One little thing. Somehow, with the changeover to the latest release of our electronic medical record, something happened to some of the demographic information on our patients. Suddenly, an enormous number of patients were now labeled as choosing not to disclose their gender. When I first noticed this, it was flagged in bright yellow on the banner in a patient's chart when I ...

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When Dr. Fleming found penicillin mold in his Petri dishes in 1928, he had no idea of the impact he — and it — would have on global health. Penicillin and the antibiotic revolution that it triggered have saved countless lives and change world history. Less than a century later, though, antibiotics occupy a space between savior and sinner. This complicated reputation is mostly due to how ...

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Just the other day, while I was in the middle of seeing a morning schedule full of patients, I opened one patient's chart and was thrilled to see a whole bunch of new icons in Chart Review in the electronic health record that I had never seen before. These apparently indicate office visits and other health care encounters with outside providers. Sometime during ...

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Medicare wants doctors to get patients on their computers. Doctors are required to set up computer portals to communicate with patients. These portals use two-factor identification and presume substantial computer literacy from patients in their late 70s or 80s. Yet, there are limits. For many geriatric patients, a cell phone means a feature phone with gigantic numbers. If they have a computer, it ...

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As a physician trying to keep up with all the new information about artificial intelligence, I want to know how machine learning and deep learning are impacting medicine now and to separate the hype from reality. Here's a look at some ways AI is being used successfully in health care and some ways it is not. AI has been validated for use in interpreting medical scans, pathology slides, and reading electrocardiograms. ...

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In many countries around the world, women giving birth still face substantial risks to their own lives and that of their baby. Women travel for days to reach facilities that are understaffed, unsafe, and unequipped to provide life-saving surgical care. They are pushed into financial catastrophe as a result of paying for surgical care, if they are able to afford it all, and they return home with little support in ...

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When I was a child, I knew I would become a doctor. I liked science and taking care of people. We diagnose medical problems and prescribe treatment plans. Some of us perform surgeries and some focus on keeping you well. Despite this, I’m nothing special, and neither are you, my physician colleagues. Let me explain why by first taking a brief step back into the history of American health care. Since ...

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The pain radiated from the top of Annette Monachelli’s head, and it got worse when she changed positions. It didn’t feel like her usual migraine. The 47-year-old Vermont attorney turned innkeeper visited her local doctor at the Stowe Family Practice twice about the problem in late November 2012, but got little relief. Two months later, Monachelli was dead of a brain aneurysm, a condition that, despite the symptoms and the appointments, ...

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One day while on shift in the emergency department, I looked out into the waiting room at the dozens of people waiting to be seen.  Many had been waiting for hours. Some looked bored. Others appeared agitated by the long wait time. One thing that nearly all of them had in common, though, was the presence of a smartphone within arms reach.  I wondered, rather than spending their time mindlessly ...

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As someone who has been in the medical field for nearly ten years, I have had the opportunity to follow many physicians. I started off shadowing physicians, standing behind them as they would speak to patients in their rooms. Now, as a resident physician, I spend hours and hours each week in the clinic seeing my own patients. Every week, I read about burnout and how it affects fellow physicians deal ...

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