As I walk into the hospital each day, I notice patients and families sitting outside on benches that are surrounded by large signs prohibiting smoking on hospital grounds. For over five years, a collaborative and concerted effort by Memphis hospitals has successfully made all the hospital campuses smoke-free. Now, in other states, hospital systems like Cleveland Clinic and Baylor Health Care have taken another bold step forward. They have stopped hiring ...

Read more...

Lying in a hospital bed, my seriously obese patient can barely see her swollen and odorous right foot over her abdominal fat. The foot is soon to be amputated, the result of an untreatable infection exacerbated by diabetes and kidney failure, which developed in part because of obesity. Her two children, ages 6 and 12, hover from the hospital bed to the couch. In between, the bedside table is strewed with ...

Read more...

The day after the temperature dipped from 60 degrees to 25 degrees, I mistakenly left for work without a winter jacket. Rushing 50 yards to the hospital doors with my arms clung to my chest in the blistering cold, my tie flew over my shoulders, my teeth chattered, and my fingers went numb. That evening I began to sniffle. The next morning I had a sore throat, and the following day ...

Read more...

The night before I was leaving for a three-week medical mission trip, I was called urgently to the ICU to see Rachel (name altered), a previously healthy woman in her late 40s, slightly overweight with dirty blonde hair. She had started a new job as a customer service agent. Rachel was the sickest patient I had seen in months, and I could not figure out what was going on. A week ...

Read more...

Some years ago, driving through an end of town where pawn shops and boarded up homes are common, I saw a small placard sign nailed on a telephone pole. "Buy Health Insurance," it touted with premiums as low as $25 a month. I was tempted. Health insurance, for me and for most Americans, is a necessary part of life, similar to home rent or mortgage, grocery bills and gasoline. Insurance is ...

Read more...

Recently, I was among a dozen people who sat privately to talk about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, with the embattled Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. Dressed in a light green blazer, sitting alongside Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and Congressman Steve Cohen, who had nudged her to visit Memphis, Secretary Sebelius listened to our feedback and shared her insights. First and foremost, addressing the issue of the ...

Read more...

Standing in the dimly-lit cave-like radiology reading room, I was looking at a CT scan which was done in the emergency room on a man in his 40s who had a testicular mass — likely a cancer — which had spread through out his body. It wasn’t that the man did not know the mass was present — earlier CT scans from the emergency room clearly showed the mass in ...

Read more...

Lying in a hospital bed, my seriously obese patient could barely see her swollen and odorous right foot over her abdominal fat. The foot was soon to be amputated, the result of an untreatable infection exacerbated by diabetes and kidney failure, which developed in part because of obesity.Her two children, ages 6 and 12, hovered from the hospital bed to the couch. In between, the bedside table was strewn with ...

Read more...

In 2007, I published a story in my local paper in which I confessed to having made a medical error years earlier. I’d mistakenly prescribed an antibiotic for a patient whose chart indicated an allergy to the drug. Thankfully, the story had a happy ending. My patient recovered and took no legal action after I explained to her what had happened. I ended my article vowing to take greater care to ...

Read more...

We have done it. We have decreased the increase in the cost of health care. Let us explain. For three decades (1980-2009), the cost of health care has been increasing each year at an average rate of 7.4 percent -- double the rate of inflation.  However, over the past three years, the increase in health care expenditure has remained at a low 3.1 percent. Is this decline ...

Read more...

3 Pages

Most Popular