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Latest Posts

Little Evidence For ER Wait Time Marketing Claims And Other Health News

ER Waits: Hospitals’ marketing claims of short waits for emergency room care aren’t backed up by any evidence, John Dorschner reports for the Miami Herald.

Chronic Fatigue: The editors of prestigious journal Science have retracted a controversial paper linking chronic fatigue syndrome to the XMRV virus; critics of the study believe contamination of samples was to blame for the results, which have not been replicated by other scientists, Ivan Oransky reports for Reuters.

Environmental Health: Tough new EPA rules on mercury emissions from oil- and coal-burning power plants are being Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Reporting on Health - The Reporting on Health Daily Briefing*

Is Your Doctor Running Late? Check It Out Online

I just read a Wall Street Journal article about a new web-based service called MedWaitTime that allows patients to check if their doctor is running late before heading to the office for their appointment – kind of like you can check to see if your flight is late before heading to the airport.


Nothing peeves me more than sitting in a doctor’s office reading 4-month-old tattered magazines on topics I care nothing about (saltwater fishing, seriously?), and not because the doctor had an emergency (when is the last time a dermatologist had to run out to save someone), but because the office staff routinely double books. I can’t count the number of times I walked out (my limit is 30 minutes unless I’m in agony) after giving the front office a targeted piece of my mind. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life*

Credit Where Credit Is Due: Maryland Medical License Approved In Record Time

licenseSince I finished my residency training, I’ve applied for medical licenses in several states. It has been interesting to see how long it takes different states to process the same credentials. I wanted to give a quick hat tip to Maryland, for being the fastest, lowest hassle state so far. They processed my application in under 4 weeks, accepting my FCVS packet as verification for my medical school, residency training, and USMLE scores. Although the website suggests that the process may take up to 120 days, mine was fewer than 30. Thank you, Maryland Board of Physicians! Job well done.

In my personal hall of shame, however, is the Medical Board of California. I have been waiting since June, 2008 for my license. Yes, it’s been 567+ days. Read more »

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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