"Almost overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted how we deliver primary care to patients. Before the pandemic, telehealth seemed to be a way to deliver urgent care for acute issues to a select group of tech-savvy patients. Now, at least in my practice, the majority of primary care (acute care, chronic disease management, and preventive care) is being delivered through ...

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"There is no single culprit responsible for this shift in medical education. However, two, in particular, should be noted. The first is the culture of defensive medicine, or more bluntly, CYA (cover-your-ass) medicine. This culture has been insidiously infusing itself within the modern health care system for decades. The fear of being sued for malpractice is ever-present. Undoubtedly, this has led ...

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"Telehealth has come into focus during the COVID-19 pandemic as physicians face an immediate need to reduce exposure by providing care—or at least triage—remotely when appropriate. Under usual circumstances, telemedicine is comparatively low risk. That said, telemedicine does bring specific risks to patient safety and physician/practice liability. Minimizing those risks calls for adapting daily practice routines around informed consent, documentation, and other ...

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"As a physician working with human trafficking survivors, I have become accustomed to those with a history of surviving violence. But the patient in question is in my general primary care practice. This should highlight to care providers that there may be many more patients out there who have been exposed to trauma in their past, and we need to take ...

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"As I read about Dr. Breen, saddened by the fact that we have been robbed of yet another young, promising, motivated physician, I am reminded that as bad as this pandemic is — and truly believe it is awful — when it gets better (and I have to believe that it will), we can’t forget. Because all the other things that have always ...

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"In the best of times (and these are certainly not), all patients need advocates all the time; now more than ever, vulnerable patients need them more but don’t have access to them. Vulnerable populations have more at stake when visitors are limited or prohibited. What’s more, vulnerability may be exacerbated due to youth, advanced age, disability, cognitive impairment, illness acuity, language ...

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"As a medical student, you find potential patients everywhere. Whether you’re on an airplane or on a romantic dinner date, we’ve all heard those famous words, 'Is there a doctor in the house?!' Here are some of my favorite 'patient' encounters. The best friend curbside. I was playing ball with my boys – that’s right FIFA on the PlayStation – when my ...

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"One of the calls you dread making as a doctor is telling a family member their loved one is dying. That was the call I received when my grandfather decompensated. We grow accustomed to making the call as clinicians, but we never expect to get it ourselves.

I felt for his pulse. Slow but faint. As a doctor, you become desensitized ...

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"Living the surreal experience of the COVID-19 pandemic challenges us on multiple levels. As a physician, I feel the responsibility to understand the magnitude of the situation and implement the best measures to protect my patients, trainees, my family, and myself. I experience the fear of getting sick or losing a loved one and the sadness and frustration of seeing millions ...

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Explore why this general surgeon wrote a novel, and how writing helps with the stresses that accompany a surgery career. What is his #1 tip for those interested in surgery? What are the challenges facing the profession today? How can surgeons find that elusive work-play balance? And why should aspiring doctors start a journal? Arthur Williams is a ...

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