It took me decades of studying, training, hard work, and sleepless nights to become a doctor. In approximately five years, I became a successful writer, editor, columnist, and a whole array of other titles assigned to that type of work. In under 3 seconds, I became a chronic pain patient for the rest of my life. Around this time last year, I was taking my two dogs outdoors when they spotted ...

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Every day I receive all kinds of emails and other ads telling me about services offering me help to meet MIPS quality metrics. While they may be helpful, most doctors don’t see the need for such a program. It drives up costs in administering and time in needless metrics reporting. Yet, give us a new regulation and a whole industry is going to pop up to profit ...

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In the U.S., we now have an outbreak of measles where the cases number more than it has in decades. Most of the people being infected are unvaccinated, and we’ve all seen the media reports of the growing tide of anti-vaxxers. While the CDC, WHO, and pretty much every medical and scientific authority across the globe stand by the efficacy and safety of vaccines, those opposed rather rely on the ...

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Over the past year, multiple mega-mergers were announced in health care. The four largest ones being: 1. On March 18, 2018, Cigna announced that it was acquiring Express Scripts for $68 billion in cash and stocks. The deal was closed on December 20, 2018. 2. On December 3, 2017, CVS announced that they were acquiring Aetna for $69 billion in cash and stocks. The deal was officially closed on November 28. ...

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No one wants to be sick, especially when no one can tell them what is wrong. In the U.S., we live in a culture where we want instant results; we want easy answers for complex problems. However, in medicine, there are often no easy fixes. Adverse medical events happen, despite our best efforts. For example, a young child was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. While he and his ...

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The news has recently reported the story about the Cleveland Clinic resident, Dr. Lara Kallab, who was fired after making anti-Semitic comments on twitter. Among them, she tweeted that, “I’ll purposely give all the [Jews] the wrong meds.” Not only were people horrified by her comments, but she also lost her job (and possibly career) because of it. However, was her punishment too harsh or not severe enough? My opinion is ...

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So many people are suggesting that if only doctors practice self-care we could deflect burnout before it overtakes us. Yes, physicians are probably the worst professionals for taking care of ourselves. We work long hours,  answer calls at all hours of the night, take little vacation, work in stressful situations, and often face hostility in the workplace. But this is not the reason we are burning out at high rates; ...

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As a family physician, I treat patients of all ages – children to those nearing 100 years old. One issue that plagues young and old alike is lack of sleep. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2016 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, more than one-third of American adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis. This is a common ...

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It’s that time of year again when retail outlets start counting down the days to Christmas and deck their stores with holiday cheer. For many people, this time of year feels magical. Yet for others, it is a consumer competition to buy the absolute best gift at the lowest price. While both these groups love the holidays in their own way, there is a third group for which the holidays ...

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Medical crises come in many forms: from illnesses to sudden injuries. Most often the victims are unsuspecting. They may be gradual in onset or happen in seconds. There are many causes, from faulty drivers to electrolyte disturbances. Mine was caused by a squirrel, a routine yard rodent. In less than three seconds, I went from a practicing physician with a heavy patient load to temporarily disabled. Returning home from a busy ...

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