Through three years of medical school, I’ve seen disgruntled physicians repeatedly slam the recent movement toward patient satisfaction. In our family medicine clinic, a copy of Dr. William Sonnenberg’s essay “Patient Satisfaction is Overrated” hangs on the door to remind attendings, residents, and students of the unfair pressure to keep patients happy despite their demand for antibiotics, imaging studies, or narcotics. The only way to keep the patients satisfied, the argument ...

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The culture of medicine has changed and a new generation of medical students has noticed this insidious path to disgruntlement. Reimbursement rates dominate conversations among health care professionals. Physicians are slowly burning out while younger faces are tempted away from humanitarianism by lucrative lifestyle specialties. Bureaucrats, technology, and increasing health-care costs have transformed the doctor-patient relationship, and students pick up on the increasing frustration in the profession. The few oases of ...

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Annoying mall vendors have been pushing what may be one of public health’s greatest accomplishments—and few have taken notice. Behind pillow pet stations and the candle stand, mall shoppers can find electronic cigarettes, or “vapes.” Often targeted at smokers wanting to quit, e-cigarettes offer many of the joys of smoking without one of its major components: smoke. Smokeless cigarettes have become a hot product, with an estimated $1.7 billion in sales ...

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