Gravel crunched beneath our feet as my co-residents, and I walked alongside one another. Our laughter filled the air as the shadow of our large white camper van stretched behind us, looming farther and farther away. We had escaped the warmth of a vehicle that had been our home all week; it was cold, and we were underdressed, not uncommon in Iceland. Surrounded by sea, the wind blew furiously, unforgivingly, ...

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Emory University medical fellow Dr. Nicole Herbst was shocked when she saw three patients who came in with abnormal results from chest CT scans they had bought on Groupon. Yes, Groupon — the online coupon mecca that also sells discounted fitness classes and foosball tables. Similar deals have shown up for various lung, heart and full-body scans across Atlanta, as well as in 
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How do you react when presented with your quality data? In my experience, physicians generally respond by:

  1. Ignoring the metrics
  2. Arguing about why the metrics are wrong
  3. Saying the metrics are stupid
A lot of doctors refuse to participate in the process of developing, reviewing and refining quality metrics. Although this has the definite advantage of feeling like you’re sticking it to “the man,” it feeds an unhelpful cycle that eventually hurts ...

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As voters fume about the high cost of health care, politicians have been targeting two well-deserved villains: pharmaceutical companies, whose prices have risen more than inflation, and insurers, who pay their executives millions in salaries while raising premiums and deductibles. Although the Democratic presidential candidates have devoted copious airtime to debating health care, many of the country’s leading health policy experts have wondered why they have given a total pass ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Because I work for a medical specialty society, I’m frequently asked by non-members why I believe they should belong to a medical professional society.  This is a particularly relevant question these days given the rapidly changing landscape of medicine and with physicians becoming ...

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The judgment in the Oklahoma trial against Johnson & Johnson for their role in the opioid crisis is a good start to what deserves to be an ongoing pursuit of justice for the victims, their families, and the states. Any financial settlement is only a Pyrrhic victory unless the following non-negotiable conditions are met: 1. Every single penny must go toward treatment. There are not nearly enough inpatient ...

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For over a decade, Washington, DC has been busy with fixing health care. For over a decade, the same government bureaucracy, the same advocacy (read lobbying) organizations, the same expert think tanks, the same academic centers, the same business associations, with the same people hopping around from one entity to the next, have been generating and applying the same “innovative solutions” differentiated solely by their aggrandizing names. The result? Health ...

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The recent Philadelphia-, El Paso- and Dayton-area shootings brought all my memories back. As a pediatric pulmonary and critical care physician, I have been here so many times before. At 11:12 a.m. on a Wednesday last September, as I sat in my office enjoying a sunny day in the Midwest, I received a two-word text from my 15-year old high school junior: "I'm OK." "What happened?" I asked. "Active shooter at Greenway ...

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We all expect hospitals to be open and operating when we need them, but extreme weather events like hurricanes are a strain on resources and pose significant challenges for hospitals. Closing a hospital is an extreme action, but several hospitals in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina did just that before the arrival of Hurricane Irma in 2017. With more than 300 hospitals and a higher share of older adults than ...

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Why does e-cigarette maker Juul advertise its product on TV when cigarette ads are banned? The short answer: Because it can. For nearly 50 years, cigarette advertising has been banned from TV and radio. But electronic cigarettes — those battery-operated devices that often resemble oversized USB flash drives with flavored nicotine “pods” that clip in on the end — aren’t addressed in the law. Since launching its product in ...

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