The future of our health care system, lies with you, dear medical students and residents. While medical school and residency training does a pretty good job giving you didactic and clinical training, they might do a better job teaching you how to avoid the potential mess you will encounter once you complete your training. Perhaps the most shocking thing I encountered after completing residency training was how non-clinical administrators placed ...

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A recent article, "Burned Out Nurses Linked to More Infections," addresses an important issue that is often overlooked and ignored. Let’s be brutally honest, without an appropriate nursing workforce, our entire healthcare system would collapse.  As our healthcare system continues to shift to a business and profit model, both nurse and physician burnout will only increase. Decisions to “cut corners” by not providing adequate nursing staff are made on a daily ...

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Celebrity is an interesting phenomenon. On a hot summer night in 1990, my chief resident and I were on call at Harlem Hospital. We were informed that a “guest” was coming to interview us. Hot, sweaty and looking haggard rather than glamorous, we wanted to choke our director when Spike Lee walked through the door with film crew in tow. Lee was there to film the infamous movie, Mo' Better Blues. ...

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The fact that Amber Miller did not fall or faint or develop complications while running in the Chicago Marathon is nothing short of a miracle. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What on earth was her physician thinking when she was given the green light to half-run half-walk a 26.2 mile marathon? Miller was not your usual runner; she was approximately 39 weeks pregnant. Although pregnant ...

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It’s a sad commentary when human beings have to be reminded how to act like human beings, especially when they’re in the helping profession. Loni Hildebrandt was a 29-year old certified nursing assistant who was pregnant with her first baby. Make that two babies because she was pregnant with twins. Hildebrandt considered her pregnancy miraculous because she had infertility and was a diabetic since the age of one. Together, she and ...

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Three young mothers under the age of 40 are dead because they wanted to be beautiful. Kellee Lee-Howard wanted a slimmer body. Ditto Maria Shortall and Rohie Kah-Orukatan. Shortall worked as a housekeeper; Lee-Howard was the mother of six kids and Kah-Orukotan died at the same place where she received manicures. What do these women have in common besides being minorities? They had liposuction procedures performed by men who offered ...

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I read an article in my local newspaper the other day that gave me reason to pause. The State of Florida intends to hand over 3 million Medicaid patients to managed care companies who will reduce payments to physicians and hospitals. In exchange for accepting these low payments for professional services, doctors are guaranteed through pending legislation that no matter what egregious errors they make, the patient will ...

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What is wrong with the state of Texas? Have they no heart? Why is it that at the time of fiscal crisis, it’s always the “little” people whose services are eliminated first? The “little” people in this case would be babies who are either born sick or premature. The New York Times article, In Search of Cuts, Health Officials Question NICU Overuse, was shocking. The Texas state officials have ...

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To everything there is a season and mine comes to an end today. For 720 weeks I attempted to give quality care to my patients. The task was not always easy especially when most of my patients held the unenviable position of having a high risk pregnancy and receiving Medicaid or being uninsured. Babies have a right to be born healthy ...

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