When my obstetrician told me I was not going back to my clinic that afternoon due to severe preeclampsia, I was so indoctrinated that my first thought was of the inconvenience to my patients who would need to be rescheduled. Only a few minutes later did it register that I would be giving birth sooner than I had anticipated, and my new life as “working mother” would begin. I was due ...

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In the current health care system, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction are increasingly important. With the hospital value-based purchasing program, Medicare adjusts payments to hospitals based on the quality of patient care they provide. Hospital consumer assessment of health care providers and systems scores are tied to Medicare reimbursements. Under the hospital-acquired condition reduction program, hospitals in the highest quartile of hospital-acquired conditions are subject to a 1 percent payment ...

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In the service industry — which as physicians, we certainly are a part of — a popular saying is that the customer always comes first. The implication is that in order to thrive in an industry, you have to cater to the customers/patients as it is they who will ultimately decide where they take their business. In medical school, the emphasis on prioritizing the patient was evident, culminating in the Hippocratic Oath ...

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After spending much of the first 40 years of my life poring over textbooks and medical journals, I decided to start reading literary fiction. At the time, I had no ulterior motive — only a vague sense that I had been missing something important, a metaphoric vitamin without which my development would not be complete. I certainly did not expect that the great novels would make me a better doctor. ...

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It’s difficult to imagine a world now without Google and the internet. It’s also strange to think that most people alive right now received the bulk of their education in the pre-internet era. I remember in the United Kingdom, where I went to medical school, Google only became a thing perhaps midway through university. Since then, of course, the internet has exploded and penetrated every facet of our lives. And ...

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From October 25 to October 29, 2019, more than 10,000 pediatricians from all over the world gathered in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, to attend the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition. As the world's largest pediatric medical education event, the AAP National Conference draws pediatricians, like me, to network with mentors and colleagues, learn about the latest clinical guidelines and policies, and be inspired to renew ...

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Physicians and nurses deal with the deepest issues of the human condition: life and death. Our profession brings new life into the world and does our best to bring comfort and peace at the journey’s end. It is a profound and emotional experience for medical professionals to be with a patient and family when life ends. There are other professions who routinely confront loss of life. Law enforcement personnel, paramedics, firefighters, ...

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Just before I induced anesthesia, he said, “Doc, I want to apologize beforehand. I am incontinent due to a previous surgery so I might wet the sheets." I told him not to worry and that we understood and that "these things do happen." His response has stuck with me: "Doc, but there is still some shame." I nodded, told him not to worry since he was going to get a catheter anyway, ...

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I am a middle-aged, full-time emergency physician, and part-time law student. Usually, I practice medicine during the day and attend law classes in the evening. Sometimes I have law classes in the afternoon or early evening then work in the emergency department all night. So, what’s harder: medical school or law school? Absolutely the most common question I am asked by physicians, attorneys, and students at all levels of training. The other most ...

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At first, I thought the light was reflecting off the mirror. But no. There It was - my first gray hair. I did not expect to live to see the day. I was ecstatic! At six months old, I was diagnosed with a severe illness called thalassemia major and was incorrectly expecting to have passed by now. (Google told me so!) Yet, this year, I complete ten years beyond my ...

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