Consequently, there are undoubtedly economic issues that would befall an area if its hospital were to close. But this post isn’t about that. It’s about the health care consequences, and by extension, the health consequences that might arise in a community when a hospital closes its doors. The logic is fairly straightforward: If a ...

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shutterstock_136966010 A lot of people complain about adolescents. They don’t listen. They act out. They talk like they have it all figured out. I disagree. As a pediatrician, this is my favorite group of patients. They have developed cognitively to be aware of the world’s complexities, and yet are still open to guidance as you help them navigate their way through. Adolescence ...

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shutterstock_167475845 Imagine you were seeking major surgery, and the hospital's consent form contained this surprise statement, which you were asked to initial: "I understand that this surgeon and hospital have not performed this procedure in the last 12 months. As such, I accept the greater risk of complications and even death." It's hard to believe that you would sign the form and move ...

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Statistics from the Pew Research Center indicate that the majority of people use the Internet to find information on health. As online resources improve and proliferate, this fraction will continue to climb higher. There is no doubt that patients see the Internet as one tool to learn about a condition, diagnose themselves, or read about the range of treatment alternatives. Patients understand that knowledge is power. So how should patients ...

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shutterstock_132428099 There is a scene from the movie Dr. Zhivago that, no matter how often I see it, sends chills down my spine. Yuri returns home from World War I after the communist revolution in Russia and runs into his half brother. Yuri finds that not only has his house has been taken over , but being a doctor, he has been ...

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A new doctor, fresh out of a top residency and fellowship, wants all the right things at the wrong time. She wants to be busy, with lots of patients, operating every day. In fact, it is better not be busy, and instead to think long and hard about each patient, listening, pausing, recommending non-operative treatments and being patient. Doctors learn the most from the patients they take the time to truly ...

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shutterstock_246882508 It all started with a routine fecal transplant. The case report was published earlier this year: a thirty-two-year-old female suffering from Clostridium difficile colitis resistant to multiple rounds of antibiotics was given a fecal transplant and quickly recovered from the debilitating bouts of diarrhea and abdominal pain that had plagued her for months. That wasn’t what made headlines, though. Using fecal transplants ...

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shutterstock_32952331 As first-year family medicine residents, our patient care experiences really run the gamut, since our training truly encompasses “cradle to grave” care.  With the exception of most pediatric care, the issue of narcotic prescribing and addiction is seen in all specialties, as well as frequently in continuity clinic where we care for our own primary care patients.  As dangerous as opiate ...

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, was my first physician role model when I was a kid. She had full scope of practice in the Wild West, and what kid doesn’t like a good Western? But it wasn’t until later in high school that I started considering a career in medicine. A great biology teacher sparked my love for science. That, coupled with my passion for helping others, made medicine seem like ...

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shutterstock_267055247 Our job -- though many of us actually see it more as a calling than a job -- is to care for patients. Documentation is a process whose primary purpose is to support the patient care process. Coding, billing, population management, meaningful use and many other processes may be important to an institution but are of little or no use (and provide ...

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