The job of being a doctor can sometimes be like that of your favorite sidewalk juggler. It used to be that a good family doctor would have to show up in the clinic for a couple of hours, make a few house calls, and be available if anyone needed him while he played a round of golf in the afternoon. (Really, this is quite an exaggeration but it sets the ...

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shutterstock_137913404 1. Be nice to others, even if there are a lot of butt sniffers out there. 2. Waiting to be seen is really hard. Try to keep a schedule and routine. 3. Get out for that walk. It will fill you with joy, well-being and makes the rest of the day calmer. Take other dogs on that walk to improve their well-being too. 4. “Good ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I love pre-visit planning. OK, “love” may be too strong a word -- I like pre-visit planning. Pre-visit planning isn’t new. Many of you have done it for years, even before it had a name, for example when pre-ordering labs before a visit. I did not begin ...

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shutterstock_104930039 There was once a little boy who loved to draw.  He would wake up every morning, pull out his box of colored pencils, and let his hands explore the promise of a pristine sheet of blank paper.  For him, the canvas was anything but empty,  images and ideas exploded out of his mind and magically appeared on the pages in front of ...

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I was an overachieving, well-rounded and sagacious undergraduate student. I majored in psychology, minored in biology and was an active member of the Psi Chi honor society. I was drawn to the study of psychology, and fascinated by the complexities of mental illness. I became certified as a research assistant and spent many hours with severely depressed individuals, who had become crippled by their illness. I was intensely intrigued by ...

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photoshoot-770x457 Have you ever had a professional photo shoot? I have had many, but not because I particularly enjoy being photographed. Actually, it is quite the contrary. Photo shoots have always been a traumatic experience for me. You see, for some reason, likely as a creative form of cruel parenting punishment, my family of five siblings had a photo taken every year while growing up. ...

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Being a doctor is one of the most emotionally and physically demanding professions out there. The health care landscape may have changed a lot over the last decade, but the basic unavoidable grueling nature of medical practice has been the same for time immemorial. I remember reading a careers advice book when I was a teenager telling me just that being a doctor was “the most challenging of jobs,” and ...

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When it comes to physician wellness, I’m type A noncompliant. That realization struck me midway through my last vacation, which was notable because I didn’t travel anywhere, and the most extraordinary activity involved sleeping through the night. Shift work, especially overnight shifts, has a way of inflicting sneaky havoc upon the body and minds of the delusionally hearty. After twenty years as an emergency physician, I should know better ...

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One theme has gripped the collective conscience of the nation for the last year. One theme has connected Ferguson, Missouri, to Staten Island, New York, to Charleston, South Carolina. One theme has destroyed neighborhoods, incited riots, and terrorized churches. That theme is racism. Unfortunately, it’s also found a way into our health care system. Black and white In 2003, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a groundbreaking report stating African-American individuals ...

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Have you ever been a patient? Yeah, me too. Many newly insured Americans will visit doctors’ offices this year. The average time you -- or anyone -- has with a primary care provider is 15 minutes. What’s a sick person to do? Happier patients make happier doctors. Here’s a helpful list that I’ve developed to help patient visits go smoother: 1. Pick three questions or concerns that you have for your doctor and write ...

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