by Pepi Granat, MD Yesterday, and every day, in my office we had one or two patients we call our "Oldie Goldies". People who have been with us since 1971 when I opened my practice, 39 years ago. People whose progress, medical and personal, I’ve shared, and who share mine. We know their parents, kids and cousins either because they call us in crisis, or they’re our ongoing ...

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"An apple a day keeps the doctor away," or so goes the old adage. People who believe there’s some truth behind the saying are crunching on a great big Macintosh right now, or at least they will be once they hear about the results of a study from UC-San Diego which showed that every July, there’s a 10% spike in fatal medication errors in hospitals. The scientists behind the study suggested that ...

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Recently I had an interesting conversation with a few young doctors regarding the new health care reform that had been passed in the United States. One future specialist asked me why primary care doctors should receive more money than they have in the past. And this is an important question that I think sheds light on the suboptimal state of our current health care system. It is important to specialists because ...

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by John Trahanas She was not my patient. Actually, she was nobody’s patient, she was just a wife; she was “the family.” She was a rough, stern looking woman, and with good reason as she had weathered many difficult times. Her husband had been severely demented for many years; however, it was only in the past few months that he required such intensive inpatient care. He was not conscious or communicative, but he ...

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Perhaps the most important principle in practicing medicine, drummed into medical students and junior doctors time and time again, is to do no harm.  Our medical interventions and treatments can be given either too early, too late, or inappropriately, with sometimes terrible and tragic results. Unfortunately, when doctors have harmed patients, the guidelines of what to do thereafter are not as clear, raising the question, “What should doctors do in these ...

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For years, I have been progressively beating a louder and louder drum -- one where my colleagues know that I liken radiology to McDonald's. Most of the bad press out there, it seems to me, has to do with poor customer service. Our health care system is often inefficient, and delivers limited, incomplete care. The root of the problem, in my opinion, is that there aren't enough doctors or hours in ...

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The hospital is never a quiet place. Walk through the wards on a typical day, and you'll hear a cacophony of alarms, bells, and other tones coming from both computers and medical equipment. American Medical News recently discussed so-called "alarm fatigue."  They cite a study showing find that "16,934 alarms sounded in [a medical] unit during an 18-day period." That's astounding, and for those who are wondering, that's about 40 alarms an hour. It's ...

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At the recent AAMC meeting on how to integrate quality into teaching hospitals, the question that kept popping up from speaker after speaker was how to address the fact that doctors in teaching hospitals don’t get along. Unfortunately, all the specialty bashing that takes place prevents the adoption of a team based culture necessary to advance quality and safety.  As one speaker highlighted, how can we really start to address this ...

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A couple of months before my son was born 2 1/2 years ago, we were notified that my husband, an active duty member of the Navy, was getting deployed to Iraq. His date of departure was exactly one week after my due date. To any wife or family member of a service member, this would be difficult news -- a loved one going into a war zone. But, to me, 8-months ...

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I was in a room full of Family Doctors – who call themselves everything but Family Docs: Family Physicians (FPs) Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) General Practitioners (GPs). It was the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Spring Conference, at a session entitled: "Language Matters: Women-centered talk during pelvic exams." Two men amongst 20 women, all interested in learning more about being Politically Correct (PC) whilst conducting a pelvic exam. Session leaders Drs ...

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