As a psychiatrist, I was trained to begin the mental status examination and overall assessment of my patient as soon as I greeted them in the waiting room. Even now, three decades after finishing medical school, I follow almost the same sequence of actions in my day-to-day interactions with my patients that I did as a resident in training. Granted, there are now electronic medical records and I rarely come ...

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The page comes from the psychiatry intern on call. “There’s a situation with patient RB on the unit. Please advise.” We gather in the hall outside the patient’s room. There are already three -- no, four -- security guards standing several feet away with their arms folded. Backup. Ready. Ready for what? We whisper in hushed tones as the intern explains what happened. He was “acting out.” He was running through the ...

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Adults are the ones who are supposed to be stressed, not kids. Childhood is supposed to be the stress-free part of life, right? Well, maybe not. At least not for teens. According to a recently released survey from the American Psychological Association, teens are actually more stressed than their parents. Researchers surveyed 1950 adults and 1,018 teens last summer and asked them a whole bunch of questions about the stress in their lives, and how ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. 5 Ways Doctors Can Use Data Analytics. Reimbursements are increasingly linked to quality and value metrics, but providers often don't have the best tools to handle that transition.
  2. Killing Pain: Script by Script. Primary care doctors wrote about 53 million benzodiazepine prescriptions in 2013, roughly four times the number written by psychiatrists, a group that penned 13 million benzo scripts.

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Over the course of medical school, you are expected to get comfortable with a whole host of expensive-sounding equipment (see: popsicle stick becomes tongue depressor). You sling a stethoscope around your neck, maybe tuck a reflex hammer in your white coat pocket, and begin that privileged journey of looking for things that don't sound or sit quite right. You learn rather quickly that it won't be you on stage, and somehow, you landed ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. A Targeted Treatment for Scleroderma? A monoclonal antibody that binds to the type 1 interferon-alpha receptor showed an acceptable safety profile in a phase I trial for systemic sclerosis, but efficacy was less clear.
  2. CMS: More 'Meaningful Use' Exemptions Coming. Some healthcare providers struggling to meet the second stage of the incentive program for electronic health records (EHRs) may receive a ...

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Why doctors commit suicide I’ve been a doctor for twenty years. I’ve not lost a single patient to suicide. I’ve lost only colleagues, friends, lovers -- all male physicians -- to suicide. Why? Here’s what I know: A physician’s greatest joy is the patient relationship. Assembly-line medicine undermines the patient-physician relationship. Most doctors are burned out, overworked, or exhausted. Many doctors spend little time with their families. Workaholics are admired in medicine. Medicine values ...

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There are few professional careers centered around protecting and caring for others that garner so much verbal and physical abuse than a career in emergency medicine.  Mental health workers, police, fire, and EMS personnel are the other fields that come to mind when I think of a service that "helps" people yet gets abuse dished upon them on nearly a daily basis. A 2006 survey of emergency nurses showed that 25% ...

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When I was a resident one of my attendings said, “You know why patients are called ‘patients’? It’s because they have a lot of patience. For us.” Patients in hospitals do a lot of waiting. They wait for physicians. They wait for nurses. They wait to use the bathroom. They wait to undergo procedures. They wait for their IVs to stop beeping. They wait for the person next door to stop ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Blacks Lag on HIV Continuum of Care. Fewer than half of the 500,000 black Americans living with HIV have been given a prescription for antiretroviral medications, and only about a third have suppressed the virus.
  2. 12 Things to Know About the SGR Repeal Bill. Democratic and Republican leaders in both houses of Congress have finally agreed on a bill that would ...

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