"I'm going to the doctor next week for my yearly physical." So normal. Of course you are. Everyone should do that. But the concept of a yearly examination of one's whole body to see if everything checks out fine is a relatively new invention and whether or not it is necessary is a very controversial question. I just read an article by Abraham Verghese, an internist and champion of physical diagnosis, professor at ...

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Let me preface this blog by stating that I write this to stimulate discussion and debate, not to sway opinions. Today, doctors are required to spend more and more time doing administrative work -- including checking off electronic boxes in the electronic medical record (EMR) -- the result is less quality time with patients. Now, those that are in Washington, DC think that requiring physicians to ask about guns in the home ...

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My medical student found it difficult to get any information from a patient. When she presented the patient’s medical history to me, she was quite flustered and did not know what to say. I went with here to talk to the patient and met the same wall. It is not always an easy task finding the patient within. Often, when what a patient is saying doesn’t make sense, or it is ...

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"Why do you want to go into family medicine?" my internal medicine preceptor asked. It was an innocent enough question. I'd known from day one of medical school what I wanted to do, so I answered with confidence, and perhaps a bit of a chip on my shoulder. "I love being with people and getting to know them," I said. "I've always been this way, so it makes sense that's what I ...

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Dear Hippocrates, I want a divorce. Let’s face it, you and I were young, idealistic, and naive when we met. Everyone said we were perfect for each other: valedictorian and humanitarian. We thought we could change the world, one sacrifice at a time. Sleep deprivation, grueling academic hurdles, delayed gratification. We proudly wore those badges as a testament to our commitment together when we started our board certified family medicine profession in ...

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We were the consummate lovebirds. We studied together, exercised together, and went grocery shopping together. When she started medical school, I took a summer job in the school’s maintenance department, just so we could eat lunch together. We couldn’t fathom being separated an entire day. It was a magical time. We worked hard, played hard, and talked late into the night -- yet rose early the next morning, energized and ready to go. ...

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As clinicians continue to debate the merits and limitations of retail clinics, it is increasingly clear that they are here to stay. These nontraditional sites have proliferated around the country, appealing directly to patients' desires for convenience in ways that many traditional primary care practices do not. A report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that retail clinics have increased by 900 percent over the last decade, an expansion ...

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To those of you who are still in the midst of  pursuing a seemingly elusive goal of being in medical school I highly encourage you to take a few moments and jot down why you want it so badly.  Make a quick list of all the reasons why you want to be a doctor and how you will feel once you achieve that monumental goal.  For those of us in ...

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My thoughts settled on the Frank Sinatra song, "My Way," when asked about necessary resources for rural health care to survive. Seven years ago, my father and I changed office buildings.  We closed the office that Friday to allow three full days to get settled.  However, we ended up seeing sick patients in the parking lot (seriously), while the movers were loading up the truck. “All we need is a stethoscope, ...

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Can you trust online physician ratings? Many people believe you can. But here’s what a recent article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) about the reliability of online user ratings regarding buying a product. The authors concluded that online ratings were generally not to be trusted for three important reasons:

  1. The reviews are usually based on a small sample of users. The authors said, “We can be more confident ...

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