Health care in America and the practice of medicine has undergone a sea change over the last couple of decades. It used to be about Dr. Johnson’s office around the corner that would serve you and your whole family. Nowadays, it’s about mega-specialty groups and large health care conglomerates. It’s about mergers and hostile corporate takeovers. Statistics now suggest that over 50 percent of physicians are employed rather than ...

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It’s something that’s not taught anywhere near enough as it should be in medical school, but every practicing physician quickly realizes that communication is everything in health care. It’s the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship, and what patients will judge you on. Sure, doctors are among the busiest professionals out there. We do an incredibly hectic job. But it’s so imperative to remember the importance of that interaction with your ...

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A couple of weeks ago I visited Canada. It was my first visit in a very long time. We were in Ontario, spending most of the time in the Toronto area, and also getting to visit the majestic Niagara Falls for the day. I’ve heard so much over the years about the differences between neighbors USA and Canada, and in even just a few days there, agreed that there are ...

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It was my childhood dream to become an airline pilot. We lived near Heathrow airport in London, and I was a diligent plane spotter (please save the jokes). I had a book when I was nine years old that listed all civil aviation registrations, and I would mark them off as I spotted different planes through my binoculars, coming into land at the world’s busiest international airport. My flying memories ...

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I recently read an article about how the physicians’ lounge, which was once present in every hospital and an important congregating area for doctors during the day, is now mostly a thing of the past. Although the article was not a new one, it peaked my interest because I’ve witnessed the demise of the physicians’ lounge at close quarters over the last several years. Speaking too as someone who has ...

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The news cycle over the last several days has been dominated by President Trump’s interjection into the row about NFL players refusing to stand during the national anthem.The media went into hysteria following his curse remarks, and a full-blown row has gone on to develop. Turning this issue into a national political one is a great shame on so many different levels, including not least the reality that ...

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The debate about the future of health care rages stronger than ever. As someone who grew up and trained in a country with probably the most centrally controlled medical system in the world—the United Kingdom with her NHS—my views have admittedly done a 180 over the last decade. I am no longer as strong a believer in socialized health care as I once was, and actually believe the future for ...

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It’s a scenario that every doctor is familiar with. You are having a busy day and working full steam to get everyone better. You suddenly receive that unexpected message: “Mr. Johnson and his family are very upset and would like to speak with you now.” Most of the time, any physician’s initial reaction will be one of irritation, disappointment or frustration: “My goodness, I’m working so hard here, and we have ...

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Last week a physician friend recommended watching the movie the Big Short. The description given to me was that it was a great movie that was all about a bunch of guys who saw the 2008 financial crisis coming. Sure enough, that very weekend, I planned a night in to get take out and watch it on Netflix. And it sure didn’t disappoint. Starring Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell, Christian Bale, and ...

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“Hello Dr. Payne, thanks for calling back, there’s a consult I’d like you to see.” “What’s going on?” “Well there’s a patient up on 7 East who ...” “Wait a minute. 7 East ... isn’t there some other specialist covering there?” “No Dr. Payne, the schedule says you on Wednesdays.” “Oh, I’ll check that.” “OK, Dr. Payne, well we have this 72-year old, Mrs. Jones, who originally got admitted with pneumonia. She now has unusual inflammatory ...

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