In a previous post on LGBTQ care, Dr. Carlene MacMillan called attention to the importance of respecting patients’ pronouns. As she points out, discrepancies between patients’ chosen names/pronouns and gender markers on official documents can pose real challenges to providing patient-centered care. Even if health care providers know their patients’ self-determined identities, electronic health records and insurance claims can still betray them. The issue of compassionate ...

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Corporate health care mentality set up nurses up to be inhuman while holding us to superhuman expectations. We’re told to be caring — but not allowed to do it. It’s time to demand that we stop being abandoned and dismissed by dysfunctional leadership. Early in my nursing career, I was assigned to the pediatric area for one shift in a busy emergency department (ED). Our team received notification of an incoming ...

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This seems to be the big take-home message from voters the mid-term elections, which bodes well for preserving gains from the Affordable Care Act and expanding coverage.   Health care was the number 1 issue for voters according to several exit polls, beating out immigration, the economy, and gun violence, among others, with voters strongly favoring Democrats as the party more likely to protect patients with ...

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“Active Shooter in Squirrel Hill.” This was the subject line of an email I received on the morning of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. It was from my children’s school, which is located less than a mile from the scene of the shooting. “I am working … to put in place a plan for helping our students understand this situation in age-appropriate ways,” the school’s principal went on to ...

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In 1976 I graduated from medical school and proudly joined the medical profession. Thirty-seven years later, I retired as an employee of the biggest business in the country. In 2016 the medical industry was responsible for 3.3 trillion dollars of expenditure, comprising 18 percent of the United States GDP. For perspective, there are only four countries with a GDP more than the amount spent on health care in the United ...

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Anyone following the debate around gun regulation knows it is a hotly charged issue. On November 7th, doctors got dragged front and center after the NRA issued the statement: “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves.” ...

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We’re very fortunate in anesthesiology. We’re seldom the physicians who have to face families with the terrible news that a patient has died from a gunshot wound. But all too often we’re right there in the operating room for the frantic attempts to repair the bullet hole in the heart before it stops beating, or the blast wound to the shattered liver before the patient bleeds to death. Despite all the skills ...

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In Dr. Suneel Dhand’s article, “We can do a better job with hospital discharge paperwork,” he advocates for physicians to do a better job at creating discharge instructions that are more appealing and easier for patients to understand. After all, coherent patient instructions are a crucial part in ensuring that patients are able to adhere to our recommendations, including taking appropriate medications, following up on ...

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The United States spends more on health care per capita than any other country in the world — yet health outcomes continue to fall short. In order to close the spending gap with other countries, United States health care policy must focus on reducing costs. While a variety of suggestions have been put forth by economists and medical professionals on how to cut spending and improve health, one Read more...

Several years ago, a group of us concerned about health care costs and outcomes met with some local HR benefit managers. One was the head HR person of a city. In part of the conversation, she raved about a local chain of urgent care centers. She loved the fact that she could go to one after work to get her steroid shot for her colds. I had enough experience dealing ...

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