In my estimation, professionalism has a lot to do with personal values. Thus, when individuals or clinicians are aggregated into groups, their personal values form the base of their organization’s values and culture. It’s not surprising to this sociological-thinking individual when studies show that the differentiating factors between low- and high–performing institutional and ambulatory clinical practices are an organization’s values, ...

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One of the topics I went to China to discuss was our medical school’s approach to teaching medical ethics. At Wuhan University they have a first-year course, but I was told by both the school administrators and some of the students that the material is dry and not seen of immediate importance, so students often skip the class. Here’s how ...

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I received a phone call from the Broward Sheriff’s Office Police Athletic League Youth Boxing Program asking if I would help them out and be the fight physician at their upcoming youth boxing tournament. Their usual physician, a member of the Boxing Hall of Fame, had another commitment.  However, he was willing to train me in advance and show me the ropes on the day of the event. State law and the ...

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A reader recently wrote to me: "Brandon, in our area, we’ve seen a few retail clinics pop up. What can we do as a practice to let patients know that visiting retail clinics is not in their best interest?" We had along discussion. So I put together a summary of our conversation. Below is a rundown, more of less, of what I ...

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One of my Facebook updates on my private account was that I "have a love-hate relationship with interleukin-6. Yes, macrophages and T cells, I know you are doing your job, but how many proinflammatory cytokines does it really take to fight this thing? What's that? Be grateful you guys are even working? Oh, all right. I'll shut up and eat my soup now." Yes, I've been sick this week. It started ...

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The results of the application of reductionism in modern biomedical research and practice has been nothing short of miraculous, but while wondrous for some things, reductionism alone is incomplete. The basic premise of reductionism is that by breaking down (or "reducing") complex biological or medical phenomena into their many parts, one is much more likely to understand a single cause and devise a cure. Historically, the invention of the microscope, the defining ...

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There isn’t a country on this planet where there isn’t someone dreaming of curing cancer. What if there was something even more spectacular than curing cancer? What if you could stop cancer right in its tracks and eliminate its existence. Prevent it. Squash it before it starts. Vincent Tuohy, PhD, an immunologist at Cleveland Clinic, may be on a path toward ...

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The Disease Management Care Blog would like to introduce you to two alternate realities. In the first reality, physicians own the bricks and the equipment that make up their clinics. They hire and fire their office staff members. They don't mind fee-for-service payment systems, because the harder they work, the greater the reward. "Pay-for-performance" generally results in greater practice income because they're ...

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It is an axiom of business that employee engagement produces many positive results, no matter what the setting—manufacturing or service.  This is true for healthcare as well. Employee engagement produces a better product or service.  In healthcare, engaged employees produce enhanced patient outcomes.  When employees are engaged there is less turnover, which reduces training costs.  Engaged employees are problem solvers. How ...

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by mdstudent31 Going into medicine from a suburban community in the northeast, I never really knew exactly what family medicine was as a specialty. I had heard of it before, but did not see it in action until going to undergraduate school in the middle of Pennsylvania. It was there when I began ...

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