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The Podcast by KevinMD

Social media's leading physician voice, Kevin Pho, MD, shares the stories of the many who intersect with our health care system but are rarely heard from. Welcome to The Podcast by KevinMD.

All Episodes

How essential workers cope with COVID

"I really shouldn’t complain. I haven’t lost my housing or job. I have plenty of food and toilet paper, and so far, no close friend or family have died from COVID. That said, this pandemic is hard. In fact, it is exhausting. During the spring and summer, I gave positive COVID results to a number of patients from my home’s safety, thanks to telehealth. But the reality of telling patients how to self-quarantine when six people live in two rooms with one bathroom, or giving resources about food and other basics because the household provider lost a job, or can’t work because s/he is COVID positive, is tough. Tough on the recipient of the advice and tough on me." Therese Zink is a family physician and can be reached at her self-titled site, ThereseZink.com. She is the author of COVID Chronicles: How Essential Workers Cope. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The long journey of COVID." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/the-long-journey-of-covid.html)
April 20, 2021
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Physician morale and the doctor's voice

"It is dangerously unfortunate that the use of masks has been politicized in many parts of our nation. The Dakotas (or North and South COVID as they were recently called on Saturday Night Live) are far from exempt from this phenomenon. Likely, if Governor Burgum’s decision was less influenced by fear of criticism from his constituents and political retaliation, he would have required a mask mandate long before making it acceptable for infected individuals to leave their home. Masks have time and again proven to be safe and effective. It’s not a big ask." Sheetal Khedkar Rao is an internal medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The problem with allowing COVID-positive health care workers to continue working." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/the-problem-with-allowing-covid-positive-health-care-workers-to-continue-working.html)
April 19, 2021
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PCPs could counter virtual plans by increasing telehealth visits

"If PCPs want to meet the new competition from virtual primary care plans, I suggest that they gradually increase the percentage of their visits that they do through telehealth. Now that payers are reimbursing those visits at the same level as in-person visits, they have nothing to lose financially. Of course, there are some ancillary services that might be performed in their offices, such as lab tests, X-rays or bone density scans. But PCPs could order some of these when patients came in for visits, and they could also reduce their spending on staff and office space if they saw fewer patients in-house. Such a move would represent a big change for PCPs. But they’ve already adopted telehealth to a much greater extent than ever before. A fuller embrace of the technology could help them survive financially, and it might even improve chronic disease care if virtual follow-ups were combined with regular office visits." Ken Terry is a journalist and author of Physician-Led Health Care Reform: A New Approach to Medicare for All. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "PCPs could counter virtual plans by increasing telehealth visits." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/03/pcps-could-counter-virtual-plans-by-increasing-telehealth-visits.html)
April 18, 2021
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My first end-of-life conversation

"Looking back on these words at the end of my rotation, I understand what I had felt, and I feel confident naming it: the futility of medicine. We can comfort and treat patients, but there’s nothing more we can do after a certain point. As a bright-eyed medical student who wrote on all her medical school applications that she wanted to save lives, it was and still is difficult for me to understand that." Shereen Jeyakumar is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "My first end-of-life conversation." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/my-first-end-of-life-conversation.html)
April 17, 2021
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Advice to pregnant surgical residents

"Motherhood has been the biggest gamble of my adult life thus far. How was I going to operate for 12-plus hours while 39-weeks pregnant? Where would I be when I went into labor? How would was I going to return after three weeks? How would I pump during and in between OR cases? I did it. It certainly wasn’t easy. And I would do it all over. My son is beautiful and healthy. I’ve never been prouder of anything I’ve ever done. He is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. He’s made me a better clinician and surgeon." Lauren A. Umstattd is a facial plastic surgery fellow. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Advice to a pregnant surgical resident." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2019/10/advice-to-a-pregnant-surgical-resident.html)
April 16, 2021
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President Biden’s quest for a public option

"COVID-19 disproportionately impacts those with pre-existing conditions, and our health care system leaves one in five Americans with a pre-existing condition uninsured. Further, with multiple COVID-19 vaccines already in early but slow distribution, attaining universal coverage is critical, particularly in light of uninsurance having an inverse relationship with vaccination rates. President Biden will need to act with a legislative urgency that matches these times to pass a public option. With two-thirds of the country approving President Biden’s handling of the transition, now is his opportunity. He may just need to take a few pages out of the 'Johnson treatment' playbook in crafting the 'Biden treatment.'" Jonathan Staloff is a family medicine resident and can be reached on Twitter @jonstaloff. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "How President Biden’s quest for a public option mirrors LBJ’s passage of Medicare and Medicaid." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/how-president-bidens-quest-for-a-public-option-mirrors-lbjs-passage-of-medicare-and-medicaid.html)
April 15, 2021
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Patients don’t need quick diagnoses. They need accurate ones.

"The patient knocking on your door is not your enemy. They’re sick. They’re scared. They’re in pain. They don’t know why, and they’re hoping for an answer. If you can’t find the source of a problem quickly, it doesn’t mean it’s not there." Denise Reich is a patient advocate. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Patients don’t need quick diagnoses. They need accurate ones." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/patients-dont-need-quick-diagnoses-they-need-accurate-ones.html)
April 14, 2021
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Meet the orthopedic surgeon who stopped taking insurance and does house calls

"I can tell you what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to mill through 50 patients a day, mindlessly clicking through EMR checkboxes so an insurance auditor five states away will deem that I’ve done my job and deserve reimbursement. That’s a high volume, high overhead game, and I don’t want to play it. I recently spoke with a doctor who was getting so many insurance denials that they needed to hire 14 additional billers at an estimated cost of somewhere around half a million dollars a year. Insurance companies want to make it difficult for doctors to get paid. They will only add more hoops to jump through, meaning that I need to hire more hoop jumpers as a doctor. Hiring hoop jumpers costs a lot of money, which means I need to see more patients. Seeing more patients in the same amount of time leads to shorter visits and worse care. Not to mention the pressure from hospital administrators to “expand your indications,” or in layman’s terms, operate on someone who may not really need it." Daniel Paull is an orthopedic surgeon. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "I am an orthopedic surgeon who decided to stop taking insurance." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/i-am-an-orthopedic-surgeon-who-decided-to-stop-taking-insurance.html)
April 13, 2021
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Harness the power of the humanities to counteract burnout

"Humanities can be seen as part of the fabric, society, and culture of human experience. In many ways, they might be seen as the disciplines that make us human and make life meaningful. They broadly encompass ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, visual and performing arts, such as music and theater. Even more expansively, they may also include, amongst others, history, archaeology, anthropology, law, and linguistics. These diverse fields explore and foster empathy, compassion, beauty, joy, awe, love, reasoning, tolerance, curiosity, possibility, community. Are we richer as human beings or physicians without this education, or are we abandoning ourselves to the loneliness, sadness, and despair of a more sterile, rigid, negative, and dysfunctional way of thinking?" Jacqueline Huntly is a family physician and physician coach. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Medicine for the soul: Harness the power of the humanities to counteract burnout." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/medicine-for-the-soul-harness-the-power-of-the-humanities-to-counteract-burnout.html)
April 12, 2021
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In gratitude to our nation’s residents

"Most residents are young, often in their mid to late 20s, having spent years ensconced in libraries, research labs, and classrooms learning pathophysiology and pharmacology. Upon graduation from medical school, they are now drafted to the front lines of a generational pandemic, working long hours, often in cities where they are strangers (the process of “matching” into a residency program is one where residents are not in full control of their destiny or geography). They do so while putting their own health in jeopardy. The resident’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike any other, because on average, residents spend almost twice as much time at work as other providers. Residents are allowed to work 80 hours a week on balance, which means it’s fine to log 90 hours in the ICU if the following week is a mere 70." John P. Murray is an internal medicine physician. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "In gratitude to our nation’s residents." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/in-gratitude-to-our-nations-residents.html)
April 11, 2021
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How to find sparks of joy

"Keep it Simple is a bumper sticker slogan. Life during a pandemic has been anything but simple, and the holiday season presents (not the gift kind) its own special challenges. So does living alone and trying to stay humanized. In his book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, Surgeon General-elect Vivek Murphy describes loneliness as associated with increased risk of mental and health difficulties in the BC era (before COVID-19). All the more so within such a challenging year of physical separation and trying to maintain a connection with others, with ourselves. So much angst, uncertainty, loss … And yet … here we are poised at the brink of a new year with vaccines being distributed and a true sense of hope and healing.  We’re medical educators who teach health professions students and professionals about resilience and adapting to adversity, but here we are, needing to walk the talk. Big-time. We met via Zoom for a Virtual Tea to share about our lives and not just our work. There was some laughter, the best medicine.  And we reflected on negotiating living alone and the stuff of life that sustains, even enriches. Daily “little sparks of joy” can help. We offer you our “21 for ‘21” and hope the simple can be profound." Hedy S. Wald is a clinical professor of family medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI.  She can be reached on Twitter @hedy_wald. Monica van de Ridder is an assistant professor, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University/Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids MI. She can be reached on Twitter @MvdRidder. They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "21 for ’21: little sparks of joy." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/21-for-21-little-sparks-of-joy.html)
April 10, 2021
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What physicians should know before they’re interviewed by the media

