Studies show that when people know what palliative care is, they want it. Marketing genius Seth Godin talks about offering services that are “remarkable” — so good that a person would cross the street to tell a friend. Palliative care has that kind of value, so why doesn't our message travel upstream through word of mouth? Would-be evangelists are often flummoxed by the fact that the phrase has still has different ...

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Sequels generally disappoint. Jason couldn’t match the fear he generated in the original Friday the 13th. The sequel to the “Parachute,” a satirical piece canvassing PubMed for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing parachutes to placebo, matched its brilliance — and even exceeded it, though the margin can’t be confirmed with statistical significance. The “Parachute,” published in BMJ’s Christmas edition, will go ...

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More than two-thirds of Americans use social media, and 90 percent of adults in the U.S. have a cell phone. With these tools surrounding us, we must be more connected with one another than ever before. Right? It doesn’t feel like we are. At least, the people who engage with the health care system don’t feel connected to the rest of us. They feel lonely. It feels like we send them ...

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Rudolf Virchow, a pioneering physician of the 1800s, once wrote that “politics is nothing but medicine on a large scale”. Over a century later, this nexus is as apparent as ever, and many doctors engage as practitioners of both. Twitter erupted this past fall with photos of soiled scrubs, resuscitation room floors and
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My wife and I once canoed across a glacial lake. There were twelve people in our 30-foot canoe. To reach the shore of the Mendenhall Glacier, we had to paddle two miles across a lake. All twelve of us had to paddle together to reach the shore. But what if we had different goals? What if the right side of the canoe wanted to paddle east and the left side ...

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Apocryphal story from residency: On morning rounds in the critical care unit, the post-call resident starts to present a complicated patient admitted overnight with chest pain, and after the first bits of the history have been presented, the wise old cardiology attending turns to the gathered medical students who are just starting their first clinical rotation and asks them what they ...

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When it comes to communication in the hospital setting, I have seen many iterations. My favorite version was at the VA on the inpatient medicine unit. Every morning, we all met in the medicine team room to discuss patients on the floor. The team’s social worker, nurses, residents, students, and the attending ran down the list to identify individual patient goals, what’s needed for safe and effective discharges home, and ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. The aim of medical education is not only to transfer scientific knowledge, but also impart the wisdom accumulated over the long history of medicine that equips us to apply this knowledge for the betterment of our patients. Although much of medical wisdom transmitted in ...

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For many months, artificial intelligence has been in my peripheral vision, just sitting there, ignored by me because it seemed too far in the future to be interesting now. And then, there were all these terms — Big Data, machine learning, data science — which circled the subject and, frankly, gave me a bit of a headache. Artificial intelligence is upon us, unleashed and unbridled in its ability to transform the world. ...

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I met Mr. B during my week on the endocrine service of my internal medicine rotation. My attending told me we were being consulted for this patient’s high sugars and a foot ulcer, and asked me to take the history. I walked into Mr. B’s room and was immediately struck by its stench. Mr. B had undergone a resection of his bladder tumor the day before and as a result was ...

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I see several patients daily with cancer. Some days can be tough, but nothing compares to what they are going through. I know that. The physical anguish and toll that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can take on the body. The burden that the disease can take on the mind and the soul. It’s devastating and almost always life-changing. What makes things harder though is when a patient did not go ...

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The evolving politics of single-payer health care conflate the concepts of universal coverage, health care on demand and free health care. To the indiscriminate progressive mind, all three are part of the holy grail. The fly in the ointment is that highly attractive and altruistic politics runs into the brick wall of reality. As Thomas Sowell — a noted Stanford economist — wrote: "The first lesson of economics is scarcity: ...

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First, the cancer diagnosis. Then, the barrage of trite encouragements: You can beat this! Don’t give up. Keep fighting! It’s not only friends and family members who utter these clichés — usually at a loss of what else to say. Health care providers also attempt to bolster patients’ morale with well-intentioned but well-worn phrases too. Unfortunately, these sentiments frequently fail to have the intended effect. Instead of conveying comfort and ...

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Pay for performance (P4P) is all the rage in health care. Big Pharma led the way, and the popular press would have you believe that one can “incentivize” physicians and their clinical colleagues with as little as a sandwich and a bag of chips. Corporations have used bonuses, stock options, and commissions for years as motivators. And the government and insurance companies, although late to the party, are all in ...

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This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com. The #MeToo movement exploded into the national spotlight in October 2017 with The New York Times exposé of sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood media mogul Harvey Weinstein. It has since encouraged thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of people to come forward and share their stories of sexual harassment, sexual assault ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 40-year-old man is evaluated for a new skin rash of 10 days' duration. The rash appeared abruptly and is not tender or pruritic. The patient has poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. His current medications include metformin and glyburide. Family history is unremarkable. On physical examination, vital signs are ...

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Well, today it happened. I participated in my first code. We were in the telemetry unit (the room where they monitor all the patients who have EKG strips) to ask about a different patient of mine only to find that a patient was coding (lost a life-sustaining heartbeat). With some coaxing from my attending, the other student and I wound our way through the around-20 people standing outside and inside of ...

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I'm so honored to share my social media journey over the years, and chronicle the continual evolution of the social media-medicine intersection. It's such a thrill to keynote three conferences this Spring: the 28th Annual Scientific & Clinical Conference of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Becker’s Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy 2019, and Pri-Med West. I'm currently ...

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“We pass through the present with our eyes blindfolded … Only later when the cloth is untied can we glance at the past and find out what we have experienced and what meaning it has.” – Milan Kundera Two days ago, during a clinical skills session on lymph node examination, my classmates insisted that I get what appeared to be an enlarged lymph node in my neck checked by the physician ...

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A career in health care provides an incredible life full of experiences, challenges, and heartbreak, mixed with incredible satisfaction. With the rapidly shifting global economy, health professionals retain a large degree of flexibility and geographic independence. That said, it takes a unique proposition from a recruiter to pull one away from a satisfying position. I have, on a rare occasion, taken the bait and enjoyed great rewards as a result. ...

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