When news broke that Dr. Atul Gawande had been named CEO of the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan Chase health care partnership, industry insiders were quick to raise doubts about his credentials. Some pointed to his limited administrative experience, questioning how someone who has never managed a hospital or health system could oversee the care of some 1 million patient-employees. They also noted that the surgeon and bestselling author doesn’t know much ...

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Like many of us, I have been struggling to reconcile my love for everything good about this country with the senseless gun violence that terrorizes us today. In the wake of each shooting, I vow to do more — to speak up as a surgeon, as a former victim of gun violence and simply as a fellow human — but the words escape me. How do we make meaning out ...

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STAT_Logo Fair and just societies protect children. The Trump administration’s unconscionable practice of separating children from their families at the border between Mexico and the United States is making me rethink what kind of society I live in. The images and the stories are heartbreaking. In an effort to deter families from migrating to the United States, reports ...

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We’ve all seen the news and heard the stories about children being separated from their parents as they cross over the U.S. border. The pictures of human beings, including very young children, behind wire mesh (some argue that they are not really cages) is simply horrifying. Over the past decades, we have seen atrocities happening in many other countries around the world. And we sit and wonder why the citizens ...

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There are so many theories out there about what we should or shouldn’t be doing with our complex and fragmented health care system. We are facing a perfect storm of factors: an aging population, a huge increase in chronic disease, new and expensive treatments, and rising expectations of what care we should be receiving. All of this is sending costs spiraling out of control. As a nation, we spend almost ...

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The following are intended to inspire to medical students and residents to learn more about organized medicine. Whether it be at the national, state, county, or specialty level, there are numerous societies with opportunities for contribution. 1. To pull back the curtain. Many physicians are innately curious and like to “see how the sausage is made,” so to speak. There is a great deal of policy behind the scenes of our ...

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When we think of bullying, we’re usually worrying about our school-age kids or remembering bad experiences from high school. We learn quickly in the health care field that bullies don’t change once they enter the clinical world. Health care, with its incredible differential in knowledge, authority and pay creates large power differentials and easily generates subordinate/superior relationship dynamics. Bullying occurs within professions between trainees and trainers and faculty, and across clinical areas ...

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Before managed care became the dominant force that it is, patients and doctors had the opportunity to get to know each other well. Doctors treated multiple generations within families. This helped establish a strong bond among patients and their doctors. While it might have intended to mean preventing expensive care, managed care began to mean organized care. Run by institutions such as health maintenance organizations. Insurances began to decide which doctors you ...

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You are a child of Thanos. "Hear me and rejoice!” “You have had the privilege of being saved by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. (Yeah, I know we said the same thing when we prescribed low-fat diets to decrease the risk of heart disease, but you gotta give us a pass on that one.”) “Based on our research, we have found 100,000,000 of you are ill.” “But we can ...

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When I hear pundits going on about the Medicaid work requirements, I think of my father. He has worked in the United States for twenty-four years, taking on the role of a handyman, migrant farmer, truck driver, construction roofer, dialysis patient transporter, and elder transporter. His limited English and third-grade education land him in low-paying jobs with limited hours and an oversupply of workers — resulting in frequent periods of unemployment. For ...

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