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Latest Posts

When A Physician Gives A Patient “The Look”

“He gave me the look,” the patient said to my nurse as he walked out of the exam room.

My nurse laughed and said, “I had a feeling you’d get it today.”

What were they talking about?  ”What look?  I didn’t know I had a look!” I asked my nurse.

The patient tipped his chin down and looked at me over his glasses.  My nurse laughed, pointing at the patient, “That one!  Exactly!  You give that look to me too!”

I was mystified.  I don’t like lecturing people or acting like their parent.  Patients do no harm to me when they gain weight, don’t take their medications, or eat a lot of Little Debbies.  My job is not to get them to do everything I say, it is to give them enough information and motivation to do it for themself.  I am the coach; they are the ones who have to go out on the field and play.  I may be disappointed when they mess up, but it’s not my job to patronize them and wag my finger. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*

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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