I was surprised when I felt my body stiffen as I became aware that an iPhone had just been fiercely thrown in my direction. “I’m calling security,” shouted a distant voice in the background. “I want the 10 mg oxycodone pills! I am in 10/10 pain!” The patient shouted this to me as he abruptly got up, violently launched his phone in my direction and stomped toward the exit of the ...

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The young woman was curled up in a ball. She was sweating and shivering from pain. As she answered my questions — all my many, many questions — tears fell silently from her eyes.

I was a third-year medical student, and the resident I was working with had asked me to evaluate this woman. She had ...

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asco-logo Starting a new job is always stressful -- the move from one institution to another, getting hospital credentials, obtaining provider credentialing for various insurances, meeting new staff, and adjusting to a new work “culture”. Having done my share of moves, these are nearly universal experiences.  However, as I find myself walking around the hallowed halls ...

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I am sitting in my hospital room in a bone marrow transplant unit in a European city. I am a patient who has recently received a stem cell transplant. I am U.S. citizen, but I am a resident of a country with a single-payer health system. The insurance system here covers 85 percent of the population. And participation is mandatory, although high earners can opt out by purchasing private insurance. ...

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Angela Cooper arrived home from work to discover her daughter’s temperature had spiked to 102 degrees — a sign that the teenager, who has cancer, had a potentially deadly bloodstream infection. As Cooper rushed her daughter to the hospital, her mind raced: Had she done something to cause the infection? Cooper, who works at a Chevy dealership in Iowa, has no medical background. She is one of thousands of parents who ...

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Pink ribbons are everywhere, and we all know what that means: breast cancer. While this has helped raise awareness on a horrible killer and the importance of early screening, it does not address the fact that there is still no cure for stage IV cancer or the fact that men get breast cancer as well. Yes, it is important that we all know that breast cancer is prevalent in our ...

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asco-logo I was reading my emails this morning and came across one from the Foundation for Women’s Cancers, announcing September as Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. Their social media campaign centered on the hashtag #sharethepurplelove, and the focus on clinical trial awareness and participation. It got me thinking again about the enterprise of clinical trials, and just ...

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I am not the first physician blogger to write about the difficulties of prior authorizations, denials, and appeals, but recent occurrences in my own practice have been so convoluted that I feel they must be shared. The nonsensical denials would almost cause one to laugh, if not for the reality that each denial represents potential delay in care for the patient and redundant work for the physician. That's work that expands ...

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I love breast cancer awareness month. As a breast medical oncologist, it gives me an opportunity to spread the message of how important early detection is for improving the success of breast cancer treatment. I am surprised regularly at the number of women who either are not doing mammography at all or who do it every couple of years when they remember. We know that women who are participating in ...

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During elementary school, I saw my dad mostly on weekends, because he traveled for business during the week. Between watching soccer games and running errands, he never missed an opportunity to tune the radio to Car Talk. He is an engineer with a passion for cars, and Car Talk was his Holy Grail. He would guess what was wrong before the expert hosts spoke, and he was usually right. “Aha, I knew it ...

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