Does any living, breathing human believe that there is not enough paperwork in our lives? While we are all burdened, I believe that the medical profession is uniquely deluged with an absurd volume of documentation requirements, most of which should be filed under "N" for nonsense. Ask any physician or nurse about this and have antacids on hand as you will soon see some sizzling smoke emerging from the medical ...

Read more...

I prescribe heartburn medicines every day. There’s a gaggle of them now -- Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix -- to name a few. As far as experts know, their primary effect is to reduce the production of stomach acid. This is why they are so effective at putting out your heartburn fire. In simple terms: no acid, no heartburn. I am quite sure that well-meaning physicians like myself do not understand or ...

Read more...

Recently, a physician asked my opinion if a patient needed a colonoscopy. My partner was already on the case and I was covering over the weekend. The facts suggested that a colonoscopy was warranted. The patient had a low blood count and had received blood transfusions. Certainly, a bleeding site in the colon, such as a cancer, might be responsible. We do colonoscopies to address similar circumstances on a regular ...

Read more...

I just read of a a jury award in excess of $25 million against an insurance company who denied a recommended cancer treatment to a patient who ultimately died.  I do not wish to review here the particulars of this case, and admit that my knowledge is limited by one news report that I read.  While I will not invoke the ubiquitous phrase "fake news," I always bring some ...

Read more...

So much of life depends upon timing. Sure, we plan, but we know how much of our life’s events are unplanned and unexpected. So often, our jobs and our mates -- two of our most defining accomplishments -- are the result of a chance encounter or a random act. Life does not reliably proceed in an orderly manner. This is often true in the medical profession. Here, physicians in our quest ...

Read more...

A contract is an agreement stipulating the rights and obligations of the signatories. In most cases, a contract is consulted when a dispute arises. When all is proceeding swimmingly, the contract remains dormant in a file drawer or in a digital file. In general, decent people resolve differences in the old-fashioned way utilizing the twin arcane legal techniques of reasonableness and compromise. Remember them? Yes, it is possible to settle ...

Read more...

Increasingly, we see functions executed by machines that were formerly performed by living breathing human beings. Examples range from the mundane to the preternatural.

  • Order food and drink from an iPad. No server needed.
  • Driverless auto travel. This may lead to a resurgence in prayer.
  • Pilotless air travel. Hard times ahead for the Airline Pilots Association.
  • Making precision tools from 3D printers.
  • Gourmet meals created with a voice-activated command.
  • Theater ...

    Read more...

In a prior post, I shared my heretofore reluctance to prescribe medications for my hepatitis C (HCV) patients.  In summary, after consideration of the risks and benefits of the available options, I could not persuade myself -- or my patients -- to pull the trigger.  These patients were made aware of my conservative philosophy of medical practice. I offered every one of them an opportunity to consult with another ...

Read more...

I am against all forms of bodily pain, both foreign and domestic. I wish the world were pain-free. When I am suffering from even a routine headache, I want immediate relief just like everyone else. The medical approach to pain control has changed dramatically even during my own career. When I started practicing a few decades ago, the strategy was pain reduction. We gave narcotics for very few indications such ...

Read more...

A patient came to see me with lower abdominal pain.  Was she interested in my medical opinion?  Not really.  She was advised to see me by her gynecologist who had advised that the patient undergo a hysterectomy.  Was this physician seeking my medical advice?  Not really.   Was this patient coming to see me as her day was boring and she was bored and needed an activity?  Not really. After the ...

Read more...

17 Pages

Most Popular

Join 147,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 148,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image