Seems like a simple enough question: How do you find a psychiatrist? It's not that easy to answer. There are all sorts of psychiatrists who do all sorts of things (therapy, not therapy, specific forms of therapy like psychoanalysis or CBT), and then there's the overriding insurance question. Not to mention location, location, location. We've talked before about insurance, and if you haven't read Why Shrinks Don't Take Your Insurance, ...

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A physician approached me at the end of a talk on optimizing practice efficiency and improving service to patients and said, "I dream of an office with no phones." Do you have days where the phones are ringing off the hook? Or the phone message forms in your in-box seem to be reproducing? Maybe it's been one of those days when you can never get your nurse's help because she's been ...

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As the saying goes, when you’ve got a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Send a patient to a surgeon, and he very well might get surgery. Send a patient to a psychiatrist, and he very well may end up on psychotropic medication. As physicians, we need to take responsibility for our own actions. We should not prescribe or perform procedures unnecessarily. However, even if we are responsible for our own ...

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by Kelly, MD There is a reason why people often say "the art of medicine." It’s not just the fact that so much of what we do is based on culture and habit rather than science, but also the fact that there is a lot of finesse when it comes to relationships as a doctor.  Oh sure, we know all about patient-doctor relationships and its importance.  There are ...

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Last year, Medicare paid $55 billion just for doctor and hospital bills during the last two months of patients’ lives. And it has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenses may have had no meaningful impact. Most of the bills are paid for by the federal government with few or no questions asked. This statistic is from a 60 Minutes story on “The Cost of ...

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by an anonymous physician I am a physician now in recovery. I don't like that term. The correct thing to say is, I am sober.  I am going on a year sober without any problems. Recovery suggests some disease state and I don't think it is that simple.  It also suggests an ongoing daily struggle or effort to remain sober, and I don't find that the case, either.  I know this ...

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by Mary Lynn Summer I am a nurse. Like most medical practitioners, I am afraid of malpractice attorneys and view them as a threat to my nursing license. Every hospital has a system in place to deal with medical errors and patient complaints. I used to think they worked, but now I don’t. My mother, in her late 80s, recently broke her hip. She has dementia so is unable to appropriately express ...

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The waiting area in Bellevue Hospital was full. Every chair was taken. But the people kept streaming in. More chairs had to be brought in. It wasn't clear if the room could accommodate everyone. This wasn't the emergency room or the clinic waiting area, however. It was the scene of the Bellevue Literary Review poetry and prose reading. More than 100 people poured into Bellevue Hospital on a Sunday evening to ...

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by Daphne Swancutt Two people in the United States just died in the last hour. Seventeen more will die in the next 7 to 8 hours. Over a year, that number will accumulate to about 7,000. The reason? Medical errors that include misread or otherwise misinterpreted handwritten prescriptions. Believe it. This means that doctors are being sloppy, pharmacies are making mistakes and people are getting dead. Even more ...

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Being a physician always has been a busy job. This is especially true for primary care physicians who set as their goal the delivery and coordination of comprehensive care for patients. Achieving such a goal requires availability, a broad spectrum of medical knowledge, effective use of the local health care system, and attention to both the “big picture” and the details of a patient’s life and ...

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