Did you know that urine pregnancy tests are routinely performed on all females before every surgery? No exceptions. The Children’s Hospital in Buffalo tests 9 years and above. Don’t know if a parent or a patient has a right to refuse the test, but I do know that the anesthesiologist will refuse to give anesthesia, except for a life-threatening emergency. I have never paid much attention to these tests. The nurses ...

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On a recent Saturday morning, I took my problems to a bar.  The bar was on Boston’s Boylston Street at the end of a row of pubs.  Years ago, during orientation week of medical school, my classmates and I had worked our way methodically down that row. The bar I headed to on this particular day was the Apple Store Genius Bar.  The “bouncer,” a man with skinny arms and a ...

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I have watched more offices over the past few years close their phones and front desk during the lunch hour. If you close your office for an hour at lunchtime, what message are you sending your patients?  You are declaring that serving your patients takes a back seat to serving yourself and your employees.  Closing your phone lines at lunchtime means that you are creating missed opportunities for a vital ...

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It is nearly impossible to ignore the need for clear thinking, confident and “in control” leaders. And whether in Congress or in a physician’s office, medical school department or hospital administrative suite, women leaders are notably absent. And while recent research tells us that women aspire to be leaders, the barriers to achieving this nebulous goal are enormous. So whose fault is it anyway?   I say both the women and the ...

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If you want to know if restaurant food is safe, there’s help. Just look at the signs in the window showing that the eatery got an A, B or worse on its latest government inspection report. There are government inspection reports for hospitals too, but you won’t see them on the front door or any place else in the hospital, for that matter. Hospital inspections conducted by state departments of health ...

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What if Hurricane Sandy came to your city? A guest post by the American College of Chest Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. In light of Hurricane Sandy’s impact upon the east coast, and subsequent effect on the area’s healthcare delivery systems, many physicians and healthcare professionals are likely considering how they would respond if disaster were to strike their community. From the decision making process and preparation for ...

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Recognize and manage physician stress and burnoutA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. "The tragedy of man is what dies inside himself while he still lives." - Albert Schweitzer Statistically speaking When is the last day you truly remember feeling peace, happiness and a deep sense of well being? If you cannot answer this question, you are not alone among ...

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In his brilliant 1993 satire “Et Tu, Babe,” Mark Leyner proposed a new concept in body art, which is the specialty of “visceral tattoos.”   The narrator travels to Mexico where his chest is opened and the insignia of a “guy surfing a wave of lava, wearing polka-dotted trunks,” is tattooed directly on his heart.  The dye used shows up on CT scans and apparently women, especially x-ray technicians, love it. ...

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The Greek hero of the Trojan war, Achilles, had only one vulnerable area on his body, his heel. Similarly, modern humans also have a vulnerable part of the our anatomy, the upper airway, which simultaneously accommodates for breathing, swallowing, and speaking. The ability to talk, however, came at a price. Evolutionary biologists have stated that speech and language development was detrimental to our health. Overdevelopment of our speech structures compromised our ...

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I was trained at a time when medical care was not a commodity.  It was part art, part science, and not delivered in bits in pieces but imparted with an eye to the whole patient. And I was trained by a master of the art and the science and the whole patient.  Dr. Robert Ruben has spent his life studying the effects of communication disorders on the lives of children who ...

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