As a physician who is involved in educating medical students, I am often asked for career advice. Medical students are by nature smart and ask very good questions. "Will I be able to pay of my student loans if I choose primary care?" "Will I have a balanced lifestyle if I decide to go into primary care?" I try to be both encouraging and realistic.  However, far too often I have ...

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Media outlets are reporting the results of a small, but very important study regarding a new treatment for Alzheimer's Disease.  Most Americans are familiar with Alzheimer's because it is so common (President Reagan had it), so devastating, and without a cure.  This new study gives hope to people who have or are at risk for the disease. Recently at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012 in Vancouver, researchers presented the ...

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Now more than ever, the growing consensus among many is that doctors should avoid seeing pharmaceutical sales representatives, otherwise known as drug reps. A position statement from the AAMC, the head organization of all US medical schools and residency programs, recommends that all academic health centers avoid having drug reps on their campuses, hospital and clinics. Many medical institutions including the VA and Kaiser have also enacted similar policies banning ...

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I am not a huge baseball fan to begin with, and when I am, I route for the Nationals.  Thus, I pay little attention to the New York Yankees, and was not aware that Yankee player Mark Teixeira had been suffering with a cough for the past month until it the story from the New York Times came through one of my Twitter feeds. According to the story: "Mark Teixeira had ...

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In our world of 24/7 media, where we seem to hear about the next big cure, important dietary change or very dangerous drug virtually every day, it is hard to believe that the news people, tweeters and bloggers could miss anything that is going on in health care today.  However, it appears most everyone missed a big one. This might be one of the most important stories in health care today, that no one ...

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A recent article in the Wall Street Journal is getting a lot of attention: More Doctors 'Fire' Vaccine Refusers. The article discussing the increasing frequency of pediatricians who are “firing” patients/families from their practices because they refuse to take recommended vaccines for fear of autism or other concerns (rampant on the internet, but all proven untrue). It is important to note that not only should physicians be able to fire patients, ...

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Health care is in crisis. Reimbursements from insurance companies continue to dwindle, while the expenses of running an office continue to rise.  Looming cuts in Medicare are only weeks away, and many physicians may stop taking Medicare.  If these cuts go into affect, it is possible that primary care physicians could lose up to 50% of their salary.  Just recently CNN reported that some doctors are going bankrupt. How ...

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Fortunately, the 27% reduction in Medicare payments to physicians that is set to take place in a matter of weeks unless congress acts is getting some press.  Fox News published a piece recently, as did the Washington Post. Writer Merrill Goozner breaks things down nicely in his article, "Is There a Doctor Fix in the House ... and Senate?" However, one thing that seems to be getting confused in all ...

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Before I took over one of the classes that now teach at the medical school, I asked students why the value of that class was so low.  One of the reasons they gave was that it was so hard to do well in the class, and there were so many other things to study, students only put in enough effort to pass.  In other words, incentives are only good if ...

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In general, educators are often trying to find unique ways to engage their students. This is certainly true of medical educators, given that little has changed in medical education in the past 100 years, and for that reason there have been many recent efforts to change this. Similarly, there is often a generational gap between teacher and learner, and thus teachers look for ways to connect with the younger generation they ...

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