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Trapped in Family Medicine Can this Marriage Be Saved? Act V–The Unhealthy Triangle: Patient, Doctor and Insurance.

Introduction: Here’s a recap of the scenario to date: Mrs. Doctor, a primary care physician is in marriage counseling to determine the fate of her marriage with Mr. Insurance. While she loves her career (medicine), dealing with Mr. Insurance’s increasingly abusive financial and administrative demands are crushing her soul. Yet leaving preferred provider protection guaranteed through the marriage would be devastating too. And Mrs. Doctor doesn’t want to lose her kids (the patients); decades of historical indicators show that 95% of kids (patients) stay with Mr. Insurance and refuse to see Mrs. Doctor ever again.

Last time, the therapist performed a therapeutic technique on Mrs. Doctor akin to psychological judo. When she claimed she was helpless under the power of Mr. Insurance’ ability to pay the bills, the therapist pointed out that Mrs. Doctor has many more powers than he does, including education and training as a doctor, the ability to order labs and meds, and the understanding and trust of each patient. Why, then, would she abandon the kids without a battle? Mr. Insurance wants nothing to do with the kids, and creates hundreds of games to reduce or eliminate his financial obligation to them.

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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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