During this recent emotional and divisive election cycle, much ink was devoted to analyzing the brave new political world we now live in, a world in which just about anyone with an audience and a platform can issue statements that are accepted as fact by millions of people, often in the face of solid evidence to the contrary. I’m talking, of course, about the world of post-truth politics. Two ...

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On Tuesday, November 29, President-elect Donald Trump named Dr. Tom Price, a former orthopedic surgeon, current Republican congressman, and chair of the House Budget Committee, as his pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services. The same day, the American Medical Association issued a press release enthusiastically endorsing Price for the position. The next day, Dr. Andrew Gurman, the president of the AMA, came to my hospital to ...

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In the years since the medical community first got revved up on the idea of “value-based care” -- the conceptual antithesis of the “more is better” fee-for-service model -- a common target of criticism has been the routine physical, one of the most time-honored traditions in medicine. The attacks come from all angles: The annual check-up isn’t cost-effective, it doesn’t lead to better outcomes, it actually might lead to ...

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On the way to work the other day, I heard a radio commercial advertising a local hospital network’s cardiac care services. In it, a patient’s daughter related her overwhelmingly positive experience with the hospital team that treated her 90-year-old father with a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally-invasive alternative to open heart surgery. It was a good commercial. It had all the elements: “I was worried at first, the doctors ...

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Think keeping your life organized is hard? Try keeping your doctors organized. In this era of fragmented health care, patients find themselves in the impossible position of having to coordinate their care themselves -- a task that many can’t meet. Having multiple chronic medical conditions often means being subjected to a dizzying assortment of specialists, medical terminology, and tests that can quickly overwhelm patients. How many times have you found yourself in ...

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Now that the dust has settled in the wake of America’s most recent mass shooting, the odds seem high that history will repeat itself, and our legislature will again fail to enact any meaningful reform. Like it or not, we as a country, through our elected representatives, have decided that we value unfettered access to deadly weapons over an individual’s right to feel safe in public spaces. Why this ...

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Dear Macklemore, Recently, you -- the white-rapping, thrift-shopping, LGBT-activist-ing, Grammy-winning 2013 phenom -- teamed up with President Obama to deliver a message to the country about the current opioid epidemic. Now let me preface this by saying, I like you, Macklemore. I like the mixture of equal parts political, earnest and downright goofy that you bring to your music. I like that you seem genuinely self-reflective and ...

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On my recent tour of residency programs, I had the pleasure of meeting many foreign medical graduates (a.k.a. FMGs; not to be confused with international medical graduates, who are U.S. citizens who go abroad for medical school). Almost uniformly, they struck me as confident, mature and articulate. Many were older than me, some by as much as 10 or 15 years. Most had extensive research experience, and a few had even ...

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Medicine has a fraught relationship with money. Dealing as they do with matters of life and death, doctors are loath to assign a dollar value to human life, preferring to avoid the subject altogether and instead provide the care that they deem appropriate no matter the cost. Insurance companies, on the other hand, make their business in rationing health dollars and have no such qualms: the consensus among them is ...

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