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Latest Posts

Getting The Attention Of Patients In Younger Generations

Surely you’ve read before (perhaps even in our publication) about the challenges of Boomers and younger generations working together. You know the drill– these young’uns are good with computers but they’re all hung up on this idea that they should get to have a life. But Cam Marston, the opening speaker at MGMA put a new spin on the concept– addressing how generational differences can affect the way that you attract, and treat, patients.

A lot of it is pretty obvious. Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) like getting information by text, Boomers not so much. Younger patients do a lot more of their own internet research.

But some of the advice on how to act on these generations’ well-known differences was Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

“Action” Movie Of A Different Sort

Living In EmergencyFeeling sorry for yourself after a long, hot week of cranky patients and insurance hassles? Maybe a glimpse of someone else’s practice will make you feel better. Especially if that doctor is alone in war-torn Africa, treating vast numbers of patients without sufficient equipment and supplies.

The new film “Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders” is not a fun summer flick, but it’s a fascinating portrait of the work done by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)/Doctors Without Borders. The film follows several volunteers (some new, some veteran) through their stints practicing in dramatically underserved and sometimes dangerous areas.

Although the film does seem to be intended to garner support for MSF, it gives a surprisingly-nuanced picture of the organization and its members, revealing their flaws (lots of arguments and cigarettes) as well as their heroics. You might want to leave the popcorn and the kids at home, though, as some of the clinical footage is a little grisly.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Newsflash: TV Commercial Food Is Bad For You

We’ve been slacking in the “Medical news of the obvious” department lately. Seems like research has been either actually newsworthy or so obvious that you could spot it yourselves (for example, the continuing investigations of whether smoking and being lazy are bad for you).

But we couldn’t let this one slide by: “A new study that analyzes what would happen if a person were to eat 2,000 calories of foods that are advertised on the tube,” as HealthDay describes. As even the average Saturday morning cartoon viewer could have predicted, the food in commercials turns out to be bad for you. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*

Successful Care: Grandmother Knows Best

ATS "Year of the Lung" logoWant to know the secret to successful care of ICU patients? Think back to the advice your grandmother always gave, joked American Thoracic Society conference speaker Renee Stapleton, M.D., recently:

– Wash your hands.
– You can’t sleep your life away.
– Get some exercise.
– Sit up straight.
– Take your medicine.
– If you can’t remember it, write it down.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*

Becoming A Doctor And An American All At Once

I [recently] attended a fascinating session offering advice to international medical graduates (IMGs) on how to fit in and succeed in U.S. medical practice. Here’s a slightly-silly example of the kind of cultural differences that can cause confusion for IMGs:

Speaker Vijay Rajput, FACP, started to make a point using the good-old analogy of Lake Wobegon. Then he paused and asked how many attendees knew about Lake Wobegon. Only two raised their hands.

“That’s the problem right there,” he said, only half-jokingly. “You need to be listening to NPR!”

Clearly it takes a lot to become an American and a doctor at the same time.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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