Modern technology needs to do better. This is the message delivered by every CEO after every Silicon Valley scandal in recent memory. This time, they should really do it. Medicine can show them how. Let's have the professionals building our future abide by industry-wide standards, just as doctors do. As both a startup founder and a physician, this idea makes intuitive sense to me. Drawing on my experience treating patients and running ...

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Although my father did not discover penicillin, he helped do the research showing its effectiveness in curing infective endocarditis. As an internist, he then became enamored with the role antibiotics could play in treating infections. Growing up, my siblings and I can attest to his unbridled enthusiasm, as every time we contracted a cold, we would get a shot of the wonder mold in our butts. The fact that colds ...

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As a retired physician who has written a book about end-of-life issues for elderly patients, I have placed myself in an awkward position. According to most guidelines, at age 67, I am elderly. How will I approach the end of my life? Not only do my personal medical concerns career around in the echo chamber of my own mind, but I have the added challenge of trying to follow my own ...

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An excerpt from The Young Physician's Guide to Money and Life: The Financial Blueprint for the Medical Trainee. Do you have student loans? Won’t you love to destroy them and be debt-free? What would you do with the cash flow you free up once your student loans are paid off? I (Amanda) invite ...

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It is no secret that President Trump’s former nominee to run the Veterans Administration, Navy Rear Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, has withdrawn his nomination amidst allegations related to his behavior: that he drank on the job, was a bully in the office and improperly gave out prescription medication.  He has vehemently denied the allegations and characterized them as false and fabricated.

Dr. Jackson is an Iraq War veteran who ...

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I checked my right brain at the door when I started medical school in 1995.  Writing, performing music, and acting didn't make it in.  How could they?  I had very little free time and why would I want to cling to touchy-feely distractions?  I was prepared to sacrifice personal interests and passions to clear my mental decks.  I wanted to dedicate all my brain power to the promise of learning critical information ...

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The recent passing of former first lady Barbara Bush, an American icon, also brought a commonly debated discussion to light, palliative, and end of life care. Many articles were published regarding her last days, mentioning she was “foregoing further medical care” or “no longer pursuing medical treatment.” These types of statements are not only inaccurate, they also minimize the incredible medical care provided by palliative care and hospice teams. To realize ...

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I met David on the internet. It was to become on of the closest, most intense relationships of my life.  For you see, a few months before he crossed my path his daughter finished the same protocol for the same type of brain tumor that my daughter just had started.  They had successfully traversed the waters that to me were completely unknown -- and frankly terrifying.  On the pediatric brain tumor listserv, ...

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I recently received a call from a physician resident in the Northeast U.S. who had been notified that she would be terminated from her residency program for a “weak knowledge base.” There would be no contract offered to her for the coming academic year. She reports that her scores are no worse than several of her colleagues and that her accredited program has a history of arbitrarily dismissing residents. She ...

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Having a mentor leads to a more successful and satisfying career for doctors. So how does one go about finding a mentor mid-training or after training? Many medical schools and residency programs have mentorship requirements for trainees. But those mentorship needs may change if a student or resident (like myself!) changes their mind about what they want to be when they grow up. I have been enthusiastic ...

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“Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.” That’s how Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, describes mindfulness. In the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, another thought leader in mindfulness, Shunryu Suzuki, says that, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” In my experience, I’ve found that cultivating a beginner’s mind opens doors and improves clinical diagnosis. Medical training has ...

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Want to hear a crazy story? Typical medical school students can relate tales of a college experience that includes summer research or hours spent reviewing for the MCAT. I didn't even take the MCAT. Read on for the oddest medical school acceptance story you've ever heard. I was driven in high school. I'd heard for years about smart kids going off to the Ivy League, and I wanted that experience — to ...

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He wasn’t particularly likable upon first encounter. He wasn’t apt to answer questions asked. He had a long pause and a long drawl and a tangential, winded story — and backstory — all of which he was bound and determined to tell to its detailed completion. With an irregular heart rate in the 170s and a respiratory rate in the 30s, I tried to steer him in the direction of ...

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“Put me out of my misery!” I’ve pleaded to anyone within earshot in the throes of a grueling day, a rant from one feeling burnt out. There are days I want to pull my hair out, even the ones that aren’t gray. One night I caught myself grunting, “I hate my life,” while heading out the door at 12 a.m., after an already exhausting day in the OR. No sane ...

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He was younger than I was — still in his twenties — but the patient had already had his chest opened twice. Deadly bloodstream infections contracted from sharing needles had destroyed his heart valves on two separate occasions. And now six months out from his most recent operation, he was back with fever and chills: ominous signs of another infection. That was years ago. The opioid epidemic hadn’t yet been declared ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 28-year-old man is evaluated for a 2-month history of progressive lower-extremity edema, weight loss, and fatigue. Medical history is significant for recreational use of inhaled cocaine; he denies injection drug use. He has no other known medical issues and takes no medications. On physical examination, temperature is 37.2 °C ...

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The devastating opioid epidemic is one of the largest public health problems facing the U.S. Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from opioid use disorder. Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers. A 2015 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found people who are addicted to painkillers are 40 times more likely to ...

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I’m always intrigued by those who earn millions of dollars per year or even per month. Some manage to blow all that money and then some. Others, like a select few NFL players, choose to spend wisely and save prodigiously. Today’s Saturday Selection highlights the habits of one athlete who was among the highest paid NBA stars for many years. The headlines sadly feature athletes with similar ...

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The ability to lead is not something that comes naturally to everyone. There are some people out there who are wired to lead right from when they are very young -- but these are few and far between. Most of us have to train ourselves, and acquire the necessary leadership skills based on our own learning curve and experiences. The fact is that we are all leaders in one way ...

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When I was a cardiology fellow back in the 1980s, I learned about a variety of early tools for evaluating heart health that had been displaced by the modern standards of electrocardiography (ECG, or EKG for the Deutschephiles) and echocardiography. One such technique – ballistocardiography – stuck with me, and may be making a comeback. Ballistocardiography is based on the observation that the mechanical action of the heart leads to subtle ...

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