In the U.S., approximately 30 percent of physicians work in practices that they own. This number has been dwindling down over recent years. Perhaps more surprising, the number of women doctors who are self-employed are a mere 18 percent. Many hospitals and other corporate entities are actively looking to purchase the remaining practices. It is not just to make money from that practice; it's to make money from services that are ...

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To a runner, numbers are everything. It’s data. It’s workouts. It’s goals. It’s pace. It’s winning or losing. To a physician, numbers are everything as well. Before you get into medical school, numbers are your schedule, your GPA and your MCAT. In medical school, numbers are your grades, your board scores and your rank in the class. It goes on and on. ...

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We’ve been talking to doctors all around the world, and the mood is consistent. Physicians are frustrated and suffering from burn out because the old model of practicing medicine is no longer meeting their needs. From decreased compensation to desire to spend more time with our families to the combination of loss of autonomy and an increasingly impersonal and inefficient system, a career in medicine is not meeting its end ...

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There has been much publicity recently surrounding the issue of doctor mental health after a spat of doctor suicides, and sadly not a new thing in the history of medical training. I think the crux of this issue is the idea that doctors are somehow above the concept of humanity. We are held to standards above human abilities, yet we bleed the same blood, cry the same tears and feel ...

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Burnout amongst physicians is real and at an all-time high. This was even highlighted on an episode of "Grey's Anatomy," where a resident physician surgeon imploded after a series of stressors that happened over time. She experienced the loss of a patient during surgery and of a loved one that were not addressed. Coupled with the long work hours, the type-A personality and increased demands, this led to her state ...

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“Your zip code is a better predictor of health than your genetic code.” A picture of this quote was projected onto the screen during our lecture. Our professor’s words echoed throughout the auditorium as he described the importance of understanding the social aspects of our patients’ lives rather than just their genetic predisposition to disease. Understanding the social and economic conditions that impact health, disease and the practice of medicine lies ...

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“Dr. Fraser, the pharmacy is on the phone for you. Line one.” I answer the call, pressing the gray, rectangular button with one hand while writing in a patient’s chart with the other. “Sarah Fraser speaking.” “Oh, hi, Doctor, we just got in a prescription of yours, but we are not quite sure what it says.” The pharmacist is gentle in her words. It was the first time this had happened. I’d promised myself ...

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My smile freezes on my face as my patient says to me, “I’m so glad you’re back – that I get to see Mrs. Lycette today!” He has been my patient for several years, and I am perplexed to hear him address me as “Mrs.” rather than “Doctor.” At the same time, I really do not think he means an intentional insult, so I keep my face neutral and continue with ...

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I spent 20 minutes listening to Michelle and asking her questions to understand why she was not taking her insulin as recommended. The appointment was for 15 minutes, 5 of which were used by the medical assistant who had to check the vitals and “do an A1c.” I did not ask Michelle whether her feet were tingling or numb. I did not ask ...

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Margaret Edson’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Wit, tells the story of the final hours of Vivian Bearing, PhD, an English professor dying of cancer.  Early in the course of her disease, one of her doctors sees the value of her case from a research point of view and asks her to enroll in a clinical trial of an investigational therapy.  In the film version of the play, which stars ...

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