He was my first patient -- ever. I had seen only a few patients before at my school’s student-run clinics, but never had I conducted a full visit. He was my first patient since starting the second semester of my first year, which meant more independence on my part (theoretically), and that, for the first time, I would be holding the office visit from beginning to end. Without guidance. Of ...

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Before the 1980s, drug testing was uncommon. It was widely viewed as an invasion of privacy and an infringement on fourth amendment rights. Today, a medical student is likely to be drug tested before entering medical school, before clinical rotations, and/or before residency. If preventing drug use among medical students is the goal of these tests, they have failed miserably. Urinalysis drug tests are ineffective. But more importantly, ...

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An excerpt from Hope For Addiction: Help and Hope for Families of Those Struggling with Addiction. The law states that no one can be forced into treatment against their will unless they are at risk of harming themselves or others (this varies by state, but the laws are very similar ...

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As an income-less medical student, I would be one of the now 7.1 million people who have signed up for Obamacare for this year. Except I live in Texas, one of nearly half of all states that elected to not expand Medicaid. At the same time, I don’t have enough of an income to qualify for federal subsidies, making insurance from the Marketplace unaffordable. As such, the individual mandate -- the ...

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I stood right beside them as they slowly slid your head into a plastic bag, looped the coarse twine about your neck and tied it tightly. Like the amateurs they were, they double-knotted it to make sure nothing came loose or dripped out. Then they casually walked away, chatting about what would come next. Within minutes the bag fogged up, and a clear red liquid pooled at the bottom. That was just ...

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shutterstock_153353723 As a medical scribe working with a large, well-known scribe company, unnamed to protect my job, it makes me proud reading all the articles published about how much having a scribe benefits a physician, especially in the emergency department. I enjoy my job immensely and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and engage in patient care. However, as a ...

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shutterstock_108593645 It’s 11:00 a.m. when we finish listening to a somewhat pointless series of talks from various medical school administrators on interview day -- one on financial aid, one on the medical curriculum, another on the school’s student organizations. It’s time for the medical school tour. All the applicants rise from their seats in unison, button their suit jackets, pat down any newly ...

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I have been actively engaged in the clinical practice of radiation oncology for the last 40 years, and over the last 10 years have been asked to participate as a radiation oncology expert witness in a variety of medical malpractice cases. Radiation therapy, together with surgery and chemotherapy, is one of the major cancer treatment methods. It is estimated that 50-60% of all cancer patients seen in the USA receive treatment with ...

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Dr. Cheryl Bettigole, a New Jersey-based family practitioner and a National Physician’s Alliance board member, has written an interesting editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine in which she states she is no longer surprised when laboratories charge her patients $1000 or more for a Pap smear. According to Dr. Bettigole, the reason for the exorbitant charges are not the actual Pap smear itself (although she does mention the fact liquid-based preps ...

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As a physician in a rural health clinic, I frequently see patients who complain of anxiety. The majority of these patients are in their 20s to 40s. Some have never been evaluated by a mental health professional, and many of these patients take benzodiazepines on a chronic basis. After current review, I wonder if we as primary care physicians are good at treating anxiety, or are we contributing to drug ...

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