study from the National Bureau of Economic Research reports on the results of a large randomized controlled trial of a large employer with over 12,000 employees. Program eligibility and financial incentives were randomized at the individual level. Over 56 percent of eligible treatment group employees participated. The study found that in the first year, the employees who signed up were healthier and had lower medical costs, but, and ...

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They came from all corners of the globe to bid him farewell. He looked cachetic, his frail form interrupted by swelling in his abdomen and legs, a result of end-stage pancreatic cancer. It was Dr. Yeat’s last week in the hospital before being transferred to a nearby hospice.  He was now on morphine, and despite severe fatigue and difficulty breathing, he always managed a smile. Some of his visitors were former ...

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I’ve been single for nearly a decade. A career-driven professional, juggling parenting, PTA, and post-graduate studies, my time is precious. But there’s something about this season -- the heart-shaped Valentines and assorted chocolates -- that has a way of evoking a longing for love. So this year, bowing to the goading of friends and against my better judgment, I decided to do something I never -- never -- thought I’d try. I ...

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I work as a pediatrician in a bustling metropolis, in an outpatient setting of a world-renowned academic center. One of those non-profit hospitals you see in television ads. For the last three years, our outpatient encounters have plummeted, and the mothership has put all efforts into recuperating financial losses. Meanwhile, our office phones are ringing off the hook, and we cannot seem to hire enough nursing staff to deal with ...

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As a physician, I am totally disgusted by what President Donald Trump eats -- and you should be too. His standing order on Trump Force One is reminiscent of a fast-food bacchanalia, comprised of “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted” according to the recently released book by his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and top aide David Bossie. But it doesn’t stop there: ...

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The public’s apparently insatiable appetite for medical drama continues unabated as yet another prime-time TV show set in a hospital has hit our screens. FOX’s The Resident has generated discussion like no other. This may simply be due to the fact it’s the first major launch in the era of widespread social media, but it seems to have enraged a vast swathe of our ranks. Has The Resident crossed a ...

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2017 has been open season on the psyche of the 45th president of the United States. Psychiatrists and psychologists have gone public to express their concerns about his perceived state of mind despite the established Goldwater rule that it is unethical for them to diagnose mental illness in a living public figure they haven’t examined and whose consent they have not obtained. The consensus seems to be the Donald J. ...

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My shift had finally ended.  As a second-year resident, I was driving home after 30 hours awake straight.  The busy call included delivering several babies, two Cesarean sections, circumcisions, rounding, triaging new patients, and teaching medical students.  Never during that 30 hours was a 5-minute nap possible; clinical load would not permit this. I couldn’t wait to get home at the end of the shift as I was completely exhausted.  So, ...

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It was Saturday. My first day off in the last 14, which included three 26-hour calls. My wife was left home alone for these stretches to care for our 2-week-old son. I’m sitting on the couch, reading a book to my little man, enjoying a much-needed breather, and making up for lost time in seeing him grow into a person. And the phone rings. Concurrent emergent cardiac surgeries: the only way that ...

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Patients and their family members are impressed when doctors show up for memorial services. They tell me about it. “The doctor liked my mother so much that he came to her wake,” a patient recently confided in me as I examined her. She had been a sole caregiver for her aging parents for years, and her mother had passed a few months earlier. The physician’s presence at her mother’s service ...

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