High blood pressure is the silent killer. It puts people at risk for heart attacks, strokes, vascular disease, kidney failure. It is basically really bad to have longstanding, undertreated high blood pressure. But it is also harmful to be told you have high blood pressure when you don't, and to be treated for high blood pressure when that treatment won't benefit you. So when your doctor diagnoses you with high blood ...

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Navy SEALs are America's elite fighting force.

They are America's most qualified soldiers who elect to undertake the most difficult selection process and training in existence. They are preselected by a number of traits, including intelligence, physical strength, incredible perseverance, and prior military service. Those who attain the title come from a variety of backgrounds, but without fail, they are exceptional. These most remarkable individuals are then ...

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Antibiotics are ubiquitous in today’s society. Prescriptions for these bacterial killers have become so prevalent that a wonder drug cure phenomenon for any illness has become the cultural norm. The evidence is overwhelming that antibiotics are far too overprescribed for viral illnesses. They are 100 percent ineffective against viruses. And the number of inappropriate antibiotics prescribed has been increasing for decades, as high as 30 percent in one study. For years, ...

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Recently, I read this great article from Dr. Chethan Sathya, a male surgeon who commented on how women surgeons in this day and age are still treated as second class surgeons. There has been much good commentary and discussion on the topic, particularly on Twitter. But almost as if on cue, a different male surgeon chimed in with the following comment:

I’m 100% sure u will prefer ...

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I previously published a post discussing the most recent Medscape burnout survey results for physicians.  An interesting point of discussion was that many physicians felt that if they made more money, they would likely be happier.  Today, we will discuss the implications of this thought process and if there is evidence to support the claim.  Will more money make me happier? Let’s find out. Defining the problem In the aforementioned survey ...

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If you work a desk job, you’re familiar with the aching back pain, stiff shoulders, and all-around discomfort that hits after you’ve been sitting for an extended period of time.

Not only is it painful, but research shows that sitting for hours at a time can be harmful to your body and even increase your risk for a number of health concerns, including cardiovascular disease and obesity.


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I have no idea who my boss is.  Is it the chief of surgery at my hospital who tells me I need to use more of my block time, or it’ll be reassigned?  Or the office manager who tracks my CME money and vacation days?  Or the medical group administrator who signed my contract and hasn’t spoken to me in two years since then? Or the mentor who was assigned ...

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As first-year medical students, we learn that the hallmark of a holistic medical education is an emphasis on the human, personal side of this profession. One way we develop our patient-centered competency is through attending patient panels as part of our curriculum. Here, we learn from people who experience healthcare from the opposite end. From cancer survivors to leaders in healthcare policy, these panels supplement our education by encouraging us ...

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Talking to patients on the phone can be very efficient and quite rewarding, like when I called a worried patient today and told her that her chest CT showed an improving pneumonia and almost certainly no cancer, but a repeat scan some months down the road would still be a good idea. She told me she was feeling better, but still quite weak and that her sputum was still dark ...

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An excerpt from Stay Away From My ER, and other fun bits of wisdom. 1. You don’t like to be told what to do. Especially not by arrogant doctors, who act as if they know better, just because they’ve been through a few decades of training! 2. Your ...

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“Let’s take a look together,” was the start of a virtual clinical assessment that led to a primary care provider and a neurologist diagnosing a patient with Parkinson’s Disease. As the neurologist in that conversation, I had the opportunity to play a meaningful role in delivering my expertise and, most importantly, making sure the patient received the highest level of appropriate care. With telemedicine’s support, both providers - and the ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 45-year-old man is evaluated for anorexia, dizziness, and weakness. He was discharged from the hospital 5 days ago after transsphenoidal pituitary surgery for a pituitary macroadenoma abutting the optic chiasm. His postoperative course was uneventful, and his postoperative hormone evaluation was normal; he did not require ...

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Although I have never been a big fan of modeling studies, viewing their appropriate role as hypothesis-generating rather than clinical decision-supporting, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine deserves kudos for trying to do what neither the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association nor the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force did in their respective guidelines on primary prevention of cardiovascular disease for adults ...

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Alexa Karsdan’s medical bill for a sore throat reached over $28,000. NPR told her story recently, but I want you to know why I am actually glad this happened. Why is it good news that her charges were so exorbitant, and that her insurance paid over twenty-five thousand dollars for one laboratory test? This story is a brilliant illustration of fundamental flaws in our health care ...

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The words of the year as 2019 ends appear to be “OK Boomer” and “woke.” To this Boomer, it appears that the younger generation is blaming us for all the evil in the world, from their perch of “woke” moral superiority. They consider us to be out of touch and over the hill. According to Merriam-Webster, “woke” means “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial ...

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In my recent post, "Why Gratitude Is A Superpower," I told the story about a thank you note that my daughter, Maya, left me one morning for making her coffee. I was literally overcome with warmth and appreciation. My reaction demonstrates the real impact we can have on another person's emotional state when we express gratitude — either verbally or written — for something (gift, assistance, help, ...

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"Death comes for all of us. It is our fate as living, breathing, metabolizing organisms. Dealing with the fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live." - Paul Kalanithi, MD Recently, first-year students of the medical and physician’s assistant classes completed their seventh and final practical exam in clinical anatomy. Through fifteen weeks, 117 students learned the structures of the human body organized by region, working from ...

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Kahlil Gibran writes, "In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone." What types of outcomes can physicians and patients achieve in healing, living, and life when Gibran's message is incorporated into the physician-patient relationship? Can humanism in medicine become even more humanistic? "Humanism in medicine" is characterized by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation as respectful ...

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I’ve just discharged a kid with a cough, and there are no patients waiting to be seen. “I’ll be back,” I tell the nurse, as I slip away to the hospital kitchen and unlock the door. I steal two frozen grilled cheese sandwiches from the freezer and throw them into the microwave. Minutes later, I’m in the call room. I take a couple of bites and can already feel acid rising ...

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Consuming too many potato latkes and Christmas cookies has left its mark on our waistlines. Unfortunately for Americans and their medical care, the seasonal overeating seems to last all year. Indeed, the American Medical Association has declared that obesity is a disease. It may be more accurate to describe obesity as a contributor to certain diseases. Obesity raises the risk of premature death, heart disease, high blood ...

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