There is an interesting article from ProPublica called “When Evidence Says No, but Doctors say Yes" making the rounds. It's about the number of doctors who disbelieve, don’t know or don’t care about medical evidence to the detriment of patients. I do not find any fault with the article. I rail against this daily. I have my whole professional life. It is actually a big reason ...

Read more...

“Daddy, time to wake up! It is morning time!” I open my eyes to our four-year-old daughter at the foot of the bed smiling, her hair meticulously braided. I get up and wake her younger brother from his crib and carry him downstairs. The baby is still sleeping. Soon come shouts of “coffee!” as we enter the kitchen -- they know my routine well. After breakfast, we all get dressed, I ...

Read more...

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview a faculty physician at a large academic medical center. We spoke about burnout in students and faculty in general terms. He was aware of the problem yet did not seem affected himself. I asked him how he managed to avoid burnout. He talked about remembering his purpose in entering medicine -- that the profession is a calling, not just the daily ...

Read more...

I have now been out of the active medicine for two years. I still have dreams about being a doctor and practice. I don't think you can do the same thing day in and day out for 40 years and not have it be a part of who you are. I am still asked my opinion by friends and family about their health issues, and frankly, I find my fund ...

Read more...

The average amount of time it takes someone to become a physician is approximately 11 years, and for those pursuing further specialization, one can easily add a couple of years to that. The time certainly adds up by investing years in college, medical school, residency, and fellowship. By the time I will be an independently practicing cardiologist, I would have invested about 16 years into my training. That’s almost half ...

Read more...

I took my dog to the vet today. You’d think this would be a straightforward sort of thing for a medical professional. You’d be wrong. When I woke my dog up at 5:15 a.m. (my new daily start time, as it’s apparently the only way I can find time to do board questions and is also the excuse I use when I miss the majority of said questions), he seemed sleepy. He’s ...

Read more...

“Do you have sex with men, women or both?” This is the way that we were taught in medical school to ask a patient about their sexual history.  When we took our sample standardized patient exams, we were scored whether or not we asked this question.  In my understanding, this was supposed to be a non-judgmental, non-assuming way to elicit a sexual history. However, romantic partners generally come before sex (unless we ...

Read more...

A keynote address to Gold Humanism Honor Society Induction Ceremony, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. As an intern, I was assigned to 9 weeks over the year on the bone marrow transplant inpatient unit.  It was medically fascinating but emotionally draining and anxiety provoking.  I began to get nauseated going to work because I was having such a hard time with the rotation.  As I sank deeper ...

Read more...

My voice recognition software insists on typing “when needed” when I say “PRN,” and the other day I saw an orthopedic note that said, “before meals joint.” I was sure that the straight-laced orthopedic surgeon did not intend to tell the world anything about anybody’s cannabis use. Instead, it was obvious he had spoken the words “AC joint,” meaning acromioclavicular (on top of the shoulder). But AC can also mean ...

Read more...

Everyone has their abscess story. Tales of pressurized pockets of pus abound. Trust me: However far-fetched they may seem, they’re not. I had one such experience last week in which a man came to me with a painful red swollen lump on his back. It was about 2 inches in diameter, angry and fluctuant (softened) and ready to be drained, which he pleaded with me to do. So I did. Although ...

Read more...

512 Pages

Most Popular