An article from the Wall Street Journal caught my attention, and for all the wrong reasons. It was a review of two recent studies showing that medical trainees have difficulty diagnosing patients with complicated histories or confounding psychosocial features. At least, that’s the way I would describe those studies. The WSJ, however, used much more pejorative language, referring to them as “difficult patients,” “a nuisance,” and “an annoyance.” The ...

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New Year’s resolutions have the potential to make our lives new and different and better than ever. But they also can do more harm than good. That’s because we put all our energy into setting the goal and don’t do the homework necessary to meet that goal. By the time February arrives, we’ve relapsed to our old habits and, what’s worse, we’ve given up hope of ever losing that weight ...

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Have you heard of Dr. Kildare? When I was a kid, he was the most popular doctor in the world. He was smart, courageous, and handsome, and every week he did something amazing at Blair General Hospital. Thanks to my mother, I grew up hearing stories about a real-life Dr. Kildare. We’ll call him Dr. B, and he was a legend in my home state of North Carolina. My mother was a ...

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We were the consummate lovebirds. We studied together, exercised together, and went grocery shopping together. When she started medical school, I took a summer job in the school’s maintenance department, just so we could eat lunch together. We couldn’t fathom being separated an entire day. It was a magical time. We worked hard, played hard, and talked late into the night -- yet rose early the next morning, energized and ready to go. ...

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