We had no choice in becoming the “crazy” family that left a hospital against medical advice. Our four-day-old daughter was completely helpless, her condition deteriorating and the staff was ignoring our concerns. I carefully turned off the blue lights, removed her from the isolette, placed her in a car seat and eloped from the pediatrics unit. As a hospitalist, I constantly obsess over medical errors. The majority are more subtle than ...

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As a physician, is it acceptable to say no? After working as a hospital medicine physician across five different states and internationally, I’ve realized that saying no is actually imperative. Physicians are stretched thin, abused, demonized and expected to be superhuman when it comes to patient care. We secretly complain in online forums, we commiserate with other physicians in on-call rooms, sometimes we even seek mental health help, but rarely ...

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Medicine has undoubtedly come a long way. Paternalism has been ditched in favor of a shared decision making approach, diagnoses and treatments are (largely) based on scientific evidence, and information is not outright withheld from patients out of some misplaced belief that they are not capable of handling the truth. Some of the modern pain points that patients now face involve access to specialists, skyrocketing cost, misinformation and miseducation surrounding ...

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shutterstock_206522137 One would expect that in an era where smartphones are more powerful than our computers were 5 years ago, health care providers would have an arsenal of health care IT solutions to enhance patient care but also optimize their own workflow. Shockingly, in 2014 most health care IT solutions (such as EHR systems) are incapable of basic functions that we take for ...

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There are words in many languages that have no good English equivalent. During my work in Haiti, I’ve noticed my Haitian colleagues on occasion exhaling a phrase -- “tet chaje” -- which literally means “head charged.” More accurately, it describes a sense of being overwhelmed or conveying disbelief or frustration. Based on my limited experiences in the field, I can only begin to imagine the burnout that local providers face ...

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This post is a question, an invitation and a challenge. How can we bring technologies we take for granted back home to those in the developing world? Many before me have spoken with outrage about the reality of two worlds: one of abundance, and the other where people live like they have in centuries past. The situation is more complicated since even poor people may have some technologies like cellphones now, but vital lifesaving technologies ...

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