No one needs to know the value of multitasking more than a physician. At any point in time, we have to juggle a myriad of tasks and obligations. As a younger physician, I was able to recall multiple requests and obligations without writing them down. As I have grown older and the memory is starting to fade, I find it necessary to ...

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How do you describe the feeling when you are at a restaurant, and the waiter sees your coffee cup at less than half full (never half empty) and without asking they refill the cup or better yet, bring you a fresh cup of coffee?  If you are like most customers, you have a nice feeling about the restaurant and the waiter as they have anticipated your needs.  Usually, this anticipatory ...

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figure-1-for-kevin-pho Do doctors make too much money? I don’t think so. I read with great interest the blog by Dr. Michael Kirsch defending physicians’ salaries: "If you think doctors make too much money, think about this." Unfortunately, the public’s perception of physicians’ incomes has been that physicians make too much money. Whenever I hear this remark from patients or even non-physicians, I show ...

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I am an email junkie and spend more time than I would like to admit on emails every day.  I start my day by looking at emails, and I end every evening reviewing emails.  And yes, I spend time during the day checking the computer for pertinent emails that need my attention.  I think many physicians are of the same ilk. According to Alexandra Samuels, who is the author of Work ...

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Sticks and stones may break my bones but two words -- thank you -- will not hurt you but will certainly help you. We, myself included, are often so busy and always in a hurry rushing from one task to another that we often forget common courtesies.  I believe that we can accomplish so much more with our patients, our staff, and even in our personal lives by not forgetting to ...

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Today so many physicians are not able to see pharmaceutical representatives (PRs).  However, PRs do serve as a great resource and finding a way to make their visits more efficient and focused is an objective we all need to strive for. I recall requesting an interview with Lou Holtz, then the head coach at Notre Dame, and was told by his secretary the date and time that the interview would take ...

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shutterstock_195401897 Have you ever tied your shoes and found that the bow unraveled and you almost tripped over your own laces?  Learning to tie your shoes is a life skills task that you learned as a toddler unless you were trained on Velcro straps!  You performed the task of tying your shoes nearly every day of your life believing that you were ...

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Many of our patients are besieged with unsolicited Internet advertisements offering them unbelievable solutions and cures to most of mankind’s medical maladies.  Patients come to and ask for advice about these promises to magically restore their health. Since I receive so many requests from patients to evaluate these offerings, I have put together five questions that patients should ask themselves before proceeding to buy from websites offering outlandish claims, including restoring ...

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I see nearly 100 patients a week.  Of these, easily 35% are overweight and 15-20% are obese with a BMI greater than 30.  I live in New Orleans, Louisiana, which along with Mississippi has the highest rate of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, arthritis, and other diseases commonly associated with obesity.  There are many explanations for the obesity academic in America but certainly poor nutrition and lack of exercise are at the ...

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As a medical student I was in awe when a professor looked at a patient’s hands or nail beds and described their medical condition without taking a history.  I was also enthralled by a TED talk by the best selling author, Abraham Verghese, where he described a lesson that Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, learned as a medical student at the medical school in Edinburgh, Scotland from the famous physician ...

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