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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shutterstock_50607919 Physician, heal thyself. That's the unwritten rule, sadly, for us. I am a physician. I am therefore invincible and inhuman and all the things my patients cannot be. To seek help is a sign of weakness, and our profession has no place for the weak of body, mind or spirit. We work through illness because our patients deserve that and disease and ...

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One of the core components in transforming a practice is team-based care, and this concept consistently is a focus of many conversations among physicians across the country. My employer, the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), also has embraced this concept. And the outstanding group of interprofessional educators with whom I work are constantly looking for ways to enhance not only the way we provide team-based ...

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NoPRT-640x480 Here’s the latest medical fad: Physician resiliency training. Huh? Doctors are already the most resilient people on the planet. Doctors can go days on call without eating. I know. I have. Doctors can go 24 hours without a bathroom break. (Yes, we even have the most resilient bladders!) Doctors can work 168-hour shifts with little or no sleep as detailed in this whistleblower video. Doctors ...

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shutterstock_139099055 I'm usually a huge fan of Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel's writing -- whether it's his controversial piece on health care resources at the end of life or his book describing the tumultuous health care policy that led up to the Affordable Care Act, I generally enjoy reading his editorials and vehemently agree with many of his opinions. This being said, when I saw that ...

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The whole thing was rather awkward. I have to admit that I was nervous. I perused the records before he walked through the exam room door. These conversations were always difficult and felt out of place in the office. But I had looked at the numbers over and over again. There was a glaring deficiency that had to be corrected. I planned to jump in right away, but we got sidetracked. He ...

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