38 states currently have an apology act. This means that if doctors feel they owe a patient an apology, they may provide one without any ramifications, if future legal actions are taken by the patient/patient’s family. In 2006, I spent 218 days in the hospital after the healthy birth of my daughter. My chronic autoimmune disease, scleroderma, masked certain signs of preeclampsia, which went undiagnosed. This led to a massive infection ...

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A road trip from Georgia to New York was going splendid, dare I say, wonderful -- catching up with old friends and family -- when it took an unforeseen and slightly less desirable turn: I got admitted with a small bowel obstruction.  Thanks to truly excellent care from a community hospital, I am home and now subjected to endless computer questions from my father that has me briefly contemplating readmission ...

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As standardized exam scores increasingly define success for students, teachers and schools, parents worry about the dangers of “teaching to the test” -- and of their children being judged by tests with low or unknown validity. We want our children to perform well on tests, of course, yet only if they measure something that students, patients, and teachers believe really matter. We also want the education system to inspire students ...

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Most physicians are smart and very talented. They’re skilled clinicians and technically superb. But despite such abilities, they fail to get others to follow them, once they take on the role of leader. As a consequence, they’re unable to get physicians to change or improve performance. Jay Conger, a professor of business at Claremont McKenna College who has devoted his career to the study of leadership, has helped me understand why ...

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I’ve been following Marissa Mayer’s tenure for nearly four years at Yahoo.  Not just because I was initially tapped to lead athenahealth’s integration of another mature advertising-driven mobile company -- Epocrates -- but because Yahoo, with its complexity and technology legacies, and highly competitive, fast-paced market environment, reminds me of many of the country’s largest health care delivery systems. Both are facing significant headwinds to stay relevant in their respective industries ...

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It's 2:00 a.m., and the fluorescent bulbs flicker gently overhead along the quiet hallways of the intensive-care unit. Tonight I'm the ICU resident on call, and the weight of that title sits heavily on my shoulders. My team is in charge of keeping our critically ill patients safe from harm overnight. Although the supervising physician is only a phone call away, I'm the acting team lead for any codes called during ...

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asco-logoI recently finished 2 weeks of inpatient hospital service, and the sense of relief was so palpable it felt like taking a breath after swimming the length of a pool underwater. At first, there is anxiety and a sense of excitement at the challenge, but soon you feel strong and assured that you’ve got this under control. The house ...

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An excerpt from Road Warrior Physician: Locum Tenens a How-to Guide. There are few things that are more frustrating than to be delayed while en route to your assignment. It happens, so be prepared for it. Keep all travel emergency contact numbers handy. This is one of my prime Evernote ...

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The title of Noam Scheiber’s January 9, 2016 New York Times piece on hospitalists, “Doctors Unionize to Resist the Medical Machine,” skirts the bigger issue for doctors, which has less to do with contracts, salaries and labor relations, and much more to do with the question, “Is health care just another business, and if so, can physicians be managed that way?” I’m a silverback hospitalist, and when I started ...

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My newly admitted patient was at the end of a very long struggle with a devastating genetic disorder. He had been treated by some of the finest experts in America for his rare disease, and had come to my rehab unit for aggressive physical and occupational therapy. He was exhausted, but mustered the energy to tell me (probably the 100th physician to treat him) his complicated story. Listening to this man, and ...

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