"Lights, camera, action! You get a call from your hospital’s public relations office asking you to speak to the local news. Even though this isn’t your first time, your heart is pounding, with a mix of nerves and excitement. You start doubting whether you have anything valuable to say about the topic, even though, yes – you went through many years of medical school and residency before this moment. You are also worried about how to avoid looking foolish or unprofessional on-air. Or worse, how to avoid having your words taken out of context. No? OK, then maybe that’s just me. There are still some key tips and tricks you should know to optimize your performance." Tyeese L. Gaines is an emergency physician and branding and media coach. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "8 things physicians should know before they’re interviewed by the media." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/8-things-physicians-should-know-before-theyre-interviewed-by-the-media.html)
April 9, 2021
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Why medical students should be taught the business side of medicine

"Ultimately, patient care is at the center of medicine and is the main reason many physicians chose to go into the field. A good understanding of the business side of medicine and personal finance can help future physicians focus on just that. There are plenty of options when it comes to how we can begin to integrate these topics into medical education. There are clear benefits that come with learning these skills, and many students are eager to do so. We need more medical schools to integrate these subjects into their curriculums, and students who are given the opportunity to gain this knowledge can become more well-rounded physicians as a result." Martinus Megalla is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Why medical students should be taught the business side of medicine." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/why-medical-students-should-be-taught-the-business-side-of-medicine.html)
April 8, 2021
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End medical school grades

"There should be no grades in medical school. Forty-something percent of applicants get accepted to one or more medical schools. To even apply to medical school, one needs to have not only graduated or be on track to graduate college, but also needs to have passed the MCAT and have the support of a pre-medical application committee. I am no mathematician, but I do not think that it is a stretch to say that less than 10 percent of those who wanted to go to medical school on their first day of college do, in fact, end up matriculating into medical school." Adam Lieber is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "End medical school grades." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/end-medical-school-grades.html)
April 7, 2021
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Film and television continue to depict psychiatrists as heartless swindlers

"Have you ever watched a movie, television show, or read a book where the villain is a medical doctor? If you are a psychiatrist, you will be alarmed by how many times the villain in these stories turns out to be a psychiatrist. In all fairness, psychiatry has had its share of blunders. However, in recent years psychiatry has made a significant effort to enhance the use of evidence-based medicine and procedures. The diagnostic criteria for mental disorders continue to be revised and updated regularly. New medications and procedures are developing at an increasingly rapid rate. With all of the advances in the field, why does popular media continue to represent psychiatry as a barbaric field with poor patient outcomes and medications/treatments that do not work?" Garrett Rossi is a psychiatry resident who blogs at Shrinks in Sneakers. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Film and television continue to depict psychiatrists as heartless swindlers." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/film-and-television-continue-to-depict-psychiatrists-as-heartless-swindlers.html)
April 6, 2021
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A letter to Black America for those who do not want the COVID-19 vaccine

"As a Black physician, I urge you to consider taking the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you. Vaccines save lives. Preventing poor outcomes, as in death, is an exciting effect of this vaccine.  I will be first in line when it is offered to me, and I hope to see you in line next to me. Masked up, of course." Erkeda DeRouen is a family physician and can be reached at her self-titled site, Dr Erkeda DeRouen. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "A letter to Black America for those who do not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/a-letter-to-black-america-for-those-who-do-not-want-to-take-the-covid-19-vaccine.html)
April 5, 2021
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We must address glaring disparities in treatment

"It is not enough to say we are anti-racist; we have to modify our systems to recognize that we have placed individuals of color at risk of poorer outcomes.  Lack of insurance, lack of finances, or even the presence of certain diagnoses may reflect less about the person and more about our society, our infrastructure, and our systems. As members of smaller communities and a larger society, we must make adjustments in our attitudes and knowledge as well as the services we provide to individuals who have experienced harm by insidious but ever-present racist structures. Glaring disparities in treatment aren’t only happening in protests.  They are happening in all of society, and in our hospitals.  Only when we address systemic racism will we be able to realize the ethical imperatives of safe and equitable health care for all." Jane Gagliardi is an internal medicine physician and a psychiatrist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "It is not enough to say we are anti-racist. We must address glaring disparities in treatment." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/it-is-not-enough-to-say-we-are-anti-racist-we-must-address-glaring-disparities-in-treatment.html)
April 4, 2021
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An unexpected COVID-19 vaccine side effect

"Just a few seconds after the needle penetrated my arm, I felt a mild soreness, kind of like a flu shot. But as I sat for the required 15 minutes of observation time, a wave of something engulfed my body. It was such a strange, unfamiliar sensation that I didn’t realize what was happening. I looked around the room at the other medical personnel getting their shots, and no one seemed to pay me any attention. I wasn’t changing color, short of breath, or breaking out into a sweat. I did harbor reservations about the safety of this new vaccine that seemed rushed to market. Was I about to become a statistic in the next FDA safety bulletin? It seemed like forever, but finally, I divined what was happening to me. I felt different inside. A fundamental change had occurred deep within my body. I sensed that others in the room experienced a similar feeling. I struggled to recall the name of the emotion. It had been so long. It was happiness." Andrew N. Wilner is a neurologist. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "An unexpected COVID-19 vaccine side effect." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/an-unexpected-covid-19-vaccine-side-effect.html)
April 3, 2021
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We need to broaden the definition of what “counts” in careers

"Many colleagues in medicine already talk about medicine never going back to its state pre-COVID-19 – be it telehealth for patients, new flexibility to work/life scheduling, or a new acceptance of telecommuting outside of direct patient care. There has been too much suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and stressors of 2020 to progress through 2021 and beyond without lessons learned. New recognition of the need to broaden the definition of what 'counts' in careers, be it in health care or beyond, along with a means to articulate that, must be a lasting outcome of our nation’s response to the pandemic if we want to avoid losing more of our best and brightest in these fields." Avital O’Glasser is an internal medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The COVID-19 pandemic brought many new challenges in medicine. A novel tool may help to overcome some of them." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/02/the-covid-19-pandemic-brought-many-new-challenges-in-medicine-a-novel-tool-may-help-to-overcome-some-of-them.html)
April 2, 2021
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Keep insulting doctors, and good luck finding a physician

"The tragedy that’s happening in medicine today is that the loss of respect and the constant threats to fair payment are making physicians regret that they ever chose medicine. They were fascinated with science and wanted to help people, and their reward is insult. It’s no wonder that some newly trained physicians leave anesthesiology quickly; there’s little risk to running a hangover clinic in Las Vegas. Many physicians from all specialties get MBAs because they see that the real rewards in healthcare lie in becoming a CEO. Look at the salaries of top executives: the CEO of Anthem made more than $14 million in 2018, as an example, while insurance companies did everything they could to avoid or delay signing fair contracts and paying clinical physicians for patient care. There is a growing shortage of physicians, not just in primary care but in specialties too. The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates that the U.S. will be desperately seeking surgeons in the next 10 to 12 years, and looking for more anesthesiologists to work with them. As older physicians retire, and younger ones aren’t willing to work the long hours that used to be routine, this will only get worse, while increasing numbers of older Americans will need more complex medical care. Maybe your barber will learn to operate on you, just like the barber surgeons of old, and your local gun store will sell you a bullet to bite on. Best of luck." Karen S. Sibert is an anesthesiologist who blogs at A Penned Point. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Keep insulting doctors, and good luck finding a physician in 10 years." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/01/keep-insulting-doctors-and-good-luck-finding-a-physician-in-10-years.html)
April 1, 2021
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Self-care is the Rx we were never taught to write

"This is our call to action. I have the experience, knowledge, expertise, and deep passion for teaching every medical student these skills. I cannot do it alone. I need you. We need to do this together. I am seeking those of you who are caring, innovative clear thinkers involved in medical school curriculum creation. We owe it to our physician seedlings. We owe it to their future patients. Who out there can now see 20/20? It is time to change the culture of medicine and focus on prevention. I am 100 percent in. Who is with me?" Robyn Tiger is a radiologist and can be reached at Stress Free MD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The Rx we were never taught to write." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/the-rx-we-were-never-taught-to-write.html)
March 31, 2021
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Why socialized health care is not right for America

"We need full transparency and empowerment of patients and doctors to make wise decisions. We must renew and restore the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship. We need to stop pretending that health care can be 'free,' stop calling premium price prepaid care 'insurance,' and use market forces like choice and competition to cut our bloated costs. 'Insurance' needs to 'insure' against the unexpected, not pay for the routine. I am a proud independent physician. Taking care of patients is what I know. It is what I do best. Get the government and the insurance company out of my exam room and let us all do what we do best. Patients will be the ultimate winners." Mary Tipton is an internal medicine-pediatrics physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Why socialized health care is not right for America." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/why-socialized-health-care-is-not-right-for-america.html)
March 30, 2021
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How to protect your resilience

"Health care delivery will always be inherently unpredictable and challenging. Those drawn to medicine are among our most resilient, but the current landscape reveals acutely a rise in burnout that exceeded acceptable levels even before the COVID-19 outbreak. Such innate resilience in clinicians and clinical care teams is an individual and strategic asset worthy of recognition, protection, and system-wide approaches that nurture and potentiate it. Such system-wide advocacy serves to proactively promote the vitality of health care delivery, quality of care, individual and group purpose, life-work satisfaction, and balance. Ultimately, these all are recognized as antidotes to burnout." Pennie Sempell is an attorney and co-founder and CEO, StressPal. She shares her story and discusses the KevinMD article, "Persistent stressors and resilience: a new way forward for health care communities." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/persistent-stressors-and-resilience-a-new-way-forward-for-health-care-communities.html)
March 29, 2021
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You don’t have to drown in the paperwork

