After having read the article by Marjorie Stiegler, MD entitled "Stop the hostility among health care professionals," I wanted to talk briefly about a group that was not mentioned, but needs to have a voice speak out for them. The EMTs and paramedics that serve this country as paid professionals and volunteers in ambulance services and fire departments all over this nation. Yet, I sometimes find that EMTs and ...

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A few months ago I went to visit my brother in San Francisco. My sister-in-law picked me up from the airport with my four-year-old nephew in the backseat. Shortly into our car ride from the airport, my nephew says out loud, "My leg hurts.” I replied, “I'll check it when I get home.” To which he retorted, “No, I want a doctor to check it.” “I am a doctor,” I shouted out. He ...

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“It is far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has.” - Hippocrates The Internet has the ability to connect us regardless of geographic location, socioeconomic status and age -- it really has no boundaries. I grew up in a time when today’s technology was not the norm and having a pen pal offered you a way to connect with someone you didn’t otherwise know. Nowadays, ...

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Dear Fizzy, MD: Your article on part-time physicians “ruining” medicine really struck a chord with me.  That you, as a mother and a wife, chose to prioritize your wholeness and family above career is commendable. I applaud your courage to chart your own course in the face of a work culture that undermines your wellbeing while at the same time, expects you to deliver health and healing to others ...

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Physician cure thyself. After 30 years of participation in multiple medical staffs, including small regional hospitals and large academic settings, there is one constant that continually undermines how content physicians are with their medical practice and the health care system. Many challenges in patient care seem insurmountable. From declining reimbursements to intensified quagmire of bureaucracy, the practicing physician, whether employed or not is berated by administrative authorities with no experience in ...

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I could wallpaper a rather large wall with my diplomas, certificates, awards, and licenses.  Each gilded slip of paper demarcates a moment in the last 20 years when I finished, graduated, certified or did any one of many steps required to become a board certified physician. Yet, after all of the sleepless nights, deferred self-care and catastrophic debt -- after all this -- 3 years ago I sat at my ...

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Did you see this recent post on MedPage Today?  “Burnout: Is Medical School the Staging Area? Burnout prevention starts in medical school.” The article describes important new work at the University of Chicago Pritzker School Of Medicine to improve medical student resilience.  It’s great to see medical schools addressing burnout and equipping students with valuable coping mechanisms. As the post states, “One way to do this is to induce a greater resiliency ...

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Perhaps the greatest flaw in medical training is our blatant avoidance of any education related to the business of medicine. Primarily focused on treating illness, trainees often don't want to hear about how they are going to be compensated in the future, and medical school administrators fear that such training would further decrease interest in specialties that reimburse at a lower rate per unit time. Some doctors get 10s and ...

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For decades, many physicians have been pushing for comprehensive tort reform on the national level. Malpractice claims in the U.S. are twice those of other developed countries such as England, Canada, and Germany. Payouts in a U.S. claim can easily reach 3 million dollars or more; in Germany most claims are around $30,000 or less. A survey conducted by RAND in 2011 estimates that 99 percent of American physicians in high-risk ...

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With the depths of winter just around the corner, doctors and nurses everywhere know what’s about to hit them over the next few months. The inevitable surge in hospital admissions during colder weather is almost as predictable as knowing the leaves will be falling off the trees in the fall. As someone who has worked in several different hospitals over the last few years, ranging from small rural institutions to large ...

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