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Latest Posts

Did Previous Generations Of Physicians Have Better Bedside Manners?

How much are good bedside manners worth? Would you double your copay if you could be guaranteed an extra measure of TLC from your physician? Can we put price on a physician’s warm smile, an understanding nod or a reassuring hand on your shoulder? Do patients have to contract with a concierge medical practice to receive this treatment?

I agree that our bedside manners with patients need some rejuvenation. It’s not fair, however, to isolate this issue out of context. Physicians today are facing crunching pressures from various sources that we cannot always compartmentalize when we are facing our patients – even though we should. Most folks believe that the bedside manners of the prior generation of physicians were superior to ours. Were our predecessors simply more compassionate and caring human beings than we are? I don’t think so. I think the medical profession was a different beast then. I hypothesize that if these wizened physicians entered the profession today, that they would behave differently.

Context is so critical when examining any issue. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at MD Whistleblower*

iPhone Attachment Allows For Live View Of Eye Anatomy

There are a variety of tools available to help Ophthalmologists with eye examinations.  A new hardware and medical apps solution turns the iPhone into an ophthalmoscope.  Called the iExaminer, this simple iPhone 4 peripheral connects the popular Welch Allyn PanOptic ophthalmoscope to the iPhone 4, and then a native medical app helps you perform a fundus exams and share videos and images right from the iPhone.

Two key applications for this:

1) Teaching: For medical schools that are teaching eye examinations — instead of having to look at static pictures of eye anatomy, this “live view” could be an optimal and innovative way to teach. This could also be a great way for an ophthalmology attendings to save key eye pathology that they visualize in the mobile setting for teaching purposes.

2) Use in mobile clinics: This could be a good screening tool for various eye pathology — Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

How To Be A Good Doctor: 10 Rules Of The Road

He sat in a crisp white coat, staring at a computer screen, note cards in his lap. Occasionally, I noted him jot a note to himself as he compiled his list. A nurse sat next to him, pounding feverishly on the keyboard as she recorded her nurse’s note. He tentatively moved his mouse, then clicked, still staring.

I recall my first day in clinical medicine: no computer, an ER rotation, a white board filled with names and abbreviated medical problems next to them with little magnetic color-coded labels nearby. Room 1: Head trauma. Room 2: Abscess. Room 3: UTI, Room 4: Rash.

I got room 2. It was the biggest, bad-est infected sebaceous cyst on a guy’s back a newly minted doctor had ever seen. Can you say “softball?” “See one, do one,” they told me. And off I went.

Much in medicine has changed since then, but much remains the same. Medicine is miraculous, terrifying, then rewarding all at once. Fortunately, there’s a method within the madness that can serve to preserve and protect those who first start out. Every doctor has had the fortune to learn from those who passed before them as begin their journey to refine their title of “doctor” (literally, “teacher.”)

I thought it would be interesting to put a few of the “Rules of the Road for Medicine” down on paper (with the help of friends on Twitter) for interns and residents as they embark on their own incredible journey ahead. The list is not exhaustive, but hopefully can serve as a resource for our new doctors as they head off to meet their clinical challenges ahead.

Rule #1: Treat every patient like your mother Read more »

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

Is Your Job Good For The Heart?

What would you be if life gave you a do-over, and stipulated you couldn’t be what you are now?

It’s true, I’m a dreamer. I cried during “Stand and Deliver.” A believer in the power of passionate leadership am I.

Finally, this Saturday morning, I was able to drink coffee, eat bagels and read the paper. Ah, it felt so good. And in doing so I was moved by the WSJ piece on Teachers for America, an organization that allows recent Ivy league graduates to try their hand at being “Kimo-sabes.”

As a dreamer, I often find myself thinking of what I would be after finishing a stint as a doctor, or even more dreamer-esque, what would I be if I wasn’t a doctor. For me, an equally-attractive job to doctoring would have to entail contributing something positive to humanity.

One of the coolest things about being a doctor is asking patients what they do. Not just to find out how much one’s occupation contributes to the inflammatory soup of life, but also to feed a dreamer’s visions. Few patient occupations pique my interest more than teaching. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*

Mentoring Medical Students In Primary Care

“Dr. A, your student is here,” the front desk squawks through the intercom. “Sheesh,” I say to myself as I look at my full schedule of patients. Now, don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy teaching. Something I do know is that I could not do teaching full time. I thought about possibly joining a residency program or exploring the possibility of teaching full time at the med school. But, at this point in my career, patient care is still my passion. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Doctor Anonymous*

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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