An excerpt from The Pharmacist is a Whore: How Pharmacists Lost Control of Their Profession and Why You Should Care. The day patients became customers was a black day for us all. Don’t get me wrong, pharmacy has always been a service profession, and we take that ...

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I spent my first two years of medical school collecting stories. I journaled about my thoughts in the anatomy lab. I wrote about what it was like to learn how to interview and examine patients, about the immense honor and privilege I felt just being able to don a white coat with a stethoscope around my neck. I wrote about the patients that touched my heart – the patient with ...

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In country after country, I witness the same sad situation: caring, often-brilliant men and women toil in the health care industry to care for others, but to do so they must battle the system itself. That system has lost sight of what matters, which is humans caring for other human beings. To simplify things a bit, every health care system on earth has three main stakeholders:

  1. Patients
  2. Physicians and clinicians
  3. Administrators
Yes ...

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There are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide, 108 million of them children, reported the New York Times in 2017. In Brazil, food giant Nestle sends vendors door-to-door hawking its high-calorie junk food and giving customers a full month to pay for their purchases. Nestle calls the junk food hawkers, who are themselves obese, “micro-entrepreneurs.” Big Food is increasingly targeting poor countries as “emerging markets” ...

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Being self-aware sometimes to the point of turning self-critical — I, as a constituent of an anesthesiologist’s society, am writing this freestanding letter to bring forth our ethical questions and concerns regarding a shortage of not only medications but also skills, funds and time. Scenario 1: Patient requests for spinal anesthesia for cesarean section, but a shortage of hyperbaric spinal anesthetics warrants epidural anesthesia as its replacement. What must be done? ...

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Every few months, there happens to be another breathless news story about racism in health care. Mass media seems shocked, progressives angrily tweet, while conservatives claim that somehow it was all President Obama’s fault. Meanwhile, the four relatively unknown and certainly underappreciated historically black college or university (HBCU) medical schools in the United States (Howard University, Meharry Medical College, Read more...

As I explained to my medical student this morning that I was ordering an ultrasound on a patient first because the insurance company wouldn’t authorize a CT scan without it, it occurred to me that medicine derailed from its true purpose. Shortly later, I found myself again pointing out why I was prescribing a certain medicine rather than the one I wanted because it was not on the formulary of ...

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Unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, overeating, or lack of exercise lead to chronic health conditions, and many patients wanting to make positive changes to their health may seek the advice of their doctor to do so. But our insurance payment system works against supporting people when they want to act in a healthy way, and some of these payment decisions seem rooted in prejudices against those suffering from certain conditions. Smoking ...

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ama_logoA guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Since the 1970s, women have been carving out an increasingly large role in medicine, and the profession is becoming more representative of our society. September is Women in Medicine Month, a great time to acknowledge the changing face of medicine, but also to note that female physicians are not ...

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The Hippocratic Oath, as presumably most of us know, is the oath taken by physicians promising to uphold ethical standards in treating their patients. The four pillars of medical ethics primarily stem for this oath: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. The world we see now is socially different compared to what it was when Hippocrates was alive. Physicians and policymakers in health care now face new ethical challenges that they ...

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