Drop doctorspeak and get real with patients If you’re a doctor, I bet you speak doctorly. You act doctorly. And dress doctorly. And spend your days in clinic with other doctorly doctors. But life is what happens while you’re busy staring at computerized flow sheets, algorithms, and billing codes. Real life happens outside of man-made medical institutions. Patients live in the real world. And I always wanted be a real ...

Read more...

I love old people, but I will not accept Medicare I love caring for patients -- young and old. And though I may not accept your insurance, I will always accept you. I’m still happy to care for Medicare patients even though I opted out of Medicare in 2006. Why don’t I accept Medicare? Let me fill you in. I do not accept Medicare because: Medicare treats physicians as criminals -- guilty ...

Read more...

I may not accept your insurance, but I will always accept you Just for the record: I am happy to see you -- irrespective of your insurance. I accept most insurance plans. And if I don’t accept your insurance, I have a very good reason. I will not sign a contract with a health insurer that: Abuses and bullies me and/or my patients. Denies all my first claims. Reimburses me so little that I may go out of ...

Read more...

Why you should love your doctor Doctors spend their 20s and 30s studying while most of their friends are at parties and enjoying their youth. Doctors may amass up to $500,000 in debt for the honor of one day caring for you and your family. Doctors delay childbearing and starting their own families so they can care for your family. Doctors miss their own kids’ ballet recitals and baseball games ...

Read more...

The one question you must ask your doctor Your doctor has more control over your life than anyone -- other than you. Your doctor may be the first face you see as you’re born and the last one you see as you die. Doctors look deep inside you, in places nobody has been before. Doctors prescribe drugs that can kill you or save your life. But how do you know if ...

Read more...

House call on a hundred foot cliff Johnny’s disabled. He can’t get to my office anymore. So I drive 100 miles up the Oregon coast to check in on him. I get lost, but finally discover his little white house on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. House call on a hundred foot cliff House call on a hundred foot cliff “Last ...

Read more...

Is medical school just for rich kids? This letter was received and edited for clarity by Pamela Wible, MD. Dear Dr. Wible, This will be my last email to you because I am giving up on my dream of being a doctor. I’ve contacted so many colleges and medical schools hoping to find one that would help me become a doctor for my tribe. Today, I finally got a response from the ...

Read more...

Physician suicide etiquette: What to do when your doctor dies suddenly An obstetrician is found dead in his bathtub. Gunshot wound to the head. An anesthesiologist dies of an overdose in a hospital closet. A family doctor is hit by a train. He’s decapitated. An internist at a medical conference jumps from his hotel balcony to his death. All true stories. What are patients to do? When they call for appointments, patients are ...

Read more...

Recently, a friend posted a story on my Facebook page: “How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession,” Oh no. “Another article on miserable doctors,” I thought. I’m an expert on miserable doctors. I used to be one. Why should I read this? What could I possibly learn? I decided to ignore it. The next day another friend posted it. Then another. Okay, now it was assigned reading. I steeled myself ...

Read more...

Why I love house calls I’ve always been a people watcher. Now I get paid to spy on folks. I have to ask detailed, personal questions. Sometimes I even snoop around patients’ homes. In the 1930s nearly half of all patient visits were house calls. Now most patients are rushed through ten-minute office visits. But if I need to know what’s going on with a patient, I ...

Read more...

4 Pages