The Wall Street Journal’s decision to publish an attack on Dr. Jill Biden’s right to be called “doctor” has appropriately unleashed a firestorm. According to Joseph Epstein, the editorial’s author, Biden should drop the title because she isn’t what people often think of when they hear the word “doctor,” namely a physician. For Epstein, ‘Dr. Jill Biden’ sounds and feels fraudulent, not to ...

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For most clinicians, this will sound familiar: I can feel the resentment bubbling up as I sit down to chart on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I’ve got dozens of charts hanging over me, and if I don’t get them closed, there will be yet another miserable head thrashing with my practice admin. My kids are clamoring for my time, and every fiber of my being is resisting getting these charts done. ...

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I once attended a business coaching workshop for health care professionals. For one of the exercises, we had to draw our “ideal patient.” The instructor told us to be as specific as we could. We were encouraged to set up a full name profile, age, gender, race, and health challenges. Some of us even wrote two-page background stories about how our ideal patients grew up and who they were dating. ...

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The roads are dark and empty at 6:15. Passing through downtown, animated reindeer “fly” through the air in lights on the side of a skyscraper. At the end of the truncated commute, I snag a spot on the second floor of the parking garage—typically rare but plentiful today. In the hospital's lobby, I pass the 20-foot tree—topped with a massive star more like a spiky sea creature—that has been up ...

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An excerpt from Becoming a Doctors' Doctor: A Memoir. After about six months of my residency in internal medicine, I began to feel something was missing, though at the time I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then, after a series of general medicine rotations, I ...

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“The nipples are equal and reactive” is a phrase I came across in the physical exam section of a note that I had dictated, courtesy of my Dragon.  I have a Dragon.  Not a cool Game of Thrones dragon, heroically swooping in at a critical moment, but a program that recognizes my voice and transcribes it into comically broken English in my patient’s medical record. At times, my Dragon has ...

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An excerpt from Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. All rights reserved. Eduardo Rosas Cruz was arrested late in the evening near Bakersfield, California, on July ...

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The mood hung in the air like a clenched jaw, a clenched fist, and slumped shoulders. I watched a fellow patient shuffle by the nurses’ station with his little paper cup. You know, the ones that are an inch or two tall and wide with a slight lip; the kind you see strictly in hospitals. I knew it was brimmed with multiple meds the colors of the rainbow. And, of ...

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I am an orthopedic surgeon, and I only take cash. When I tell people this, it usually conjures up images of some money-grubbing doctor eager to make a dollar any way they can. Personally, I am not incredibly incentivized by money in and of itself. I try to live a reasonable lifestyle and keep my expenses under control. I started a cash-only practice not for the love of money but ...

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The corporatization of medicine has destroyed primary care as a specialty. The primary care physician is supposed to be your go-to doctor, your advocate, the coordinator of your health care. Now that corporations buy out hospitals and private practices in an almost predatory fashion, the priority is turning a profit for the corporation at the expense of not only patient health but also the health and well-being of the primary ...

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