"This is not what I signed up for. Have you ever said this when you are rushing home 1.5 hours after the last patient left and you still haven’t finished all your charting? You grab a handful of forms to take home with you with the hopeful expectation that you will get them done tonight too. After you have done 'enough' to appear to be a present parent and prepared supper and said goodnight to the kids, that is. You sink into the couch at the end of the household rush with the guilty constant 'should be' invading your every breath. I should be finishing my notes. I should go empty that inbox. I should tackle one or two of those forms. But your body feels heavy, and your couch entraps you with its soft embrace, you open Facebook and disappear." Sarah J. Smith is a family physician and can be reached at the Charting Coach. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "You didn’t sign up for this. You don’t have to drown in the paperwork." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/you-didnt-sign-up-for-this-you-dont-have-to-drown-in-the-paperwork.html)
March 28, 2021
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How divorce helped this physician

"I now say getting divorced was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Through that painful circumstance, I rediscovered me. I learned more about myself and my ability to do hard things than at any point in my life since medical training. I’m not the same person that I was before my divorce, and that’s OK. I’m more confident, decisive, and self-assured. Those are all qualities that not only benefit me, but benefit my patients as well. Because of my divorce, my patients now get Dr. Trina Dorrah, version 2.0, and we are all better off because of that." Trina E. Dorrah is an internal medicine physician and can be reached at Dr Trina Dorrah Life Coaching. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How divorce helped this physician." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/02/how-divorce-helped-this-physician.html)
March 27, 2021
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Put nutrition counseling in primary care

"One of the best solutions to rising obesity and non-communicable disease rates lie in primary care. Medical professionals can influence the U.S. food system indirectly through demand and collective purchasing power by educating their patients to choose and purchase healthier options. Merely improving nutrition education succeeds in shifting people’s thinking about food. Simultaneous with the WHO’s declaration of the Decade of Action on Nutrition is the “food is medicine” movement that has been growing in response to mounting evidence that a nutritionally-sound diet and access to quality foods improve health outcomes. The theory behind food is medicine is that food is a preventative public health system. This movement includes prescription meals to people with multiple chronic conditions and low income, food delivery services, and community food quality assessment. So far, the food is medicine solution has proven cost-effective, and one study reported a 16 percent reduction in health care costs in meal recipients. We know that widening health disparities are partially diet-dependent. Integrating nutrition into primary care is really a social necessity. Just as everyone should have access to medical care, all Americans should have equal access to proper nutritional guidance and nutritious food." Melinda Mesmer is an internal medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Put nutrition counseling in primary care." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/put-nutrition-counseling-in-primary-care.html)
March 26, 2021
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Why this plastic surgeon chose to become a high school science teacher

"I have closed my practice, but I have no plans to retire at the age of 52. I have started the journey to become a high school science teacher. There are frequent internet postings and blogs by physicians with strategies to retire young. I suspect that many of us, not near traditional retirement age, still desire to work. At this point, I do not yet have a passion for traveling the world or for driving around the country in an RV like many former physicians. Furthermore, I still have two children who are not yet college age. I enjoy working, and I fear mental stagnation were I to retire at this point. Currently, I am pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. From pre-school through hand fellowship, I have had 28 years of formal education. It is time for me to reciprocate and to honor the extraordinary minds of my teachers and mentors. I am excited to become a high school teacher. I was a chemistry major in college, and it will be a smooth transition to teach high school science. I judge success not by financial wealth, but by contributing to the community and finding happiness in life. I don’t miss my pager." Timothy Bill is a plastic surgeon. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Why this plastic surgeon closed his practice to become a high school science teacher." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/why-this-plastic-surgeon-closed-his-practice-to-become-a-high-school-science-teacher.html)
March 25, 2021
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Words matter: Definitions ground us in our profession and in our world

"Definitions ground us in our profession and in our world. Definitions matter because they help us pause, give our body a moment to settle, and our breath time to move in and out. Our racist actions, inactions, and comments are invasive throughout our waking hours, but we can change them if we can define them. Racist. Anti-racist. Microaggression. Institutional racism. Don’t let the words keep you tense. Let’s move forward together and breathe." Joy Eberhardt De Master is a pediatrician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Racist. Anti-racist. Microaggression. Institutional racism. The power of a definition." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/racist-anti-racist-microaggression-institutional-racism-the-power-of-a-definition.html)
March 24, 2021
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Solving imposter syndrome in physicians

"The good news is that imposter syndrome can be quieted with increased awareness and replacing negative internal messages with positive ones. In our work together, I helped Sheila identify the voices, understand the positive role the voices fill (and there is always a positive or protective role), and find specific mechanisms for turning down the volume. Imposter syndrome may crop up again, but she now has a toolkit to quiet the intrusive thoughts and move ahead with confidence. Not only is Sheila now waking up without dread, she’s explored several career paths and settled on one that she’s excited about. You don’t need to stay imprisoned in the dank dungeon of imposter syndrome. With the right tools, freedom is possible. Think of all you can accomplish, and how much lighter you will feel, when a more positive set of voices fills your head." Here's a questionnaire to assess imposter syndrome. (https://paulineroseclance.com/pdf/IPTestandscoring.pdf) Diane W. Shannon is an internal medicine physician and physician coach and can be reached at her self-titled site, Diane W. Shannon. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Solving imposter syndrome in physicians." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/solving-imposter-syndrome-in-physicians.html)
March 23, 2021
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Vulnerability is challenging but necessary for health care professionals

"In the world of medicine, inordinate stress is instead accepted as just part of the job. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen- or see a therapist on your own time and dime. I strongly believe that traditional therapy and psychiatry are vital and valuable disciplines- I might not be here without them. But not everyone who needs help living through this crisis (or pre-coronavirus life) is mentally ill or needs a diagnosis in order to qualify for guidance and support. No one should have to go through this pandemic, or life itself, alone. Literally or metaphorically. Not even doctors. As we wait for scientists to develop a vaccine and improve the reliability of testing, it is a good time to confront the obvious: in order to come out intact, healthy and whole on the other side of this pandemic, we are going to have to build our emotional intelligence and learn how to be vulnerable again. The only way to heal is to feel." Tracey O’Connell is a radiologist and physician coach. She can be reached at her self-titled site, Tracey O’Connell, M.D. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Vulnerability is challenging but necessary for health care professionals." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/05/vulnerability-is-challenging-but-necessary-for-health-care-professionals.html)
March 22, 2021
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One physician's journey from burnout to bliss

"As a young girl, I’d stand on my tiptoes, craning my neck to watch her sweep cerulean eye shadow across lids and smear foundation on sunken cheeks. While my high school friends resorted to secondhand eye shadow instruction from the pages of Teen magazine, I learned by watching my mom transform the face of a corpse with her skilled makeup application. My mother’s gentle and methodical lipstick application entranced me. Back and forth. Slowly outlining the cupid’s bow of a mouth. Delicately tracing of the arch in a feathery eyebrow. Until, wondrously, the corpse’s vacant mask appeared serenely lifelike. With her artistry complete, no one could spot the thin line of super glue keeping the embalmed lips from springing open, or the plastic eye caps that gave the appearance of eyeballs peacefully resting in sockets. As I grew older, I pondered their last moments before this transition. What was the final word they spoke? Who received their last hug? What were they thinking when they realized their mortal roller-coaster ride was coming to a full and complete stop?" Lara Salyer is a family physician and author of Right Brain Rescue: One physician’s journey from burnout to bliss reveals the creative muse in all of us. (https://amzn.to/3bw5XiQ) She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "One physician’s journey from burnout to bliss reveals the creative muse in all of us." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/one-physicians-journey-from-burnout-to-bliss-reveals-the-creative-muse-in-all-of-us.html)
March 21, 2021
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This physician loves primary care. A pandemic isn't going to change that.

"I just started laughing. It was early on Monday morning during our COVID surge. I couldn’t help myself. Phones were not on yet, but I already had triage COVID calls.  “Put on your roller skates” was all I was thinking. I questioned my laughter. The day and a life of a primary care physician during COVID. Not a fun one by any means. Certainly not one to laugh at. But, if we don’t laugh, we would cry. Everyone knows that cliche. Our days never end. We don’t leave. The EMR has made sure of that. The nurses and staff are expected to smile and be respectful. They have, in fact, been so amazing during this pandemic. They have shown up every day with smiles on their faces." Kelly Lisciandro is an internal medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Why do I laugh during a pandemic?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/why-do-i-laugh-during-a-pandemic.html)
March 20, 2021
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How COVID changed this physician forever

"As a professional woman who most identifies as a physician more than any other title, I know that I run the risk of losing myself to this disease.  I am not ignorant to the risk.  I understand that my identity is supposed to be separate from my achievements and that my babies are supposed to make me value something greater than my career.  But my oath runs through me in a way that I can only describe as visceral.  And for this reason, the pain is that much worse.  Because as much as I miss them.  And as much as I miss me.  I can’t not keep going.  Because they deserve the best we have to offer.  And those of us who have stood here on the front lines for over 10 months know more than anyone else, that if we don’t do it, then who will?" Nicole M. King is an anesthesiologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "I keep going because I miss them. And I miss me." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/i-keep-going-because-i-miss-them-and-i-miss-me.html)
March 19, 2021
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Executive presence for women leaders

"Research conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), a nonprofit research organization in New York, defines the three pillars of executive presence (EP) as gravitas, communication, and image. Stated differently, EP reflects how you act, how you speak, and how you look. CTI concluded that when people are perceived as capable of becoming leaders, they are more likely to be promoted into leadership roles. This is particularly important for aspiring female leaders who continue to battle both conscious and unconscious gender bias. Studies show that men are more often associated with leadership qualities and women with nurturing qualities. This forces women to confront the need to master an intricate balancing act that simultaneously conveys both softness and strength." Nandita C. Gupta is a cardiologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Executive presence for women leaders." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/executive-presence-for-women-leaders.html)
March 18, 2021
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Life in a rural emergency department during COVID

