Having a healthy life is more than getting an annual physical examination. It is about having healthy habits. Some of these healthy habits make common sense. Others seen unnatural, but yet are vitally important. A healthy life is more than feeling well. It is about living life to the fullest and ensuring you are doing your part to improve both your quality of life and longevity. Which ones are you missing? How do ...

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What the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders can teach us about hiring doctors I’ll admit it. I like reality TV. In fact, one of my favorite reality TV shows is Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. It shows what it takes to become a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader (DCC). Why am I talking about cheerleading in a health care blog? Because the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders put more effort into hiring cheerleaders than most health care ...

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Giving prescription refills is not quite as fun as it used to be. Years ago, we doctors would whip out our prescription pads -- often sooner than we should have -- and we’d scribble some coded language that pharmacists were trained to decipher. I’m surprised there were not more errors owing to doctors’ horrendous penmanship. On occasion, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would require a pharmaceutical company to change ...

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Why do doctors still use pagers? I was on call last night. Don't get me wrong, this is not as bad as it sounds. With over 20 partners sharing evening call, and residents getting the calls first, we do not have it bad at all. And certainly nothing like my obstetrician friends, who seem to go in every time they are on call for labor and delivery and then ...

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Do you want a culturally competent practice? Here are 15 tips. Over the last few years I started a family practice serving refugees, and have seen 10,000 refugee patient visits. With regards to culturally competent medicine, medical schools teach about traditional remedies such as coining, and maybe role play with interpreters, but stop short of practice design ideas. The AAFP provides a checklist of qualities, which I feel could ...

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It used to be that the greatest cost at a doctor’s visit was paying for the visit itself. Nowadays, the office visit is just a drop in the bucket compared to what medications cost. Medication costs were already starting to rise, but have risen to unprecedented levels since Medicare Part D became law about a decade ago and with the latest government attempt to help with the un-Affordable Care Act. In the last few ...

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Many of our patients are besieged with unsolicited Internet advertisements offering them unbelievable solutions and cures to most of mankind’s medical maladies.  Patients come to and ask for advice about these promises to magically restore their health. Since I receive so many requests from patients to evaluate these offerings, I have put together five questions that patients should ask themselves before proceeding to buy from websites offering outlandish claims, including restoring ...

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“I’ve been with my doctor for years and years,” an elderly man, voice hoarse but lilting with fondness for his caregiver, told a nurse in the primary care clinic where I was waiting to see a doctor. “He’s fantastic.” I was coming to the clinic for a follow-up appointment about an injury for which I’d been seen a few months prior, but neither the initial appointment nor this follow-up were with ...

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She grasps her chest dramatically and falls to the floor. Her eyes flutter as she tries to hold them closed. Her one arm across her chest the other flailed in theatrical fashion to her side. She’s dead. Her heart is broken. The other jumps from the bed, and after landing, reports her leg is broken. She hops about the room, unable to use the leg and there are no crutches ...

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Team-based care is one of today’s buzzwords without real substance, because unless the payment systems change, only the physician members of the team can bill for their work. Few people seem to be concerned with the simple but essential question of how physicians spend their time and how medical offices are paid. As a primary care physician who doesn't do any major procedures, and who in 2014 is essentially paid fee ...

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