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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The fight for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens has been a long and storied one. We have fought for rights related to family, marriage, anti-discrimination and service to our country.  We have reveled in the freedom to be openly ourselves in public and have cheered as the fight for equality became a priority not only for ourselves but also for our straight allies.  As Rhode Island recently ...

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Hi. I’m a 44-year old emergency physician. And I’m an addict. My addiction came to light when my Press Ganey scores plummeted after I started to stand up to the chronic pain and frequent ER patients. The fact that I have an addiction was reaffirmed when I went to my state’s Prescription Drug Abuse Summit. When I saw so many professionals from varying fields (medicine, law enforcement, pharmacy, education) assembled, I realized ...

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shutterstock_108241016 A response to Dear lawmakers: This is what it’s like to be a doctor today. With a family and financial background that eerily matches Dr. Moeller’s, please count me as one soon-to-be physician who does not share the notion that lawmakers should spend their time being overly concerned with the demands placed on physicians or physician compensation.  In fact, I find ...

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Growing up, I rarely had a steady primary care physician. Every school-physical, immunization, sports injury, and sore throat was addressed with care and diligence at a family clinic affiliated with a major suburban hospital. I opted to visit the clinic a few weeks ago for a minor concern but as I drove-in, I was attuned to the fact that the clinic I visit—my clinic—is a teaching site. Before entering medical school I ...

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My mom wrote me the following letter during my first semester in medical school. She has been a patient, and a mother/wife/sister/daughter of patients. She has been around countless doctors. Here is her take on what makes a great one. Dear Son, I am so very proud that you are becoming a physician and that you chose this profession, not for the prestige or the financial advantages, but because you want to ...

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After a week of medical school orientation, followed by two weeks in the classroom studying cellular organelles and biochemical pathways, our class was finally going to start the centuries-old rite of passage that is human gross anatomy. For many students, it will be first time seeing a dead body. The anatomy lab is where future surgeons will make their first cut with a scalpel, without the pressure of life and ...

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