There was a tragedy in France recently: Innocent French citizens were taken down by a profession whose mission is to heal and comfort.  A medical clinical trial careened off the rails and crashed.  Were these volunteer study patients properly informed?  Are medical study patients here in the U.S. truly making a free choice? From time to time, friends, patients, and relatives ask my advice if they should participate in a medical ...

Read more...

Pamela-Wible-Big-Box-Medicine2 Step 1: Greet patient. Step 2: While chatting, check all boxes in electronic medical record for a complete review of systems and physical exam. Copy and paste parts of previous chart note while looking at patient every once in a while. Smile if possible. Step 3: Tell patient to do yoga. Step 4: Bill insurance company for complete physical exam. Welcome to big box assembly line medicine. Ever wonder what ...

Read more...

Last year, several scandals unfolded involving the Veterans Health Administration. Close to home, the Fort Collins VA hospital falsified its wait times for clinic appointments. To meet the VA goal of clinic appointments within 14 days, the hospital instructed its clerks to “cook the books,” falsifying appointment records to give the illusion that the vets were being seen in a timely manner. Farther away in Phoenix, the local VA hospital had ...

Read more...

Sticks and stones may break my bones but two words -- thank you -- will not hurt you but will certainly help you. We, myself included, are often so busy and always in a hurry rushing from one task to another that we often forget common courtesies.  I believe that we can accomplish so much more with our patients, our staff, and even in our personal lives by not forgetting to ...

Read more...

I quit medicine. I was five months out of residency, and I was leaving medicine. I had dedicated my heart, soul, several years of my life along with weekends, holidays, special events, and my children’s first words to this honorable profession. Medicine was never suppose to “just be” my job. It was suppose to be my calling, and it had betrayed me. I was finally a full fledged physician, and I ...

Read more...

Fifty years ago, it was very uncommon to find doctors married to other doctors. Why? To answer that question, we need to explore the sociology of the time. Fewer women went to college, which meant fewer female doctors. Many couples married early, right out of high school or right after college. If the wife had career aspirations herself, these were often put aside in order to help her husband get ...

Read more...

1. You either over or under-react to everything related to your child’s health. Your kid chokes?  You perform the Heimlich and are back to dinner conversation 2 minutes later.  Your infant spits up a little more than usual after their introduction to rice cereal?  You decide they may have FPIES and stay up all night worried they may require tube feeds.  True story. 2. You can’t go to any ...

Read more...

Mental illness has long been associated with shame and stigma. Although progress has been made through the efforts of global celebrities like Stephen Fry and many others to de-stigmatize mental illness -- many are still ashamed to admit to it, and the stigma is far from being annihilated. Nowhere is this stigma more entrenched than within the medical profession itself. A fact that should shock us out of our judgmental slumbers ...

Read more...

I was spending time with friends and family over the holiday when I started to experience various vague symptoms without an obvious etiology. Having been treated for high blood pressure about ten years prior before successfully overcoming the issue with exercise, I immediately recognized the return of the condition. (As an aside, it should be stated that elevated blood pressure typically produces no symptoms at all.) Stopping by my local pharmacy, ...

Read more...

There's a code among physicians, both in the private and academic setting. It is that, as a physician -- unless you are dying, or very close to it -- you show up to work. Taking unscheduled time off, for either physical illness or grieving, is not easy as a physician. Doctors experience a huge amount of guilt and pressure, and rather than experience that, most of us will drag ourselves ...

Read more...

Most Popular