"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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shutterstock_216645019 asco-logo We all have our fair share of so-called “difficult” patients. And, I would suggest that how we define “difficult” is as diverse as we are as health care providers and as individuals. Some patients come to us with that reputation -- perhaps, a vague descriptor in a referral letter or ...

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shutterstock_122391511 Leave early. Two words. Simple concept. But, one worth thinking about. James Altucher explains it well, but this is the same guy who also thought he could save his business by becoming more like a Jedi Knight. Admittedly, the Jedi thing seemed to work for him, and his businesses, as well as the uncountable number of people he’s helped since then. ...

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New_Image “What’s up with the ABIM?” “I just got a note about an alternative board. Should I join it?” “Aren’t you glad to be off the Board?” These days, I get these questions from friends and colleagues regularly. When I first joined the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in 2004, the organization was a well-respected pillar ...

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shutterstock_125243891 Patient-doctor communication often has many facets, wrinkles, and twists.  Medical school prepares a doctor minimally for the ups and downs of these patient interactions.  There is no mannequin who can train each medical student how to deal with every personality, response, or even outburst by each patient.  On the job training is sine qua non. During and after medical school, it took ...

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My patient had suffered a terrible, crushing injury to his chest leaving many ribs and his sternum fractured, his lungs and heart badly bruised and his body on the edge between life and death. He was on a ventilator, the tube through his mouth into his windpipe pushed air into lungs that couldn’t draw for themselves. He was on constant medications for pain and to sedate him while we used ...

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Healthcare Not Fair is a web series taking a satirical look at our dysfunctional health system.  Taken from the perspective of the beleaguered physician, real-life internist Waqas Khan shows you why the American dream for physicians is threatened now, more than ever. (Warning: Explicit language.)

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