The 10 most popular KevinMD posts of 2013 shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system, but are rarely heard from.  Over 2500 articles were published this year from these voices, including practicing physicians, patients, policy experts, nurses, social workers, medical students, and hospital chaplains, among others.

I sincerely appreciate your continued readership and conversation.

Here are the most popular posts of 2013.

    1. Dear lawmakers: This is what it’s like to be a doctor today. I am writing this letter because I feel that our leaders and lawmakers do not have an accurate picture of what it actually entails to become a physician today; specifically, the financial, intellectual, social, mental, and physical demands of the profession.
    2. Behind the fetish of vitamin B12 shots. I realize that B12 injections are common. Many docs administer these, and many adults get these — probably some of you reading this. So what’s the science behind this practice?
    3. Thanks for the compliment, but I’m not a nurse. Let’s get one thing clear from the start: I love nurses. My grandmother was a nurse’s aide. My aunt is a nurse. My mother is a nurse. Nurses have been by my side for the most frightening and important experiences in my life (in the hospital and out). However, I’m not a nurse. I’m a doctor. And when someone calls me nurse, I hate it.
    4. The only thing that truly separates doctors from nurses. “What is a doctor? What is a nurse?” Thirty years ago this would have been an absurd question. Not only would it have been absurd for doctors and nurses, but for patients too. Roles were clearly delineated within the disciplines, and the white coat indicated a doctor and the white uniform and cap identified the nurse.
    5. What I’ve learned from saving physicians from suicide. Three planned suicides. All three physicians survived. Why?
    6. The focus on patient satisfaction is enough to make you sick. All patients should be treated with professionalism and respect. We all want our patients leaving our care happy, healthy and satisfied, if at all possible. However, sometimes patients don’t leave an emergency department very happy or satisfied. Sometimes the doctor could have prevented it, but many if not most times, such dissatisfaction has little if anything to do with what the treating physician did, or didn’t, do.
    7. Is Chris Christie too obese to run for president? Former White House physician Connie Mariano, MD, set off a firestorm by stating the patently obvious fact that New Jersey governor Chris Christie ought to address his morbid obesity prior to entertaining thoughts of running for the presidency in 2016.
    8. Dear patients: My skill set no longer matches your needs. It has been a hard week. I wanted to take a moment to personally apologize for all that you have endured. As one who has witnessed your pains and struggles, I can only wince with each new passing hurdle you are forced to leap over. This business of disease and illness is not for the weak of heart (metaphorically, that is).
    9. Being a good medical student doesn’t mean you’ll be a good doctor. Medical education may be breeding a legion of self-serving, grade-grubbing, SOAP-note spewing machines rather than the empathetic, compassionate and caring physicians of admission essays yore.
    10. So your partner wants to remove your pubic hair. A divorced friend of mine who recently started dating was shocked to find that the complete absence of female pubic hair seemed to be an expectation among her potential partners.

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