Is it possible to break down a complex phenomenon like professional burnout into a simple triad? We do it for exotic diseases all the time, so why not? I still remember my salad days in med school vividly. Bouncing between the cockiness of amassing an entirely new body of knowledge and the awkwardness of having nary a clue how to use it, it was excitement I hadn't felt before or since. ...

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My father worked as a middle manager in the textile industry for many years after he graduated with a degree in textile engineering from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. As far as I know, he was the first to graduate from college in his family. I can only imagine how exciting it was for him to leave the little town of Cochran, travel to the big city of Atlanta, work to ...

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Someone told me that the reason certain others don’t respect my advocacy on behalf of physicians more is simply that I am a woman. I am seeing this the more I speak up on issues facing doctors these days. It is now the 21st century, and there are a large number of women practicing medicine. In fact, the number of men and women entering medical school these days is nearly ...

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If you attended medical school, you learned in week one that American health care started becoming scientific in 1910, with the publication of the Flexner Report. Before then, only some medical schools were authentic while many others were anything from carnival booths to outright frauds. Abraham Flexner, a respected educator, had been hired by industrial barons John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, who were determined to bring health care out of ...

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My physical therapy education occurred within Harvard Medical School. My college, Simmons College, worked with Harvard in those days to prepare us (13 women) to enter the field with knowledge and respect for the roles and rules of clinical medicine. In 1966, I was taught to stand up when a physician entered the room, to hand over the chart and open the door. There was never any doubt who was who. ...

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One of the latest trends in health care is “patient choice,” meaning the patient is in charge of their own care. Our job as a physician is to educate patients about the diagnosis, discuss the various treatment options, go over risks and benefits, then allow the patients to choose the best course of action. Of course, this assumes that patients always make the right choices and are solely motivated to ...

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As we drown in the overwhelm of modern day health care duties, most physicians I know, including myself, fail to follow their own advice. Far too many of us have become overly tired, irritable and resentful about our workload.  It is difficult to look forward to the dawn of the next work day. Medical journals and blogs label this as “physician burnout” but the reality is very few of us are ...

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Behind every doctor is a child who once watched helplessly. Maybe it was her father or grandfather who suffered under the weight of a disease that was deemed all but incurable. Perhaps her own skin was battered and bruised by the repeated trauma of an unrelenting tourniquet. She swore that when (if) she got older she would protect the innocent from such things. Her vow was the light that guided ...

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Patients forming an opinion of your practice are doing so in a matter of seconds. And some of the latest research on first impressions, suggest that it may even be within the blink of an eye. Regardless of the length of time, first impressions are powerful and very difficult to reverse. So, if a patient has formed a bad opinion of you and your staff, during the first point of ...

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Americans spend more per capita on medical care than just about any other country and, yet they often have little to show for it. Americans have worse access to care than people in other countries, and are often less likely to receive primary care services, like preventive therapies and screening tests. Determined to address these problems, Medicare leaders have been testing out new models of primary care, hoping to find ...

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