How physician education is similar to Master Sommelier training Medical school becomes a blur after a few years in practice. You forget about all the hours spent in classrooms and then every night after a quick dinner. You somehow block out the “pimping” and public humiliation of being questioned about topics not quite under your belt. The worst feeling? The fear of wondering if you will master medicine enough ...

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What doctors can learn from working at Starbucks She sat in her crisp, white coat, probably not much older than I am now, leaning back with all of the assurance of someone who recently completed a cardiology fellowship, newly hired by the academic medical center to which I was applying for residency. One of the first of many interviews for me, the conversation was anything but smooth. She clearly ...

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A few days ago, I came across an article entitled “Calling Dr. Google” by Jeff Jarvis. The writer describes his experience “Googling” his symptoms and finding that the internet brought him the correct diagnosis. He uses his personal story of appendicitis to point out that physician fear of information on the internet is overblown. One would hope that the argument that you cannot find any trustworthy information on the web ...

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Confession: I have been watching the reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Quite frankly, I don’t take shows like that seriously and often wonder if it is bordering on obscene to have such lavish lifestyles displayed on the televisions of homes across America (and around the world) during these hard economic times. But I was particularly disappointed in some of the footage that was shown on a recent episode. ...

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We live in an era of medicine in America in which patients want to be involved in their healthcare. This is very satisfying to physicians like me, who prefer to educate and engage patients rather than just telling them what to do. Granted, there are some instances when a patient does need to be told what to do (ex: "You have appendicitis. You need surgery.") However, when faced with a ...

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Have you ever gone to the doctor’s office and forgotten what you were going to say or felt like you didn’t have the answers to any of the doc’s questions? Have you ever gone in to an appointment thinking, "I have pain and I am sure an MRI will show the cause," but your doctor seems to insist on asking you a million questions about your symptoms and doesn’t
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I will be leaving my current practice in a couple months and starting work at a different clinic in a different city. This type of transition really brings to light how much I had really gotten to know patients on a personal level. This became surprisingly clear not too long ago. One day, I saw a patient on my schedule that had historically required more of my emotional energy. We often ...

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I recently went to the American College of Physicians Chapter Meeting in Seattle and came away with a lot of great information, including a significant change in immunization of adults against pertussis (whooping cough). When patients need a booster of tetanus immunization, we often give it in combination with a vaccine to protect against pertussis. As you may know, tetanus is a life-threatening infection by a bacteria that can cause severe ...

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With the darker days upon us, it may be tempting to try to fight fatigue with energy drinks. Ever wonder what’s really in them and what they might be doing to you? I just came across an article in the November issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings that broke it down nicely. Here’s the summary. Caffeine.  No brainer. Interestingly, it is on the list of substances banned by the International Olympic Committee (which is ...

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