Why Priscilla Chan may become the countrys most influential doctorWho has the potential to be the most influential physician of our generation? It's Priscilla Chan, who not only recently graduated from medical school, but also married Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. When I brought this up on Twitter, someone responded that it was "disappointing at the same time. I'm certain her own merits and studies would have made waves alone." But her ...

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Confused about prostate cancer screening? Make a shared decisionIn a widely anticipated move, the USPSTF officially recommended against prostate cancer screening in healthy men. Case closed, right? Hardly. The prostate cancer screening debate has been raging for the past decade. Increasing amounts of evidence show that screening does not save lives, and increase the risk of complications like impotence and urinary incontinence that stem from invasive diagnostic tests and ...

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When it comes to doctors and social media, hospitals fail miserablyWhen it comes to medicine and social media, much of the attention is negative. Doctors losing their hospital privileges because of Facebook. Or other health care workers taking pictures of patients and posting them on the web. It's no wonder that many hospitals are taking a heavy handed approach when it comes to their doctors and social media. Consider this story,
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Warren Buffett’s prostate cancer choices arent right for every manA version of this column was published on April 24, 2012 in USA Today. There has been a recent uptick of elderly men in my primary care clinic asking about prostate cancer, perhaps because they heard of Warren Buffett’s recent prostate cancer diagnosis and his proposed treatment. Patients are wondering if they should also be screened. Other patients who already have ...

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Many medical decisions require shared decision makingThe following column was published on April 1, 2012 in USA Today. I recently saw a middle-age man in my primary care clinic who asked whether he should continue his cholesterol medication. He was reacting to new Food and Drug Administration warnings on statins, a class of drugs taken by more than 20 million Americans to lower their cholesterol. Though generally ...

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Patients deserve a medical malpractice early offerThe following column was published on March 25, 2012 in the Nashua Telegraph. Medical malpractice historically has been a contentious issue. Doctors have argued that the system is broken, promotes multi-million dollar awards disproportionate to the injuries suffered, and encourages the ordering of unnecessary tests to avoid being sued, a practice known as defensive medicine. Trial attorneys, on the other ...

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The following column was published on April 11, 2012 in CNN. When you visit the doctor, chances are you are given a prescription for a drug or an order for an X-ray or lab test. Before you leave, it's important to ask whether your doctor's recommendations are truly necessary. Even though much of what physicians do is meant to help patients, sometimes it's not always the case. Drugs may have harmful side ...

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Patient centered medical malpractice reform in New HampshireMy home state of New Hampshire is considering a medical malpractice bill which provides an "early offer" to patients injured by medical mistakes.   My column supporting the measure was published in this morning's Nashua Telegraph: NH patients deserve ‘early offer’ in malpractice cases. Under the proposal, injured patients have the option of an early settlement with ...

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Conservatives should love the Affordable Care ActAnd progressives should want health reform to fail. No, you read that right. Counter-intuitive?  Let me explain.  As the fate of the Affordable Care Act hangs in the balance in the Supreme Court, both progressive and conservative pundits have been working overtime to discern the future of health reform. The traditional thinking is that progressives direly want health reform to move forward, ...

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The following column was published on March 26, 2012 in CNN. With the Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments about the constitutionality of the President Obama's health care law, more patients than ever have been asking for my thoughts about health reform. I practice primary care in southern New Hampshire near the Massachusetts border, which gives me a firsthand look at how health reform has impacted my neighboring state. Despite flaws ...

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