Practicing medicine at the frontlines is hard. It’s damn hard. Every minute you need to be alert, ready to respond to a potential life or death situation, and be called to another important problem. The current medical practice environment -- with excessive bureaucracy, suboptimal information technology, and extreme time pressure with patients -- adds exponentially to the mix, and can make for a very stressful job. Make no mistake, even ...

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People often say that they can die happy if … Well, I have no intention of dying, but one of my goals in life was achieved recently. Historically, Facebook moms groups have been the bane of existence for many physicians, particularly pediatricians. We are often rated and compared like hotel mattresses. Well, last night one of my friends texted me, “Your practice is getting a lot of love on Facebook.”  Now, ...

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Burnout is a myth. Dedicated clinicians, working under circumstances that connect their skills and compassion with opportunities to impact patients, won’t experience burnout any more often than they might by doing other jobs. The story we tell -- the one that dissatisfaction is this system’s inevitable byproduct -- perpetuates more harm than we know. This is what I’d like to believe. I’d like to write about the many opportunities to do ...

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This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com. "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name." So go the famous lyrics from the theme song for "Cheers," the iconic sitcom of the 1980s. The name thing can get really personal in medicine — and everyone has an opinion — as evidenced by a plaintive blog posting ...

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On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after liftoff, resulting in the death of the entire seven-person crew. The subsequent investigation revealed that a joint in the right solid rocket booster failed during liftoff, which occurred due to the inadequacy of the O-ring seals. It was about 28-degrees on the morning of the space shuttle launch, and the O-ring seals were not designed to perform at such ...

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The pediatric emergency department’s fluorescent light cast its glow on our heads, drifting and drooping, at 3 a.m. Torn between taking a chance on rest and anticipating the next fever, headache, abdominal pain, wheezing or rash that came through the doors, we sat suspended. The nurses tried to stay awake with a parade of old cat videos and Kardashian memes, their Facebook feeds stale - no one really posts much at that ...

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I often wonder what it was like before patient-centered care became a mainstream catchphrase. Was there a poor relationship between the patient and physician in the outpatient setting? Were hospitalized patients’ feelings, desires, goals, and therapy options ignored? It amazes me that we were able to care for patients more than ten years ago without using a “patient-centered” approach. According to NEJM Catalyst, “Patient-and family-centered care encourages the ...

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Are you or a loved one aging, perhaps with a chronic heart or lung condition that limits daily activities? Do you have an older parent in a nursing home or who needs assistance with daily living activities? If so, read on and make the pledge. As physicians, we see death every day. We see death made worse and more painful by poor advance care planning. Yet, despite the certainty of death ...

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For the past several years, I have been befuddled by patients calling me by my first name (Sara) instead of my professional title (Dr. Jones). At first, I ignored this, but as it became more common, I started telling some of these patients that I preferred being called Dr. Jones rather than by first name. This took some patients aback — probably thinking I was a snob — while others ...

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I’m an ER doc. I care for patients. All patients: Those who need to be in the ER; those who don’t; those who wouldn’t be there if they knew better. For them, for you and for fun, I’ve got some tips to keep you happy, safe and away from my ER. Enjoy. 1. Never, ever say “hold my beer and watch this!” Besides “I do!” they are the most dangerous words ...

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