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Last Build Date: Thu, 25 May 2017 16:00:57 PDT


Is telemedicine dumbing down the standard of care?

Thu, 25 May 2017 16:00:57 PDT

Telemedicine is the new rage in medicine and a very needed service. It is vital in areas that are underserved and doctors hard to come by. Additionally, it can be a great convenience for patients who may not actually need to physically go to the doctor. But, is telemedicine dumbing down the standard of care? Doctors […]

Patients appreciate our honest concern. And that takes time.

Thu, 25 May 2017 12:00:01 PDT

When we walked into the room, you could sense the anger and frustration on the patient’s face, as well as two other relatives in the room. We knew that the patient had had lung cancer for several months and had failed radiation and chemotherapy. He had labored breathing and looked miserable. I went to his […]

What emotions are doctors allowed to feel?

Thu, 25 May 2017 10:00:15 PDT

“This latte is too sweet,” I think to myself as the foamy hotness lights up the sweet receptors on my tongue. I stop and try to remember how many pumps the nice lady at the coffee shop slammed into my cup and think it’s somewhere around three or four — will have to go down […]

Residents performing surgery: Why can’t we reach a middle ground?

Thu, 25 May 2017 08:00:51 PDT

A comparison of appendectomy outcomes for senior general surgeons and general surgery residents revealed no significant differences in early and late complication rates, use of diagnostic imaging, time from emergency department to operating room, incidence of complicated appendicitis, postop length of stay, and duration of post-op antibiotic treatment. The only parameter in which a significant […]

You’re wrong. Pain is not a vital sign.

Thu, 25 May 2017 06:00:52 PDT

After years of exaggeration, misinformation and a national epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse, the nation is finally coming to terms with the fact that pain is not the fifth vital sign. This heresy, as I understand it, has existed for close to three decades and, in my opinion, has been directly responsible for the […]

A physician broke down walls, or so she thought

Thu, 25 May 2017 04:00:44 PDT

I woke up at 6 a.m. to my daughter’s annoyingly, loud alarm. Since I was on call, my first reflex was to look at my iPad to see if I had patients in labor. I am part of an 11 doctor call group, so when I am on call, I cover all the patients of […]

How big data will shape the future of medicine

Wed, 24 May 2017 16:00:30 PDT

In any educational environment, there’s a set of buzzwords that create a common vocabulary. Medical students constantly hear about “bench-to-bedside research,” “evidence-based medicine,” and “compassionate care.” Meanwhile, business school students can’t stop talking about “aligning objectives,” “disruptive innovation,” and of course, “synergy.” One of the most frequently used phrases in both schools is “big data.” […]

Do expired EpiPens still work?

Wed, 24 May 2017 12:00:44 PDT

A small study published this month showed that most Epipens retain their potency for at least 4 years after their expiration date. That’s no guarantee, of course. I’d still recommend as a “best practice” that families replace them as they expire. But it’s reassuring to know that they’ll usually be effective even when expired. And […]

Here’s what doctors really think about where they work

Wed, 24 May 2017 10:00:33 PDT

Maybe 10 to 15 years ago, my medical center at the time invited a prominent former resident to give grand rounds. He had become the statistical director for what was a large regional insurer absorbed by a national insurer shortly after that. He spoke very little about the prevalence of disease among his company’s beneficiaries […]

Xylocaine and Lyme disease: A deer tick story

Wed, 24 May 2017 08:00:06 PDT

It was a small deer tick, hidden by the crus helix, embedded in the cymba conchae, the crevice just above the ear canal of my seven-year-old patient halfway through my Saturday clinic. He was worried that it would hurt. His parents hadn’t wanted to try removing it on their own. I had a hard time […]

Why nurses are the best teachers for medical students

Wed, 24 May 2017 06:00:17 PDT

It was 5:30 a.m., and I could barely contain my excitement. I was almost done with my clinical rotations. I had worked tirelessly to improve my medical knowledge and spent hours mastering my clinical skills. Now, as I was nearing the end of my third year of medical school, I felt more than ready for […]

Bystander CPR makes a difference

Wed, 24 May 2017 04:00:50 PDT

“Annie, Annie, are you OK?” Many of us learned to resuscitate a person who has collapsed using Annie, the mannequin based on a death mask of a young woman who had drowned in the Seine in Paris in the 19th century. Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has become increasingly accepted and expected as the years have […]

How the $8 bottle of water in Las Vegas is a health care issue

Tue, 23 May 2017 16:00:34 PDT

I recently attended the annual Society of Hospital Medicine conference in Las Vegas. As a proud hospital medicine doctor, this organization has grown exponentially over the last decade, and thousands of hospital physicians from across the nation descended on the city for a few days of great learning and networking opportunities. However, away from the […]

There’s no place for locker room talk in the OR

Tue, 23 May 2017 10:00:11 PDT

I am nearing the end of my training at one of the top surgical fellowships in the country. I chose this fellowship not just for the name, but also because the surgeons all seemed like genuine and altruistically motivated individuals. It was two-thirds of the way through fellowship when I found myself in conversation with […]

Averting a zombie prescription apocalypse

Tue, 23 May 2017 10:00:03 PDT

A guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to One thing about me that even my closest friends are unaware of is that I am a zombie fighter. Unlike the ones in video games, TV series, or movies, the zombies that I fight in my practice are prescriptions that won’t die. They […]