One very late spring evening during my last year of residency, I was driving home and got stopped at a police DUI checkpoint. I was exhausted from being up all night from being on call the night before and having been very busy had no time to shower, shave or change into my street clothes. I also got called in at 4 a.m. the previous day and had not showered or shaved that ...

Read more...

I remember the first time I experienced the paradigm shift when it came to pain management. Sometime around the late nineties while I was on call, I received a phone call from a floor nurse stating that a patient that had their ankle operated on that day by another surgeon was having increased pain that was not controlled by the pain medication that had been ordered. As I had been doing for ...

Read more...

Orthopedic surgeon Thomas Guastavino often alludes to his "rules of medicine" in the comments.  Here they are in their entirety. Efficacy, safety, and cost are of chief concern. If two treatments are of equal efficacy, choose the safer. If of equal efficacy and safety, choose the cheaper. Cost never trumps efficacy or safety. If you want the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective care, go to the physician with the most experience in dealing ...

Read more...

Last year, I retired from full-time practice and moved to a new area. At about the same time, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and because she was in good health prior, she had relatively little contact with the health care system as a patient. Before our move she worked as a part-time school nurse, so we were able to share provider horror stories from different perspectives. Since we moved ...

Read more...

shutterstock_52832917 Daytime TV advertising is dominated by two players. Pharmaceutical companies with direct to consumer pitches and the so-called "toxic tort." How confusing it must be to the average person to see a new drug pushed by one commercial, to be immediately followed by another commercial from a lawyer trying to sue for the known side effects of the exact same drug. It ...

Read more...

shutterstock_95651341 There can be little doubt that these days that political correctness has run rampant. Terms like "racist," "sexist," or "homophobic" are thrown around so frequently and early now that one has to wonder what is actually being accomplished. If you were to ask a physician what PC label they most fear, it would be "disruptive." Let's face it. We are no longer ...

Read more...

shutterstock_132428099 There is a scene from the movie Dr. Zhivago that, no matter how often I see it, sends chills down my spine. Yuri returns home from World War I after the communist revolution in Russia and runs into his half brother. Yuri finds that not only has his house has been taken over , but being a doctor, he has been ...

Read more...

shutterstock_121457908 Let's face it, residency is no picnic. A combination of on the job training and trial by fire, no physician who has gone through it and survived will ever forget the experience.  The emotions run from jubilation to sheer terror. It is inevitable that some of the people you interact with will leave a lasting impression. In the case of the ...

Read more...

Of all the radical changes affecting health care that have sent providers reeling, we are about to experience the knockout punch: the effort to change health care reimbursement from a quantity-based to a quality-based system. Of all the changes to health care, I can't think of any other that has been based on more false assumptions. Given the fact that there is always low hanging fruit, supporters of the quality-based ...

Read more...

I find myself in a unique position. I recently retired as an orthopedic surgeon and my wife and I moved out of my practice area. At the same time, my wife was diagnosed and started treatment for breast cancer. So I got opportunity to interact with the health care system both as a provider and as a family member of a patient receiving long-term care first from providers I knew ...

Read more...

Join 145,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 145,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image