"I am grateful that I work in a small rural hospital that is like a family. I am grateful that my organization has done everything in its power to protect us… but I hope we can do better. I hope medical workers have enough left within them to give their all for the coming months. Now we are in November with cases on the rise throughout the country: I hope we are more prepared. As the medical community, we do everything we can to protect our patients, our loved ones, and ourselves. Life in the emergency department during COVID has been some of the most emotionally and physically taxing of my career, but I remain optimistic that there is hope." Andrew Tisser is an emergency physician. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Life in the emergency department during COVID: a rural physician’s perspective." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/life-in-the-emergency-department-during-covid-a-rural-physicians-perspective.html)
March 17, 2021
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Weight stigma in children and teens

"Let’s meet in the middle and listen to what’s happening in communities. All across U.S. communities, there are pockets of promise and programs focused on family interventions, behavior change, and health disparities, but there are many obstacles to true change. Currently, the work relies on visionary champions within a community, but when the champion leaves the work, the work often goes away. There is a lack of resources on every level, from public health, research, primary care, specialty care, and advocacy, especially to sustain and scale effective efforts. The burden of sustainability must not be placed on one champion’s shoulders, but rather viewed as an opportunity for sustainability and must be a shared effort among multiple partners representing multiple sectors." Karla Lester is a pediatrician. She shares her story and discusses the KevinMD article, "When it comes to weight stigma in children and teens, let’s meet in the middle." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/when-it-comes-to-weight-stigma-in-children-and-teens-lets-meet-in-the-middle.html)
March 16, 2021
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Medical school interview secrets

"When you’re applying to medical school, it’s remarkable how much four years or more of intense work can come down to one single day. The medical school interview is high stakes: studies have found that interview performance is the most important factor in admissions decisions. While your MCAT score and your GPA can help secure an interview invitation, it’s your interview performance that matters most when it comes to acceptance to medical school. I’ve advised many students who are prepping for their interviews, and what I’ve found is that overall they’re great about avoiding certain common mistakes. They practice their handshake, know what to wear, and already researched the school’s interview format. But I’ve found that many talented and highly accomplished applicants still make several other (very common) mistakes in their interview preparation." Rajani Katta is a dermatologist and author of Conquer the Medical School Interview and The Successful Match. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "5 common and commonly overlooked mistakes in the medical school interview." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/5-common-and-commonly-overlooked-mistakes-in-the-medical-school-interview.html)
March 15, 2021
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A physician deals with uncertainty during the pandemic

"Despite forces not within our control, namely the thoughts and actions of others, headway has been made in my local practice area:  the decline in mortality, the advances in clinical knowledge about the pathophysiology, more efficient testing, more PPE, an uprooting and great revealing of the need for prioritization of health care worker wellness, the impact of stress and isolation on health, the magnification of health care disparities, racism, and sexism, an opportunity for the interweaving connection of humanity for some, along with the stark divisiveness that continues to exist.  But we get to choose how this pandemic plays out for us.  I choose extreme caution, gratitude for this opportunity for temporary seclusion, an opportunity to recharge while reconnecting.  I wait in the uncertainty." Ni-Cheng Liang is a pulmonary physician and founder, the Mindful Healthcare Collective. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "A physician waits in uncertainty." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/a-physician-waits-in-uncertainty.html)
March 14, 2021
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End the draconian hospital visitation policies during COVID-19

"At the start of the pandemic when hospitals were overrun, testing and PPE were scarce, and unknowns about COVID-19 transmission abound, such restrictions were reasonable, perhaps even essential. But we have made progress since then; most hospitals test most if not all admitted patients for COVID-19; most Americans own a mask, and hospitals are able to provide to those without one. We must still take reasonable precautions. Allowing only one visitor at bedside, placing restrictions on movement of visitors throughout the hospital, and ensuring they practice social distancing from other hospital staff. With this, we can maintain patient and staff safety but also prioritize a part of care that is currently being undervalued. And as hospitals and cities across the country continue to try and get a handle on the pandemic, we must also continually re-examine what aspects of care we determine to be essential and must preserve in some way. And we must realize that family at the bedside is part of that essential care our patients need to heal." Taimur Safder is a cardiology fellow. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "It's time to end draconian hospital visitation policies during COVID-19." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/02/its-time-to-end-draconian-hospital-visitation-policies-during-covid-19.html)
March 13, 2021
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What this physician says to vaccine-doubters

"A scientific achievement can never have success on its own unless if it has acceptance in the social context by the masses. I think that the concerns brought forward by the vaccine-doubters cannot be dismissed as ignorance, and it is hard to convince people. As a physician, it is not uncommon that I see a patient become indecisive and anxious about various treatment decisions facing them. I don’t shy away from asking them to put their faith in me as their physician at moments like this. There is a simple strategy that makes the decision-making relatively easier, and that is to think of each patient as your own family member and recommend to them what you would want done if they were your own mother or grandfather. When presented this way, it usually goes very well with the patient, and a bond of trust is built, which ends up in successful care for the patient. I would say the same thing to a vaccine-doubter. If I am being vaccinated myself as a health care worker and if I agree to vaccinate my children, please trust me that you should do the same." Farhan S. Imran is a hematology-oncology physician. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "What this physician says to vaccine-doubters." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/what-this-physician-says-to-vaccine-doubters.html)
March 12, 2021
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Addiction medicine during COVID-19

"The rapid change-over to telemedicine in March of 2020 brought predictable challenges to health care at large and substance use disorder treatment in particular: patients without the skill set to navigate HIPAA-compliant apps, phones with too little smarts to handle video conferencing, lack of connectivity in rural and economically depressed areas. But telemedicine brought unexpected benefits: the no-show rate plummeted. Patients were more empowered by their own motivation to engage in care than limited by bus schedules’ vagaries. Suboptimal face-to-face interactions among individuals in the throes of addiction (otherwise known as “mayhem in the parking lot”) ceased immediately. Most of all, telemedicine mitigates the stigma associated with substance use treatment." Julie Craig is an addiction medicine specialist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Telemedicine reduces the stigma in substance use disorder patients." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/telemedicine-reduces-the-stigma-in-substance-use-disorder-patients.html)
March 11, 2021
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Using technology for behavioral health integration

"While behavioral health integration (BHI) has been a long-standing conversation in collaborative care or health’s team-based approach, it hasn’t always been clearly defined and rarely means more than referring a patient in need to a specialist. The biggest shift over the past twenty years has simply been recognizing just how vital behavioral health is to overall wellness. To effectively and efficiently achieve true BHI, we must engage people in the digital age we currently live in. This modernization begins with innovative technology at its core to drive connected care." Chris Molaro is a health care entrepreneur and CEO, Neuroflow. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Pandemic or not, we’re failing patients when it comes to behavioral health." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/pandemic-or-not-were-failing-patients-when-it-comes-to-behavioral-health.html)
March 10, 2021
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High-tech holistic medicine is the future of whole-person care

"When we think about holistic medicine, many assume that it requires human-to-human touch points and, therefore, doesn’t lend itself well to technology and innovations such as artificial intelligence. In fact, holistic medicine and whole-person care advocates often view technology as manufactured or impersonal and therefore dismiss its utility for health care. This is because there is a perception that health care tech values the human experience only for the purpose of developing better widgets or to refine machine learning algorithms. As a result, it can be difficult to envision high-tech holistic medicine that is supported by a whole-person care model. Nevertheless, I see a future where both technology and holistic medicine can complement each other for the advancement of whole-person care." Trisha Swift is a health care executive. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The future of whole-person care: high-tech holistic medicine." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/the-future-of-whole-person-care-high-tech-holistic-medicine.html)
March 9, 2021
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Sexual harassment in medicine

"I would encourage you to see amazing women on social media for who they are in the future.  Maybe figure out where they have been and what they are working toward.  Maybe even figure out how ways to help each other solve the problems this country faces.  Instead of looking at someone’s appearance, listen to their story. You got unlucky with me; you can’t intimidate someone who has lived through the war.  I’m hoping that you choose to go in a more professional direction with the next woman you message because of these words.  We are not transactions. We are intelligent, determined, passionate, and persistent people.  It’s far better to be our ally than our foe." Kellie Lease Stecher is an obstetrician-gynecologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "When a colleague asks you for nude photos." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/when-a-colleague-asks-you-for-nude-photos.html)
March 8, 2021
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What are your health goals for the coming year?

