Bill* stops by the clinic about once a week to use the phone in our lobby. Karen* asked if she could have her mail sent here. Once we bought Daniel* a bag of groceries, and Frank* calls to speak to our nurse every few days because he says, “I'm lonely." There is a national push to re-envision our primary care clinics as patient-centered medical homes, with the intention that a patient can get all their ...

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Dear President-elect Trump, I am writing to reach out to you, something I have never been inspired to do for a president-elect in the past.   First, congratulations on your hard fought victory, and to your family.  It was a surprise for many of us. While it was probably a happy morning in your campaign and family, it was a pretty dark morning in my household.   Our family was very supportive ...

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I took a long walk with my dog today, and then I took a shower. I like showers. I’ve always found them soothing and comforting. I can think in there. I can relax. I can’t hear the phone ring. I can’t see a television. Generally, no one bugs me while I’m in there.  I come out clean, refreshed, and smelling and feeling good. A shower can relieve aching muscles while removing the ...

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Yesterday I woke up to a startling realization: Like the dozens of women I treat, I will soon be entering “the change” as they call it, and I instantly was catapulted on to the other side of the exam table.  While all the symptoms are not present, I’ve been noticing the signs, and when I reviewed the blood work that was done last week, it was clear. The “M” word ...

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I started November 8th so hopeful. The polls were a comfortable 78. I wore my new berry colored pantsuit purchased especially for the election. I even wore my suffragette sash to work. The last face I saw before stepping into my office was a young woman in her 20s who gave me a thumbs up and that knowing smile that said, I’m with her too! Every woman I met had ...

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The day after the 2016 election I went to work, and from medicine, I better understood the outcome of the election and the next goal of America. Driving into the hospital, I called the ICU of an acute rehabilitation hospital to check on a patient. He had sepsis from a very complex urinary tract infection which exacerbated his chronic hypotension. He already had renal failure on dialysis and was on chronic ...

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Guess what America?  If you pay for health insurance, you’re giving billions upon billions to health insurance CEOs, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical company CEOs.  So, if you’re obeying the law, you’re contributing to their astronomical salaries. In fact, Cigna’s CEO made around $49 million this past year, if you read the various reports on the Internet.  The CEO at a non-profit hospital in New Jersey (Morristown Medical Center) made some $5 million ...

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Guns and gun control are divisive topics. Talking about them often ends in frustration and both parties walk away feeling unheard. A not-so-debatable point, however, is that there are over 30,000 gun deaths per year in the United States. About 80,000 people are non-fatally injured. Gun violence in this country is a public health crisis. This public health issue is caught up in political fervor, often being controlled by politicians ...

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Spend time talking with non-medical friends and acquaintances. Ask them about their medical experiences. Imagine what they want, or ask them what they want. People want to feel that their physician has spent adequate time talking, examining and explaining. They want to look into the physician’s eyes. They want the best possible care, but caring matters. Our “system” discourages such care implicitly. Physicians do not get paid to spend time with patients. ...

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In a recent PBS interview, Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy suggested patients should “change physicians” when faced with non-empathetic doctors suffering from burnout.  His cavalier resolution to our occupational struggle feels like a betrayal, to both his esteemed colleagues across the country and our profession.  In my opinion, firing your physician is a risky proposition in light of the looming physician shortage. Burnout is an overwhelming sense of ...

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