I sincerely appreciate all your support for my boutique speakers bureau, Physician Speaking by KevinMD. These speakers are both practicing physicians and award-winning speakers that shine on stage. This Fall, we will highlight the following events:

During my pediatric surgery training, I could easily point out which was the hardest day for the three fellows that were under training on that specific year. It was late evening when I received a call that one of our patients had coded. I was at home, and the drive usually took me exactly seven minutes. Due to social reasons, this patient was in the hospital with us for months (at ...

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The first time I was asked to provide a bio — in this case, it was to appear on my residency's website — I wasn't sure what to include. It was supposed to be short, not really an autobiography or memoir and it was supposed to make our program look approachable, impressive and balanced. I gave a quick summary of my background, my education, my interests, why I picked the ...

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"The parts of me that used to think I was different or smarter or whatever, almost made me die. " — David Foster Wallace in an interview by David Lipsky Recent physician-suicides and all those before were committed by people; people caught in an organization rigged against them  —  one that breeds new and exacerbates existing, mental health issues. Physicians are people. Doctors are people. They happen to be people who care, which makes ...

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I’ve always likened the job of a primary care physician to that of a chief executive officer of a small business. Family doctors manage the “business” of delivering and coordinating care for more than a thousand patients at an average cost, in the United States, of $8,500 per year: an $8 to $12 million business. Because the actions or inactions of the PCP impact the need for, and cost of, ...

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One of my best friends recently sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal discussing the generation that is about to enter into retirement.  The article highlighted how this generation will have an unacceptably high proportion of people who are unable to retire.  Following a generation that had guaranteed pensions, this left them with the reassurance that they would someday have one, too.  Left ill-prepared for retirement, this ...

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Learners value efficiency.  As I recall my residency, nothing caused more angst than unnecessarily long rounds.  In the 1970s just like in the 2010s, I had much to do after rounds ended. As an attending physician, my responsibilities involve patient care and aiding learning.  I have always worked hard to do that within a time constraint.  The time constraint requires that rounds run efficiently. Like many things in medicine, efficiency only works ...

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Repercussions. Every action that is taken, especially when it comes to healthcare, has ripple effects, which often end up being more far more significant than we anticipate, turning that ripple into a tidal wave. Every time somebody besides actual health care providers steps into the mix and tell those of us taking care of patients that there is "something else that we have to do," we often see it open up a ...

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In March 2018, The Collaborative for Healing and Renewal in Medicine (CHARM) published an article titled "Charter on Physician Well-being" in JAMA. The piece describes guiding principles and lists recommendations for promoting well-being among physicians. The charter successfully pulls together, in a 2-page document, a comprehensive approach to preventing burnout and fostering well-being among physicians. One recommendation especially caught my attention. “Anticipate and Respond to Inherent Emotional Challenges of ...

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As a primary care doctor who cares for many patients with opioid-use disorder, I am invested in timely and effective strategies to curb our nation’s opioid epidemic. Because so many instances of opioid addiction and overdoses begin with or involve commonly prescribed opioids, we need multiple strategies that address the significant harms associated with prescription opioids. I am skeptical of one strategy, however: The President’s Commission and the Food and ...

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Poverty is known to be an important determinant of a person’s health and longevity. A person’s zip code is more relevant than genetic code. Does a physician’s zip code – that is where they were born and raised – have an effect on where they practice? Specifically, do rural born and raised physicians return to their rural roots? The story of Prashant, a physician raised in rural Bihar, India, is ...

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My second foray into Suboxone treatment has evolved in a way I had not expected, but I think I have stumbled onto something profound. Almost six months into our in-house clinic’s existence, I have found myself prescribing and adjusting treatment for about half of my medication-assisted treatment (MAT) patients for co-occurring anxiety, depression, bipolar disease and ADHD as well as restless leg syndrome, asthma, and various infectious diseases. Years ago, working in ...

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A patient came to see me with lower abdominal pain.  Was she interested in my medical opinion?  Not really.  She was advised to see me by her gynecologist who had advised that the patient undergo a hysterectomy.  Was this physician seeking my medical advice?  Not really.   Was this patient coming to see me as her day was boring and she was bored and needed an activity?  Not really. After the ...

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My 80-year-old patient presented with symptoms and signs of kidney failure. I hospitalized him and asked for the assistance of a kidney specialist. We notified his heart specialist as a courtesy. A complicated evaluation led to a diagnosis of an unusual vasculitis with the patient’s immune system attacking his kidney as if it was a foreign toxic invader. Treatment, post kidney biopsy, involved administering large doses of corticosteroids followed by a ...

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You can tell a lot about a job and the people doing it by asking them to describe their best day at work. For Ali, a 28-year-old pediatric cancer social worker, that day occurred one year ago. A 17-year-old cancer patient who had been given two months to live made a bucket list. On her list were graduating from high school and getting accepted into college. So Ali and her ...

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When a patient is unwell and seeking help, a vast number of emotions could be going through their mind. Their whole life could have been turned upside down, they may have been fearing this moment for a while, and stressing over the implications of their illness. To physicians, it may sometimes feel like just another name on our list or almost become a routine mechanical interaction, but for the ...

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I got together this past weekend with a few of my medical school classmates and ahhh, the memories. Being in the trenches together, just like in residency, tends to create a bond that remains throughout time. We picked up right where we left off and talked about the good ol’ times, how life used to be, and how it is so different now, especially because we now all had families. That ...

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The tragedy on a New Jersey highway in May involving a school bus and a dump truck horrified the nation while also raising familiar questions about school bus safety. The impact ripped the body of the bus off its chassis, killing two people and injuring most of the 45 passengers on board. By one witness’s account, “A lot of people were screaming, and they were, like, ...

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Even though my own internship was a decade ago, I vividly remember the transition from student to resident. Residency was monumental in my path to becoming a physician. There were obvious changes: People now called me “doctor,” my misshapen short white coat was upgraded to a more comforting full length one, and I was often the first one paged to respond to patient problems. Coupled with the positive aspects though, ...

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An 8-month-old baby fell 3 feet and hit his head on a carpeted floor in a San Francisco hotel room. He was crying and the parents, who were from South Korea, called an ambulance. By the time the child arrived at the hospital he was obviously fine. After a bottle, a nap, and a few hours in the hospital, he was discharged. The hospital sent a bill two years later, which ...

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