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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Dear Senators, I know that the plan is to meet soon to pass the latest GOP health plan. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, failed with a price tag of over a trillion dollars. Yes, this faulty plan is not sustainable as is. Yet, your proposed plan is just a rehashing of the failed elements. While you look at the economics and short-fallings, I look patients in the eye ...

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Being the intern on the team, I knew the scut work belonged to me. Every medical student understands the hierarchy of the medical team, and there was just no way around that. If a patient needed urgent blood work drawn at 3 a.m., call the scut monkey as we were called. Any patient requiring a rectal exam required an intern to perform the test. Scut basically was any work that no ...

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Telemedicine is the new rage in medicine and a very needed service. It is vital in areas that are underserved and doctors hard to come by. Additionally, it can be a great convenience for patients who may not actually need to physically go to the doctor. But, is telemedicine dumbing down the standard of care? Doctors are held to a certain standard in the way they treat patients. If they fail that ...

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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. in the midst of a major public health crisis regarding the misuse of opioid medications.| Today, more people die of overdoses related to the use of opioids than any other drug or medication. In fact, opioid deaths (including the use of heroin) have quadrupled since 1999. Approximately 650,000 prescriptions are written for opioid medications every day in the ...

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Most health care professionals went into the field because of a calling. For many of us, it is not just a career but a sense of mission. While the system drives hoards to the brink and over the edge of burn-out, a sense of purpose remains. The goals are not the same for all, but it is a good time to re-examine our life goals. Being a doctor, or any professional ...

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Health care costs are out-of-control, and many patients can no longer afford medical treatment. The system is broken, but no real fixes are visible on the horizon. Sure, politicians debate the road health care should take and act like they are very concerned about the health of Americans. Truthfully, however, they are driven by political agendas corporate influence. Little discussion is given to what it would take to fix the ...

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Maintenance of certification (MOC) is on the minds of most doctors, and the majority of them oppose it. This is a program where doctors are enforced to comply with certain “educational” mandates to stay compliant with their board certification requirements. The largest number of doctors did not start off following this program but rather were shackled onto it later in their careers. Being one of the earliest voices speaking out against ...

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The drama in Syria captivates much of the world. We sit and watch horrified as innocent civilians and children suffer. The pictures coming out of the devastated city are truly heart-wrenching and the fabric that nightmares are created out of. As if to add to that unbelievable suffering, a bomb exploded in a Coptic church in Cairo, Egypt targeting women and children. Their only crime was going to attend the ...

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Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures bill with an overwhelming vote of 95-4 and was approved by President Obama. Yet, the controversy continues. Some people worry that this act is destroying our scientific process and sacrificing patient safety issues. Others proclaim that this is a win for the big pharmaceutical companies, who are already winning by a landslide. And then, there are the voices shouting out with ...

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We live in a world that is rapidly evolving and changing. The future is uncertain as policies change, as well as politicians. No one can predict what 2017 or future years will herald. We watch as dozens of news stories pour into our mobile apps every time we check in. And for those of us that practice medicine, health care research, and news coverage can change the way we approach ...

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I knew the patient was fuming mad and I could hardly blame him. His symptoms were debilitating and the battle to get a diagnostic test authorized by his insurance company set him over the edge. My staff fought a hard war convincing the insurance company that the patient needed the test and lost. As the patient sat in front of me yelling practically in my face, I felt like the ...

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The patient was in pain and had been for over a year. And it was getting worse, not better. Exhausting all avenues of treatment, I decided it was time to refer him to a pain management doctor. Because of the injury to his back, the patient lost his job and his health care coverage. With no alternative for health care coverage, he ended up covered by Medicaid. While health care ...

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The Internet revolutionized the way we search for information as well as how we conduct business in our everyday lives. Everything can be purchased online: cars, clothes, groceries, vacation packages. Just about anything. Most people now research products before committing to them, and that now includes health care. It is estimated that 87 percent of adults in the U.S. use the Internet. Approximately 72 percent of Internet users seek health ...

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The patient looked angry and I felt his frustration. His voice was rising, “Why is the chart 54 pages long? My son has only been here five times!” In the olden, pre-electronic health record days, chances are the chart would most likely have been less than 10 pages. However, since the government takeover of medical records, this is no longer the case. When the government rolled out its meaningful use ...

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