When my father reached his mid-80s, an accelerating accumulation of physical and mental functioning issues persuaded him to switch to a primary care physician in a concierge medical practice. Although the doctor’s pedigree proclaimed his competence, he mostly excelled as the medical equivalent of a hotel concierge who can magically procure hard-to-get restaurant reservations at the last minute. The doctor would see my dad on short notice and make sure he ...

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I don’t mean to pick on McDonald’s. Insert any other large retail business where customer satisfaction massively trumps every other consideration of the relationship between employee and customer. Telemedicine companies have exploded the past few years. I suspect a lot of my readers have already seen this, but just in case not, a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine measured the correlation between customers with a cold who called ...

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I had my first mammogram at age 35, and for the next 35 years I had mammograms regularly. On my way, I'd pass the entrance to the Thomas Johns Cancer Hospital, outside of Richmond, VA, never thinking that I'd one day cross that threshold myself. When I heard the "C" word, I didn't know what to do. I wanted to run far, far away. After much grief, however, I realized that ...

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When I was a preemie — all two-and-a-half pounds of me — my mom was understandably worried. She said her doctor wheeled her down the hall to the newborn nursery, and my mom could hear me screaming all the way down the hall. She said, “I’ve got to hand it to you. You let your voice be heard — you let your needs be known. I told her that at ...

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An excerpt from How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers (Second Edition). Copyright 2018 by Toni Bernhard. Excerpted with permission from Wisdom Publications.  In the years since I’ve been chronically ill, more essential to me than formal meditation has been mindfulness outside of ...

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STAT_Logo Are my breast cancer and I on the wrong side of statistics, or just caught in the confusing and potentially devastating conflict between medical societies about when women should start breast-cancer screening? One morning more than a year ago, it didn’t seem like either. As both of my kids cuddled in bed with my husband and me, I ...

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An excerpt from How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers (Second Edition). Copyright 2018 by Toni Bernhard. Excerpted with permission from Wisdom Publications.  The fifth way I cultivate compassion for myself is to consciously work on opening my heart to the intense emotions ...

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A excerpt from A Mind Unraveled: A Memoir. Copyright © 2018 by Kurt Eichenwald. Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. I awoke in pain. Sometime during a seizure, I had fallen down the stairs outside of ...

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As a patient who has had extensive dealings with five prestigious Manhattan medical institutions, I have taken the liberty of writing this letter from the perspective of one who has spent many long and arduous years in the underbelly of our deeply troubled health care system, and one who has seen firsthand how the doctor-patient relationship has steadily eroded over time. This relationship, so foundational to the practice of medicine, ...

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A thought, a word, a story. Simple concepts in a complex world, but they can have a profound effect on how we live our lives. Today's world may seem, at times, a blur. We are inundated every day with headlines of natural disasters, man's inhumanity to man, and simply, just life slapping us in the face. How can we maintain a sense of sanity and security when the world around ...

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