I was recently interviewed by someone on the topic of clinician burnout. The interviewee asked me how I respond to those who say that burnout does not exist, is being overstated, or is the result of a weaker generation of practicing physicians. I find this difference in opinion interesting. Most of the time, when a physician complains to me about the focus on clinical burnout, they are 1) of an older ...

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It is no secret that medical school is getting very expensive. Over the past 20 years, the cost of medical school has greatly outpaced the rate of inflation, and medical school debt is rapidly rising. The average medical student now graduates with over $192,000 in student loans, but with the cost of attendance for the most expensive private medical schools approaching $100,000, there are some physicians who ...

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“After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill -- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill -- you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: All I’m offering is the truth.” – Morpheus from The Matrix Many physicians submit to a life of sterility and dullness — ...

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Four years ago after moving back to Iowa City, I needed to find a new primary care doctor. I went to the University's website and scanned the list of general internists. There I noted a physician that I had known when she was a medical student during my prior stint at the University of Iowa 20 years prior. She had been an amazing medical student, very bright, hardworking, conscientious, and ...

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So out in the varied land of hospital medicine, I have noticed something that I have no clear explanation for. It turns out there is often a gap in productivity between that of NP/PA providers and physicians. The range of the gap varies wildly – I just got off the phone with a group leader who has observed a 50 percent difference to a smaller gap of perhaps 10 percent. ...

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STAT_Logo If Atul Gawande’s first week as CEO of a health care startup was anything like mine, I hope he is able to get away from it all and enjoy a completely relaxing weekend. He will have earned it.

After Gawande was named to head the joint venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan, some critics said that choosing ...

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As part of my job as an anesthesiologist, I get called to truly horrific airway events.  Sometimes they are down in the emergency department after a bad car accident, drowning, or burn.  Others are in ICU’s.  Sometimes they are even in hallways or bathrooms where people have stopped breathing or collapsed from cardiac arrest.  It’s part of the job. Recently, I was called to an airway in an ICU in what ...

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How smart do we want our electronic health record to be? Somewhere between as dumb as a piece of paper and a pen, and too smart for our own good. Many, many years ago, before we spent the majority of our office visit staring at a flatscreen LED and typing away, our charts were simple manila folders with those bendy metal bars that allowed you to insert new pages, separated into multiple ...

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Engaging in an economic conversation about the conventional compensation of a physician leads one to believe that doctors are well-to-do. In the minds of most citizens, school-tuition board members and even local neighbors, if you’re a physician the presumption is that you are economically prosperous, maybe even rich. This sociological assumption probably sounds false to most whom honorably don the white coat. Perhaps a decade or two ago, when medical ...

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My last operative day was October 15, 2009. My last attempt at getting to understand my group disability policy was on May 10, 2018. I’m a disabled anesthesiologist who lost his career when my left median nerve stopped functioning properly. I had two disability policies, a private and a group. My dealings with these two companies have been day and night. My group insurance carrier hammered my dignity for years. In ...

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