The behavioral aspects of poor health are even more important than we may have thought.  That’s according to a new study finding adults who engage in even one unhealthy behavior double their risk for fair-to-poor health. And the risk increases meaningfully with each added unhealthy behavior. Spotlight: Impact of Unhealthy Behaviors, a publication from United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings® released in partnership with Family Medicine for America’s Health, ...

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As a fourth year student in her last few weeks of medical school, I recently found myself in an interesting new course: negotiation skills for graduating medical students. As part of a push from accrediting organizations like the LCME, the final weeks of our medical education are being devoted to lesser-taught subjects in medicine: licensure processes, malpractice, wellness and resiliency training, and contract negotiations. At the start of the lecture, a ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. When I accepted the invitation to write this monthly column for the American College of Physicians (ACP), I assumed it would be a one-year assignment. Even so, I wondered if I could come up with a different topic each month. Now, over 40 columns and ...

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I would like to discuss how I achieved financial independence at age 39, and how it allows me the freedom to practice medicine in a way that keeps me happy. Financial independence is defined as having enough money saved and invested in a way that would allow you to quit gainful employment and continue your present standard of living. The math, based on a 4 percent withdrawal rate, requires you to have ...

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We are all familiar with the statistics. Chronic conditions like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes are present in our population at unacceptably high and costly levels. More than 78 million American adults are obese, and more than 1 in 20 is extremely obese. About 70 million U.S. adults have hypertension with only 52 percent having the condition under control. Just over 29 million Americans have diabetes and an additional 86 million ...

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How would you react if you sent your sputtering car to the auto mechanic, and they stopped trying to diagnose the problem after 15 minutes? You would probably revolt if they told you that your time was up and gave back the keys. Yet in medicine, it's common for practices to schedule patient visits in 15-minute increments -- often for established patients with less complex needs. Physicians face pressure to mind ...

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For almost ten years now, family physicians have been the most recruited specialty in the medical profession, and that is not likely to change anytime soon. We face a huge shortage of primary care physicians that is only going to get worse because we aren’t training family doctors as fast as they are retiring. Business training isn’t in the curriculum What this means for me and my fellow family medicine residents is ...

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You ask your patient to follow instructions and when they see you at their subsequent visit, they have not made the changes you suggested. We have all been there, often placing the blame on their lack of interest in their health. Have you ever thought to dig a little deeper? The average American reads at a middle school level. There have been a series of studies trying to shed light and ...

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Once upon a time, there was a man who was a very good cook. He was just an ordinary man, but he had real culinary talents. He could create the perfect meal for anyone who came to see him in his modest café. His maître d' and waiting staff were warm and well trained, and the menu was designed specifically for the clientele of his eatery. He gave each person his ...

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In 1991, I took a sub-internship in cardiology with a clinically-minded attending named Eddie Atwood. One day he stopped me in the hall: “You have a few minutes toward the end of the day?” “Sure. What’d I do?” I just knew some sort of defining verdict headed toward my Dean’s letter, to be shown to all residencies and preserved in an archive of medical student iniquities, was surely coming. “You students are ...

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