"Yearly physicals are usually afforded a longer time than regular visits. If I can use most of that time focusing the discussion on what a healthy life means to each of my patients and what they need to achieve it, I feel that I’ve accomplished more than doing palpation, range of motion, and auscultation. Discussing medications and finding opportunities for de-prescribing, and discussing annual routine labs’ futility is also an equally important and welcome part of my yearly rituals. As our population ages and we are faced with more chronic diseases, our goal is to maximize our patients’ abilities to function, relate to family and community, and live a life of purpose. Expanding the visit to discuss health status, strengths, weaknesses, and goals is a good time investment in achieving healthier people and enriching our relationship with patients. For my part, it also adds joy and purpose to my life." Alina Urriola is a family physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "What are your health goals for the coming year?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/what-are-your-health-goals-for-the-coming-year.html)
March 7, 2021
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Captions on the COVID vaccine selfie matter as much as the picture

"For a vaccination campaign to be highly effective, we need to be open to having difficult conversations with people who disagree with our perspective. If we don’t, the result will be a polarization of philosophical ideas and not an unbiased and unemotional assessment of the data where maybe we can meet in the middle. As we share our pictures and experiences regarding getting our vaccines, let’s try to admit what we know and, more importantly, what we don’t know. Let’s not speak down to those who have questions. And let’s not be afraid to say that maybe we are a little afraid ourselves of some of these unknowns but that we are willing to take the potential risk of getting a vaccine because over the past then months, there are a few more knowns about the actual virus that scare us even more. Happy conscientious and kind posting." Alicia Billington is a plastic surgeon. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The COVID vaccine selfie: The caption matters as much as the picture." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/the-covid-vaccine-selfie-the-caption-matters-as-much-as-the-picture.html)
March 6, 2021
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Do politics have a place in medicine?

"In addition to being a pediatrician, I am Jewish and the granddaughter of a sole Holocaust survivor. My grandfather’s family perished in Auschwitz, a concentration camp in Poland. My grandfather alone escaped, skiing through the night, to his safety and ultimate survival. The request from my hospital, the presidential debate, and the seeming dismissal of parentless children reminds me of a quote from Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Prize-winning writer, and Holocaust survivor. “What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.” I will not tone it down. I will not be silent. I believe a medical institution that is dedicated to the well-being of all people would not ask me to do otherwise." Ariana Witkin is a pediatrician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Why politics has a place in medicine." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/why-politics-has-a-place-in-medicine.html)
March 5, 2021
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An introduction to medical-legal consulting

"There is a unique non-clinical consulting opportunity any physician can learn to do full-time, as part of your existing practice, or in lieu of retiring.  I’m Dr. Armin Feldman, and I’m a full-time medical-legal consultant in legal cases.  A little over 13 years ago, I started and now, through the years, have been refining a new subspecialty of forensic medicine.   I’ve trained over 1,600 physicians to do this consulting work. When doctors and lawyers think about lawyers hiring doctors, they only think of one thing: Hiring doctors to be expert witnesses.   It’s important to know, you won’t act as a medical expert, and you won’t participate in medical malpractice cases.  There is a big difference between a medical-legal consultant and a medical expert witness in legal matters.  In fact, they are two completely different things." Armin Feldman is a medical consultant to attorneys. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "An introduction to medical-legal consulting." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/an-introduction-to-medical-legal-consulting.html)
March 4, 2021
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We need to work together to help schools reopen

"Children cannot afford to wait, especially our youngest learners who have difficulty engaging on a screen.  We need to all work together to help schools reopen, especially in low-income communities that are disproportionately suffering and may lack the resources.  I stand with the AAP, CDC, European CDC, WHO, and UNICEF to support safe school re-opening." Lekha M. Rao is a pediatric neurologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Children cannot afford to wait: We need to all work together to help schools reopen." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/post-author/lekha-m-rao)
March 3, 2021
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Health care from the trenches: Change must come from us

"We, as a profession, must accept some blame for many of the developing problems in health care delivery. No, I am not suggesting that we caused the problem. I am stating that we have had ample opportunities to manage the debacle and even to reverse some of the disturbing trends, yet we rarely allow our voices to be heard. Is health care reform impossible? It certainly isn’t. But we, as doctors, need to step up to the plate, to stand up to the growing bureaucracy in the system, and make sure our voices are heard. The change will be long, slow, and painful, but we can’t allow the system to continue to swallow us whole. The change must come from us." Alejandro Badia is an orthopedic surgeon and author of Healthcare from the Trenches. He can be reached at Healthcare from the Trenches and on Facebook and Instagram @badiahandtoshouldercenter. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Health care from the trenches: Change must come from us." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/health-care-from-the-trenches-change-must-come-from-us.html)
March 3, 2021
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Why I trust the COVID vaccine

"Many friends have asked for my perspective on the COVID vaccine. Answering this requires both an explanation of clinical trials and an understanding of what normally slows down pharmaceutical development. Importantly, COVID vaccines are required to go through the same process as every other pharmaceutical. Vaccination is a personal choice, but I 100 percent recommend it. Personally, I can’t wait to get vaccinated and am so grateful to the thousands of heroes who made this possible." Alexandra Fairchok is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Why can I trust the COVID vaccine?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/why-can-i-trust-the-covid-vaccine.html)
March 2, 2021
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How physicians can emerge stronger after 2020

"With 2020 behind us and the pandemic still raging, it is incumbent upon us to take a close look in the rear-view mirror. While the vaccines’ approval gives us all hope, the vaccination initiative’s slow rollout should worry us. Physicians, health care providers, nurses, and essential workers, and patients and family members have borne the brunt of the pandemic. On the last count, about 3,000 health care workers had lost their lives due to COVID-19. The toll that the pandemic is wrecking on the health care community’s emotional and mental health is only starting to become apparent. Health care systems, local, state, and federal governments have responded in different ways to ease the pandemic burden. While we can debate the level and adequacy of the response, we may have a larger problem on our hands if we fail to learn lessons and make the necessary changes going forward. I want to offer my perspective on the changes that physicians and health care providers should pursue that would allow us to emerge stronger." Manish Thapar is a gastroenterologist. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "2020 in hindsight: What we can learn." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/2020-in-hindsight-what-we-can-learn.html)
March 2, 2021
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Samuel Shem, MD on how can we put the connection back into medicine

"There is a frenzy of trying to use technology to re-establish the healing human connection in the doctor-patient interaction. These efforts range from advanced transcription of voice-to-record, scribes who do the data recording during a patient encounter, and so on. The IT department at NYU Grossman Medical School, where I teach, worked with the dominant and much-loathed electronic medical record to create a patient-focused dashboard for each doctor. The dashboard both improved quality of outcomes and reduced costs. These attempts are useful, but they don’t address the root cause of this inhuman encounter: billing, the link of patient data to cash. In each of these tech improvements, the doctor is still forced by the money-people to massage the bill for the highest private insurance payments. There is a war across the screen — and like all wars, it’s about money. On one side, doctors are forced by the accountants to bill the most. On the other side, insurance people are striving to pay the least. No 'program' or 'bot' could do this job. It’s trapping doctors in the epidemic called burnout, moral injury, or just plain abuse. Forcing us to lie, to provide maximum payment. So long Hippocratic Oath. I think the solution is obvious. Why are VA hospitals’ electronic medical record systems widely preferred to any of the other ones out there? Because they are not-for-profit billing machines. All across the U.S., each VA diagnosis and treatment has approximately the same reimbursement. No war across the screen. No Hippocratic hypocrisy." Samuel Shem is a psychiatrist. He shares his story and discusses his books, the House of God (https://amzn.to/3cVEOZc) and Man’s 4th Best Hospital. (https://amzn.to/3rFUhAH)
March 1, 2021
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How residents can create a positive clinical learning environment

"For me, the team room became a safe space filled with light, stories, laughter, and food. There, my residents helped me read CT scans, interpret CBCs, come up with the differential for bradycardia, and organize my oral presentations. My residents gifted me confidence, advice on the third year and specialty selection, and Dr. Pestana’s Surgery Notes. They took away from their time on the wards to go over my notes, and from their time with their loved ones at home to prepare me short and helpful whiteboard lectures." Reem Al Shabeeb is a medical student and can be reached on Twitter @reemalshabeeb. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The role of residents in teaching and creating a positive clinical learning environment." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/the-role-of-residents-in-teaching-and-creating-a-positive-clinical-learning-environment.html)
February 28, 2021
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Is there a role for vitamin D in COVID-19?

"As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic causing spiking numbers of cases, the scientific and medical communities continue to search for effective treatments and preventive measures. We have clearly established the importance of wearing masks, physical distancing, and frequent handwashing. As of this article’s writing, there are over two hundred fifty articles on PubMed about the connection between vitamin D and COVID-19. As the research studies are undergoing, evidence is mounting that adequate vitamin D levels may be a protective factor against COVID-19 infection and severity. Here’s what the research shows." Teresa Fuller is a pediatrician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Is there a role for vitamin D in the treatment of COVID-19?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/is-there-a-role-for-vitamin-d-in-the-treatment-of-covid-19.html)
February 27, 2021
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Chadwick Boseman: a tale of two cancers in America

"Separated by less than a month (Boseman on August 28th and Ginsburg on September 18th) and both due to gastrointestinal cancers (Boseman had colon cancer and Ginsburg had pancreatic cancer), the situations of Ginsburg’s and Boseman’s deaths is emblematic of the racial disparity in American health outcomes. Boseman was African American/Black and was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer at the age of 39 while Ginsburg was Jewish/White and fought three separate primary cancers of different stages in multiple bouts – colon, lung, and pancreatic – starting at the age of 66." Adeel Khan is a hematology-oncology fellow. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Chadwick Boseman: a tale of two cancers in America." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/ruth-bader-ginsburg-and-chadwick-boseman-a-tale-of-two-cancers-in-america.html)
February 26, 2021
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Interstate licensure for telehealth can fuel medical practice growth

