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Latest Posts

Reader’s Digest Publishes 50 Secrets That Nurses Won’t Tell You

Reader’s Digest has published an article, “50 Secrets Nurses Won’t Tell You“. The link will take you to the article itself, and Sandy Summers has written a review of the article at The Truth About Nursing.

There are some interesting “secrets” here – and you’ll recognize a few of the names!

Gina from Code Blog is in there, and so is Jo from Head Nurse!

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I’ll be the first person to tell you that I am not a perfect person, and not a perfect nurse, but two of these “secrets” really ticked me off.

Royally.

The first one: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

When Medical Dedication Comes From Personal Pain

The old joke about psychological therapists is they are among the biggest consumers of therapy themselves. Lately, I have been noticing more and more how a significant portion of the people we meet wearing white lab coats have a very personal connection to the medical work they do. For them it is not a job, a meal ticket, or just putting their years of training into practice, it is a mission connected to something in their past, something in their own body, or the health of a loved one.

A recent example is Kaiten Kormanik. She is 23 and has had the genetic condition PKU since birth. She has to follow a strict low protein diet or otherwise risk severe negative effects on her brain. If you toured the labs of The Children’s Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh you might bump into her as she does research for her Ph.D. on, guess what?- genetic illnesses in children. And she often works alongside Dr. Gerald Vockley, the very expert physician who guides her care. As you can imagine, Kaitlen thinks about her own childhood and the faces of other children every day. You can hear her story on one of our recent programs.

Irl Hirsh, M.D., at the University of Washington, is one of America’s most famous diabetes doctors. He has diabetes himself and has all the challenges everyone with this disease has in managing it. You can hear his story on one of our earlier programs on diabetes. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Andrew's Blog*

Physician Burnout: When Being A Doctor Makes You Sick

Do doctors take care of themselves? Sometimes patients may better follow the advice of physicians who aren’t obese and don’t smoke. That was a question asked in a post last year, entitled “When fat doctors talk to obese patients.”

According to studies, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, it’s a mixed bag:

Physicians as a group are leaner, fitter and live longer than average Americans. Male physicians keep their cholesterol and blood pressure lower. Women doctors are more likely to use hormone-replacement therapy than their patients. Doctors are also less likely to have their own primary care physician—and more apt to abuse prescription drugs.

Clearly there’s room for improvement. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*

3 Tips For Being Happy

You know that person you work with, the one that always seems to be in a bad mood, the one that never smiles, the one that never has a nice thing to say and complains about every little thing? The person that just seems miserable? I don’t think any of us would say: “Oh, I want to be just like him or her!”

Now think about the person who attracts you and who you want to be around. It’s the person that’s full of life, who is happy and grateful, and who can always find kind words to say and share a smile. It’s the person with that contagious smile that radiates and instantly lifts your spirits, the type of person who is sure of themselves and who isn’t afraid to say “no.”

As individuals, we are unique and we have the ability to build a life filled with passion, purpose, happiness and vitality. By taking the goodness and strength that lies within us, we can become a positive magnet for others. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

Doctors Are Human, Too

It’s all too easy to try and quantify everything in medicine. We are, after all, under the widely held delusion that medicine is like physics. A thing that follows fixed, predictable mathematical models. A thing reproducible if only algorithm A is followed for this disease and algorithm B is followed for that disease.

This belief is also held by the government, which doesn’t want to pay for readmissions or mistakes. Because it is believed that all things in medicine can be known from an exam, some labs, some tests, and some studies.

Nevertheless, things happen. Disease are transmitted in public or by families. Medications don’t always work. Bodies change. Bodies age. Humans are non-compliant. Humans are suffering from physiologic phenomena we can’t yet comprehend. Viruses are synergistic with other diseases.

The immunity of our patients is affected by their happiness, their diet, their work history, their family. The algorithms necessary to make medicine anything like physics would be mathematically beyond comprehension. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at edwinleap.com*

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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