Modern medical practices are assisted by advances in technology but remain challenged by the costs of doing business.  Physicians and surgeons are meeting the need to deliver care to large caseloads by employing nurse practitioners and physician assistants and using patient portals to report test results, answer questions, and arrange appointments, including telemedicine consultations.  These systems are designed for efficient care-giving that enables the physician to personally address only the ...

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In March, I began receiving photographs on my social media apps of my daughter’s Match Day celebration seven years ago at Tulane Medical School. It was a glorious day, in particular, because my daughter got her first choice: Not only would she be an internal medicine resident at a top-tier hospital in New York, with a reputation for excellent training, but she would be in the same city as her sister ...

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In cancer language, it’s not unusual for the medical or scientific meaning of a word to be different from the way the same word is understood in everyday language. Sometimes the difference reflects a focus on populations vs. individuals, and in that case, the context in which the term is used is critical. Media reports often add to the confusion by failing to clarify these differences. Here are five frequently used ...

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Recently, I made a doctor's appointment with a new physician at a different hospital system. During my last encounter with our family's primary care doctor, his angry, unprofessional and unnerving behavior not only scared me at the time — it scared me away for good. So forced to navigate away from crazy — I found myself with this new doctor. Upon entering the front door of the new medical center, I ...

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February is a short month. Even this year with leap day. So short. Maybe that is why I am so mad at what Company X did to me. My health insurance company stole eight hours and six minutes from me in February. I will never get it back. This is my story of trying to get Company X to pay its part of two drugs I take for seizures. Very important drugs. ...

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I am a retired union plumber with the state of Illinois. I've had laparoscopic surgery on both knees, a lower back surgery that required two stainless rods, and I'm not sure how many screws, and three cervical fusions. I now suffer from neuropathy (nerve dysfunction) in my feet. They're painfully numb: A shoe could come off, and I wouldn't know it. I find it difficult to get around — not to ...

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A radical change is emerging from within our health care system: Rather than deny or defend medical errors, some hospitals are acknowledging them upfront. This enlightened response has been gaining ground since 2001 when the University of Michigan Hospital introduced one of the first medical error disclosure programs: the Michigan Model. Hospitals that adopt the model also promise to explain why the error occurred, apologize, offer fair compensation, and learn from ...

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Ed is not from Kentucky. I believe he told me he is from West Virginia and from a very low-income family. At about 15, he was hit by a car and paralyzed from the waist down. He's now about 30. But for a guy in a wheelchair, he is nothing short of remarkable for what he gets done. He goes everywhere, either by his own strength or by bus, even on ...

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It is a special group, a mish-mash of medical professionals all with a common purpose: Honing the ability to practice medicine in a more empathetic and compassionate manner, which will benefit both the patient and the professional alike. All meet to share viewpoints, share feelings, share the"what might have been." Sessions are first given over to close examinations of selected prose, poetry, art, or music. Reflecting upon what is placed before them, ...

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As a relatively healthy Medicare patient, I do not visit doctors often. I have had digestive issues most of my life — probably from too many antibiotics when I was a child with recurring strep throat, or so I'm told. My husband and I had just returned from living out of state for two months while he was treated with proton therapy for cancer. My stress levels were high. I was not resting well ...

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