"How did you know what to say to her?" asked the resident, "We have been trying to figure her out all morning and have gotten nowhere." An expression of mixed curiosity and frustration crossed her face. “I try not to focus on how she is acting, as much as I try to talk to the part of her Jesus would love,” I found myself answering. This catchphrase would find its way ...

Read more...

Earlier this week, one of the residents and I saw a new patient who apparently had been sent in to see us for a pre-op visit, an evaluation to make sure that her medical conditions were well controlled and that the surgery was safe for the surgeons to proceed with. She reported that she forgot the paperwork they gave her. All she knew was that whatever we wrote had to ...

Read more...

An excerpt from Worthy. “Breakfast ready? Bacon smells good!” Mark finished buttoning his shirt and joined Linda at the kitchen table. “I Googled funding for my clinic, but I didn’t find what I was looking for,” Linda said, filling their mugs with steaming coffee. “There has to be something out there for me!” She banged her fist on ...

Read more...

You may have heard of open-source software. When it comes to open-source, "free" has two meanings. First, you can download open-source programs at no cost. Second, "free" means freedom. The software is free in the sense that it belongs to you as much as it belongs to anyone else. If you download an open-source program, you can use it in any way you choose. You can use it forever as-is, ...

Read more...

It is not enough to know that a patient’s medical condition warrants an MRI. For most insurance companies, a diagnostic test of this sort requires what is known as a prior-authorization. But, the doctor saying the patient needs this test often fails. The insurance company has a certain guideline the patient must travel first before they will consider the test. For example, a patient with back pain and numbness in one ...

Read more...

I ran a 5K last weekend. I succumbed to peer pressure. The more others talked about running it, I decided I could be a runner too. My patients describe their HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training, for those of you not in-the-know), PiYo classes (Pilates-Yoga combination), increasing mileage for an upcoming duathlon/triathlon/marathon, and now I can proudly share my measly 5K experience with them. Of course, I will leave out the small ...

Read more...

Recently, I took a few minutes to fill out a survey on physician burnout.   A slew of studies offer estimates of physician burnout of up to 50 percent.  In my field of primary care, the documentation and regulatory burdens may cause the number to soar even higher. I am rounding out my fifth year in a busy suburban private practice and I am not burned out.  These questions moved me to ...

Read more...

The key to staying on time in a busy clinic and to finish the day unscathed is to be in battle mode from the get go. The ten rules outlined below will help you to achieve that goal. 1. Make sure your bladder is empty, and that you are well hydrated. This goes without saying. You don’t want to finish the day with ...

Read more...

The patient is a 27-year-old Caucasian woman: slender, well-groomed. She is sitting in the office of her urologist, and she is unconsciously twisting her hands as she interrupts the doctor, having finally worked up the nerve. "I know you told me to expect some pain for a while after the lithotripsy. But I've been having pain in my bladder, even when I don't think there are any stones. It started two ...

Read more...

Since the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires an annual checkup, and getting a yearly physical is generally a smart way to take care of one’s health, it’s a wonder why many truck drivers tend to avoid their yearly exams. Are they tired of the long waits, which may seem like more time spent away from home and family? Do they fear that the stress of their jobs, and perhaps ...

Read more...

Most Popular