It was Christmas Eve, and where most people are home with their families, residents are all too familiar with spending holidays inside the hospital. As such, I was traveling back to Austin for an early morning shift on hospital service, when I encountered an ethical dilemma that has stuck with me since. A mere 20 minutes after the plane took off, I heard the dreaded words: "A passenger requires medical attention. ...

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He was supposed to be the first patient of the day — not the last. He started as a "no-show" on an already overbooked afternoon office schedule. A gift of sorts, I thought, making clinic a little bit easier and a tiny bit quicker. But Jim showed up hours later in my waiting room. The front office staff asked if I was willing to squeeze him in, presenting me a ...

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Funerals are poetically beautiful in a way. Aside from the pain and loss that the family, friends, and loved ones are experiencing ... those that gather reflect on the life that was lost with joy and maybe even laughter. While in the presence of the lost loved one, we mourn, and despite the BS, stress or struggle you’re dealing with personally, it is often all put aside for a few ...

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Physicians are, without a doubt, some of the most educated professionals around. You spend endless hours studying, taking tests, and jumping through academic hoops in the name of good grades and patient care. But is the education you are receiving truly preparing you for the practice of medicine today? Health care is now considered almost exclusively a business term. And yet there is a lack of business taught in medical school. ...

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Physician burnout and shortage have a profound impact on the ability to deliver quality, accessible health care in the United States — especially in rural areas where specialists are scarce. Burnout is costing the U.S. health care system roughly $4.6 billion a year, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Another study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggested 54% of physicians have ...

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There's a saying in medicine that: "If you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail." It's our way of acknowledging that we all suffer from a particular set of blinders unique to our own specialties. Usually, our focused way of viewing the patient facilitates our ability to serve them, to see their problem, and fix it. Occasionally, it prevents us from seeing that there may be a deeper meaning ...

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Eighty-five percent of health care facilities used locum tenens temporary doctors in 2019 to address their staffing shortages or gaps in coverage. Physicians are turning to locum tenens work to allow them more flexibility, extra income, the ability to travel, and exposure to new and evolving patient care environments. But what they are likely not aware of is the price tag on their heads if or when they decide to consider ...

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As I hug my younger daughter's little head at school drop-off, the calming aroma of her hair fills me with peace. She scurries across the schoolyard toward her 2nd-grade classroom, her big backpack bouncing up and down, seemingly with its own agenda and dwarfing her tiny frame. As soon as I leave the school, my focus switches. I'm at the edge of my patient's hospital bed, reviewing the day's treatment goals. ...

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Medicine is a difficult calling. You already know the sacrifices. As an undergraduate, you gave up time with friends and family so you could be accepted into medical school — where you worked even harder. You understand that the practice of medicine requires you to take responsibility for the care of others ... and the emotional toll that comes with it. In this profession, it's easy to feel like you're alone. Our ...

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Much is written about the advantages for primary care physicians and patients of working within a retainer model, direct primary care, concierge-type care model. Little is written about the downside or disadvantages. It is time to shine a light on the benefits and challenges of concierge and standard models through an experienced lens, particularly as drivers of burnout and the primary care shortage loom so large. The phase of a ...

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