Will physicians go extinct? Artificial intelligence, legislation, profit motives in the health care industry, and clever lobbying by non-physician providers may all contribute to our demise. However, I believe the existential threat to our profession stems from the ranks of physicians themselves. 1. Unwillingness to embrace activism Pathologist and writer Rudolph Virchow once said: “The physician is the natural attorney of the poor.” Like most physicians, my goal is to provide evidence-based ...

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From 2009 to 2012, I directed the graduate course "Fundamentals of Clinical Preventive Medicine" at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. It was a required course for Hopkins preventive medicine residents, and also usually attracted other master's level public health students and undergraduates with a strong interest in medicine. The class size was 15 to 25 students. In that setting, with a small group who generally believed that ...

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I’ve written previously that financial independence is plan B.  Plan A, of course, is life.  Your work and time are precious, and life is too short to be wading through a morass of unhappiness only to get to some endpoint or goal. While I definitely believe in front-loading the sacrifice, the cost should not have to be misery.  Physicians, in particular, tend to look at their ...

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Today’s news is full of commentary about work requirements for Medicaid. Is work a prerequisite for health care or is health a prerequisite for work? Not to complicate things, but can we even agree on what health care is? I don’t think we can, and it largely falls back on what we want to share in paying for. A patient with an ugly skin lesion can have it removed if it might ...

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The word “historic” is often used by PR professionals to hype something that is, well, pretty run-of-the-mill.  They figure that no one is going to read a news release that announces “[Name of organization] proposes small change that really won’t make much of a difference.”  The problem is that when something is done that really measures up to being historic, the recipient is less likely to believe it, kind of ...

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Author’s note: My personal reflection about the Sutherland Springs mass shooting was written before the horrific events at Stoneman Douglas High School and Santa Fe High School. The chorus of voices has only increased in amplitude regarding the calls to responsible action on firearm safety. While a larger debate continues in Washington, DC, I ask myself again: What can I do now as a medical provider to make a difference? ...

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Medicaid — the program that provides funding for adults, seniors (along with Medicare), children and people who are blind or disabled who can't pay for their own health care — is expensive. It is painfully expensive. The program, along with CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance Program), marketplace subsidies and Medicare is responsible for 25 percent of the federal budget. Total Medicaid costs in 2016 were ...

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On May 15, President Trump attempted to kill not just two, but three birds with one tweet, simultaneously denouncing the Media and the Mueller investigation, and crowing about his approval ratings. “Can you believe that with all of the made up, unsourced stories I get from the Fake News Media, together with the $10,000,000 Russian Witch Hunt (there is no Collusion), I now have my best ...

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A relative taught me to drive in a burgundy Lincoln Town Car in an empty Long Island parking lot in the 1980s. After emphasizing the need to practice driving in reverse, he also warned: “A car is a weapon. You can kill someone, or get killed, in an instant.” I am a safer driver (forwards and backwards) thanks to his warning. This relative had purchased several handguns over the years. He ...

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STAT_Logo Fair and just societies protect children. The Trump administration’s unconscionable practice of separating children from their families at the border between Mexico and the United States is making me rethink what kind of society I live in. The images and the stories are heartbreaking. In an effort to deter families from migrating to the United States, reports ...

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