A simple Google search is all you need to do to gauge the difficulty individuals have with asking for help. “How to ask to shadow someone.” 43.1 million results. “How to ask for a letter of recommendation.” 66 million results. “How to ask for help,” 3.73 billion results. From the popularity of these topics, it is evident that people have a hard time reaching out and balancing coming across respectfully, but still receiving a ...

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Her name was Callie (identifying information changed). She was four years old. She loved glitter and princesses and anything sparkly. She was affectionate and silly, and I fell hard for her. She was a patient, my patient, on the pediatric oncology unit during my very first ward rotation intern year. On my first day, I was as scared as any person can be, palms sweating, heart pounding, faced with these tiny, ...

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An excerpt from Tweets, Likes,and Liabilities: Online and Electronic Risk to the Healthcare Professional. When it comes to HIPAA violations, there are, sadly, plenty of examples available to serve as cautionary tales. Some seem like innocent mistakes that just about anyone could make. Others are so egregious that those involved appear to be willfully inviting the wrath of regulators and ...

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Ski season is here, and it's time to think about how we can avoid injuries on the slopes. As an orthopaedic surgeon, I most often see knee injuries, but also plenty of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries as well. Hopefully, you've done some pre-season conditioning -- but if not, go ahead and start now! Obviously, avoid a heavy workout the day before your first ski day, but if you have time ...

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The news that Alex Trebek has advanced stage IV pancreatic cancer has been met with an outpouring of support and good wishes, as would be expected for someone who has been a part of our lives for so many years. The fact is, pancreatic cancer is a difficult disease to treat effectively. That is due in no small part to the fact that -- as the case with ...

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“Grandma fell and we’re in the emergency room. She’s very distressed and does not look good. I’m going to put the doctor on the phone.” I could hear my mother’s voice strain on the other end of the phone line as I braced myself for my conversation with the emergency department physician. The emergency physician told me that though the work-up was still developing, my grandmother was in respiratory distress, and that ...

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When a patient goes to the doctor, they usually have a specific health problem in mind. Sometimes, the treatment is straightforward; a urinary tract infection warrants antibiotics. A laceration can be sutured. Other issues, however, are more complex. For example, communicating a terminal diagnosis to a patient. Consoling his grieving widow two months later. In circumstances like these, even if there is no cure, there is still space for healing. Central ...

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There has been a disturbing shift in how medical professionals feel about their career. I almost cringe every time I’m at a party or social gathering now and tell people I retired early from my medical practice. I try not to bring it up. I don’t cringe out of fear for how they will perceive me or whether they will look down upon me with condescending scorn about how I left ...

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I view medicine as a team effort. Doctors, nurses, technicians, and patients work together to promote and improve health. Recently some new members have joined the team:  My patients’ Fitbits, phones, and watches. For years, the pessimists out there have predicted that wearable technology would lead to mass hysteria. Patients would misdiagnose themselves as having heart attacks and strokes and fill the ER with blaring watch alarms but no actual symptoms. I’m ...

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I have been practicing telemedicine successfully for four years. In 2015, I had to beg doctors to work in telemedicine. Because so many doctors were wary of it, I started to get licensed in multiple states, and now, I have 15 state licenses. Well, what a difference a few years makes. Now, in 2019, I get six to seven Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram messages a week from physicians asking ...

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The FDA has given official approval to market eskatamine as a treatment for depression. As expected, there has been great fanfare (press releases, morning TV talk show guests, NPR segments and so on). The news leaves me salty. The esketamine story reveals so much of what is wrong about how we get useful medical science findings into clinical practice. Esketamine is not a new drug Esketamine is being promoted as a new ...

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When your grandmother suffers a devastating stroke, it is a family tragedy, but it does not necessarily make the headlines. When Luke Perry has a massive stroke at age 52, it does. Stroke remains a surprisingly common occurrence, striking someone in the United States every 40 seconds, and killing someone every 3 minutes and 45 seconds. Not only one of the top 4 causes of death in the U.S., but ...

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The new Holy Grail of business, Customer Satisfaction — CSAT to her close friends — is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet customer expectations. In a marketplace where businesses compete for customers, CSAT is a key element of strategy. Why? Money. Satisfied customers buy. They come back and buy more. They tell their friends, who’ll buy too. If satisfied, they’ll return and buy more. That’s gold for ...

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If you’re a parent who is still on the fence, trying to decide whether or not to vaccinate your children, I’m going to try to be kind and helpful. Here is a link to a video by a physician and father, Dr. Zubin Damania, with facts that may address some of your fears. If you’re firmly pro-disease and anti-vaccine, however, I am baffled at your irrationality and frankly enraged by ...

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An excerpt from The Physician Philosopher's Guide to Personal Finance: The 20% of Personal Finance Doctors Need to Know to Get 80% of the Results. At my little girl’s golf practice one day, I got to talking to her coach. I asked him how he decided he wanted to be ...

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To treat any condition, the doctor needs to know what it is. You would not expect to have your sore ankle treated with penicillin or to have an appendectomy recommended for your sore throat. While this may be self-evident, I know of at least one patient who had a normal appendix removed because the surgeon did not notice the few telltale blisters that were warning the careful observer that the ...

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As I sit in the conference room awaiting one of my first interviews for residency, the angst among all the applicants was palpable. We all make awkward eye contact and conversation with each other as our interviewers pull us out of the room one by one to speak with us. Amongst the awkwardness and anxiety, my attention was directed at the applicant next to me when I heard the dreaded ...

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Being a primary care physician, I was afraid to start my own practice. There was discouragement from fellow physicians, hospital leaders, business colleagues, and even patients. Many said that the small practice model was not viable. With insurance mandates, mounting bureaucratic pressures from Medicare and Medicaid, increasing regulations by DEA, higher volumes of paperwork, and the health IT requirements, the task of setting up a private practice with primary care ...

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In my first year of medical school, I attended a lecture on health disparities that focused on the difference in patient outcomes based on race and socioeconomic status. The lecture cited multiple peer-reviewed studies that extensively demonstrated these disparities and how health care professionals, not solely social determinants of health, contribute to them. The lecture concluded with an appeal to improve our cultural awareness and acknowledge our conscious and unconscious ...

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I was in the hospital when I heard the word “apple.”  Without hesitating, I reached into my pocket to see if I had my phone.  But the person speaking was referring to the fruit, not the product.  This got me thinking: “Has technology and our products now become more important than our health?” Technology surrounds us and has become a large part of how we live on a daily basis. I’m ...

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