I once attended a business coaching workshop for health care professionals. For one of the exercises, we had to draw our “ideal patient.” The instructor told us to be as specific as we could. We were encouraged to set up a full name profile, age, gender, race, and health challenges. Some of us even wrote two-page background stories about how our ideal patients grew up and who they were dating. ...

Read more...

The roads are dark and empty at 6:15. Passing through downtown, animated reindeer “fly” through the air in lights on the side of a skyscraper. At the end of the truncated commute, I snag a spot on the second floor of the parking garage—typically rare but plentiful today. In the hospital's lobby, I pass the 20-foot tree—topped with a massive star more like a spiky sea creature—that has been up ...

Read more...

An excerpt from Becoming a Doctors' Doctor: A Memoir. After about six months of my residency in internal medicine, I began to feel something was missing, though at the time I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then, after a series of general medicine rotations, I ...

Read more...

“The nipples are equal and reactive” is a phrase I came across in the physical exam section of a note that I had dictated, courtesy of my Dragon.  I have a Dragon.  Not a cool Game of Thrones dragon, heroically swooping in at a critical moment, but a program that recognizes my voice and transcribes it into comically broken English in my patient’s medical record. At times, my Dragon has ...

Read more...

An excerpt from Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved. Eduardo Rosas Cruz was arrested late in the evening near Bakersfield, California, on July ...

Read more...

The mood hung in the air like a clenched jaw, a clenched fist, and slumped shoulders. I watched a fellow patient shuffle by the nurses’ station with his little paper cup. You know, the ones that are an inch or two tall and wide with a slight lip; the kind you see strictly in hospitals. I knew it was brimmed with multiple meds the colors of the rainbow. And, of ...

Read more...

I am an orthopedic surgeon, and I only take cash. When I tell people this, it usually conjures up images of some money-grubbing doctor eager to make a dollar any way they can. Personally, I am not incredibly incentivized by money in and of itself. I try to live a reasonable lifestyle and keep my expenses under control. I started a cash-only practice not for the love of money but ...

Read more...

The corporatization of medicine has destroyed primary care as a specialty. The primary care physician is supposed to be your go-to doctor, your advocate, the coordinator of your health care. Now that corporations buy out hospitals and private practices in an almost predatory fashion, the priority is turning a profit for the corporation at the expense of not only patient health but also the health and well-being of the primary ...

Read more...

It was Friday night, and after a long day of grossing, I was ready to leave the hospital when the department’s door opened, and the nurse shouted, “we have a frozen for an emergency liver transplant.” Without hesitation, I took the specimen and called the attending on call. After a few minutes, the surgeon arrived anxiously to our reading room. “We flew all the way from Pennsylvania to get this ...

Read more...

My first clinical rotation as a third-year medical student was in orthopedics. I remember the excitement of being scrubbed into the OR, with the gloried task of suctioning while the fellows did the real work. About 30 minutes into the surgery, when things were getting underway, a male physician scrubbed in and took the tool away from me — I grabbed it back, letting him know I had the ...

Read more...

884 Pages

Most Popular

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories