Recently, I wrote a piece on developing the state of connection within a medical family. In it, I highlighted the fact that everyone has a role in growing this connection and that everyone’s time, energy and effort is important. I also touched on the importance of parents presenting a unified front as the parental team. This piece focuses more specifically on developing that unified team approach. It can be ...

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shutterstock_250145857 I need a new stethoscope. I have to wrap my fingers around the fissures in the tubing to make this one work. For me, these days, listening to the patient's chest is more a ritual than a means of diagnosis. After twenty years as a primary-care internist, I now work full-time in hospice and palliative care. I spend more time listening to ...

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shutterstock_192511037 I had the good fortune of practicing family medicine from the 70s to the early 10s. It was the Golden Age. After doing a family practice residency in a community hospital and serving a short stint as an assistant residency director, I started out in my practice that lasted almost 40 years. Here is the story of how I got the ball ...

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shutterstock_119953213 Recently I  read an article in the New York Times by Elisabeth Rosenthal. She’s the same author of the enlightening article, “My doctor charged me $117,000 and all I got was this lousy hospital gown.” That may not have been the exact title of the article. Following that article she wrote a follow-up about the long and difficult ordeal it ...

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shutterstock_125105294 The feminization of health care is fundamentally changing care delivery in the United States and it is doing so in ways that will accelerate the pursuit of improved quality and affordability. Historically, health care providers and health care leaders have been selected for and nurtured traits that are traditionally seen as “masculine” -- traits such as heroism, independence, and competition. Yet it ...

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shutterstock_139593809 At 3 a.m. last Saturday, I was feverishly devouring medical journal articles on subarachnoid hemorrhages (which I now know are a type of stroke caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain), trying to determine just how much I needed to be panicking about the health of a loved one. With every text message update from the rural hospital he ...

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"Only one rule in medical ethics need concern you -- that action on your part which best conserves the interests of your patient." - Dr. Martin H. Fischer, German-American Physician and Author "A physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount." - Principles of Medical Ethics, American Medical Association "I pledge to pursue the practice of surgery with honesty and to place the welfare and the rights of ...

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shutterstock_99364631 As a child and family therapist and as a parent, I often see the efforts that families make to try to maintain a sense of family connection in an era of technology, increased demands and very busy schedules. Most families express a desire for more quality time together and an increased sense of connection amongst family members. The medical families that ...

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shutterstock_143614549 It's been a very slow week in my office.  Today we almost pitched a no-hitter, having only one patient come in toward the end of the day.  Overall, we've been quiet in nearly every way: few phone calls, few patients stopping by, few appointments, few secure messages. What's wrong? That was a trick question.  This is exactly what should be happening when things are going ...

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When I was in training, the rule was: See one, do one, teach one. That was the rule for everything. It could be starting an arterial line, suturing a wound, dictating an operative report. No doubt, that rule is still in play. But now, the playing field has changed. Could you be sending out the wrong message? Demonstrating a poor way to proceed? Before you say “No way!” -- Think about this: Have you ever ...

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