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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Chronic pain

The greatest gift a physician can give

Yesterday I looked in the eyes of a mother and told her that her son was likely to die in the next six months, and I had no more ways to try to make his heart stronger. Her son is 36 years old, and a father of two boys. He was on the...

Physicians share same mission across cultures and countries

A guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. As part of my role in International Programs at the American College of Physicians (ACP), I have a unique opportunity to travel frequently and engage with internists around the world. In fact, I am writing this while almost 7,000 miles away from...

EMRs are robbing physicians of their writing skills

Many physicians have become world famous writers, and in Greek mythology, Apollo was the god of both poetry and medicine. I can personally think of many prominent physician writers I have come across in my reading over the years: There was the 12th-century rabbi Maimonides, Copernicus in the 15th century and the poet John...

These are the biggest medical issues of 2017

Periodically we should reflect on what challenges face patients and physicians.  Over the past few days, I have worked on a list of the issues that concern me the most.  I welcome suggestions for expanding the list. 1. Diagnostic errors. All patient care requires that we make the proper diagnosis.  Too often we make...

Reporting an elderly doctor. And suffering from snitch guilt.

He struggled to hear when people talked to him. He asked the same questions over and over. He fell asleep when really important conversations were going on around him. But it wasn’t until he missed an emergency call that I knew I had to act. I spoke to a higher-up about this elderly doctor out...

Women as leaders: reflections from the conference trail

October is the epitome of academic conference season. Returning home, suitcase laden, and a belt-hole wider from lost promises of exercise, and plans to “watch what I eat” while on the road, I am ready to get back into my routine. All the same, I come back refreshed by a new flavor to...

Good doctoring transcends numbers

Measuring metrics is a common catch-phrase in health care. The goal of capturing certain data is to improve patient outcomes. But, as doctors, we were taught to treat the patient and not the numbers. While optimizing clinical outcomes is a needed goal with all the complexities in medical treatment currently, the system seems...

How burnout is plaguing doctors and harming patients

The presidential symposium at this year’s Annual Meeting of the Child Neurology Society of America in early October in Kansas City raised many eyebrows. The first presentation of this symposium focused on burnout rates among neurologists around the country. Many of my colleagues felt that this was an inappropriate choice, especially with so many...

The new battleground of prime time media, disease, and death

I first noticed this phenomenon while watching the world news on a weekday after work.  It was a commercial for a new diabetes medicine that showed overweight people dancing at a barbecue, cooking and enjoying life.  How different this was from my day in the wound clinic, where I saw patient after patient...

What I learned as a corrections physician

As a corrections physician I frequently heard the question, “How can you take care of those people?” I understood what they were asking, after all, I was caring for people convicted of such crimes as murder, rape and child abuse. And yet I had very little difficulty providing the same care to inmates that...


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