Medicine

I recognize that I am older and that medical training has changed quite a bit. I did not realize how much until I ran across this article titled, “Patient bedside important for medical student learning.” [Full disclosure - I spent an hour trying to get at the actual article, but could not so what I am about to say represent my reading of the press release. I apologize in advance]. The article reports on a “web-based tool” called Learning Moment that allows a student to record their learning experiences. In a pilot study, conducted in the emergency department, the logs reveal that the majority of ‘learning’ recorded by students was, get ready for it, in patient rooms. The authors also noted some ‘learning’ at computer workstations and in rooms specifically for resuscitation of...

Nothing elicits a surge in my skeptic meter like the term world-renowned when used in the medical realm. Especially since it is typically self-described by those selling something, routinely an unnecessary product or procedure.

Those who are authentically world-renowned, who are the real deal, rarely boast about it. Shameless self-promotion is a tough thing for the more earnest medical and science professionals. With the ever-increasing competition today, striking the balance so as to garner enough interest in their work so they can pursue what they so incredibly cherish is often an unnatural road.

Being exactly who you say you are, nothing more and nothing less, reflects the best there is in medicine. This way of navigating the profession prioritizes patient...

Like a coffee stain on a new carpet, Karl Marx stubbornly refuses to go away. The appeal of his ideas seems to be rooted in some fanciful, whitewashed version of history, because almost without fail, Marx's biggest fans are those people who never had to live under the consequences of his political philosophy.

Attempts to rehabilitate Marx's image occur among left-wing academics, usually fringe economists and undergraduate philosophy majors. Marx is not a typical topic of conversation among biomedical scientists, which is why a recent editorial by Richard Horton, editor-...

When it comes to seeking medical care, my focus is always on: Who is the best person for the job (replete with mounting evidence of good outcomes)? Which hospital is most familiar with the diagnosis at hand? Who has performed the most surgeries on that diagnosis in that particular field? Dealt with the most complex cases? Who has the most qualified team of highly trained support? Has the ringing endorsement of all staff from specialist colleagues to surgical nurses to anesthesiology to residents and so on. In other words, would the people in the know send their most cherished loved ones to them? 

Convenience would be low on my priority list. As would the beauty of the facility itself. Clean and sterile-seeming, out of concern for infection risks, would come to mind as important...

Where is the best state to practice medicine? I would argue the latest study on the topic does little to answer the question given the metrics chosen. But, the project does provide a template and way to calculate your personal level of interest in the pre-selected benchmarks. The result is a starting point that guides your thought process more than it might firm up any decisive actions on the subject.

Given the parameters of cost of living, residency retention rate, tax climate, physician density, malpractice premiums (averages) and Medicare’s Geographic Cost Index (1),...

For most of us, the word “doctor” in the health care setting tends to conjure up a person who completed college, innumerable pre-med requirements, medical school, internship, residency and possibly specialty fellowship (sometimes more than one). It implies a long road that ranges more than a decade, inclusive of countless board examinations with continued recertification, annual mandatory continuing medical education credits and accounts for exposure to the most clinical hours of other staff personnel in breadth, depth and scope.

It is this description that we think of when the individual responsible for our care in the hospital or an emergency room or outpatient facility interacts with us. They are no better than any other caregiver albeit a nurse, respiratory therapist or you-...

Recently, I published an article More Bad News for Single Payer Health System detailing the reasons for a disastrous report recently generated out of London by the National Health Service (NHS) about poor quality of care for the sickest patients. Care that was deemed less than good for every four out of five cases with a climbing mortality rate of one in three all being attributed to sub-standard practices. (See here). (1)

Then, news came out from NHS England that the number of people waiting for routine surgery exceeded 4 million. The highest in a decade. The...

When people hear of Miss America or Miss USA and the like, they tend to conflate the organizations and dismiss them as “beauty pageants” and whatever that must mean. Having just judged the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen (MAOTeen) scholarship competition—Miss America’s sister program— in Orlando, Florida, I would argue to do so would be a disservice to some extraordinary, talented young women who not only are currently impacting their communities, but will no doubt reflect future leadership in society.

Momentarily, I will take you behind-the-scenes of my experience and demonstrate how this group of 13-17 year olds and the ancillary programs Miss America provides (that range in age from childhood to young adulthood) could be an opportunity for...

With information —bad, good and worse— overload from all media forms at all hours of the day and night, it is no surprise that public confidence in the medical realm is precipitously plummeting. So says a new report identifying that only 37% of the public trust evidence from medical research as opposed to 65% who prefer the experiences of friends and family. (1)

This latest work out of The Academy of Medical Sciences which, according to their website, is an “independent body in the UK representing the diversity of medical science” whose “mission is to advance biomedical and health...

Since I am a huge proponent of laughter often being good medicine, I didn’t have to look very far to find funny movie scenes that also delivered meaningful medical lessons.

Limiting the number of options became the challenge!

So, here are 5 examples from films where medical knowledge can be extracted from the humor (of note, be aware there is cursing in some of the linked clips and so may be NSFW) :

Space Cowboys (2000)

Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner play former NASA crew members finally getting their shot to go on a repair mission in space. To do so, they must meet the same physical standards, usually by much younger colleagues, to get the go ahead to undertake their dream...