"We can’t un-bungle our nation’s COVID-19 response. Political leaders acted too slowly; health agencies committed unforced errors with testing kits and, amid the confusion, an information fog settled over the land. Americans remain afraid, perplexed, and chronically misinformed (despite wall-to-wall coronavirus coverage across the leading cable news programs and print publications). To counter the uncertainty, any plan to get us out of the coronavirus crisis ...

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Over the last seven months, the state of medicine, as we have known it in the United States, has been found out.  Disjointed, disheartened, and failing.  For every ounce of energy we have put into patient safety, quality improvement, and preventing medical errors over the past 20 years, we have simultaneously drained the soul from medicine by turning our work into a commodity, with a price attached to every action ...

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A practicing anesthesiologist for the past 14 years, when COVID hit, and the ORs came to an abrupt halt, I needed to occupy my mind. An opportunity to learn about the business behind running a practice came to me via a good friend who is co-founder of an award-winning Fintech on a mission to make a change in the credit card processing industry. I was stunned to learn about the ...

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Our obstetric anesthesia team sat down to debrief after a particularly harrowing case. We had just replaced our patient's blood volume twice over after she went into labor with a placenta previa accompanied by a placenta accreta. The operating room had been the usual controlled chaotic scene of multiple teams intensely focused on their responsibilities. It was noisy. Too noisy. I had to remind everyone to restrict themselves to essential ...

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Research conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), a nonprofit research organization in New York, defines the three pillars of executive presence (EP) as gravitas, communication, and image. Stated differently, EP reflects how you act, how you speak, and how you look. CTI concluded that when people are perceived as capable of becoming leaders, they are more likely to be promoted into leadership roles. This is particularly important for ...

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I found out I was pregnant the night before a chemistry exam. I had taken a break from stoichiometry to take a very different kind of test, one I bought from the nearest Walmart to avoid any indiscretion on the family Amazon account. After the second pink line appeared, clear as day, I got up off the bathroom floor and joined a friend to finish the last of our review. ...

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"Eventually, this thankfully passed. Now, almost three years later, I know that this loss will always be with us. Miriam was beautiful, she was our only girl, she was perfect for our family, and she’s always missing. Still, my memories of being in the hospital are incredibly sad but also peaceful. In part, this is due to the incredible support and love ...

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In an increasingly technology-oriented world, genuine human connection is becoming rarer. Physicians are taught to emotionally disassociate from their patients for mental self-protection. This detachment can result in a loss of human connection between a doctor and patient, which may interfere with patient health outcomes. Studying great literature, such as Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, allows health care professionals to adopt the patient perspective and gain insight into how ...

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In medicine, we define shared-decision making between the patient and physician as our gold standard ideal. Leveraging separate ideals is our standard of behavior. So what must it feel like to a patient of faith when his/her physician tells him/her "believe the science?" Scientific evidence and religious texts can both be manipulated to support a group's point of view. Based on their own agendas, groups have used science to argue ...

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"I didn't understand what you said," said the waitress. "She very clearly said she wanted a quesadilla with a side of beans!" yelled an elderly gentleman at a different table. The nervousness that arose when ordering food at restaurants grew as months passed like the fetus of a diabetic mother. My thoughts would race around what words to pick and how to pronounce them. My cheeks flushed as I stuttered sounds that ...

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As authors, although we represent a multitude of Asian diasporic identities, we are not representative of all Asian identities. We acknowledge this and add nuance to unpack this whenever possible. The views expressed in this piece are our own. As we enter another month of America’s racial re-reckoning, anti-affirmative action sentiment has resurfaced like clockwork. Asian-American voices have once again spoken out against racial equity — as central pawns in legal ...

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Most health care providers are aware of the FIGS scrubs advertisement that depicted a female physician with a DO badge holding a Medical Terminology for Dummies book upside down.  In one fell swoop, FIGS enraged the entire medical community causing backlash towards their company.  This ad mocking female osteopathic physicians sparked outrage.  Many in health care have vowed not to purchase FIGS, prompting the #boycottFIGS response posted as a result ...

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"Setting: An impersonal, windowless conference room within a hospital Characters: A nurse in charge (NIC), a department chair (DC) and me (ME) NIC: Thank you for joining us to discuss the report you made of unprofessional behavior in the operating room. We’d like to start by letting you know that in this institution, we have a culture of informality. When I first got here, ...

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I wrote my undergraduate thesis on death and dying. I read journal articles trying to understand what death meant and how it affected people. I spent hours reading books, both fiction and nonfiction, trying to understand if you can ever die a good death. I engaged in meaningful conversations with compassionate and astute physicians, nurses, and professors who experienced the death of their patients, both adults and children, time and ...

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Do you remember what you dreamed of becoming as an adult? I do, and I recall my father telling me I could be anything I wanted to be. My dreams were shattered as soon as I stepped into a prison and I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my self-worth. “Wait, you’re a doctor?” “Nah, man he ain’t a doctor; he looks too much like us.” I am ...

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The flurry of recent articles on the adverse effects of climate change on health are almost as overwhelming as the climate crisis itself. Just this past year, over 300 medical students came together to found Medical Students for a Sustainable Future (MS4SF), an international coalition that recognizes climate change as the greatest health emergency of our century. Recent KevinMD articles, ...

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The following article is satire. According to several very old studies, interventional patient-centered bipedal locomotion (sometimes informally referred to as walking) might be an important part of good hospital care. Programs focusing on this treatment are reportedly under consideration by administrators at some facilities. “As we look to streamline interoperability and optimize outcomes metrics, we’re thinking about anything that we could attach a number to,” says Larry Perry, Chief Medical Information Strategy ...

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I’m not outspoken about much, but will not, can not, hold back my battle cry about masks. Would I feel so adamant if I didn’t possess a crisp death certificate with, “CORONAVIRUS 2019” in an envelope inside the file cabinet beside me? Maybe, maybe not. The envelope came sealed with a sticker embossed with the name of the funeral home that handled my mother’s funeral. I thought it was ...

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"Will the unfavorable regulatory environment permit telehealth to flourish? Perforce we’re beginning to see a relaxation of restrictions that have hitherto obstructed progress.  Recently, federal officials approved interstate licensing, thereby prompting greater telehealth conversion, utilization, and expansion. Medicare’s 1135 Waiver is also encouraging, and, in as much as it serves the same ends, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s leave to prescribe via ...

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This article is adapted from Called to Care: A Medical Provider's Guide for Humanizing Healthcare. Imagine getting a call that your child has injured himself during football practice. Although you are up against a work deadline, you have to find an available doctor, leave work early, pick ...

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