"Doc, if I have cancer, I don’t want to know. Stop bugging me about this colonoscopy.” Mr. H said to me, his primary care physician, during our appointment. He folded his arms and nodded his head, indicating that his decision was final. “Mr. H, as uncomfortable as colonoscopies seem, they can actually find lumps that might grow into cancer, and cut them out before they ever become cancer. That’s why I’m bugging you so much about this.” I ...

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In the Department of Public Health (DPH) clinics in San Francisco, CA, demand for doctor's appointments far outweighs supply. This has been especially dramatic in clinics that have switched to “open access” scheduling, an innovation that allows patients to schedule same-day or next-day appointments. Open access is meant to eliminate long waits for appointments, but the reality is that often dozens of patients call for a limited number of appointments. ...

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Prescription labels need to come in languages other than English As the saying goes, "With great power comes great responsibility." That applies to physicians when prescribing medications, but it also should apply to pharmacies when they're dispensing medications. In December, after seven years of exams, lectures and rounds, I received my medical license. Finally, I had the power to prescribe medications without the co-signature of my supervisor. "Be careful," she advised, "remember the ...

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“Cheers!” “To good health,” my girlfriend and I toasted in the living room of our apartment joined by my parents on speakerphone. It had been 12 years since my last radiation treatment—my last treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Tonight was the anniversary of my remission, and in the case of Hodgkin’s—a cancer with an exceedingly low relapse rate—tonight was my anniversary of being cured. I kissed my girlfriend goodbye and tread the dark ...

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