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Latest Posts

A Significant Pediatric Moment

I hate pediatrics. People who don’t understand the life of surgery may think this means I don’t like children, but in fact the contrast is true.

Surgery is suffering and heartache. Surgery is pain and misery. It’s stuff children aren’t supposed to experience.

Children are supposed to be caught up in the joys of life. They’re supposed to play and smell the roses along life’s paths. Pain will come later, but childhood is supposed to be a sanctuary, albeit temporary from the harsh realities of life. And when life gets harsh, they may need to come to me.

I once spoke about a very special boy who crossed my path. His death still haunts me, but there was another incident which drove the wedge between myself and pediatric surgery forever. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at other things amanzi*

Medicine Is A Human Thing

If there is a central theme to this blog, it is this: Medicine is a human thing.

On the Facebook page of my podcast, I recently asked for readers to tell me some of the “war stories” they have from the doctor’s office. What are some of the bad things doctors do wrong? I quickly followed this with the flip side, asking readers to comment on the best interactions that they’ve had with their doctors.

The response was overwhelming, and equally quick to both rant and rave. They told stories about doctors who didn’t listen, explain, or even talk with them. They told about arrogance and disconnectedness from the people from whom they were seeking help. They also told about doctors who took extra effort to listen and to reach out in communication. They talked about doctors who genuinely seemed to value them as humans. Read more »

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

When Hospital Business Comes Before Patient Care

When hospitals mandate where patients are treated, it can lead to conspiracy and racketeering charges. Here’s an excerpt from a letter from the Chairman of the Board of Citizens Medical Center to one of the cardiologists filing suit:

While it is certainly your right to exercise your medical judgement as you see fit, likewise, it is the responsibility of the Board of Directors at Citizens Medical Center to exercise their judgement as to what is in the interest of the business of Citizens Medical Center and its patients and Medical Staff. It is the Board’s firm belief that it is in the best interest of Citizens Medical Center for patients who are capable of being treated at Citizens Medical Center to be treated at Citizens Medical Center and not be transferred elsewhere.”

Business interests before doctor-patient interests? Ouch.

-WesMusings of a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist.

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

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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