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Latest Posts

Guarding Against Medical Malpractice: Focusing On The Possible Versus The Probable

Some put the figure for defensive medicine at 10% of medical expenses a year.  That’s $250 billion dollars.  Others claim it to be 2-3% per year or about $60 billion dollars a year.

Now ask any physician what it is.  I’d say it’s closer to 30% a year.  That’s $750 billion dollars a year.  Why?  Because I know what is going through the minds of physicians when they put the pen to the paper.  In America, we strive to exclude  the long tail diagnosis.  Why? Because getting sued for 67 million dollars because you treated a torn aorta when all the evidence pointed to an emergent MI has a way of making doctors evaluate the possible, instead of focusing on the probable.

Defensive medicine is not about losing a lawsuit.  It’s about getting sued and the lack of boundaries that protect a physician from having bad outcomes with competent medicine, even if that competent medicine was the wrong medicine for the wrong patient at the wrong time, a fact known only after the fact when a bad outcome occurs. Read more »

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

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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