One of the things I am most grateful for, as a doctor who has worked in at least a dozen different hospitals over the last decade, is the broad range of experiences I’ve had and the variety of physicians I’ve met and gotten to know. I enjoy hearing experienced physicians’ perspectives on how the practice of medicine has changed from what it used to be in the 1970s to 1990s. I ...

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All good doctors learn to filter what parents say to them during history taking, to examine each parental statement for reliability, likelihood, and sheer outlandishness. Parents of sick children are a cross-section of humanity and, like all of us, vary in their observational skills, their ability to express themselves, and their tendency to exaggerate or minimize what they see. Parents, not being physicians, may not notice and comment on things ...

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I can vividly remember the day the phone call came. My cousin screaming over the phone, trying to make out words but unable to speak, disbelief, horror, the fear in her voice palpable even though she was thousands of miles away. It was barely 5:30 a.m., I was frantically rushing out to beat traffic, hoping to get a head start on pre rounding since I was on call. Confused, I ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I vividly remember the first time I saw someone who had died. She was in her late 20s, wearing tattered clothes, and alone. Her friends and family never came. I watched from a distance as police and crime scene investigators worked. I had ...

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"I have the CPAP machine. I've had it for a year, but I don't have electricity in my house. I stayed with my aunt who has electricity but things didn't work out," said the young Navajo man, his massive belly protruding out from underneath the tray table. The old Navajo man with Parkinson's disease, unable to walk fast enough to make it to the outhouse in time, had started taking anti-diarrheal ...

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Dear colleagues, I know you have seen these questions: Do you currently have any physical or mental impairment that could limit your clinical practice? Are you currently taking any medication? Have you ever been hospitalized for any reason? Have you ever been hospitalized for, or diagnosed with, a psychiatric disorder to include substance abuse? Ugh! I hate, hate, HATE these questions! "It is none of their business," or at least that is what I told ...

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"Relic" - an object surviving from an earlier time, especially one of historical or sentimental interest. Relic derives from the Latin "reliquiae," meaning remains and a form of the Latin verb relinquere, to leave behind or abandon. Relics include the physical remains as well as other objects that have been "sanctified" by being touched to the body in life or death. From high over the bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley near ...

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It was hour thirty, and I was still at the hospital. My shift had technically ended two hours ago, but I was emotionally invested in this patient She was dying. I didn’t want to leave because I was so worried that she would pass the moment I stepped out of the hospital. My colleagues urged me to go home and practice self-care, as if that was going to make everything ...

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Medicare wants doctors to get patients on their computers. Doctors are required to set up computer portals to communicate with patients. These portals use two-factor identification and presume substantial computer literacy from patients in their late 70s or 80s. Yet, there are limits. For many geriatric patients, a cell phone means a feature phone with gigantic numbers. If they have a computer, it ...

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I sat across the table from my physician client and listened to her story. She asks, “How can it be that after four years of medical school and three years of residency training in my chosen field I feel so disillusioned and disconnected?" Instead of seeing the excitement of starting a new chapter in her career or even acknowledging some trepidation about becoming an attending with the increasing pressures of this ...

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