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Last Build Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:00:43 PDT


Make a good impression on your patients. Here’s how.

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:00:43 PDT

Patients forming an opinion of your practice are doing so in a matter of seconds. And some of the latest research on first impressions, suggest that it may even be within the blink of an eye. Regardless of the length of time, first impressions are powerful and very difficult to reverse. So, if a patient […]

The most skilled surgeons are confident and humble

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:00:23 PDT

I have a mentor who is quite gifted at getting me to break a sweat in the OR. No matter how well an operation is going, she’ll have me set my instruments down. “If this doesn’t work, what’s your plan B?” We discuss how variations in anatomy, damage to critical structures, or unanticipated pathology could […]

Physicians need a more positive approach to social media

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:00:31 PDT

I recently spoke at the Washington State Medical Association’s annual meeting. Here’s an interview shortly before the keynote. Enjoy. Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage your online reputation: A social media guide. Find out how.

Doctors risk emotional trauma

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 08:00:01 PDT

Several years ago, I was sitting at the gate in a Washington, DC, airport when I got a call on my cell. A close friend of one of my patients wanted to let me know that Lara (not her real name) had died after a long and difficult course of throat cancer. Lara was relatively young, a kind, brilliant […]

Biomarkers in metastatic breast cancer: Do they make a difference?

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:39 PDT

When it comes to our health and our health care, we love the numbers. Sometimes, we even fall in love with the numbers, assuming that the numbers tell us the whole story when, in fact, that may not be the case. Cholesterol numbers, blood pressure numbers, body mass index, whatever. As patients and consumers, we […]

The unacceptable cost of silence

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 04:00:28 PDT

Nearly a month before our national presidential election, a video surfaced online capturing a conversation between Presidential candidate Donald Trump and reporter Billy Bush. During this 2005 “private” conversation between the two, Trump lewdly brags to Bush about kissing and groping women without their consent. He is even heard boasting he can “get away” with […]

A go-live prayer for those with new EMR systems

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 16:00:52 PDT

Some dear friends of mine, at Busy Community Hospital, are having a momentous day.  Today is the “go-live” for their brand new, shiny EMR. For those of you outside the hallowed, creaky halls of medicine, this EMR is one of the most widely used electronic medical records systems in America.  It’s big, it’s expensive, it captures lots of […]

She didn’t save my life. She saved my lifestyle.

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 12:00:55 PDT

Even though I don’t have an outpatient practice, I like to keep in touch with some of my patients after they’ve been discharged from the rehab hospital. Jack is one of my very favorite success stories. I met Jack in a small regional hospital in rural America. He had been admitted with sudden-onset weakness, and […]

What’s the one word cancer patients never want to hear?

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:00:57 PDT

She had come to see me in consultation. A professor at a local university, she was well until four years earlier when she developed abdominal bloating and pain — telltale signs of ovarian cancer. Surgery followed, then adjuvant chemotherapy with intraperitoneal treatments. (“Terrible regimen,” she said.) She was fine for two years, until the bloating […]

How do you talk to a dying patient?

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 08:00:21 PDT

In medical training, each morning begins with pre-rounds, a sort of prologue to the work day that gives us a preview of our patients’ conditions. Like a daily ritual, we arrive in the hospital as the sun begins to peek over the horizon and proceed to visit each of their rooms. Some of them are […]

Current EMR systems are terrible. (Apple, save us!)

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:00:19 PDT

“Then it’s me and my machine For the rest of the morning, For the rest of the afternoon And the rest of my life.” – James Taylor, “Millworker” It’s Friday afternoon, 4:30. I am sitting in front of my computer. My last patient is gone, my prescriptions are done, my messages answered, my office charges […]

Don’t use garlic to treat vaginal yeast infections

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 04:00:17 PDT

Vaginal yeast infections are common, up to 75 percent of women will have at least one and 5 percent of women suffer from chronic yeast infections (meaning four or more a year). Many women out of frustration with allopathic medicine (preventing recurrent yeast infections can be challenging) or because of their beliefs turn to alternative […]

Physicians need to take a broader approach in their first job search

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 16:00:47 PDT

Four years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. We had graduated residency the same year and our careers had taken us to different parts of the country. It was ACEP 2012. We’d been mingling with old friends and current colleagues, and the conversation turned to kids. I told him my […]

The government tried to fix primary care and failed. Here’s why.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:00:12 PDT

Americans spend more per capita on medical care than just about any other country and, yet they often have little to show for it. Americans have worse access to care than people in other countries, and are often less likely to receive primary care services, like preventive therapies and screening tests. Determined to address these […]

What’s the big rule that medical professionals don’t follow?

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:00:39 PDT

What is one of the rules that medical people comply with the least? My vote goes to “translation.” The rule is that you must use a qualified medical interpreter for any interview or discussion with a patient who does not understand English. How is “lack of understanding” defined? It is usually fairly obvious. If you […]