"When it comes to using telehealth to treat patients out of state, most physicians are mindful about licensure issues. But some are not aware that if you don’t have a license to practice medicine in a given state, it isn’t just malpractice: It’s a criminal offense. Licensing restrictions have been eased to facilitate care during the pandemic, and the new normal of greater state-to-state cooperation for access to care may persist after the pandemic. Still, the savvy physician knows that many restrictions apply and that understanding them reduces risk. When we talk about interstate licensure, we’re not concerned with a one-time interaction with an established patient who happens to be traveling. For instance, say a physician has recently seen a patient, perhaps performed a procedure. Thereafter, the patient calls the physician with a question or a problem from another state while traveling. In such a case, the physician can simply address the patient’s concerns, whether that’s by a phone conversation, a telemedicine visit, a recommendation to go to the emergency room where they are, or whatever is appropriate, according to their best clinical judgment. That’s just practicing good medicine." David L. Feldman is chief medical officer, The Doctors Company. He shares his story and discusses the KevinMD article, "Interstate licensure for telehealth can fuel medical practice growth." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/interstate-licensure-for-telehealth-can-fuel-medical-practice-growth.html)
February 25, 2021
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How books influence the medical student experience

"I will never forget these words. This physician validated my efforts to emotionally connect with patients. This message will indelibly shape the way I allow myself to care for and become invested in the patients to come in my future. Illness is often incredibly unfair, and sometimes we cannot overcome. However unbeatable a disease may be, a doctor can always remind a patient they are not going through this alone. We can be the one to hold their hand every day and stand with them until the very end. The magic of medicine sometimes lies in the brilliance of a treatment or cleverness of a diagnosis, but most often, it stems from the empathy of one heart opening itself to another." Claire Brown is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The magic of medicine stems from the empathy of one heart opening itself to another." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/the-magic-of-medicine-stems-from-the-empathy-of-one-heart-opening-itself-to-another.html)
February 24, 2021
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Letizia Alto, MD on why to become a semi-retired MD

"Something had to give, and it would either be clinical medicine, or my business. I finally had to admit I was no longer fulfilled to the same level doing hospitalist work. So I made the decision to leave my clinical job. It was so terrifying that I put off making a decision for months. I thought about what it would mean for my blog readers that I wouldn’t be in the trenches with them anymore. I thought about how it would affect my family if our real estate portfolio ever fell apart and I needed to be able to make money. I had a lot of fears. But I’d made the decision, long ago, that I would never make decisions from fear alone. So I submitted my resignation. And I threw out my Danskos." Letizia Alto is a hospitalist and who blogs at Semi-Retired MD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "After 4,380 days, a pair of Danskos — and a calling — fall apart." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/after-4380-days-a-pair-of-danskos-and-a-calling-fall-apart.html)
February 23, 2021
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Overcome COVID vaccine hesitancy and boost vaccine confidence: How you can help

Vaccine hesitancy can have a negative impact on rollout. A striking example comes from long-term care facilities. Approximately 78 percent of residents received a vaccine. In contrast, only 37 percent of staff members agreed to be vaccinated. Reasons for refusal include: perceived rapidity of vaccine development inadequate information received about vaccine safety, side effects, and administration skepticism regarding the clinical trials and vaccine approval process HERO-TOGETHER is an opportunity for people working in health care to continue the fight against COVID-19. HERO-TOGETHER participants will receive learnings and study updates, and compensation for their time. Taking part is an easy way to help fight COVID-19 and learn how to keep our communities and families healthy and virus-free. Signup at heroesresearch.org/together (https://heroesresearch.org/together/?utm_source=kevinmd&utm_medium=podcast&utm_campaign=podcast-signup) Emily O’Brien is an epidemiologist, an associate professor in population health sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, and a faculty member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Emily is also the principal investigator of the HERO-TOGETHER study. Jessica Mega is co-founder and chief medical and scientific officer at Verily. Verily’s mission is to develop the infrastructure and solutions to harness the profusion of health information for good. Their data-driven solutions across research, care, and innovation aim to improve the well-being of our communities.
February 22, 2021
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How technology is a weapon in the fight against COVID-19

"As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the globe, companies are working hard to develop innovative solutions to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Chinese companies such as Alibaba have led the way using artificial intelligence, data science, and technology. Startups are teaming up with clinicians, engineers, and government entities to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As we continue our fight in the management and eventual eradication of the virus, here are innovative ways companies are helping on the frontlines." Amita Kundra is a cardiac anesthesiologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How technology is a weapon in the fight against COVID-19." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/how-technology-is-a-weapon-in-the-fight-against-covid-19.html)
February 21, 2021
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Everything physicians need to know about Bitcoin

"It is still extremely early in the Bitcoin story. This is due to the same network effect that Facebook, Amazon, and Apple have had as adoption of new technologies rapidly expand and are adopted by society. Bitcoin has passed its 'tipping point.' Converting some of your money to Bitcoin now is like taking an ownership stake in the Internet itself back in 1995.  Ultimately, Bitcoin will either have a massive price appreciation or go to zero - meaning it is a hugely asymmetric investment.  A mere 1% allocation could potentially 2x the value of your portfolio; a 10% investment could 11x the value of your portfolio. Losing 1% of your portfolio is an extremely small risk given the upside to bitcoin. Finding the right allocation is up to you, but having 0% allocated to Bitcoin is a massive risk since risk in bitcoin is asymmetric to the upside." Noah Kaufman is an emergency physician and financial planner. He is founder and CEO, Kaufman Medical Group, and can be reached on Twitter @noahkaufmanmd. He is also founder of the Facebook group, Physician Options Traders. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "How physicians should invest in Bitcoin." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/how-physicians-should-invest-in-bitcoin.html)
February 20, 2021
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How the pain of unexpected and tragic deaths lingers with physicians

"The memory of these patients, and their families’ utter anguish, stays with me. There was nothing I could have done to save them, nothing I did wrong. I’ve lost sleep, questioned my career choice, and sought mental health counseling to manage the stress of their loss. But the pain of their unexpected and tragic deaths lingers, like the torn knee tendon that heals but still throbs. I can walk on it, but it will occasionally start to ache—a reminder of trauma." Shira Shiloah is an anesthesiologist and can be reached on Twitter @ShiraShiloahMD. She can be reached at her self-titled site, Shira Shiloah, MD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Second victim syndrome: The pain of unexpected and tragic deaths lingers with physicians." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/second-victim-syndrome-the-pain-of-unexpected-and-tragic-deaths-lingers-with-physicians.html)
February 20, 2021
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Expanding the osteopathic concept for the health of all things

"We are all interrelated. This is the foundational basis of osteopathic medicine. Whether considering internal relationships of the systems of the body or the external relationships of a person with the world around them, connection is a key principle at the core of osteopathy. Developed at a time when the baseline medical practice was lacking and offered as an answer to the beckoning call for a new perspective on methods of practice, osteopathic medicine is itself a call to curiosity and creativity. It is an invitation to challenge the status quo while standing in reverence of the grand design of human form and respect for the engagement with all of nature. Is there anything about the current practice of medicine that frustrates you? Do you notice outcomes that seem inappropriate, unfair, or discriminatory? Considering the possibility of health, do you see untapped potential in patients? Osteopathic philosophy offers the opportunity to see through to possible solutions." Amelia L. Bueche is an osteopathic physician and founder, This Osteopathic Life. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Expanding the osteopathic concept for the health of all things." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/expanding-the-osteopathic-concept-for-the-health-of-all-things.html)
February 19, 2021
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Telehealth in underserved populations needs telecommunication expansion

"COVID-19 has propelled the nation into widespread telehealth services to provide consumer-based care, especially for those who access this technology. Equity issues arise when using digital communication because many underserved populations lack access to digital and/or mobile services. Inevitably, this brings up the greater concern of an unintentional exacerbation of disparities because low-income groups face limited access to both computers, mobile services, and the internet. Hence, investing in access to the internet and smartphones should be prioritized for underserved populations. As telehealth expands, broadband providers and municipal broadbands will cater to the demands in unserved areas by expanding their internet services." Sammi Wong is a medical student. Krysti Lan Chi Vo is a psychiatrist. They share their stories and discuss the KevinMD article, "Telehealth in underserved populations needs telecommunication expansion." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/telehealth-in-underserved-populations-needs-telecommunication-expansion.html)
February 18, 2021
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A dermatologist reflects on his career

"At that point, I realized Thanksgiving came early this year, and I missed it. It was a reminder of why many of us go into medicine. I didn’t go into medicine for glory or fame. Nor did I go into medicine for financial reward. Still, I often told the resident physicians I was training, after seeing a particularly kind patient, 'Can you believe we just got paid for seeing such a nice person?' I went into medicine because I enjoyed helping people. Sometimes, we need a little reminder of that. Or, in this case, a big box of reminders." Marc L. Frost is a dermatologist. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Thanksgiving came early this year. I just didn’t appreciate it." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/thanksgiving-came-early-this-year-i-just-didnt-appreciate-it.html)
February 17, 2021
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To MBA or not to MBA as an MD

"The first thing my husband said when I told him about MBA school was, 'the NBA has a school?'  It didn’t help that we first had our conversation about MBA school during the NBA playoffs but really – NBA school?  I quickly overcame this moronic start to the conversation by saying 'M' as in Michael Jordan – MBA school.  He got it from there and every day since. And every day since has led me to this point of reflecting over the past two years.  How did I get an MBA?  Why did I get an MBA?  Was it worth it? Rewinding the clock to April 2018 brings back many fond memories and some memories I would sooner like to forget.  I was 37 years old with a 1-year-old baby and a few months into my full-time job as a transplant nephrologist at a thriving transplant department.  The job demands were significant, but the rewards matched the demand.  I learned exponentially about transplant nephrology, which I find incredibly gratifying today; however, the learning curve, demand, and stress had me concerned about my long term ability to do this job while maintaining a healthy physical and mental disposition.  Out of all of this uncertainty came one certainty: I wanted to possess the ability to pivot to a new job if necessary." Manpreet Samra is a nephrologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "To MBA or not to MBA as an MD: a physician’s journey." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/to-mba-or-not-to-mba-as-an-md-a-physicians-journey.html)
February 16, 2021
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Suicide in veterinary medicine is a huge problem right now

