In this current era of health care, patients are increasingly being labeled as “customers” to provide a landscape suggestive of the need to provide customer satisfaction. Many health care providers grow increasingly frustrated with that terminology. It demeans the relationship that is fostered in the patient-physician encounter; belittling it to a transaction that occurs as the exchange of goods for an expected outcome. Perhaps a more appropriate corollary to the ...

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Next month when our youngest child leaves for college, the biggest change may not be in his life but in ours. We are done with dropping them off at school, or giving them driving lessons, or helping them with difficult homework assignments: We will officially become “empty nesters.” My wife and I ponder sitting at the dinner table and standing by the kitchen counter, where exuberant political dialogue takes place, and common ...

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Approximately 12 years ago, I hired my first physician in recovery. He had temporarily lost his license following a bout with alcohol. After a stint in a rehabilitation clinic, he was ultimately reinstated. My journey to hire this physician was arduous at best. During the interviewing process, I narrowed the field down to two candidates: one with a past and one without. I wrestled with the “in recovery” situation and ...

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Yesterday, we had a meeting about leakage. No, it was not about urinary or fecal incontinence, but it was about care that could have been provided within our institution that ended up, for a multitude of reasons, happening with providers beyond the walls of our institution. Representatives from our accountable care organization had requested a meeting to go over some issues they've been having with our practice, including low levels of usage ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. In April, the American College of Physicians (ACP) released a position paper titled Putting Patients First by Reducing Administrative Tasks in Health Care, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The paper, part of ACP’s Patients Before ...

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The patient looked at me and said that he did not remember the name of the specialist, only that she was a “woman doctor.” As this was completely unhelpful, I pondered the fact that a doctor who was male is never referred to as a “man doctor.” Why is it that woman physicians need the added label, as if the norm is a doctor who is supposed to be a ...

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Owning a business is not some pie in the sky deal where you take a phone call when you make the turn at the country club every day. The public at large, however, thinks that is exactly what business owners do. Owners are the people that collect money while others work right? They are rich people that just happened to be rich, so they bought a business for other people to ...

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I am an interventional pain physician. I spend most of my days doing spine injections with a fair amount of kyphoplasties and spinal cord stimulators thrown in as well. It seems to me that these are minor procedures that shouldn’t evoke anxiety in patients, but they do. Patients get nervous. They get anxious. I am also a singer. I had the privilege of being classically trained through my college years. Like ...

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I had a great day in the office today. Not that I came up with any brilliant diagnosis nor cured anyone. I was able to just be a physician. No time wasted on the phone with insurance companies. No prior authorizations to do. It was a reminder of how much I love my job. I love my actual job -- the one I trained for -- being a physician. Listening ...

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There is a lot of talk on the web about having an emergency fund. Typically this is three to six months of expenses. Some would argue to keep three to six times bare bones expenses, and others would argue to keep three to six times the average amount you spend on expenses. Having an emergency fund makes sense to cover life’s unexpected occurrences. What could these be? Well, the biggest ...

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