I asked a colleague at a recent dinner meeting about his children. They’re all grown, he said, one is actually a doctor. But, he added quickly, “I had nothing to do with it.” His son had chosen his father’s field of radiology, though my colleague similarly disavowed any influence. He did mention, with some relief, that his son was happy with his choice. About a year earlier, I was catching up ...

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Results of a study released JAMA Cardiology demonstrated that lower readmission rates among hospitalized heart failure patients, a key focus of recent Medicare value-based payment efforts, were associated with increased patient mortality. In other words, patients admitted to the hospital for heart failure are being re-admitted less frequently, but dying at higher numbers. Value-based pay, as it turns out, where monetary incentives and penalties are tied to ...

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Technology makes this an exciting time for health care. Not only are technological advances making health care better, they’re also making it more affordable. To get a taste of the potential of where health and technology are going, you only need to look as far the recent Fortune article titled, “Prepare for a Digital Health Revolution," or to search through the more than 300,000 ...

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Physicians’ reactions to ORBITA — a blinded, randomized controlled trial (RCT) from Britain with a sham arm comparing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to placebo in patients with stable angina — are as fascinating as the cardiac cycle. There were murmurs, kicks and pulsating jugulars. Though many claimed to be surprised and many unsurprised by the null results of the trial, the responses were predictably predictable. Some basked in Read more...

Doctors, you need to improve the patient experience. Your intentions are there, but patients are starving for more. Office visits offer definitive evidence that patients need to change. Tests results provide real data to make patients aware of health concerns. This is a clear and obvious starting point. But after this information is gathered, the framework of change gets cloudy. Doctors go from offering clear and focused details like: ” You have high ...

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Days are getting shorter and evenings are getting cooler in temperate regions in the Northern hemisphere. This also means that the flu season will be around the corner soon. Most people group influenza (flu) and cold together and refer to the “cold and flu season” as the time of the year when we expect to come down with a “flu bug” and consider it “normal” or customary. Some are even ...

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Yesterday I looked in the eyes of a mother and told her that her son was likely to die in the next six months, and I had no more ways to try to make his heart stronger. Her son is 36 years old, and a father of two boys. He was on the bed beside her chair, covering his eyes, as if what lies before him was just too much ...

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Growing up Republican, I have long believed in personal responsibility. In junior high school, when I observed close relatives who struggled with obesity, I vowed to never let myself get out of shape. (“Junior high” is what we called middle school back in the day.) When hip surgery gone wrong dramatically reduced my level of physical activity two and a half years ago, I cut back on what I ate ...

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As a corrections physician I frequently heard the question, “How can you take care of those people?” I understood what they were asking, after all, I was caring for people convicted of such crimes as murder, rape and child abuse. And yet I had very little difficulty providing the same care to inmates that I provided to everyone else. In fact, the corrections environment was generally easier to work in and ...

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A little ways back, I was at a gathering of friends and family and was in the kitchen setting out a dish of black bean and quinoa dip. Suddenly, I heard someone from behind me exclaim: “What is that? If that’s something healthy, I am not eating it.” Although somewhat intended as a joke, there was no doubt a truthfulness to what was said, just as exists in similar comments which ...

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