Engaging in an economic conversation about the conventional compensation of a physician leads one to believe that doctors are well-to-do. In the minds of most citizens, school-tuition board members and even local neighbors, if you’re a physician the presumption is that you are economically prosperous, maybe even rich. This sociological assumption probably sounds false to most whom honorably don the white coat. Perhaps a decade or two ago, when medical ...

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Today’s news is full of commentary about work requirements for Medicaid. Is work a prerequisite for health care or is health a prerequisite for work? Not to complicate things, but can we even agree on what health care is? I don’t think we can, and it largely falls back on what we want to share in paying for. A patient with an ugly skin lesion can have it removed if it might ...

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The word “historic” is often used by PR professionals to hype something that is, well, pretty run-of-the-mill.  They figure that no one is going to read a news release that announces “[Name of organization] proposes small change that really won’t make much of a difference.”  The problem is that when something is done that really measures up to being historic, the recipient is less likely to believe it, kind of ...

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Author’s note: My personal reflection about the Sutherland Springs mass shooting was written before the horrific events at Stoneman Douglas High School and Santa Fe High School. The chorus of voices has only increased in amplitude regarding the calls to responsible action on firearm safety. While a larger debate continues in Washington, DC, I ask myself again: What can I do now as a medical provider to make a difference? ...

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You can tell a lot about a job and the people doing it by asking them to describe their best day at work. For Ali, a 28-year-old pediatric cancer social worker, that day occurred one year ago. A 17-year-old cancer patient who had been given two months to live made a bucket list. On her list were graduating from high school and getting accepted into college. So Ali and her ...

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The tragedy on a New Jersey highway in May involving a school bus and a dump truck horrified the nation while also raising familiar questions about school bus safety. The impact ripped the body of the bus off its chassis, killing two people and injuring most of the 45 passengers on board. By one witness’s account, “A lot of people were screaming, and they were, like, ...

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An 8-month-old baby fell 3 feet and hit his head on a carpeted floor in a San Francisco hotel room. He was crying and the parents, who were from South Korea, called an ambulance. By the time the child arrived at the hospital he was obviously fine. After a bottle, a nap, and a few hours in the hospital, he was discharged. The hospital sent a bill two years later, which ...

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As of now, twenty-nine states have legalized medical marijuana use and eight have legalized recreational use. The debate rages on about legalization, but the actual effects of cannabis get much less attention. A huge issue is that cannabis can be both helpful and harmful for a wide range of symptoms and conditions, and currently, the research is incomplete. But the barriers to actually study this substance are ...

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Opioid use has reached epidemic proportions over the past decade, becoming one of America’s highest-priority public health issues. With opioid abuse spiraling out of control, lawmakers, regulators, and health professionals are scrambling to better understand key drivers of this issue and develop an effective action plan. Although the devastating impact of opioids on families and communities is well known, less focus has been given to how it affects the workplace ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Trust is the belief that another person or entity will act in your best interest, and it serves as the foundation upon which the doctor-patient relationship and our health care system are built. But we have a significant trust paradox in American medicine. As ...

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