Informed consent is the cornerstone of medical ethics. And every physician must defend this sacred principle from every form of evil that would seek to dismantle, degrade and debase it. If informed consent is the sun, then privacy, confidentiality, dignity, and trust are planets that go around it. For without informed consent, the descent of health care into amorality is inevitable, and the doctor-patient relationship is doomed to ruination, oblivion, ...

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The headline scrolling across the bottom of an evening news show certainly grabbed my attention: a new blood test had the possibility of detecting early melanoma and saving thousands of lives. And then there were more reports elevating this early research report to a point that I became quite interested -- and frankly concerned. News flash: The research is far from being shown to have proven value in the early diagnosis of ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 24-year-old woman with longstanding atopic dermatitis is evaluated for an acute worsening of her disease in the past week. She has had increased pruritus and now has multiple painful areas within the involved skin. She has been applying petrolatum jelly and triamcinolone ointment and washing with gentle cleansers without improvement. ...

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One of my colleagues sat on a wheeled clinic stool at the end of the examination table and told the patient, which was in this case an actor, “Everything looks great.” After, he swiveled around to face the instructor and the small group of onlooking medical students behind him. Our instructor also turned to us and said, “Very good job. But can anyone tell me what he did wrong?” He ...

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A warning about examining your friend's medical condition. Brad Nieder is a physician and comedian and can be reached at the Healthy Humorist.

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 50-year-old man is evaluated for a firm, darkly pigmented papule on his back that has been growing steadily over a period of several months. His medical history is unremarkable, and he takes no medications. On physical examination, vital signs are normal. The skin lesion is a 0.5-cm darkly pigmented, ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 32-year-old man is evaluated for a 2-week history of a rash on his face and midchest. He describes the rash as consisting of small, reddish “lumps” that are intensely itchy; they develop and begin to resolve with development of new lesions. He otherwise feels well. Medical ...

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American physicians deserve to be paid well for their work. As a physician, myself, I know what it takes to become a doctor in the U.S. Four years of late nights in the college library in hopes of achieving a GPA commensurate with medical school admission; then four years of medical school, which makes the college work load feel light in retrospect; then, in my case, three years of residency ...

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RRegardless of specialty, no physician can truly provide patients with the care they deserve if they practice in isolation. In recent years, the health care system has acknowledged this reality by embracing greater collaboration and team-based care. With an aging population increasing the prevalence of chronic disease and life-threatening conditions, the timing couldn’t be better. For the field of dermatology, the American Academy of Dermatology’s recent Burden of ...

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Last week, I spent a few hours completing an online module for one of my immunology courses. The purpose of this module was simply to expose students to the format of lecturing and assessments that would take place throughout the length of this course. The portion of the module that I found really exciting was a series of videos depicting scenes at a local clinic where a physician examined a patient ...

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