A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Every physician takes the Hippocratic oath and promises to “do no harm.” In the face of the current opioid epidemic, this includes protecting our patients from dependence and addiction, including those who are suffering from debilitating acute and chronic pain. Sometimes this involves ...

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As a third-generation physician, I grew up thinking and dreaming of a being a physician, and 33 years later, I am still living the dream.  I dreamt of saving people’s lives.  I dreamt of a day like today when I received a LinkedIn request from a young lady on whom, 21 years ago, I performed a living donor liver transplant from her mother. Today she is graduating from college and hopes ...

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While hundreds of doctors have submitted (mostly unfavorable) comments to CMS on the proposed evaluation and management changes, there are other issues which seem to be receiving much less attention than they deserve. And one of those may hit physicians who perform procedures in the wallet. In 2015, Congress asked CMS to analyze the global period data to ensure procedure weighting accurately reflected the actual work done by physicians. Of course, ...

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Fourteen hours into their shift, the intern headed down to the lobby to pick up the delivery. Today it was Indian food. He struggled to push the elevator button while holding the bags but managed to make it up to the top floor ICU. The rest of the surgeons gathered around the table cluttered with spent pens, journal articles and unused bottles of lidocaine to eat. Someone offered up their ...

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Since the beginning of a new academic year is fast approaching, here’s some heartfelt advice. You might need it, I hope you read it and heed it. If you’re just beginning your medical school journey, the first line is written specifically for you, but the rest of the piece is pertinent for any doctor, at any age and any stage of their careers. If this is your first day of med ...

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Match Day is the culmination of a medical student's education: the day all graduating seniors and non-traditional applicants find out where they will spend the next three to seven years to train in a desired specialty. I fell in love with obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) as it was the perfect way to combine my passion for women's health with medicine and surgery. I also liked that the patients were relatively ...

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The bedrock requirement to obtain informed consent before patients may be enrolled in research has been eroding. I’ve documented the different ways and different reasons for this several times over the years ("Informed Consent for Babies: When Experts Disagree," "Informed Consent in Infant Research: Ethical Problems Remain," "Informed Consent in Comparative Effectiveness Research," and "The Erosion of Informed ...

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Recent research from Florida Atlantic University and Cleveland State University have found a direct correlation between preventative health care and the number of paid sick leave days a worker gets. Workers with more than 10 paid sick days annually access preventative care more frequently than those without paid sick days. Preventative care, in turn, leads to better overall mental and physical health. Doctors that are in private practice function ...

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Both patients and providers realize that an internist is different from a surgeon, but specifically how they differ and how this affects their approaches to patient care is largely under-appreciated. Over the last four years, I have conducted over 250 interviews with physicians across specialties and institutions about what they do and why they do what they do. With each project, I continue finding remarkably distinct, specialty-specific values, perceptions, and ...

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In the 1984 rock mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, a fictional band discusses the controversy surrounding one of their album covers. “There’s such a fine line between stupid and ...” the lead singer says, realizing where they’d crossed the line of tastefulness. His guitarist finishes his thought, “... and clever,” he says. In life, in rock and roll and in medicine, there is indeed a fine line between stupid and clever. During ...

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