Obesity and obesity related illness accounts for an enormous health care expenditure in the US today: approaching 150 billion dollars annually.  In an era of health care reform and cost containment, preventative medicine is essential to success.  Rather than rearranging networks, separating doctors from patients and limiting choice, our government may be more effective in reducing health care costs by focusing on slimming waistlines throughout the US. According to a recent ...

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Research and development is critical to battling disease.  Now, more than ever, technology can rapidly impact a patient and their disease process in a very positive way.  The process of developing a new drug or device is expensive and can be very time consuming.  As government funding for projects continues to decline, more funding is coming from private sponsorship according to a recent New York Times piece. Another critical source of ...

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Communication is critical to success in medicine.  Our patients depend on us to help them understand their disease and the risks that it may pose.  In previous blogs I have commented on how vital effective communication can be in determining outcome -- much of my writing has focused on the success associated with outpatient doctor-patient relationships. We now know that when doctors and patients engage, patients become invested in their ...

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In medicine today diagnostic testing and advanced imaging is readily available and widely utilized in most every clinical setting.  Many physicians have given up the stethoscope and physical exam in favor of an echocardiogram and a CT scan.  Fear of missing something pervades every emergency department and has resulted in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary testing costing billions of dollars in healthcare expenditures. Of course, the driving causes of increased testing ...

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Applications for mobile devices are commonplace.  These small but often sophisticated programs are quite varied and allow for anything from vehicle GPS navigation, taxicab or car pickups in New York City or rating wines and restaurants.  As with most new gadgets and technologies, medicine and healthcare provide many opportunities for expansion and use. When we examine the available applications found at Apple's App Store, it is evident that medical mobile ...

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Due to the ineptness of the Obamacare team and the debacle that has ensued, the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act has dominated the political and medical headlines since October.

However, other health care changes are on the horizon (and have gone virtually unnoticed by the public) that have the potential to further disrupt our ability to treat patients.  In fact, the technical and time consuming aspects of ...

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This week in the New York Times, Drs. Scott Gottlieb and Ezekiel Emanuel make the case that there will not be a physician shortage as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Both have extensive experience in policy and have held respected positions in government. Based on a projected need of nearly 90,000 more physicians by 2020, I have difficulty seeing how a shortage will not occur. The ...

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By its very nature, medicine involves close personal contact with others. Communication with patients, families, staff and colleagues is essential to success. All physicians have different ways in which they communicate -- some more effective than others. The best communicators are able to inspire, engage, and cultivate trust. Everyone is born with different skill sets and communication styles may vary widely. Recently, I came across an article in Inc.com ...

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Just as elite athletes are born with amazing skill, elite surgeons and doctors in other procedure-based specialties are also equipped with innate abilities that others do not possess.  Surgical skill is often difficult to quantify.  Certainly, outcomes data can be obtained and reputations are formed over time.  Years of training allow the truly gifted surgeons to develop their skills and perfect their craft. However, all surgeons are not created equal.  During ...

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Have you ever taken note of how much you or a colleague says “I” versus other pronouns?  The pronoun that you choose in conversation may very well provide insight into your psyche and may determine your effectiveness as a leader.  Current research has indicated that the frequency at which an individual uses the pronoun “I” speaks volumes about their self confidence, level of empathy and perceived status within an organization ...

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