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Latest Posts

A Helpful Guide For Discharge Planning

Medicare has a handy guide to help patients and their caregivers take control of the discharge planning process. It might be good for hospitals to have a stack of these at the ready and a plan to make sure every patient gets one:

Planning for your discharge: A checklist for patients and caregivers preparing to leave a hospital, nursing home, or other health care setting

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*

Medical Moonlighting: How About Doctor Derby?

Medical moonlighting. That’s what you’d better be thinking about as the healthcare finance reform trap continues its destined pursuit of bankrupting America.

The only possible outcome to all of this mess is the biggest man-made healthcare recession of all time that will make the current economic implosion look like a walk in the park.

What are some possible second jobs for doctors? Every week I get offers to respond to surveys and telephone conferences by private industry asking for my opinions on up-and-coming pharmaceuticals. Just the other day I was offered $500 for a 90-minute interview. (That reminds me, I had better call them back!)

Other second jobs for doctors? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

9 Tips To Improve Patient Satisfaction

Some interesting points were raised at a recent Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) session by Winthrop Whitcomb and Nancy Mihevc on patient satisfaction. To improve satisfaction scores:

1. Review the patient’s chart before you go in the room. It makes a big difference if the patient perceives you know what’s going on without having to bury your face in a chart.

2. Patients are often confused about who they are supposed to see after discharge. This, of course, is a safety issue as well as one that affects patient satisfaction.

3. Sit down when you are visiting a patient. Patients are happiest when they perceive you’ve spent enough time with them, and they are more likely to perceive this if you are sitting than standing with your hand on the doorknob. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*

Healthy, Active Kids Come From Healthy, Active Adults

First RunKids are like dogs — you can train them until they’re too old to train. Then they’re going to do whatever they want.

The key to getting kids to exercise is to make it fun for them. But they aren’t going to exercise if it isn’t made a part of their normal routine. It’s up to adults to train them.

Mrs. Happy and I had the joyous opportunity of inviting our 10-year-old niece to her first-ever running event. She had never ever run in a race before. We did the two-mile race and she loved it. And amazingly, she finished without stopping — not even once.

Our nation is raising a nation of fat and lazy kids because we’re lazy adults. We drive everywhere. We sit at our desks. We get food on the run. We watch a lot of television. We surf the Net a bunch. And we have stopped moving. We have literally stopped moving. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Doctors “Running On Empty”

We’re stretched so thin, right now. No new hires in sight. Look at this list of patients — 22 of ’em, all over 70, 8 “news” among them, every one with tons of medical issues. Didn’t get out of here until 10:30 last night. Then back at it at 8 (am) this morning. I’m telling you, I hate it. Hate it. There just doesn’t ever seem to be an end in sight. We’re just a bunch of f**in’ employees, and no one gives a damn.

I sat stunned. I knew him from before. His job had taken its toll. This wasn’t the guy I knew earlier. I really didn’t know how to respond, but I did suggest that maybe hospitalist medicine wasn’t for him. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

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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