Four years ago, there was legitimate concern over Hillary Clinton’s health. Between her coughing spells, facial tics, stumbles and falls, not to mention her prism glasses and inability to hold more than a few campaign events per week, it wasn’t at all clear that she was up to the rigors of being president. Now it’s Joe Biden and his red eye-raising red flags over his health. His so-called gaffes are well ...

Read more...

An excerpt from Playing God: The Evolution of a Modern Surgeon. A woman, call her Betsy, comes to see me. Betsy is in her early sixties and horribly unhealthy. She walks with a cane, each step she takes slow and painful. It hurts to watch her walk. Betsy has undergone ...

Read more...

Several weeks ago, I began my studies for a master’s degree in journalism. I’m continuing to work as a physician, but for the next two years, I’ll also be gaining knowledge in an important field: health communication. I recall being a medical student and observing the different ways in which my supervising doctors spoke with their patients. Some doctors communicated clearly and were easily understood. Others used words that I had ...

Read more...

Some may think that being a dermatologist means taking care of the “superficial.” I beg to defer. We spend a great deal of time performing procedures and talking to patients. During our visits, patients share their truth, and open up their hearts to us in meaningful and vulnerable ways.  We hear about their relationships, their work, their fears, and their struggles. We become a part of their inner circle of ...

Read more...

I recently told a friend that medical school is changing me fundamentally as a person. This sounds dramatic, but there's truth to it. This program and education are successfully training my brain to think in new ways, sloughing off parts of who I was, and adding new parts to who I will become. However, to my surprise, the experience has also resurfaced old parts of me that I had considered ...

Read more...

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 
Read more...

Imagine your typical yearly physical. It’s probably booked for 20 to 40 minutes. Since you, like many of us, may see your physician only once a year, it is important for you to have your physician’s complete attention and to have all of your concerns addressed. Some of these concerns may be of a sensitive - even embarrassing - nature. Your physician may likewise ask you some probing questions about ...

Read more...

I still remember the feeling of my first few days of medical school. Walking the halls felt like a giant, very real step towards a career that I had dreamt of pursuing for years. While I knew that academic excellence was table stakes, what I did not think about at the time was how important the other the parts of my life would be to my success. From my current vantage ...

Read more...

A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Marijuana is made from the dried flowers of the cannabis plant. Made of more than 500 chemicals, including over 100 compounds called cannabinoids, the primary active compounds in the plant are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC acts on specific brain cell receptors that ...

Read more...

ama_logoA guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Each September, the American Medical Association (AMA) is proud to recognize and honor the immense contributions women make to the House of Medicine. Such recognition is particularly appropriate this year. I count myself lucky to be joined by two exceptional women physicians in holding the offices of president, president-elect, and immediate past ...

Read more...

The receptionist interrupted me in the middle of my dictation. “There’s a woman and her husband at the front desk. She’s already been seen by Dr. Kim for chest pain, but refuses to leave, and her husband seems really agitated. They’re demanding to speak with you.” I didn’t take the time to look up the woman’s chart. This could be a medical emergency, I figured. Something may have developed in just the ...

Read more...

Collaboration is the key. When I think about how hard it is to take care of our patients, and how many different people are involved in their care, it's a wonder that anything ever gets done. We need to simplify systems, and harness the power of the information systems available to us, as well as the promise of the electronic medical record, ...

Read more...

A little background before I set off:  I study in a medical school in India whose attached public hospital is as busy as it can get. It serves its people absolutely free of cost and is often a refuge for the poor of the society. We often run out of resources, and patients outnumbering the beds is a common sight. And yet, like everything else, life and medicine must go ...

Read more...

More than 200 health organizations have now implemented OpenNotes. Many more are piloting, are soon to implement — or have implemented, and we don’t know it! For more than three years I’ve been fortunate to represent OpenNotes to potential implementers, and I’m confident I’ve heard almost every clinician concern or anxiety regarding what might happen when patients read their own notes. Here are the five most common concerns I’ve heard — ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) should be abolished. This single test — which ranks students by the science they've learned before going to medical school — prevents the physician population in the U.S. from looking like the population it serves. Underrepresented minority students have lower scores on all standardized tests. And the MCAT is no exception. When medical school admission committees use the MCAT as a screening tool to ...

Read more...

I was recently working in clinic on a Friday afternoon. I was on my last patient of the day, and it had been a particularly long clinic. I had big plans for the weekend and should have already finished. The gentleman entered the room, sat down, and we began the consultation. Because I was so behind, I went through everything a little quicker than I usually would, but still covering ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

I had a brief, quiet, intense conversation with a friend today. She had just lost another friend, a close one, to a sudden and tragic accident. “How are you doing?” I asked. “OK,” she replied as she turned to go up the hallway. In a second, I knew better. “No, not OK.” Her usually bright smile was strained, her voice soft, her features drawn. That brief exchange, the sharing of feelings about trauma to ...

Read more...

The field of teratology (also known as dysmorphology) is rapidly growing with daily innovations in prenatal medicine, genetics and preventive care that show its uniquely intersectional nature. But, the term teratology, and its derivatives teratoma and teratogen — derived from the ancient Greek root teras — do not do justice to the promising future of this field. I would like to see the field move away from this term for two reasons. First, ...

Read more...

1596 Pages

Most Popular

Join 150,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link