In the past few weeks, there has been a question regarding my use of the hashtag #Nof1 along with how I end the majority of my posts and tweets: Health care is delivered at the N of 1. One person even believed there might be a trademark infringement with the company N-of-1 who provides molecular testing for patients and then delivers evidenced-based medical recommendations for oncology patients. The reality is that, ...

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STAT_Logo My older sister, Jan, visited me in San Francisco last spring. “You look great,” I told her, noticing that her clothes were hanging loose; she’d been heavy most of her life. “I’ve lost 60 pounds,” she said, and I automatically congratulated her. “I wasn’t trying,” she replied. It hit me then that something was very wrong, first with ...

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Last night, my son was reading a book that was required summer reading for 6th grade. This book was published over 30 years ago. When he got to a sentence that used the word “retard,” he stopped and innocently asked, “Mom, what does that word mean?” At first, I was shocked that he did not know the meaning, but as I thought about it more, I realized this term was no ...

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On a daily basis, I am introduced to new people from all walks of life. Some sit on the board of directors, some are CEOs, some are presidents, some are middle managers and other administrators, some are investors, others are entrepreneurs, and some are physicians, nurses, case managers and even patients. I listen to people talk about the big challenges in health care. It costs too much, we have a shortage ...

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In 1996, I had an illness that nearly killed me. I was exhausted, felt awful, could barely stand up and had trouble remembering things. Yet, I somehow had to find the energy not only to take care of my newborn and 5 year old, coordinate our upcoming move, consult with doctors and other medical providers on my condition and treatment, and receive treatments that might or might not help me ...

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At 3 1/2 years old, my son was the picture of health. I have an actual picture. He is in jammies, wearing my sunglasses, laughing and chalk coloring the driveway while the sun is shining on his blond hair. That picture frequently flashes in my mind. I posted it on Facebook, my happy, healthy boy. There was no warning and nothing to prepare me for the months ahead. First, it was ...

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The impact of the opioid crisis struck home within the Missouri physician community on Dec. 15, 2014. That’s the day when, just two months shy of his 30th birthday, Derek succumbed to an opioid overdose. The news was devastating for his mother, Kelly O’Leary, a longtime volunteer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society Alliance, and her husband Timothy O’Leary, MD, a radiation ...

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From the wrong diagnosis to the incorrect medication, medical mistakes kill as many as 250,000 people annually in the United States — and injure thousands more. This figure could be much higher, considering there’s never been an actual count of how many patients experience preventable harm. We only have an approximate figure, which may indeed be very far off from the truth, considering the inaccuracies in ...

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"Doctors are not the problem. Patients are." Anyone who has ever thought the above statement is true has not tapped into the vast well of knowledge and intellect found in their own patients. Training patients to be better patients brings the joy of medicine back into your practice. All of us, at one time or another, sat in a classroom. The teacher spent the first day going over the rules of the ...

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An open letter to doctors still prescribing opioid medication when necessary: Thank you so much for standing up for us pain patients. My chronic pain comes from a genetic connective tissue disorder (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), so there is no treatment or cure for my slow, but relentless, physical deterioration as the collagen holding my body together falls apart. I, like so many other pain patients, spent years (1982-1995) trying other therapies (yoga, acupuncture, ...

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