Thank you all for making 2019 another great year on the KevinMD platform. With over 25 million page views, and 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, KevinMD continues to be your leading health care voice. KevinMD was named to Medscape's 20 Top Physician Social Media Influencers, PR Week and MM&M's Health Influencer 50 2019, and FierceHealthcare's Social media ...

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There’s so much negativity out there when it comes to health care, it must be a concern to any young person thinking about entering the field. I certainly spend a lot of time writing about all the challenges we face, and have to hold my hands up to (occasionally) spreading some of that negativity as well! Guilty as charged. That’s why it’s important for anyone outside of health care (or ...

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Google is universally well known as a search and advertising company. Now Google is tapping into the $3.5 trillion health care market. To compete with the Apple Watch, Google acquired Fitbit, the wearable exercise, heart rate and sleep tracking device. Data is king. Voluntarily worn fitness tracking devices are one thing, but Google has entered the realm of the brave new world. A government inquiry has ...

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The year is 2050. You enter the room, ready to speak with your next patient, a 60-year-old white male with recent episodes of chest pain when he climbs the stairs to his office. Before sitting down to speak with him, a monitor in the room pulls up his recent lab work and current medications. Your patient note is being filled in, but nobody is typing; the computer is avidly listening ...

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Since I last published a blog post dedicated entirely to the above graph a couple of years ago, very little has changed. In fact, I’m sure the divergence of the curves has only grown bigger, as more and more administrators are added to the ranks of health care. Quite often in life, the answers to some of the biggest questions we have, are staring us right in ...

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Over the past 40 years, the number of U.S. hospitals declined by 12 percent, from more than 7,100 in 1975 to 6,200 in 2017, according to the latest American Hospital Association survey. And, yet, despite shuttering nearly 1,000 facilities, hospitals remain the nation’s largest source of health care spending, accounting for $1.1 trillion annually (or 33% of all national health care expenditures). Much of that money goes ...

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Consider a medical trainee, in the second year of her medical training, who has made it a point to always show up early to work no matter the situation. She often times stays beyond the end of her shift to help out either her co-residents or juniors. She is having a bad week and uncharacteristically shows up late for rounds in the ICU. As expected, she is castigated in front ...

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Prior authorization — a utilization management (UM) process used by health insurance companies to determine coverage for a prescribed procedure, service, or medication — is now becoming a mandatory requirement by the vast majority of large insurance companies. While prior authorizations are pursued at the front-end for almost all planned medical services, there has also been a steep increase in denial of payment for services at the inpatient level for both ...

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On the first day of 2019, the reality show Tidying Up debuted. The show features tidying expert Marie Kondo and is based on her international best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The 200-page manifesto details her approach to decluttering homes: discard belongings that don’t “spark joy,” then organize what remains into carefully designated spaces. The philosophy took the self-improvement world by storm, prompting an influx of ...

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There's a pivotal scene in the 2007 Pixar movie Ratatouille, in which the restaurant critic Anton Ego takes a first bite of the movie's titular food. He is then whisked back to a moment in his childhood, during which his mom provides love and comfort through a helping of her homemade ratatouille. This scene is a homage to Marcel Proust's seminal "Madeleine Episode," as described In Search of Lost Time, published almost ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Regardless of specialty, medical practice is challenging in today’s health care landscape. Increasing demands related to workload and job inefficiencies, an ever-increasing administrative burden, the consuming nature of health information technology, and personal and professional values that often conflict with the expectations of the ...

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One of the least motivating requests I received routinely as a new intern was something like, “… and can we make sure this is a discharge before noon?” I recall a particularly eager nursing manager surveying the resident teams on her unit to gauge our interest in arriving even earlier each morning (5 a.m., perhaps?) in order to prepare potential discharges before pre-rounding. We shared a nice laugh.


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It was the middle of winter in downtown Chicago in 1995, and I was sitting across from an apologetic alcoholic holding a slimy NG tube. Mr. Smith, an emaciated man in his sixties, had been on my service for three days with acute pancreatitis, and this was the fifth nasogastric tube that had "slipped" out of his nose. Subsequently, his morning labs were just as bad as they had been on ...

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"The hospital room was as cold as dead skin, the hallway crowded with lost souls and reeking of illness." ― Raquel Cepeda, "Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina" Once upon a time, I met a young lady who wanted to be a doctor. I could see the naked determination and resolve in her eyes. Her older sister, who was a friend, asked her to talk to me about her dream. I asked ...

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It’s that time of year when the weather outside is growing colder, the evenings seem to kick off way too early in the day, and the decorations around town remind all of us all of the fast-approaching holiday season.

But for many of us obstetricians, this can often translate into anxiety over how often we’ll be pulled away from long-scheduled holiday activities to rush to the hospital ...

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There are many disparities in health care. Black mothers have a much higher rate of maternal death than do white women. All women are less likely to get guideline-advised cardiac care than do men. Among the many such examples, perhaps the hardest disparity to solve is that of the poorer access to health care faced by rural communities. People living in rural counties have higher death rates from cancer and ...

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Harvard Medical School student Chloe Li typically dressed in scrubs or an efficient, professional outfit as she went about learning to care for patients in the intense, year-long clerkship program where I teach.

For her capstone presentation on graduation day, though, she wore a cream-colored wrap-around dress of luscious silk, tasteful jewelry, and an up-do hairstyle. She had clearly put a lot of care into these preparations. She ...

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I’ll admit it. I’m a medical-TV junkie, addicted to 21st-century doctor and hospital dramas (most of which are now streaming on Netflix and other services). Although some physicians are bothered by sensationalized depictions of their profession, I appreciate these shows for what they deliver: equal parts entertainment and insight. On the one hand, medical dramas are made for our amusement. They’re theatrical escapes from reality, meant to be enjoyed from comforts ...

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I paced in the hallway outside of the patient's room, going over my mental checklist of items to do during the history and physical examination. Bringing in a paper list was discouraged; we were meant to "flow" through the exam "naturally." I stuffed my hands into the pockets of the white coat I'd received three weeks earlier, during the White Coat Ceremony for first-year medical students. Feeling around the deep pockets ...

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Recently, at medical schools across the country, first-year students officially donned the physician's traditional white coat for the first time. The white coat ceremony is a powerful symbolic moment. It signifies that the students are moving beyond their identity as ordinary citizens and into their new identity as healers. The ceremony celebrates their idealism and their commitment to a life of caring for others. And, although they may not realize this, ...

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