shutterstock_155822504 Readers know that I am a conservative practitioner.   I rail against overdiagnosis and overtreatment.  Less medicine results in more healing and protection.  In an example, I have explained previously why I advise patients not to undergo total body scans, despite the lure that they offer a cancerophobic public. I’ve never undergone a CXR in my life.   I’ve never entered medicine’s tunnel of ...

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My oldest son is almost a second grader. He attends a public elementary school in town, and very soon, he will start preparing for an exam known as the STAAR test. The STAAR test is an “assessment of academic readiness.” In my state, it gets administered to publicly-funded school children. Students must pass the exam to continue progressing in school, and ultimately, students must master the exit level test to graduate high school. There’s good ...

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shutterstock_138885635 I am presenting my startup costs here, to give some ideas for those providers who are considering starting their own family practice, or for those who say it can’t be done anymore. To become a business, I spent $50 for the state LLC filing, and $12 for business cards. I already had my medical license and DEA from residency, so the only certificate ...

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physician pain scale This cartoon is based on data from the 2015 Medscape Physician Compensation Report. Dermatology is on one end, internal medicine on the other.   The other specialties in between.  Doesn't seem to be a trend between the cognitive and procedural specialities, which is a bit surprising.  You'd think the latter would skew towards the "happiness" side. Do you ...

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The room hung silent when he was done speaking. It was Monday afternoon and I had just barely woken up from sleeping off my overnight shift in the ICU. A few days prior the poet laureate of Rhode Island, Rick Benjamin, asked me to join a poetry seminar he hosts weekly at a local assisted living community. Despite the ache as I lay my head down that morning, I set ...

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Often I hear comments from people who have been treated for cancer and other illnesses talking about the things they wish they knew, or things they wish their doctors would have shared with them about their treatments or conditions. I don’t have to remind anyone there is a tremendous amount of anxiety and fear when you are diagnosed with cancer or any other perceived or potentially life-threatening illness. Our health care system has ...

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Life is all about beginnings and endings. One of the biggest draws of obstetrics as a medical specialty is the fascination with the birth process as the beginning of life. The other extreme ... well, let’s say in this particular place and time in history, it’s still something that catches people unaware. Too often filled with dread and loathing, we approach the death of patients as a foreshadowing of our ...

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Loitering in the hallway of my son's school awaiting his parent-teacher conference, I completely forgot that the woman introducing herself and shaking my hand was an alcoholic.  I forgot that she had visited me in the office a decade prior for a consultation.  I forgot all of it. What I remembered is that we had gone to high school together.  We had grown up in the same city, in the same ...

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shutterstock_145263814 I tossed and turned during many sleepless nights as a cancer patient. Some nights from nausea, some from pain. Some from sadness, some even from being cold without hair. There were nights where I feared my next surgery or next treatment. Nights fretting about the scan or blood work -- had it spread? Would I see my graduation in 3 months? ...

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A continuing series on physician online reputation.  Created in partnership with The Doctors Company as part of their social media resources for physicians Let's talk about three ways that physicians can use social media today. The first way is to filter information. More patients than ever are going online to research their diagnosis and treatment options but sometimes the information that they're reading online ...

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