Physicians recommend different treatments for patients than they would choose for themselves.  The preceding statement is true according to a similarly titled article recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, and has, I will argue, important implications for how we view the doctor-patient relationship. In the study, one group of physicians was asked to choose between two hypothetical treatment alternatives for either avian flu or colon cancer as if they ...

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Since it strikes at the very core of what this blog is all about, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to comment on Dr. Karen Sibert's recent op-ed piece in the New York Times. She argues that, especially given the current shortage of primary care doctors in this country, being part of the medical profession confers one with the moral obligation to serve and, as such, conflicting interests, such ...

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I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to comment on Dr. Karen Sibert's recent op-ed piece in the New York Times.  She argues that, especially given the current shortage of primary care doctors in this country, being part of the medical profession confers one with the moral obligation to serve and, as such, conflicting interests, such as raising a family, should take lower priority.  I worked with a ...

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Do doctors have any business asking patients about whether or not they own a handgun? Like many other paternalistic inquiries with which doctors routinely harass their patients (car seats, bicycle helmets, smoke alarms, etc), my answer to this question is "no.’" There is a fairly well delineated sphere of knowledge which is medical in nature and in which I have some expertise and other topics which are purely personal, moral, or lifestyle considerations and in ...

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