Health care policy has been a hotly debated political topic for many years now. In recent years, new laws passed the halls of Congress while others failed to gain any traction. Despite the rules that have rolled out, health insurance companies have been in the driver’s seat for decades. While spokespersons for the health insurance industry will tell you that they do not make medical decisions. As a doctor, I can ...

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I doubt there is anyone living in the U.S. who doesn’t realize we have an opioid crisis here. Politicians debate the solutions to abating the high death rate that comes along with it, however, they fail to acknowledge that there are Americans in pain. Yes, we need to be sure opioids are prescribed judiciously. However, we also need to treat patients in pain. As a doctor, it is not always easy ...

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People like to think the worst about doctors: We don’t listen, we don’t care, we only want your money. But, the truth is we do care, and that is why most of us answered the calling to become doctors. That is why the burnout rate for doctors is so high. Patients hate to wait in the waiting room for too long. But, truth is, I sometimes need to take a break ...

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Some days in medicine seem like an epic saga in which the world seems to be playing whack-the-doctor. It is easy to vilify doctors and cast much blame at them. And true, we bring some of this onto ourselves. Today was one of those days, and by the end, I was just all too ready to run out of the office and go home. And then the last patient came and ...

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Recently, my inbox has been overfilled with offers for programs, yoga, meditation, and a whole host of mindfulness training opportunities to combat physician burnout. I think by now everyone knows that doctors are fighting high burnout rates. But, those sending these “special offers” don’t get the root of the problem. We’re not burned out because we work long hours in a stressful job with limited time off. Rather, we are ...

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As I explained to my medical student this morning that I was ordering an ultrasound on a patient first because the insurance company wouldn’t authorize a CT scan without it, it occurred to me that medicine derailed from its true purpose. Shortly later, I found myself again pointing out why I was prescribing a certain medicine rather than the one I wanted because it was not on the formulary of ...

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We’ve all been through difficult times. It may be the death of someone we love or suffering abuse with no one to help. In life, many events fly at us that are hard to manage. Many of us just suffer silently through the pain, not allowing anyone in. And even while we do that, we also know that is not the healthiest response. Many patients come to me struggling with anxiety ...

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The health care system has never been so complex as it is today. As doctors, we’ve seen the struggles that happen just trying to help patients get the medical care they need. Patients are now ladened with high deductibles and often are the victims of baseless denied coverage for diagnostic tests and medication. Insurance companies insist that they are not practicing medicine, merely making coverage determinations and that the patient is ...

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Many people seem to believe that the Z-pak possesses magical qualities. Patients come in requesting it for the common cold, because it worked for them in the past. Not only do many believe it cures the common cold, but they think it can treat any infection. Have a urinary tract infection? Just ask your doctor to prescribe a Z-pak! Sniffles got you under the weather? Do the same! Anyone who believes ...

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On June 10, 1963, the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy, amending the previous Fair Labor Standards Act.  Under this law, pay disparities between men and women were clearly prohibited. More than fifty-five years later, women are still fighting to be paid the same as men holding the same jobs. Gender pay disparities exist among all professions. Not only does a pay gap exist ...

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