There is a saying in the world of education, “You have to care to teach.” Why is it then in health care, a profession of and about caring, we do such a poor job of teaching our patients?  Is it because we are too busy or too rushed when we are sending our patient’s out the door of our hospitals, clinics or offices? After all, we have treated the patient ...

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I never understood the loss of empathy during medical training. Until now. It was 4:30 a.m., and I was on the side of the road, drenched in sweat and tears. I had finally slowed my breathing to normal. I was going to be late for rounds. No time to obsess over possible questions. No time to memorize lab values, or practice regurgitating them. I thought of home. My family and friend, who I hadn’t ...

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I’m a second-year medical student, and quite recently, a lecture left me with serious doubts about the state of social awareness in the medical field and schools. The dermatologist lecturing described a patient with secondary syphilis, stating he felt the case was odd since, “He [the patient] didn’t look gay or anything,” as if only homosexual men could contract that disease. I was hurt. I not only belong to a racial ...

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He was my first patient -- ever. I had seen only a few patients before at my school’s student-run clinics, but never had I conducted a full visit. He was my first patient since starting the second semester of my first year, which meant more independence on my part (theoretically), and that, for the first time, I would be holding the office visit from beginning to end. Without guidance. Of ...

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Before the 1980s, drug testing was uncommon. It was widely viewed as an invasion of privacy and an infringement on fourth amendment rights. Today, a medical student is likely to be drug tested before entering medical school, before clinical rotations, and/or before residency. If preventing drug use among medical students is the goal of these tests, they have failed miserably. Urinalysis drug tests are ineffective. But more importantly, ...

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Hitting rock bottom can change lives for the betterHitting rock bottom can change lives for the better An excerpt from Hope For Addiction: Help and Hope for Families of Those Struggling with Addiction. The law states that no one can be forced into treatment against their will unless they are at risk of harming themselves or others (this varies by state, but the laws are very similar ...

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As an income-less medical student, I would be one of the now 7.1 million people who have signed up for Obamacare for this year. Except I live in Texas, one of nearly half of all states that elected to not expand Medicaid. At the same time, I don’t have enough of an income to qualify for federal subsidies, making insurance from the Marketplace unaffordable. As such, the individual mandate -- the ...

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I stood right beside them as they slowly slid your head into a plastic bag, looped the coarse twine about your neck and tied it tightly. Like the amateurs they were, they double-knotted it to make sure nothing came loose or dripped out. Then they casually walked away, chatting about what would come next. Within minutes the bag fogged up, and a clear red liquid pooled at the bottom. That was just ...

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The disturbing confessions of a medical scribe As a medical scribe working with a large, well-known scribe company, unnamed to protect my job, it makes me proud reading all the articles published about how much having a scribe benefits a physician, especially in the emergency department. I enjoy my job immensely and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and engage in patient care. However, as a ...

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I have been actively engaged in the clinical practice of radiation oncology for the last 40 years, and over the last 10 years have been asked to participate as a radiation oncology expert witness in a variety of medical malpractice cases. Radiation therapy, together with surgery and chemotherapy, is one of the major cancer treatment methods. It is estimated that 50-60% of all cancer patients seen in the USA receive treatment with ...

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