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Latest Posts

How The System Affects Our Doctors: A Must-See Documentary

Yesterday a much-anticipated package arrived in the mail containing a documentary film directed (and acted) by a young emergency room physician, Ryan Flesher, M.D., and produced by a former clinical social worker, Nancy Pando, L.I.C.S.W. The film is called “The Vanishing Oath.”

As background, the film is a 3-year project born in 2007 just before the great U.S. healthcare reform debate began. Over 200 hours of interviews were conducted to explore a simple question:

Why Dr. Flesher had grown to hate medicine. Read more »

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

Becoming A Doctor And An American All At Once

I [recently] attended a fascinating session offering advice to international medical graduates (IMGs) on how to fit in and succeed in U.S. medical practice. Here’s a slightly-silly example of the kind of cultural differences that can cause confusion for IMGs:

Speaker Vijay Rajput, FACP, started to make a point using the good-old analogy of Lake Wobegon. Then he paused and asked how many attendees knew about Lake Wobegon. Only two raised their hands.

“That’s the problem right there,” he said, only half-jokingly. “You need to be listening to NPR!”

Clearly it takes a lot to become an American and a doctor at the same time.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Where Quackademic Medicine Is Taught

One advantage of having a blog is that I can sometimes tap into the knowledge of my readers to help me out.

As many readers know, a few of the SBM bloggers (myself included) will be appearing at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS) today (Saturday, April 17). Since the topic of our panel discussion is going to be the infiltration of quackademic medicine into medical academia, I thought that now would be a very good time for me to update my list of medical schools and academic medical centers in the U.S. and Canada that have embraced (or at least decided to tolerate) quackademic medicine in their midst. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

The New-Patient Fallout: How It Might Affect Primary Care

Sunset on Hanalei Bay by Alaska Dude via FlickrWith the prospect of 32 million new patients clamoring for care comes sorting out who will see them all. New medical schools are opening and students say they relish the idea of entering a market that will demand their services. American College of Physicians member Manoj Jain, M.D., offers a more tempered view of how the fallout might affect primary care. (AP, American Medical News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Memphis Commercial Appeal)

Even Hawaii has a shortage, especially in primary care, but also cardiology and orthopedic surgery. It’s hard to believe recruiters couldn’t sell Hawaii as a destination. (Honolulu Advertiser)

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Med Students Better At Finding Information On Facebook Than In EHRs

Generation Y medical students are supposed to be the tech-savvy ones. As it turns out, they may be more familiar with Facebook than with the electronic health records they’ll likely use in their medical practice. (Modern Physician, free-registration required)

Educators at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine assessed nearly 190 fourth-year medical students on their use of EHRs during a mock encounter simulating a cancer patient hospitalized with complications from chemotherapy.

Students were scored on their ability to find information crucial to the patient’s case within the EHR and their ability to analyze the EHR without alienating the patient. While most couldn’t access the information, they did interact with the patients face-to-face and even explained when they looked away to the computer.

Following more research, the school may incorporate class work on using EHRs.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

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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