STAT_Logo If you’ve needed emergency care in the last few years, you probably encountered this situation: Soon after entering the emergency department, you were asked to go to a triage area in the waiting room where a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant asked you a few questions and ordered some diagnostic tests while you waited. That’s a ...

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Today was like no other day. It was our first day together. Me and my "virtual" scribe — an actual person who seems to "virtually" to exist inside of a Jabra speaker on my desk and so subtlety that I forgot to mute a few times when not seeing patients. The "man" in the Jabra speaker now knows just how long of an appointment I need for my hair, and that ...

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I'd been told in my hospital sign-out that Melanie was transgender, but I stumbled on the first day and referred to her as "he" in front of my medical team. "She!" she said immediately. "Oh, man," I thought to myself. I was a hospitalist teaching medical students at one of the most liberal medical schools in the country — University of California, San Francisco. I should have known better. When I ...

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Patient confidentiality is an important principle that most physicians still respect. Patients trust physicians not to reveal their private, medical information to others. They expect that physicians will adhere to the Hippocratic ethic followed for thousands of years that states: "What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men … I will keep to ...

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I read Samuel Shem's House of God twice — once in my late college/early med school years and another sometime during my pulmonary/critical care fellowship. The first time, I recall thinking it was drop-dead hilarious. I eagerly shared it with friends and family. Absorbing the wisdom of the fat man, the catchy vocabulary, and the cynicism of the narrator made me feel somehow like an insider wise to the game ...

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I remember it was raining outside when I told Ester she had metastatic stomach cancer.  She cried, as her son sat silently holding one thin hand in two of his.  After a while, she asked, how long did she have to live?  I explained it depended on how well the chemotherapy worked.  She smiled gently, as one humoring a silly child, and said that there would be no treatment. After ...

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As resident physicians, we work a ton! Fortunately, it’s not all in vain. Unlike our life as medical students, we finally get paid! Before we spend all the money from our first checks and start treating ourselves to overpriced dinners, let’s set some financial goals and create a spending plan. Since everyone’s priorities may differ, it’s important to tailor your spending plan to your own individual needs. As you start getting ...

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Successful and happy physician. But why stop there? What about successful businessman as well? This is my story. And I’d love to share it. Maybe it’ll inspire someone else who works in health care. I am very blessed. I am actually living out my childhood dream. When I was 15, and starting high school, I wrote down something for our class time capsule that was to be opened at our 10-year high ...

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Gravel crunched beneath our feet as my co-residents, and I walked alongside one another. Our laughter filled the air as the shadow of our large white camper van stretched behind us, looming farther and farther away. We had escaped the warmth of a vehicle that had been our home all week; it was cold, and we were underdressed, not uncommon in Iceland. Surrounded by sea, the wind blew furiously, unforgivingly, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 
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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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