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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

There is only one correct, perfect, absolute approach to life and decisions near its end.   This truth relieves the doctor of final decision.   The right way lifts the burden of anxiety, confrontation or guilt.   The perfect path makes giving care at a very hard time, much easier. That correct course, the only way to treat every patient and every family, is exactly what the patient and family say it is. This ...

Read more...

So, you’ve finished all your job interviews and think you’ve found a perfect fit. Graduating from residency is exciting, but did you get any training on what it all means to sign on the dotted line? Below is a quick and dirty run-down of the contracting process from an industry insider. 1. Non-compete clauses. Non-compete clauses are not just a big med phenomenon; they are part of contracts in many different clinical settings. ...

Read more...

Clinician educators have the opportunity and responsibility to influence students, interns and residents.  While we can have some hubris in our education skills, we must always demonstrate humility in our patient care role modeling. Dr. Orhan Muren, one of my early role models, often told us to never be “cocky” when taking care of patients.  As I recall his admonition, I realize that he was urging us to have true humility. But ...

Read more...

I am constantly coming across articles of physicians with strong voices. Physicians that are jaded.  Physicians that didn’t go into medicine to be defined by patient satisfaction surveys. Physicians that didn’t go into medicine expecting that people wouldn’t trust in their training because the Internet begs to differ. Physicians that cringe at the drive-through mentality that patients can present with diagnoses in hand and demands for tests to be done. Physicians ...

Read more...

Most Popular

Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories.