During my transition from public to private health, I have indeed noticed some interesting differences that have forced me to practice medicine a perhaps a tad differently.  One big surprise:  in private health, I have to admit that I have been pretty astounded to see that my patients quite heavily rely on the Internet before they even come to see me for their given ailments. In public health, some of my ...

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Starting a new job can be exciting, a new challenge, while embarking on a new journey.  I have the opportunity to meet many new fellow docs, staff, and kind patients.  However, I have to admit that it is a tad more challenging in the beginning when starting a new practice from scratch.  I do miss the familiar patient faces that knew me and trusted my medical abilities without question.  But ...

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When I was a little girl, attending the circus was the highlight event of the year. I remember looking forward to it each year – perhaps because it was something fun, and each year something new. Never the same show twice. Very busy behind the scenes, yet at the same time, quite organized and appearing smooth on the surface. In the same way, the clinic can be a truly hectic scene. ...

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Here’s a true story from the operating room:

Surgeon: Intern, what is the story behind this patient? Resident Intern: Patient is a 51 year old female with breast lump on the left side, and 17 out of 20 lymph nodes positive for cancer. Surgeon (speaking in a rather ‘as a matter of fact’ tone): Oh, she’s F_ _ _’d. Resident Intern: shocked, frozen and unable to respond.
"How do some physicians become so stoic?" I ...

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When I realized that I would be moving to a different county within Southern California and would have to change jobs, I knew it would be inevitable that I would have to say goodbye to my patients. I was dreading this. I mean, really dreading it. I don’t like goodbyes.  I feel as though I am breaking up, and in a way I am. Like any other relationship, my patient-physician relationships ...

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I have made a big life-changing, evolutionary decision: I am leaving my job with public health. It was not an easy one. It isn’t because I don’t love my job greatly; because I do. In fact, I feel like the queen of the jungle, leaving her subjects. It’s not easy to let go. My reasons for leaving have nothing to do with the job itself, but have everything to do with ...

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Here is an unfortunate, but almost daily not-so-secret occurrence in my practice: I am in the midst of an intricate follow-up visit with a rather complicated patient with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. I am feeling as though I am a CIA agent in a rather mission impossible assignment: she is here for lab results, is complaining of low back pain, and presents with an elevated blood pressure of ...

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Can the field of family medicine truly become monotonous? I never thought I’d ever find myself in a repetitive routine when selecting family medicine as my specialty. I spent eleven years after high school studying what I know. How can eleven years of material really become mundane? In a way, it’s a great thing – it means I am feeling comfortable and confident in my job. And I am fortunate enough to ...

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A friend recently asked me in great frustration after her visit to her doctor why doctors “always run late.” Why do doctors make their patients “dance around” the office, getting moved around to different spots in the clinic, but still having to wait and wait at each location? Instead of explaining what really goes on at the doctor’s office, I ended up emailing her a couple of links to some of ...

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Difficulty with sleep is one of the most common patient complaints presenting to the primary care office. Chances are, you will suffer from difficulty with insomnia at some point in your lifetime. It can be distressing, and cause difficulty with functioning during your wake hours. The first thing you may want to do is to run to the doctor for a prescription for a medication to help you sleep. However, you don’t ...

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