If you talk to anyone you know, it’s very likely they will tell you that they are on some form of social media. Whether this is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, or YouTube, most people are on at least 1 to 2 forms of social media these days. Video is one of the most powerful tools in marketing. According to Google, 64 percent of consumers use video to research health care ...

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We constantly argue about how to fix the U.S. health care system. But what we must understand is that the most important issue isn’t how to fix health care. The issue is how to get our Congress, the President, and the health care industry to allow anything of importance to change at all. The problem is that all three have a vested interest in the current system. The health care ...

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A recent excellent piece by Dr. Karen Sibert, an experienced anesthesiologist at my institution, raised some critical issues regarding how physicians are thought of by non-physicians, and how misguided that thought process is. Indeed, our stress levels associated with the moves we make and the decisions we contemplate, some of which are made and done in milliseconds, do not come with a price tag, but do ...

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When I finished my training, I wish that I had known all of the options I could practice medicine.  Most of us categorized our options as either “academic” practice or “private practice,” but in reality, these two options only cover the tip of the iceberg.  Was my limited understanding a shortcoming of my medical training?  Perhaps.  I doubt that many medical schools back then actually had seminars on practicing medicine. ...

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I write this hoping to appeal to common sense. When are we going to stop putting the cart before the horse? 99 percent of the rhetoric surrounding health care costs centers on a “fair” way to pay for it, “fair” reimbursement levels, and who should pay this “fair” level of payment, when the real issue is the amount being charged in the first place. What exactly is “fair”? The real central, ...

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They say you learn a lot from your clients. Not in anesthesia, where I frequently feel great empathy for my sick patients and their families. Our connection in the peri-operative environment is too short-lived for this, I believe. But in therapy, where the relationship is both critical and deeper, and where I have more recently turned my attention, I have come to appreciate that observation personally. I specialize in “burnout,” that ...

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In a New York Times article, “The Huge Waste in the U.S. Health System,” it stated that the estimated waste is at least $760 billion per year: “That’s comparable to government spending on Medicare and exceeds national military spending, as well as total primary and secondary education spending.” Why is waste so prevalent? There are many sources. The biggest one, and the one that should most concern ...

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“Oh, you’re here to take me to my test.”  I have heard this too many times to count, and I have come to perfect my response. “No, I am not patient transport, your social worker, or your nurse. I am your doctor.” After a moment of confusion, I usually see a facial expression signaling that the patient is reframing his or her initial thoughts. Maybe I am misidentified because I am young, or ...

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I recently discovered a fact about the United States of America that should be a source of embarrassment for all Americans. What I found out is this: There is not a single safe injection site anywhere in the entire country. Safe injection sites save the lives of people addicted to opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl. These sites exist in countries around the world, and they are working every day ...

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On a rare Sunday morning, I woke and had the time to make breakfast for my kids and their cousin, who'd stayed the night. My nephew said, "Thanks, Aunt Erin, I feel like I never see you." To which my oldest (10) stated very matter-of-factly, with no ill-intent: "That's because she's never home." Being a full time, private practice physician and mom to 5 kids, with a healthy social life, it's extremely ...

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Human nature is to hold on tightly to the ideals of perfect. Once we find something that ticks all the boxes, we want it now and with firm conviction. The same holds when seeking that dream job. Competition, scarcity, and desire for coveted positions risk burying your CV in the proverbial pile. Having a few strategies to deal with this phenomenon can help you retain sanity and win at the end ...

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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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