The other day, rather than being at the office, I was sitting in the waiting room of our favorite gastroenterologist’s endoscopy suite. I had dutifully accompanied my wife, who was getting her colonoscopy. My cell phone buzzed. It was my nurse calling from the office. I had seen a patient late the previous day who was complaining of right leg pain. I had ordered a D-dimer, hoping the test would be ...

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I was browsing the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, as I often do, and an article by one Andy Slavitt, MBA, and Gail Wilensky, PhD, titled “Reforming Medicaid,” caught my eye. From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Slavitt served as the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In that role, he oversaw the government’s awful Meaningful Use EHR program, and helped ...

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American doctors are unhappy about a lot of things. Americans, in general, are unhappy about a lot of things. In many ways, both groups share similar concerns. But the road back to happiness may follow a similar path for both, as well. American doctors once felt part of something special. American health care, by reputation at least, was the best in the world, and we were its proud emissaries. We functioned ...

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When I began my career as a physician in the late 1990s, I was relatively apolitical. Since then, as our health care system has crumbled, and as its demise (and our repeated failure to fix things) has increasingly affected my patients and my practice, I have become very political. In 2008, I began giving lectures in the community in support of a single-payer health reform model. My political leanings tend ...

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We are a nation divided. Our two major political parties agree on essentially nothing. Republicans cannot agree even amongst themselves how to proceed on health care reform. It is demoralizing that even though U.S. health care has sunken to last among developed nations, our elected leaders are unable to envision or agree upon any effective solutions. We could all use a win. When it comes to health care reform, administrative ...

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As our new president has said, health care is complicated. Republicans call for Obamacare’s repeal, but are hard-pressed to come up with a workable alternative. Democrats recommend improving Obamacare, but are largely silent as to how they would do that. Americans are caught in the middle of this apparent health care quagmire. But for America to flourish as a nation, a solution must be found. To start, we must frame the ...

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This April, my turn to take the medical board exam rolled back around, necessary every ten years for maintenance of certification. I studied diligently for the better part of three months preceding the test (and I think I did well). It was actually pleasurable to go back over details that I had forgotten and to catch up on newer developments in the field. I realized that I don’t do nearly ...

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The Senate version of the Republican health care bill lays bare the priorities of America’s current political leadership. It is not pretty. The new bill demonstrates the Republicans’ entirely unbalanced view of government and fiscal policy, where monetary value trumps all other values, and where only the wealthy are worthy of a helping hand. These are the new values of the Republican leadership as evidenced by the new bill. We once ...

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Computers, more specifically, electronic health records (EHRs), will someday revolutionize the practice of medicine. In fact, successful computerization of medical care is the most critical step necessary to transform the American health care system from its current sorry state to the 21st-century system of our dreams. It is ironic, then, that today EHRs represent one of the worst problems plaguing medical professionals. At this point, many physicians would say that ...

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An excerpt from Distracted: How Regulations Are Destroying the Practice of Medicine and Preventing True Health-Care Reform. If you want to learn what is wrong with the American health care system, just follow ...

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