Recently, I was at a health care facility in a semi-urban region, less than 100 miles from a major metro. It had a whiff of industry from good times that have long drifted by. I tried to locate a Starbucks. Google Maps spotted one and took me towards the local university campus. As I drove there, I noticed several pain management clinics advertising themselves in unusual ways for "relief." Once inside the ...

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Honestly, I have never been a big fan of insurance. I am not much of a gambler, and paying for insurance feels like betting on my own misfortune. I have never purchased insurance for a cell phone or appliance. I would rather save the money and make an effort to take care of my possessions. I reluctantly have car insurance, homeowners’ insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, and health insurance. The ...

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I’m constantly awed by the fact that I get to be part of one of the best hospitals in the world, especially because as a kid, I grew up without health insurance. These were the days before the Affordable Care Act; there was no penalty for going without health coverage. As a non-citizen, I was ineligible for Medicaid, and private health care was prohibitively expensive for my family. Fortunately, I was ...

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STAT_Logo Health products are increasingly moving from the realm of the medical professional to the consumer. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) versions of teeth alignment kits, genetic tests, hearing aids, heart-rhythm monitors, neurostimulation devices, and mental health tools are already on the market, causing professional organizations of dentistsgeneticistsaudiologistscardiologists
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As a family physician in the trenches, I routinely see blatantly poor medical care in the history of my new patients. Far too many people get unwarranted medications and tests, while important things go unrecognized or unaddressed. This paradox is maddening. We must do better. To this end, policymakers have developed programs to promote "quality" and "performance" among clinicians. The main approach has been altering payments to serve as financial incentives and ...

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A young male patient checks into the emergency department (ED) and is brought back to a room for an ankle injury he suffered the day before. He states that he twisted it while doing some indoor rock climbing and tells the triage nurse that it is swollen and tender, but that he can walk on it. His vital signs are registered, and he is brought back to a room where ...

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On a daily basis, patients of mine come in for office visits complaining of wear and tear injuries, as well as aches and pains, and their methods of dealing with chronic pain. As we all know, aging is a part of the normal life process. For instance, as we approach 70 years old, we typically lose three-quarters of our functioning kidney cells (nephrons) but do well with our limited reserve as ...

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Superhero movies have long been my favorite. When I used to have a hobbies section of my resume, action adventure, thriller, and superhero movies were always listed. During one of my interviews for a medical residency position, the female interviewer asked me about that hobby. “Why have you listed action adventure and superhero movies as a hobby, and why do you enjoy them?” “Because they help me see that the impossible can ...

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Last month on February 3, 2019, we celebrated National Women Physician’s Day (NWPD). Created in 2016 by the Physician Mom Group (PMG) in collaboration with Physicians Working Together (PWT) and Medelita, NWPD honors the first female physician in the U.S., Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell and highlights gender inequality in medicine. The day is a social media “holiday” of sorts, with timelines flooded with inspirational posts of women in white coats declaring ...

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I started sharing my journey through medicine on Instagram about four years ago after I failed the musculoskeletal block during my first year of medical school. I felt alone in my struggles and didn't want anyone else to feel that way. So I started talking about it openly. It quickly became a place to nurture my creative self and build community. And even though a lot ...

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