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Latest Posts

You Know You’re A Doctor When…

They had been married for over 35 years, both successful ophthalmologists who had entered retirement after selling their practice. The kids had grown and their house was just too big for them now, so they decided to downsize to a condominium.

After many days of searching, they toured a lovely place and were excited to make a deposit, but the husband first wanted to inspect the building from the outside before committing. As he rounded the building with his wife beside him, he looked up, struggling to find the unit they were interested from the ground.

“Which one is it dear?” he asked.

“The one on the right, third floor.”

“I don’t see it,” he said.

His wife saw where he was looking.

“No sweetheart, not that one,” she said directing him to the right side of the building, “It’s the one over there, on the patient’s left side.”

-WesMusings of a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.

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

Who Is This “Eye Doctor” Anyway?

Eye Doctor SignI snapped this picture of “The Eye Doctor Is In!” sign at my local Sam’s Club. Who is this “eye doctor?” Are they a Dr. Nurse? Are they an optometrist? Are they a medical doctor? What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist? The sign just says “eye doctor.” Who is it? Who knows. What are their credentials? Who knows.

To practice optometry, an optometrist must graduate from an accredited four-year post graduate institution after completing at least three years of undergraduate preoptometry course requirements and then get licensed in their state of practice.

To practice ophthalmology, an ophthalmologist must graduate from an accredited four-year medical school after completing the 90+ undergraduate premedical couurse requirements, then complete a residency in ophthalmology which consists of an internship year in internal medicine or general surgery and three years or more of additional training in ophthalmology. Then they must get licensed by state authorities.

The lay public — the really lay public — has no idea what the state and federal licensing standards are for the different professional clinical training tracks. Read more »

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

A Tool To Help The Visually Impaired “See” Facial Expressions

Shafiq ur Réhman, a doctoral student at Umeå University in Sweden has unveiled his thesis project — a technology that converts facial emotions into special tactile sensations for the visually impaired.

The system uses a webcam to capture faces, and then subsequently converts the captured emotion into a series of vibrations that correspond with the expressed emotion.

The users are expected to train themselves by making their own faces into the webcam and getting a feel for how the vibrations change with the faces they’re making. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Consumer-Driven Healthcare: Is Price Shopping The Answer?

In a recent Time magazine article, the author suggests, as many others have done in the past, that forcing patients to be more like customers and comparison shop will drive healthcare costs down. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The theory of consumer-driven healthcare goes like this: If there was more information about the costs of doctors, hospitals, imaging tests, and procedures, people would hunt around to find the best deal, stimulate competition, and drive pricing downward. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*

A “Touch” Of Outer Space For The Blind

NASA, in an attempt to have visually-impaired people get a glimpse of what’s “out there,” has created a reconstruction of a Hubble image of the Carina Nebula in a 3D touch map.

Different textures applied to the image help in identifying the various parts of the giant dust cloud. We even think that visually-okay folks can get a better sense of the cosmic anatomy when offered such a presentation.

Read more on this from NASA here.

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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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