Walgreens moves into primary care, and its our own damn fault Will your next primary care appointment be at a drugstore? Yes, if Walgreens can help it. It was recently announced that the drug chain will have its nurse practitioners and physician assistants begin to diagnose and manage chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. "We're not trying to take over primary care, but we think we can help support physicians and transform the ...

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The KevinMD toolkit: Speaking Part of the KevinMD toolkit series. A lot of people ask me, “What tools do you use for blogging, speaking, when you’re on the road, seeing patients etc. ...” So I decided to start a series that describe what tools I use, and why. First in this series are tools I use for my social media keynote presentations. ...

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The Boston Globe recently had a front page story on how a neurosurgeon sued a patient’s husband for a blog critical of the physician. According to the story, the patient underwent a complicated back operation as a result of her bone cancer. She tragically had a stroke post-operatively, and that’s where the situation between the family and doctor deteriorated. On the advice of his psychiatrist, the patient’s husband wrote a ...

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Solving the issue of tired doctors: My radical idea The problem of medical resident work-hours has vexed medical educators for decades.  The traditional model of sleep-deprived residents led to highly publicized medical mistakes, most famously the Libby Zion case in 1984. Nobody wants tired doctors caring for them. In response, various restrictions have been placed on how many hours medical residents are allowed to work.  Since 2011, for instance, medical residents were ...

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Doctor ratings need to be physician driven In the new book, Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation, physician ratings are highlighted.  This is a topic that gives many physicians some pause, and for some, causes tremendous anxiety. Whether doctors know it or not, they already have online profiles. Third-party rating sites, like Vitals or Healthgrades, already have web pages of most physicians, and they ...

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Health reformers fail to hold patients accountable for health costs To cut costs in our health system, reformers target the massive of waste.  One way to reduce waste is to change the way doctors are paid.  The fee for service payment system, they say,  encourages doctors to prescribe more expensive care, which lines their pockets and drive up the cost of care. To combat this trend, reformers often have providers in their crosshairs, ...

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Why energy drinks should be considered stimulant drugs A version of this column was published on February 3, 2013 in USA Today. I’m seeing more patients than ever consume so-called “energy drinks,” a rapidly emerging class of beverage which promise to increase energy, improve alertness, and boost attention span. The energy drink business is booming, with more than $12 billion sold last year, eclipsing established beverage categories like iced tea ...

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A virtual office visit for your cold is not a good idea A version of this column was published on January 13, 2013 in USA Today. Like many other primary care doctors across the country, I’m seeing my fair share of patients with runny noses during this winter season. I recently saw a patient for a sinus infection whom asked, “Why did I have to come in to see you? Couldn’t you have given me an ...

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What you can learn from the flu epidemic: Get vaccinated earlier The following column was published on January 11, 2013 in CNN. During the past few months, I have gently suggested to my patients that they receive the flu vaccine. Many said yes, but some declined. Today, as I look up Google's national flu trend map, I see nearly the entire country painted in an alarming red, signifying "intense" flu activity. According to ...

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Online reputation for doctors: A comprehensive social media guide I'm proud to announce my new book, co-written with Susan Gay: Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices The Foreword is written by Robert Wachter, MD, with endorsements from Eric Topol, MD, Abraham Verghese, MD, Jerome ...

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