Dr. Hasan Shanawani was overcome by frustration. So, last week he picked up his cellphone and began sharing on Twitter his family’s enraging experiences with the U.S. health care system. It was an act of defiance — and desperation. Like millions of people who are sick or old and the families who care for them, this physician was disheartened by the health care system’s complexity and its all-too-frequent absence of caring ...

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Reuters recently published an article on skilled nursing facilities and post-hospital stays.  They discussed the often-lengthy time between hospital discharge and the patient being seen by a physician or “an advanced care practitioner.” Older, more infirm and cognitively impaired patients tend to be seen later than other patients. The later you are seen, the more likely it is that you will be sent back to the acute care ...

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Many organizations solicit private donations from benefactors and philanthropists. Is there a stadium in the country that does not bear the name of a prominent donor? There are also anonymous donors who are not cursed with egos that require their names to be emblazoned in giant font on a building’s façade. But, most donors want recognition which is often used as an incentive when soliciting the donation. Donors understandably receive perks ...

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The residency interview trail quickly becomes a lonesome journey, so when I was on it this winter, I’d usually have the hotel room television turned on for some background noise and often find myself watching ESPN’s SportsCenter. On my last interview in Philadelphia, the show was featuring the high flying phenom Zion Williamson, who’s set to be drafted this year to the NBA. When I finally returned to home in ...

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If you’re done with your residency or fellowship, you’ve paid your dues. And I am excited for you. Life is about to get better. A lot better. If you read my prior article about going unmatched, you know that things have not always gone smoothly for me. But now, after a reasonably good first year out of training, I feel compelled to reflect on why things are going well, and also—to offer any ...

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A piece of advice I would give to any younger physician, especially one who is just graduating residency, would be to expect a whirlwind ride into the realities of frontline medical practice. It’s something that you are totally not prepared for in the controlled environment of education and residency training. A steep learning curve awaits you once you start practicing medicine. And one of the biggest things you will have ...

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I received an email from our hospital accreditation coordinator/quality coordinator in a manner that wasn’t clear if it was directed to me personally or if it was sent to the entire medical staff.  It said that she was reviewing the Joint Commission's recent survey which found that the charts did a poor job of reflecting the patient’s “code status.”  The institution only received a 40 percent rating. Some patients were listed ...

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“I want to see the doctor. Not you. I don’t like your kind. I want to see a white doctor, a man,” a patient gasping for air in an emergency room says to the dark-skinned resident assessing her vitals. “Speak slowly, I don’t understand you people,” a male patient says as an ethnic attending discusses a complicated procedure to obtain consent. “Are you sure you are old enough to be a doctor?” ...

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We're all gonna die. It's a simple truth that an astounding number of people neglect to acknowledge or accept. Some people die sudden, unexpected deaths, but most eventually fall victim to chronic or terminal conditions like COPD, heart failure or cancer. As a palliative care physician, I often meet patients who have had conversations with their families about their end of life wishes and have completed supporting legal documents. While I appreciate ...

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As July draws near, it is moving day in medicine. For physicians, it signifies moving into the next level of professional growth. Let’s think about what moving entails.  When we move from one physical location to the next, like into a new apartment or from one city, state, or country to another one, there is the process of sorting through our belongings.  We make two lists: what stays and moves with ...

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