Kenan Malik writes in the New York Times in support of Charlie Gard’s parents, presenting a secular, utilitarian argument for the continuation of the child’s treatment. In the article, Malik draws attention to a contradiction between the State’s position regarding Gard and its position regarding the wishes of a patient with a terminal neurological condition who wishes for assisted suicide. The practice of withdrawal of care is often invoked in the ...

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The need for what we are calling medical “quality” is acute, yet the strategies employed to obtain it are destroying medicine. Patient outcomes are inconsistent, care varies depending on many factors outside of disease state, and the cost of our medical system is not sustainable. But to fix this, most health systems employ non-clinicians to audit charts while checking boxes such as “A1C<8%?” and “DVT prophylaxis ordered within 24 hours?” ...

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The constant hum of the subway car over the tracks plays in the background as I sit there with my mind running over the tasks of the day. I never quite thought of myself as a particularly intense person, yet here I was three years later working with an underserved population between a state and county hospital in my first week as one of the new administrative chiefs. The very ...

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I came into work last night for the last time. Though I was on a service full of sick patients, I was not nervous. After three years of this, three years of people trying to die in creative ways, and my friends and I trying to stop them — I have no nervousness left. There is just nothing left for the hospital to throw at me. "Dan,” I asked my intern, ...

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There have been recent discussions in the lay media about a growing trend of litigation cases focused not on the “right to live,” but rather on the “right to die.” These cases have involved patients who received aggressive treatment, despite having documentation of their wishes not to receive such aggressive treatment. Although unsettling, it is not surprising that this issue has arisen, given the national conversations about the exorbitant cost ...

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There are many different theories out there about the direction that health care should go, and what we need to be doing in the future. Passions run high, and peoples’ opinions vary wildly. It’s frequently difficult to find agreement on anything. There is, however, one universal truth I’ve found about the everyday practice of medicine, and what constitutes great medical care for any individual in any health care system. Having worked ...

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The data tells us when physicians run hospitals or clinics, those institutions have better health outcomes and higher employee satisfaction scores. So now, what do we do with that information? Watch and discuss. Jamie Katuna is a medical student.  She can be reached on Facebook.

Dear intern, It will be the best of times, and it will be the worst of times. But what a special time this will be. It will be a time of learning the details and nuances of clinical medicine — the diagnostic features of sarcoidosis and the second, third and fourth line treatments for community-acquired pneumonia. You will learn how to learn, and you will forget what you learned, only to learn ...

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In a recently published JAMA meta-analysis, medical students were found to have a higher prevalence of suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms than the general population.   From the mental exhaustion that begins in medical school to the physical fatigue that peaks with residency, it is not shocking that medical trainees are suffering.  Current discussions have ignored one of the biggest hindrances for the ...

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Thinking outside the box is a somewhat cliché way to illustrate thinking beyond the norm and imagining what “could be” with an innovative mindset. This imagery of being stuck in a box rings true for many physicians, given how many of us are quite literally surrounded by the four white walls of an exam room most of our lives. Physicians work hard to treat each patient individually, but this feeling of ...

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