Anti-immigration policies are hazardous to the health of immigrant patients. In the last ten years, there have been over 1,500 anti-immigration laws adopted by states across the country. These laws have come with discriminatory, racist, and xenophobic undertones, which has created a hostile environment for immigrants and citizens perceived as immigrants. Patients don’t need to be deported or detained to be harmed by these policies, laws, and language. Research shows an ...

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A huge thank you for your continuing readership in 2016.  I sincerely appreciate the vibrant KevinMD community, driven by your readership, contributions, and conversations. KevinMD is about to enter its 13th year as the leading platform for the voice of the health care professional.  I look forward to another great year. Here are the most popular posts of 2016: 1. An open letter to Justin Timberlake 2. The opioid epidemic: It’s time to place ...

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In a previous piece, I described the killer B's of burnout in medicine, namely, bleakness, boredom, and bureaucracy. Both times I went through burnout, the cycle started with boredom. I found medicine so full of the mundane most days, after about five years in practice, I grew restless. There's only so much time after your office is done, the kitchen is clean, and the kids are in bed to ...

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Every clinician knows that “framing” -- how we present information to patients -- has a big impact on decisions they make about their care. Even something as simple and apparently transparent as talking about survival versus mortality is important, with “a 90 percent chance of living” sounding a lot better than “a 10 percent chance of dying” even if both phrases convey the same estimate of risk. Things get even dicier ...

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I both look forward to and despise Sunday mornings.  I awake just before the sun and am on the road by 5:15 a.m.  Although I dread being upright so early on the weekend, I rejoice because it is the only trip to work, all week, at a leisurely pace.  I see the new admits at the nursing home, run by the hospital if necessary, and return just as my family ...

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We go to the doctor when we are sick. But what happens when doctors get sick? Who cares for them? All too often, physicians are threatened, harassed, even terminated for being ill. After reporting on a psychiatrist fired for having cancer and a pediatrician bullied for her brain tumor, I’ve heard from many more physicians who are now courageously stepping forward to tell the truth — ...

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Theresa Miller is one of the hardest working women I know. She doesn’t come into the office very often. She no longer needs my prescription for her heartburn medication, as it costs less for her to buy it over the counter these days. Today I saw her for a preoperative clearance. She finally decided to get an operation for her chronically sore shoulder. She had injured it many years ago>. In ...

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This is a story of two deaths. These patients' stories intersected on the same morning, in the same building, in two adjacent rooms, has left me thinking about them. I was surprised to see Mrs. Stevens' name on my schedule today. She came to the office last week, and I felt sure that she'd be too weak for another visit. But I was glad she'd made it, as I've become quite ...

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When I was in medical school, “real” doctors saved lives. Period. Specialists who focused on a patient’s quality of life, (the plastic surgeons, bariatric surgeons, holistic practitioners, infertility experts, etc.) were considered sellouts. (We won’t even consider the med school status of future psychiatrists.) We disparaged these doctors because they could be saving lives and chose not to, because they were often paid (God forbid) out-of-pocket by their patients, and because they ...

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The ultimate goal of every young physician while in medical school and residency should be to become a remarkable doctor. However, what if one of the biggest factors of being a great doctor was not addressed from the start? Financial wellness may not directly correlate with being an incredible doctor, but stress can and does, and today's young medical professionals have a lot on their plates — beginning with $200,000 in ...

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