Category Archive: primary care

What Pride means to this physician as an out doctor

I’ve been a doctor for a year. I’ve been out as bisexual for much longer. (I used to joke that my sexual orientation was old enough to order at a bar, but now it’s on the slog towards being able to rent its own car.) With June comes Pride, and with Pri…

“I’ll put my cell phone away when you put your computer away.”

“I’ll put my cell phone away when you put your computer away,” said the patient. These were the very words I heard upon opening the door and stepping into the exam room. As I stood waiting for him to look up, I was already looking at my computer for hi…

How pharmacy-based primary care takes the low-hanging fruit

With the announcement of CVS Health HUBs, the synergy of data and business is rapidly coming to the health sector; health systems will become havens only for the severely acutely ill, the more complex, the expensive. In the same way that urgent care ce…

How failing Step 1 helped me pass the boards. Twice.

I remember the day well. The dean of my medical school called me directly. As soon as she announced herself on the other end of the line, I knew it was bad news. Deans don’t tend to make social calls, and I was right. She was calling to tell me that I …

All doctors sign forms they haven’t read. Is there a better way?

Recently, I was called to task — and probably rightly so — for signing something I know I didn’t read. This was several months ago, when one of my partners was out on family medical leave, and we divided up all of the coverage of her …

The patchwork quilt of my medical care

I was cleaning out the top shelf of my closet — a location where, hypothetically, treasures can be found. I came upon something that was wrapped in a nondescript brown paper bag that smelled oddly of mothballs. I cautiously reached inside and found an …

Language matters: the not-so-innocuous provider effect

Language matters. The use of the word “provider” may seem innocuous, but it is significant both for patients and physicians. For patients, it has been perhaps the most pronounced step — if not leap — away from transparency. (Who is who? Nur…

Smart beds and sleep apps: Don’t sleep on their data collection practices

Your bed could be watching you. OK, so not with a camera. But if you have any of a variety of “smart beds,” mattress pads or sleep apps, it knows when you go to sleep. It knows when you toss and turn. It may even be able to tell when you’re having sex….

Putting patients first by letting patients go

Like many primary care physicians in this health care marketplace, I found myself operating on a hamster wheel of volume care, seeing more and more patients and spending less and less time with them.  The pressure on my practice, my patients and my sta…

When should you be tested for vitamin B12?

Two recent patient experiences prompted this post. In the Wall Street Journal, Dana Hawkins-Simons described several years of being seen by specialist after specialist for her complaints of tiredness, dizziness, ringing in the ears, palpitations, short…

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