"I am a veterinarian. More specifically, I am a veterinary specialist, board-certified in emergency and critical care. I don’t play with puppies and kittens. I treat the worst of the worst in a specialty hospital setting with a state-of-the-art ER and ICU. Despite years of education, including veterinary school, internship, fellowship, and residency to obtain this education and specialty board certification, I was not prepared for the emotional toll of becoming a veterinarian." Garret Pachtinger is a veterinarian. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Suicide in veterinary medicine is a huge problem right now." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/suicide-in-veterinary-medicine-is-a-huge-problem-right-now.html)
February 15, 2021
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Infertility and the physician journey

"I am a medical doctor—a hospitalist working in an environment with many talented professionals. We share our knowledge and our approach to medicine with one another in ways that profoundly affect our patients and other personnel in the hospital. At our best, we are a community whose foundation is a willingness and openness to discuss hard facts and make difficult decisions. So why is it that when I was first diagnosed with infertility, I felt so alone? I was 1 in 8. Where were the others? There are hundreds of thousands of female doctors; where were the thousands who shared my situation? I didn’t know anyone else. Because no one talks about it." Kate Hoppock is an internal medicine physician and can be reached at Fertility Found. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Normalizing infertility conversations in the workplace." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/normalizing-infertility-conversations-in-the-workplace.html)
February 14, 2021
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Train in the United States. Practice medicine abroad.

"Oh, Canada! Every presidential election cycle, my colleagues joke that if the election result is not to their liking, they will move to Canada. On election night 2016, 'move to Canada' trended on Google, and the Canadian immigration website crashed. This election cycle America is having an existential crisis. What does America stand for? Who is American? What are American values? This time around, my colleagues aren’t chuckling. Instead, they are frantically emailing Canadian colleagues, scouring the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons site for details, and hoping they don’t have to take additional exams. So, to ease the presidential election anxiety, here’s a guide on practicing medicine in Canada." Ashwini Bapat is a palliative care physician. She shares her story and discusses the KevinMD article, "Election anxiety? Here’s a guide to practicing medicine in Canada." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/election-anxiety-heres-a-guide-to-practicing-medicine-in-canada.html)
February 13, 2021
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Empty chairs at the table this pandemic holiday season

"It is often difficult to reflect on the holidays when we are grieving positively. One thing to keep in mind is that the loved one/ones we lost would want us to remember them fondly and enjoy the holiday season. The holidays are rare occasions when families who are often separated by long distances come together. That time is precious, and as we well know, is limited. Making the most of the time, you have together will be a work in progress and a pathway to healing." Anjani Amladi is a psychiatrist and can be reached at her self-titled site, Anjani Amladi, MD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Empty chairs at the table this holiday season." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/empty-chairs-at-the-table-this-holiday-season.html)
February 12, 2021
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Positive growth from the COVID-19 pandemic

"The pandemic has been difficult, but it has managed to change my perspective for the better. I mourn for the suffering and loss we have experienced as humanity, and moving forward, I have a new sense of appreciation. I am hopeful for the future, and I know we are in this together. We should try to focus on appreciation, resilience, adaptability, and self-discipline. This is the most difficult time to do it as it seemingly has been forced upon us, but if we do not try it now, then when? As you read this, I want to know how the pandemic affected you directly. What have you improved upon, what have you grown to appreciate even more? I think we can all learn from each other, and if we focus on our resilience and some positivity, it may be a little easier to move forward and focus on hope for our future." Jasmine Toor is an internal medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Positive growth from the COVID-19 pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/positive-growth-from-the-covid-19-pandemic.html)
February 11, 2021
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#ThisIsOurShot to end the pandemic

"Vaccines have been around as early as 1776 when Edward Jenner first pioneered the smallpox vaccine and Louis Pasteur produced a rabies vaccine. As a microbiologist’s child, I grew up hearing these stories from my father and thinking of these men as heroes. Vaccines have been proven so effective and safe that we are guilty of taking them for granted. There may have been a few mishaps, but given current standards for testing efficacy and safety, there is very little to worry about. In 1980, the World Health Organization declared that smallpox was eradicated from the face of the earth, and there was no need for further vaccination. I, for one, cannot wait to hear the same about COVID-19." Anupama Verma is a nephrologist and can be reached on Twitter @anuvmd. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "#ThisIsOurShot to end the pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/01/thisisourshot-to-end-the-pandemic.html)
February 10, 2021
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Nephrology and kidney care during the pandemic

"COVID-19 wreaks havoc on multiple areas of the body, and myself and my fellow frontline workers across the globe have been forced to quickly identify what tools work best in our quest to keep our patients alive. While we’re working to identify which technologies can improve our patients’ outcomes, it’s encouraging that policy work is being done to ensure we can access the technology that allows us to provide life-saving care. We can’t do it alone. As we anticipate a potential surge of cases in the coming months, we must be prepared with the proper PPE, medications, and medical technologies that will result in less devastation than what we experienced this spring. When it comes to pandemics, that means we’re intentional about establishing, nurturing, and supporting domestic manufacturers who can provide U.S. hospitals with the resources they need." Maria DeVita is a nephrologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The need for on-demand access to medical technologies when treating COVID-19 patients." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/the-need-for-on-demand-access-to-medical-technologies-when-treating-covid-19-patients.html)
February 9, 2021
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Reforming the peer review process

"The peer-review process is fallible, slow, and biased, and it takes advantage of the scientific community’s altruism. We need to keep pushing the conversation forward about making publishing more equitable, timely, accessible, and fair. An obvious and easy way to begin is to pay the experts who perform the peer reviews. Either the journals need to reform their practices, or the medical community should establish an alternative." Andrew Spector is a neurologist. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Fairness in medical publishing: Reforming the peer review process." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/fairness-in-medical-publishing-reforming-the-peer-review-process.html)
February 8, 2021
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Doctors are killing themselves, and who is taking notice?

"I can do better. We can do better. Please partner with me and advocate for the ability for doctors and residents in our profession to receive medical and psychiatric care without fear of losing our licenses or having to face stigma and judgment. It can save lives. Please, we are more stressed than ever, and we need to speak the names of our fellow friends and colleagues who have died by suicide. We need to advocate for them and for all of us to have access unfettered by fear to utilize the very lifesaving treatments we recommend to our patients." Courtney Markham-Abedi is a psychiatrist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Doctors are killing themselves, and who is taking notice?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/doctors-are-killing-themselves-and-who-is-taking-notice.html) This episode is sponsored by Augmedix: Ambient medical documentation and live clinical support powered by virtual scribes. (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd)  Did you know that nearly 75 percent of clinicians surveyed in a recent study say they spend over 10 hours per week on paperwork and medical notes? Augmedix is a leading provider of remote medical documentation, using remote AI-assisted live scribes to observe, listen, and capture relevant details from natural conversation for over 35 specialties. Augmedix provides real-time support that includes orders, referrals, and reminders to deliver accurate, complete, and timely medical notes. Augmedix brings back the joy of practicing medicine. To learn more and to bring the Augmedix joy to your practice, visit Augmedix.com/kevinmd (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd).
February 7, 2021
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Why the preservation of the Affordable Care Act should matter to you

"Is the ACA perfect? Not by a long shot. In Kentucky, where I live, there are only 2 insurers selling individual policies on the exchange. A Silver plan for my husband and myself costs $1,800 per month in premiums, with a $13,600 deductible and an out-of-pocket maximum of $14,600.  Therefore, the total exposure every year is over $36,000! Furthermore, there are no alternatives for individual coverage other than the exchange. However, without the ACA protections, we might not be able to buy health insurance at all. The best solution? The U.S. must join all the other developed countries around the globe and implement universal health coverage. Make health care affordable and accessible for everyone. It should be the American way." Susan G. Bornstein is an obstetrician-gynecologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Why the preservation of the Affordable Care Act should matter to you." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/why-the-preservation-of-the-affordable-care-act-should-matter-to-you.html) This episode is sponsored by Augmedix: Ambient medical documentation and live clinical support powered by virtual scribes. (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd)  Did you know that nearly 75 percent of clinicians surveyed in a recent study say they spend over 10 hours per week on paperwork and medical notes? Augmedix is a leading provider of remote medical documentation, using remote AI-assisted live scribes to observe, listen, and capture relevant details from natural conversation for over 35 specialties. Augmedix provides real-time support that includes orders, referrals, and reminders to deliver accurate, complete, and timely medical notes. Augmedix brings back the joy of practicing medicine. To learn more and to bring the Augmedix joy to your practice, visit Augmedix.com/kevinmd (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd).
February 6, 2021
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Being a neonatologist and a mother

