I often see patients for follow-up and learn they are not taking the medications either I or another health care provider prescribed. Sometimes the reason is obvious, and other times the patient is reluctant to give up the information. Patients have the right to take or not take medication that was prescribed. But, sometimes by not doing so, they are putting their health at risk. As a doctor, I want my ...

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Measuring metrics is a common catch-phrase in health care. The goal of capturing certain data is to improve patient outcomes. But, as doctors, we were taught to treat the patient and not the numbers. While optimizing clinical outcomes is a needed goal with all the complexities in medical treatment currently, the system seems to have gone too far in its quest for targeted numbers. If, for example, a patient suffers metastatic ...

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The Office of the Surgeon General existed since 1871 when Dr. John Woodworth was appointed the first supervising surgeon of the national hospital system. In the previous year, the Marine Hospital was reorganized into the national hospital system. On January 4, 1889, Congress formally recognized the new personnel system as the Commissioned Corps. The Corps was established along military lines and initially consisted of only ...

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It is not enough to know that a patient’s medical condition warrants an MRI. For most insurance companies, a diagnostic test of this sort requires what is known as a prior-authorization. But, the doctor saying the patient needs this test often fails. The insurance company has a certain guideline the patient must travel first before they will consider the test. For example, a patient with back pain and numbness in one ...

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 9.8 million adults (or 4 percent of all adults) over the age of 18 years suffered a serious mental illness in 2015. A serious mental illness is one that affects a patient’s daily functioning. Considering all mental illness in adults in the same time period, 43.4 million adults (or 17.9 percent) who met the criteria for a ...

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Pink ribbons are everywhere, and we all know what that means: breast cancer. While this has helped raise awareness on a horrible killer and the importance of early screening, it does not address the fact that there is still no cure for stage IV cancer or the fact that men get breast cancer as well. Yes, it is important that we all know that breast cancer is prevalent in our ...

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The patient looked at me and said that he did not remember the name of the specialist, only that she was a “woman doctor.” As this was completely unhelpful, I pondered the fact that a doctor who was male is never referred to as a “man doctor.” Why is it that woman physicians need the added label, as if the norm is a doctor who is supposed to be a ...

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Many people love to vilify doctors. They think we are all greedy and we don’t listen. They say we perform procedures just for profit. We are not available when we need them. Sure, there are doctors that fit this stereotype. But, in my experience, most doctors do not and care about their patients trying to do the best for them. I hear patients complain about other doctors and some of the ...

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In the U.S., approximately 30 percent of physicians work in practices that they own. This number has been dwindling down over recent years. Perhaps more surprising, the number of women doctors who are self-employed are a mere 18 percent. Many hospitals and other corporate entities are actively looking to purchase the remaining practices. It is not just to make money from that practice; it's to make money from services that are ...

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The answer reflected off of her face, and I knew my news would be no surprise. Nonetheless, the lump in my throat grew as I hesitated to tell her the latest we found on her recent scans. The fact that this was a recurrence of a previous cancer and she dealt with this inhumanity in the past also did not make it any easier. It was then that Mrs. B spoke up, ...

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