shutterstock_147929984 A few months ago, I was seeing an elderly man in the hospital with a sigmoid mass seen on his colonoscopy that day. He had presented to the hospital with fatigue and anemia, and the long meandering workup eventually zeroed in on this malignant appearing mass as the source. His daughter was in the room while I discussed the results, the ...

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I often get referrals from the town's free clinic.  As you would imagine, the patients often have a unique set of problems, coming as they do from the underserved segment of society. One such patient, Julia, was a fiftyish-year-old woman who had recently moved to town from California. She went to the free clinic (not really sure what the original complaint was) and ended up getting a physical exam that revealed ...

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shutterstock_121457908 Let's face it, residency is no picnic. A combination of on the job training and trial by fire, no physician who has gone through it and survived will ever forget the experience.  The emotions run from jubilation to sheer terror. It is inevitable that some of the people you interact with will leave a lasting impression. In the case of the ...

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How many times do we start out our day with the best of intentions? It’s probably most days, if you’re at all like me. Even when we’re going through a spell of negativity, we all try to pull it together for the sake of our patients, our staff, our families. A couple weeks ago, I was tempted to throw in the towel. It was one of those days when the last straw was ...

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shutterstock_115774717 My interns started the term with mixed career aspirations. One wanted to do interventional radiology, the other, "not sure." Now, in their last few weeks of our term, they're thinking about a surgical career. Which I think is great. I've been lucky enough to have had some great advice over the years, and I've nutted a few things out myself along the ...

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american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Clearly, physicians are the leaders of the health care team.  We were educated and trained for that role. But on the business and political sides of health care, maybe not so much. One reason is that the word “leadership” has a lot of different meanings.   A leader in one ...

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Waaaah-Hoo!! – Slim Pickins as Maj. ‘King’ Kong, riding the bomb in “Dr. Strangelove” I am converted. Like many doctors, I was very leary of social media, wary about using it, skeptical of its professional value. Especially Twitter, but really all of the platforms. No longer: I have embraced social media, and it has embraced me. I feel a little bit like Dr. Strangelove, only the subtitle is now “How I Learned To  Stop Worrying ...

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shutterstock_158329577 1. Be yourself and learn to be flexible. Don’t ever change who you are as a person. It’s OK to have a personality of your own. If you secretly listen to Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off on the way to work, it’s OK. As a junior member of the team it’s very unlikely your iPhone playlist will make the cut for the operating room ...

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41NmPFjOxXL._SL250_ An excerpt from The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly.  Warning: Contains explicit language. It started with a banana peel. After years of quiet study in the libraries, laboratories, and lecture halls of Harvard Medical School, I finally made the tectonic shift to hospital life in the summer of 2006. The third year of medical school marks a ...

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The other day some cardiologists on Twitter were discussing whether a patient should be blamed if a permanent pacemaker lead became displaced. The consensus seemed to be that it was probably poor placement (i.e., operator error), rather than patient behavior that caused leads to dislodge. The discussion reminded me of an attending plastic surgeon of mine during my resident days. He was one of the most obsessive-compulsive people I ever met. ...

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