Category Archive: primary care

Health care facilities are difficult to navigate for older adults

A month ago, during a visit to her doctor’s office in Sequim, Wash., Sue Christensen fell to her knees in the bathroom when her legs suddenly gave out. The 74-year-old was in an accessible stall with her walker, an older model that doesn’t have brakes….

The language of medicine can be complicated. Does it need to be this way?

Several weeks ago, I began my studies for a master’s degree in journalism. I’m continuing to work as a physician, but for the next two years, I’ll also be gaining knowledge in an important field: health communication. I recall being a medical student a…

When physicians fear for their lives

The receptionist interrupted me in the middle of my dictation. “There’s a woman and her husband at the front desk. She’s already been seen by Dr. Kim for chest pain, but refuses to leave, and her husband seems really agitated. They’re demanding to spea…

Clinical practice guidelines have problems, but they’re not broken

A Health Affairs blog post titled “Fixing Clinical Practice Guidelines” echoed several concerns I’ve discussed previously: practice guidelines are being produced in abundance but often have variable methodological quality, financial c…

How can we address retention in the era of physician burnout?

As we’ve seen, the lives of those working in the health care system has become overwhelmingly challenging, burdened by all of the excess nonmedical stuff that has been added into our lives as we try to take care of patients. From prior authorizat…

Here’s what true grit looks like in health care

As a medical director and practicing physician, I count myself fortunate to meet and engage in meaningful conversations with many health care professionals throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Recently I was both humbled and inspired when I visited wi…

A primary care physician’s decisions are questioned and second-guessed daily

A 67-year-old woman with a high-stress job had a vigorous disagreement with her neighbors last week. She developed severe substernal chest pain and called 911 fearing a heart attack. She is thin, has never smoked, has normal blood pressure and normal c…

Doctors have little clue about what actually goes on in their colleagues’ offices

When I meet patients in the office, our conversations do not focus exclusively on the medical issue at hand. Of course, if you come to see me with a stomach ache, at some point, I will direct the dialogue toward your abdomen. Often, our conversations a…

What to consider before undergoing stem cell treatment or banking stem cells

It can be difficult to tease out the evidence-based science amidst the claims of successful adult stem cell-based treatments for a range of health problems from joint pain to Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, and spinal cord injury. Even a num…

The sensitive topic of physical contact during exams

Touch is a sensitive thing. No pun is intended here, but whether and how we touch our patients deserves our careful thought and deliberation. So much interpersonal contact these days is virtual, with emojis, abbreviations and whole words thrown around …

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