Telemedicine exhaustion is real

I’m angry. The sound cut out again, for the fifth time in the last hour. “Why can’t I get through one telemedicine visit without some technical problem?” I ask myself. I can feel the chest discomfort, my shoulders tense, I start…

The new rules of time management

Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist, woman, mother, wife, friend, mentor. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to “work smarter, not harder” to get it all done and feel good about myself, only to begin climbing the mounta…

I’m sorry, but I can’t “clear” your patient

Every primary care provider has been there. A patient comes in requesting a pre-operative evaluation or places a phone call or EMR message expressing the need for “clearance” before having a surgical procedure. Sometimes, we even get a requ…

Doctors have had it with tall tales (and those who tell them)

The majority of my coaching clients are physicians. It isn’t easy for them these days. For the most part, doctors are rational types who believe in science, data, and facts. They have trouble understanding why so many of their patients seem to have sig…

Unrequited: love in the time of COVID-19

If you knew we are like the “Two Fridas,” that our hearts are connected, would you change your mind? Would you stop as you are about to cut the artery feeding your heart and mine? If you knew that when you cry because of your loneliness, be…

A shout out to small hospitals

I’m a small-time doc in a small town, and I work at a small hospital in the Midwest, and I’m proud of it. The huge university hospitals (like Cleveland Clinic) get all the glory (especially in society and in the press), but small hospitals like mine dr…

Surprise Medical Bills are Ending, But Controversy Continues

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt examines how the No Surprises Act that prohibits unexpected out-of-network charges for patients could lead to lower payment rates and revenues for some doctors and other care providers.

I go on because I must: for my patients and for my children

I stare at the sharply rising line in front of me, its stark outline harshly highlighting the data–data that shows that we are in the midst of yet another surge. That graph haunts me, intruding upon my thoughts, hovering at the edges of my life. I hold…

Breaking down the real cost of the opioid epidemic

I have been writing of late about recent developments in the opioid saga. My first piece talked about a fresh decision in California’s seven-year-old The People vs. opioid pharma case. The next one focused on how the middle-man, distributors, con…

Can patients just say no to treatment?

When can a patient say “yes” or “no” to a recommended colonoscopy? A blood transfusion? A COVID vaccine? As 2022 opens, health officials predict a tsunami of new coronavirus cases worldwide due to the Omicron and Delta variants….

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