Why would anyone want to become a doctor?  Seriously.  Think about it, because this is a very important question for the future of healthcare in our country. The future of medicine is somewhat unclear in this age of healthcare reform, but we do know a few things. Physician compensation is currently falling while lawsuits and malpractice premiums are rising.  Doctors must see many more patients in a day to maintain their ...

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Medical residents have fewer labor protections than Chinese factory workers. While labor abuses at Apple’s factories make headlines, few people are as concerned about the lack of protections for doctors and medical students here in the United States. As a resident, I was subject to some of the worst abuses – intentionally misreported time sheets and gender-based discrimination – and after I complained, I was fired, so I sued the ...

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How many students enter college and immediately proclaim that they are  “pre-med?”  Often this declaration is accompanied with an already well thought-out choice for his or her future specialty. This incredible ability to see into the future must be hereditary, as I have had 3 or 4 different parents tell me about how their kids are going to have to choose between medical school A and B, and/or how Johnny ...

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Where is the physician outrage? Right. Here. I’m speaking, of course, about the required-transvaginal-ultrasound thing that seems to be the flavor-of-the-month in politics. I do not care what your personal politics are. I think we can all agree that my right to swing my fist ends where your face begins. I do not feel that it is reactionary or even inaccurate to describe an unwanted, non-indicated transvaginal ultrasound as "rape." If I insert any ...

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All medical students and residents, those with any sense of introspection anyway, wonder if we (they) should be on the front lines. We wonder if we should be meeting, examining, trying to diagnose and treat families and children when we know that an experienced clinician just around the corner or in the next room could see the patient, perform the procedure faster and with more panache than our feeble ...

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Always covered by an employer health plan, I had never given a thought to prescription costs – my medications had been covered by moderate copays. This changed when I retired and enrolled in Medicare (and a Medicare Part D plan). Just prior to retirement, my eyes suddenly began tear and swell so much that it impacted my vision. The eye doctor diagnosed an allergic reaction and prescribed prednisone drops to ...

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I am an enigma.  I always have been.  Some doctors think of me as a challenge while others make it clear they dislike dealing with my case.  I’ve had gastroparesis since I was born.  Idiopathic gastroparesis.  I’ve had debilitating migraines since I was 3.  Idiopathic migraines.  I’ve had several-month bouts of low grade fevers for years.  Idiopathic fevers.  Over the past 6 months I’ve started going into anaphylaxis.  Idiopathic anaphylaxis. Every ...

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The scene was picture perfect, an absolute characterization of a tropical island paradise.  White deserted beach, overhanging palm trees, crystal clear, gentle lapping waters, and a blood red sun sinking slowly into a Fijian ocean. I found no pleasure in it.  Perhaps it was the heat, or that my new wife and I had been travelling for six months?  Or that we had been on many other tropical islands and amazing places in ...

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I was paged by labor and delivery three times during the 10-minute drive from my house. I headed straight from the parking lot to the labor ward expecting a patient of mine to be close to delivery. I was wrong. The chief resident and attending obstetrician were waiting. They looked tired and worried. A woman had arrived on Friday with ruptured membranes. She was 21 weeks along in her pregnancy, and now ...

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