Dear science, Today my sons, Oliver and Victor, are 15 years old. It is not a miracle; it is thanks to you. Unable to get pregnant I needed infertility therapy. If you had not isolated the hormones, developed tests, and then designed medications for ovarian stimulation and to trigger ovulation I would never have become pregnant. If ultrasound had not been developed I would not have known I was pregnant with triplets and then ...

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STAT_Logo "Better patient care” is the reason hospital and health systems usually give when they merge or acquire one another. Our research suggests that mergers and affiliations might, paradoxically, increase the risk of harm to patients in the short run. Improving the safety of patient care is possible during mergers and affiliations, but requires intentional efforts. What happens after ...

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It's easy to get excited about technological advances such as nanobots that swim in blood to deliver drugs or 3-D printers that print human tissues. However, in our enthusiasm to find the next fix, we are failing to notice the ground slipping underneath the health care industry. Here are four trends that are changing health care but on the surface are too unsexy for us to care about. Trend 1: The doctor-patient ...

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Let’s begin with a quiz question: Patients may be allergic to: A. oxygen B. carbon C. iodine D. none of the above If you answered anything but "D," better keep reading. Consider this scenario: If a patient is allergic to penicillin, you would document “penicillin” in the medical records. It would never occur to you to list “antibiotics” as an allergy, and you certainly would not call it a “carbon” allergy for slang, just because penicillin contains ...

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It's that time of year again. The start of a new academic year, marked by the arrival of a brand-new class of interns starting out in their training. Clutching their freshly-minted medical degrees, they appear so ready, so anxious, so excited, so eager to learn. Now it's our job to make sure they stay this way. (Have I written this column before? Every year ...) We need to make sure we have a world where ...

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Doctor: (from Latin docere “teach” Greek phusikḗ epistḗmē “knowledge of nature”) a specially trained and skilled person who holds an advanced medical degree and is licensed to practice the healing arts. My definition of doctor keeps evolving. As a child, I was cared for by FPs who helped set bones, suture skin and fight infections like measles, chicken pox, and strep. Though I didn’t like going, I usually experienced healing on ...

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I subscribe to a financial newsletter that happens to be written by a non-practicing physician in a highly specialized field. His daily updates are a mixture of financial and health advice, and he is a proponent of evidence-based medicine. Based on the letters from subscribers, they are willing to follow his advice eagerly, and when he gives some references to support his medical opinions this seems logical. But he is ...

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It’s been a gut-punch kind of time for many of us, and I want to say a few things that I think are important. First of all, I really love working with you guys. It is the best part of my job, hands down. I have taken stock of my career lately, and I keep coming back to that. You are young and optimistic and funny (so, so funny). You are ...

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“My group has been approached by a private equity company.  It sounds like a great deal!  Any questions I should ask?” Whether it be through one on one discussions or through the Physician Side gigs group, I’ve found myself having this conversation with increasing frequency.  Part of the reason for that is because I find it fascinating, albeit also sometimes terrifying.  As the trend towards consolidation ...

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Health care is buzzing as Atul Gawande has been selected as CEO of the Berkshire-Hathaway/Amazon/JP Morgan strategic venture. I was thrilled they picked a physician, like myself, in the trenches to run their gig. After hearing the news, I remembered Gawande’s TED Talk from 2012 and decided to catch up on it during my flight to the Healthcare Finance Management Association Annual Meeting and Innovation Lab. After watching the ...

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