As clinicians, we often forget or become desensitized to the image that society has of medicine and doctors. Alongside teachers and scientists, we are seen to be among the most trustworthy of professionals, yet our morale is low, with almost 50 percent describing it as “low” or “very low.” You can imagine, then, why I often describe medicine as a forest: beautiful, scenic and picturesque from afar but ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Anthem Data Breach: Potential Game Changer for Healthcare. Anthem Health's massive data breach announced Thursday sent shock waves through the healthcare information technology sector. As many as 80 million people may have had personal data compromised, placing them at risk of identity fraud, Anthem reported.
  2. No Link Between Oxytocin ...

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I have to admit, I’ve been excited to see radiology slowly infiltrate into the mainstream of sports.  Fifteen years ago, it was rare for the public to know when an athlete had an MRI. Now I hear people in the coffee shop saying: “Man did you see Derrick Rose go down last night?” “Yeah, we’ll just have to see what the MRI shows.” In this blog, I’m going to give you some things ...

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We all accept that we can't vote until we are 18 and can't order alcohol -- at least legally -- until we are 21. We know that if we speed 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, we risk a traffic ticket or accident. We get used to these numbers and pretty much know the risks if we break them. However, the practice of medicine is becoming more and more ...

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Patient care is at a crossroads in a rapidly changing health care landscape. Going forward, will the majority of patients receive most of their care from a highly trained, well-supported primary care physician and team they know and trust? Or, in contrast, will patients receive care through a series of loosely connected episodes, from a wide array of narrowly focused providers? Who will adjudicate care for the whole person across ...

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My friend, Trent, is an auto mechanic. When he was growing up, he loved to work on old cars. He rebuilt his first one when he was fourteen -- and drove it for 11 years. He loved finding problems and figuring out how to fix them. He never cared about getting rich; his goal was to make a decent living doing something he loves, and his dream had always been to ...

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eric garner On Thursday January 15, over one hundred Stanford Medical School graduate and medical students gathered to commemorate MLK day and remember the lives of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. On a white board that proclaimed "Black Lives Matter," attendees wrote their thoughts. On the board, I wrote "Keep the conversation going," and in that effort I'd like to examine one ...

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loyal patients Loyal patients are the lifeblood of a medical clinic. And devoted patients are worth their weight in gold. It’s a lot easier to care for an established patient that lots of one-timers who never return. Beyond ease of workflow, the economic benefits are fabulous. A loyal patient panel will stay with you (and pay you) through sickness and in health ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Medicare Lung Ca Screening Gets Down to Business. The final tweaks to Medicare plans to reimburse annual low-dose CT scans for lung cancer screening satisfied many as a good place to start, with an eye toward further refinements.
  2. New Criteria Would Double Fibromyalgia Cases. Applying the proposed 2010 modified ...

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Walking around the ER in Tiny Community Hospital, I had a few realizations.  In medicine, we hold onto some things very tightly.  We love tradition; we love the known.  We don’t always know why, but we choose "the devil we know," almost every time, no matter how pointy his horns. For instance:  "No cell phones."  First of all, has anyone ever seen a cell phone interrupt anything we do?  No?  Neither have ...

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shutterstock_146645084 Physicians are docile.  We are programmed to put the greater good above our own.  We train mercilessly, work tirelessly, and bend faithfully at the alter of those we have vowed to heal.  This is our birthright.  This is the covenant we signed in our own blood when we took our healing oath.  Decry us as they will, no one becomes a ...

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The big medical news recently was that sitting hours a day is taking years from our lives, whether we exercise or not. We have heard similar things before, so the now reiterated message is: Yes, we are sitting on a major health risk. Sitting is the major health risk! The new study, a meta-analysis in the Annals of Internal Medicine, purportedly adds precision to the estimate of risk. There ...

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“Hefur þú lært um Staphylococcus aureus?” I almost don’t recognize the bacteria name because my grandmother pronounces it differently in Icelandic. “Já–” I’m about to translate my microbiology flashcard for her when she interrupts, her hands busy kneading the cookie dough and her eyes on my little sister near the oven. That’s the bacteria that almost killed her eleven years ago, she tells me. I can hear her words building up. This ...

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In medicine, the seemingly simple questions become the complex ones. “How’s it going?” It is a question that is frequently asked whenever we encounter friends and acquaintances. In a given day, we ask this question many times out of courtesy and we expect to hear short, affirmative answers, such as “Things are good,” or “It’s OK” as we continue to walk to where we need to go since we are pressed for ...

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Rural hospitals are fighting for their lives. Over the past five years, more than 40 rural facilities have closed their doors due to lack of funding. And because the majority of their funds come fromMedicare and Medicaid -- two government programs facing potential cutbacks in 2015 -- many rural hospitals may be fighting a losing battle.   Understandably, small-town residents fear hospital closures or downsizing may leave them vulnerable when serious ...

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shutterstock_223878937 gomerblog The Rübler-Koss model or 7 stages of grief is a series of emotional stages an admitting provider experiences when faced with an impending admission. The 7 stages are best remembered by the acronym DABDDAH, which stands for denial, anger, bargaining (or blocking), deflection (or delaying), depression, acceptance, and ...

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When I entered the profession of being a family doctor, like many aspiring physicians, I had a more altruistic vision of what it would be like. However, the reality of that picture over the last 10-years has resulted in frustration, disappointment, and, above all, the realization that health care has changed for the worse. It has become unaffordable for the masses and institutionalized for the benefit of corporate America, not ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 72-year-old man is evaluated for dyspnea at rest. He has end-stage COPD and is on a home hospice program. He has weight loss, reduced functional capacity, and muscle atrophy. His medications are ipratropium, salmeterol, fluticasone, albuterol as needed, and prednisone. He is uncomfortable, with chronic air hunger that has gradually increased ...

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Why should you get the HPV vaccine? Here's why, ZDoggMD-style.

The really incredible advances in the treatment of hepatitis C bring to life several relevant questions as we move forward into 2015. First, who should be treating hepatitis C patients (primary care providers, gastroenterologists, infectious disease specialists)? Second, can we really afford to use these new treatments? I recently discussed this topic with my GI and hepatology colleagues in AGA Perspectives, the bi-monthly opinion magazine of the
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