To say that there is no fear in the examining room is an inaccuracy. I'm not only talking patients here. Physicians may harbor just as much worry and discontent. There are the old standbys of course: The swat team of malpractice attorneys lounging in the waiting room ready to pounce or the old demon of misdiagnosis and the consequences that may follow. Few of us talk about that sinking feeling which ...

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When I read a case report in a journal or whenever a patient comes in to see me about a new symptom, all my senses are tuned in, and I know there is a diagnosis to be made. But on regular clinic days with “routine” follow ups, I find myself not being as tuned in as I would like to be. I know my patients well; we are all growing older ...

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I have been a member of a social network for physicians since 2008 or 2009. It’s a network that bills itself as a “virtual doctors’ lounge” and “voice of physicians.”  I joined because I thought it would be a great place to continue to interact with my peers, after I’d left the collegiality of medical school and residency behind for private practice. I’m not sure what subset of physicians participates, but ...

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The benefits of coaching have long been shown in research, yet is widely underused in the physician community.  For decades, executive coaching has been used to in the corporate world for executives, and their teams to increase efficiency and performance. Business and marketing coaching frequently used by small business professionals helps grow and expand their business. Wellness and life coaching is frequently used by individuals to improve balance and well-being. ...

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I love teaching my children about history, and in the process, I often see a clearer perspective of events I learned about at a young age when I had less life experience under my belt. As I have been revisiting the evolution of our country, the formation and restructuring of our society, and the emergence of periods of oppression, rebellion, and social change, I have been struck by the concept that ...

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I asked a group of docs I’m coaching how much they’re worth per hour. Interesting question given docs have 11 or more years of specialized training beyond high school. Surgeons spend most of their 20s and 30s in school. By the time these folks graduate, they’ve got 200K+ med school debt — before the kids, spouse or house. Many docs just don’t have time to develop a social life, fall ...

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For those who are not avid followers of President Trump or his decisions, often his decisions have far-reaching consequences that affect lives and people.  As a health care provider, I understand quick decision making, but also the importance of risk versus benefit and consequences of your decisions.  I would like to tell you my story and how his actions have affected my life, the lives of my patients and their ...

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I was recently part of a panel aimed at helping physician trainees make the transition to becoming full-fledged independent practitioners, and a member of the panel said something that struck an important chord with the audience when he mentioned that new doctors are probably the most developmentally delayed professionals in society. When you think about the fact that for some of us, the first “real” job we have starts as ...

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My generation of physicians was much like yours. My were also “the best.” We’d risen to the top of every academic pyramid: middle school, high school, college. We could be anything we wanted to be. We chose medicine, partly for noble reasons. Our bodies were wondrous and we got to help people. But also for some not so noble reasons: the money was good, everyone would look up to us, and we’d ...

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In hospitals today, administrators are eager to impose guidelines and metrics onto any facet of patient care they can measure. The sentiment that business people and clinical people are at odds flares with each new initiative. Clinicians feel ignored. Patients complain about how little attention they receive. Administrators try to distill complex pieces of information into smooth line items. We all spend as much time with computers as we do ...

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