Category Archive: primary care

Physician heal thyself. At your own risk.

My late father often repeated the adage, “Any man who serves as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” We physicians may not represent ourselves in court, but we often try to treat ourselves or neglect our own medical care — and end up with a fool fo…

What’s happened to clinician empathy?

In 2006, the Mayo Clinic asked 192 patients an important question: What makes an ideal physician? From their responses, several characteristics emerged. Among the top criteria, they wanted doctors to be “personal,” “empathetic” and “humane.” This shoul…

What’s happened to clinician empathy?

In 2006, the Mayo Clinic asked 192 patients an important question: What makes an ideal physician? From their responses, several characteristics emerged. Among the top criteria, they wanted doctors to be “personal,” “empathetic” and “humane.” This shoul…

3 health tips to help busy physicians

Practicing medicine at the frontlines is hard. It’s damn hard. Every minute you need to be alert, ready to respond to a potential life or death situation, and be called to another important problem. The current medical practice environment — with…

America has seen medical marijuana before: This is what we learned (and forgot)

Very few things in the universe are 100 percent good or 100 percent bad. Cannabis is perfectly ordinary in having a mixture of good qualities (medical benefits) and bad qualities (medical risks). The people who want to make money – lots of money, by th…

“Doctor” or first name: Which do you prefer?

This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com. “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.” So go the famous lyrics from the theme song for “Cheers,” the iconic sitcom of the 1980s. The name thing can get re…

The fallacy of patient-centered care

I often wonder what it was like before patient-centered care became a mainstream catchphrase. Was there a poor relationship between the patient and physician in the outpatient setting? Were hospitalized patients’ feelings, desires, goals, and therapy o…

How Tom Brady and Lebron James can change your patients’ health

As medical professionals, one of the most challenging things to do is to motivate a patient to make changes in their lives. We passionately want the best for our patients, and it is sometimes so difficult for us to be able to connect with and inspire t…

Physicians can choose not to be powerless against opioid addiction

I didn’t become a primary care doctor to treat opioid addiction. I wasn’t trained for it. To be honest, it scared me. But when you work, like I do, at a clinic that serves a lot of people who have little money or who struggle with mental health and sub…

What if EMRs can never capture the clinical experience?

Apocryphal story from residency: On morning rounds in the critical care unit, the post-call resident starts to present a complicated patient admitted overnight with chest pain, and after the first bits of the history have been presented, the wise old c…

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