Our job as health care professionals is not just to diagnose our patients by applying our scientific knowledge and clinical skills, but also to be the “communicator-in-chief,” “listener-in-chief,” and “reassurer-in-chief.” Any doctor who doesn’t fully grasp this, is not doing the best job they can or being the best doctor they can be. I truly believe that over 90 percent of our everyday job as a physician involves being a good ...

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Health care is a tough job to work in -- whether you are a doctor, nurse or any other professional. We are dealing with matters of life and death, our patients expect (and deserve) the best from us, and we always have a hundred-and-one things to do at the frontlines of medicine. I remember reading somewhere when I was a teenager that a career in medicine would be a “mentally, ...

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Talk about physician burnout and job dissatisfaction is everywhere right now. If you are a doctor, you cannot escape the news. Within the last couple of weeks, organizations in Massachusetts (a mecca of healthcare and hospitals) declared physician burnout a “major public health crisis.” This all sounds rather dramatic. On the surface, physicians are reasonably well paid, still enjoy a good degree of autonomy (certainly compared with many other ...

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No matter what profession you are in, having uncomfortable and difficult conversations is something you have to get used to. Tim Ferris said in his bestselling book, The 4-Hour Workweek (which I’d highly recommend), “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” It could be with another colleague, a client or customer. Even in your personal ...

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A piece of advice I would give to any younger physician, especially one who is just graduating residency, would be to expect a whirlwind ride into the realities of frontline medical practice. It’s something that you are totally not prepared for in the controlled environment of education and residency training. A steep learning curve awaits you once you start practicing medicine. And one of the biggest things you will have ...

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I recently wrote an article giving 3 reasons why any patient may not have liked their doctor. They included the physician being visibly in a hurry, appearing to brush off concerns, or giving a general sense of not caring. While no doctor deliberately sets out to do any of these things, complaints like these are all too common, unfortunately. The degree to which the practice of good medicine is ...

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One of the biggest changes to health care over the last 20 years has been the corporatization of medicine, from small independent physician practices, to large corporations that now run the show. Medicine has gone from good old Dr. Johnson’s office around the corner, to a world of boardrooms, megamergers and takeovers. This has enormous downstream effects -- not least to the way physicians practice medicine and their ...

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One of the things I am most grateful for, as a doctor who has worked in at least a dozen different hospitals over the last decade, is the broad range of experiences I’ve had and the variety of physicians I’ve met and gotten to know. I enjoy hearing experienced physicians’ perspectives on how the practice of medicine has changed from what it used to be in the 1970s to 1990s. I ...

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Hospitals are busy, hectic, and unpredictable places. Professionals who work in health care are highly trained and competent individuals, and if you are receiving acute care in America -- the standard of your treatment and access to high-quality tests and an array of specialists, is unparalleled (take it from someone who has worked in different countries). Nevertheless, the hospital experience itself, despite our best efforts, often falls short. Here are ...

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Almost a couple of years ago, I decided that I would act out on a desire that I’d had for some time: to learn to swing dance (specifically, Lindy Hop). Going back to when I was in high school in England, I’ve always had an interest in 1920s America, that started during our history classes. I find it a fascinating time of enormous progress (and for so many a big roaring ...

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