"Being a neonatologist and a mother is living with the knowledge that the question 'What would you do?' could so easily become real, not hypothetical.  And so what would I do? I don’t know, heartbroken mama. Because I feel too much, but I don’t feel enough. Because I know too well, but I don’t know at all. Being a neonatologist and a mother means sitting in those painful, fearful spaces of uncertainty, at a loss for what to say because I know that nothing I could ever say will be enough. And so I just sit. In that space. With that other mother." Diana Montoya-Williams is a neonatologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Being a neonatologist and a mother." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/being-a-neonatologist-and-a-mother.html) This episode is sponsored by Augmedix: Ambient medical documentation and live clinical support powered by virtual scribes. (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd)  Did you know that nearly 75 percent of clinicians surveyed in a recent study say they spend over 10 hours per week on paperwork and medical notes? Augmedix is a leading provider of remote medical documentation, using remote AI-assisted live scribes to observe, listen, and capture relevant details from natural conversation for over 35 specialties. Augmedix provides real-time support that includes orders, referrals, and reminders to deliver accurate, complete, and timely medical notes. Augmedix brings back the joy of practicing medicine. To learn more and to bring the Augmedix joy to your practice, visit Augmedix.com/kevinmd (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd).
February 5, 2021
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Thank you pediatric medical professionals

"As the mother of a child born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, besides going through four open-heart surgeries and coding, my son has also had eight abdominal surgeries, including a Ladd’s procedure and resection of his colon. William also functions without his appendix, spleen, and gall bladder. In addition to every kind of therapy imaginable, he has had to endure pamidronate infusions, daily shots, G-tube feedings, and TPN. Who knows how many times he’s been X-rayed and poked by a needle. It’s been a roller coaster, but he wouldn’t be here without you: all of you." Wendy Hind is a health care consultant. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Thank you pediatric medical professionals, as we fondly bid you adieu." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/thank-you-pediatric-medical-professionals-as-we-fondly-bid-you-adieu.html) This episode is sponsored by Augmedix: Ambient medical documentation and live clinical support powered by virtual scribes. (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd)  Did you know that nearly 75 percent of clinicians surveyed in a recent study say they spend over 10 hours per week on paperwork and medical notes? Augmedix is a leading provider of remote medical documentation, using remote AI-assisted live scribes to observe, listen, and capture relevant details from natural conversation for over 35 specialties. Augmedix provides real-time support that includes orders, referrals, and reminders to deliver accurate, complete, and timely medical notes. Augmedix brings back the joy of practicing medicine. To learn more and to bring the Augmedix joy to your practice, visit Augmedix.com/kevinmd (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd).
February 4, 2021
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Prison medicine during the pandemic

"Rumor has it that the SARS-CoV 2 virus was brought into prison via inmates who were on a work-release program.  Allegedly, they boarded a city bus with a driver who was ill.  From there, it crept beyond the work-release camp and wafted over to the general prison population.  The pandemic had reached this impenetrable fortress; a tiny virus with no proper consideration of human incarceration rules.  It had failed to stop at the gatehouse. Traditionally, due to the nature of prisons and the nature of convicts, infectious illnesses do have a presence in prison systems.  SARS-CoV 2 is no exception.  As the alarms within the prison rose from orange to red, and new hotspots named, the direness increased. Then, the ebb and flow of prison life ceased and came to a complete halt. Similarly, in the free world, those who had no convictions or felonies became imprisoned in their homes.  When once, a workday end meant freedom as we left the gatehouse behind, now it only meant further seclusion.  Prison had crept outside the gatehouse.  We left one boiling pot only to enter into another." Edna Wong McKinstry is an internal medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How to find joy in prison." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/how-to-find-joy-in-prison.html) This episode is sponsored by Augmedix: Ambient medical documentation and live clinical support powered by virtual scribes. (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd)  Did you know that nearly 75 percent of clinicians surveyed in a recent study say they spend over 10 hours per week on paperwork and medical notes? Augmedix is a leading provider of remote medical documentation, using remote AI-assisted live scribes to observe, listen, and capture relevant details from natural conversation for over 35 specialties. Augmedix provides real-time support that includes orders, referrals, and reminders to deliver accurate, complete, and timely medical notes. Augmedix brings back the joy of practicing medicine. To learn more and to bring the Augmedix joy to your practice, visit Augmedix.com/kevinmd (https://augmedix.com/kevinmd).
February 3, 2021
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Stuck between a virus and a cold place: A choice for homeless Americans

"What form the incoming winter will take depends on the location and status of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each city must find a method that will provide the most relief and assistance for their homeless population. Analyzing the results of the measures already taken by shelters in the country will prove vital to developing individualized intentional plans for others. Finances will have to be the deciding factor on whether a shelter will install an HVAC system, engage in strict lockdowns, tap into the community, or develop a hybrid solution. Whatever the choice, shelters and the cities best act fast, because after all – winter is coming." Miracle Diala is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses the KevinMD article he co-wrote, "Stuck between a virus and a cold place: A choice for homeless Americans awaits." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/stuck-between-a-virus-and-a-cold-place-a-choice-for-homeless-americans-awaits.html)
February 2, 2021
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Nisha Mehta, MD on why physicians should consider side gigs

"At first, it may seem strange that 'physician' and 'side gig' are even used in the same sentence. After all, the average physician in the United States is already working more than a 40 hour work week and struggling with issues related to work-life balance. As someone who talks about physician burnout and as the founder of the Physician Side Gigs Facebook group, I’ve been asked many times how adding yet another thing to the physician’s plate could possibly be a good idea. And yet, I’m a strong believer that physicians should have additional revenue streams and pursue other interests. Why?" Nisha Mehta is a radiologist and founder, Physician Side Gigs and the Physician Side Gigs Facebook group.  She can be reached at her self-titled site, Nisha Mehta, MD, and on Twitter @nishamehtamd. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Why physicians need side gigs." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/01/physicians-need-side-gigs.html)
February 1, 2021
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Death is personal for this physician

"In Wooster, Ohio, where I practiced, a small not-for-profit hospice agency relied on local physicians, clergy, and many other volunteers to supplement the skills and dedication of their employed staff. It was through this work with Hospice of Wayne County, in making home visits when needed, that I learned the immeasurable value of presence. By continuing to care for my cancer patients until they died, I acquired insight into the equally essential virtue of nonabandonment. When I first attended a hospice and palliative medicine conference in the early 1990s, I realized that I had found my home—a community of professionals of various disciplines who had found what I had discovered: that it is the people, not the diseases, that matter. It would be years before I would totally focus my medical practice on the care of the dying, but in the meantime, the lessons I learned from those at the end of their lives made me a better oncologist and maybe even a better person. As I mentioned above, the most important of those lessons is the realization that I also am mortal, and I too will die." Jeff Spiess is an oncologist and palliative care physician. He is the author of Dying with Ease: A Compassionate Guide for Making Wiser End-of-Life Decisions. (https://amzn.to/2NpqrSf) He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Death is personal for this physician." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/death-is-personal-for-this-physician.html)
January 31, 2021
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How doctors are losing money every time a patient pays a bill

"A practicing anesthesiologist for the past 14 years, when COVID hit, and the ORs came to an abrupt halt, I needed to occupy my mind. An opportunity to learn about the business behind running a practice came to me via a good friend who is a founding member of an award-winning Fintech on a mission to make a change in the credit card processing industry. I was stunned to learn about the questionable practices common in this industry. Medical education does not include business training, leaving us particularly vulnerable – no matter how great our office manager! I’ve seen first-hand how a little knowledge can yield significant savings in time and money. Here are the basics about what we, as doctors, should know." Jennifer Mogan is an anesthesiologist and account executive, Park Place Payments. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How doctors are losing money every time a patient pays a bill." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/how-doctors-are-losing-money-every-time-a-patient-pays-a-bill.html)
January 30, 2021
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Health care's tech renaissance during the pandemic

"Just as the pandemic has forced massive technology adoption in the delivery of care, we will see the rapid, widespread implementation of innovative solutions that medical education has desperately needed for years. Technologies like computer-based training, adaptive learning using artificial intelligence, video game-based learning, and extended reality such as virtual reality and augmented reality can close the educational gap. Virtual colonoscopies can be practiced 100 times before touching an actual patient. Many companies innovating in this space are seeing tremendous market interest in the wake of the pandemic. Most of these new technology-based educational tools can be used remotely, synchronously, or asynchronously, often without a teacher or proctor present. Although training will always require clinical experience, innovations at the bedside will also provide a major advantage over the traditional educational path. Hence learning can continue, and learning losses minimized. This is the way forward for most, if not all, institutions in the foreseeable future, and institutions that adopt these technological solutions will outpace those that resist." Eric Gantwerker is a pediatric otolaryngologist. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Health care’s tech renaissance during the pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/health-cares-tech-renaissance-during-the-pandemic-extends-to-medical-training.html)
January 29, 2021
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Zoom is foie gras of the brain

"We lack the necessary signaling of the nonverbal cues when only looking at one’s face. The presenter’s large face only a few inches from our screen may evoke our primordial threat response with its resulting cascading transmitters. The angulation of computer and phone cameras causes facial distortions. Unless one aligns oneself to be at the same level as the camera, the camera angulation may cause one to feel either looked down upon or looked up to, but rarely on the same playing field. Our neurons are living and breathing cells, and they need to eat and rest. The brain is responsible for filtering through vast quantities of homeostatic signaling from the rest of our bodies, which may affect the limitation of information that we can process. Our neural circuitry limits our information processing capacity. Just ask why can’t we pay attention to two ongoing conversations at one time? Electrical circuits have breakers for overload. We just have coffee." Lester Gottesman is a colorectal surgeon. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Zoom is foie gras of the brain." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/zoom-is-foie-gras-of-the-brain.html)
January 28, 2021
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Peer-to-peer support and the second victim syndrome

"The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, especially those of us in health care.  Our way of practicing medicine has been changed; some would say forever. We find ourselves affected not only clinically but also emotionally.  As a result, clinicians are experiencing more stress and anxiety than ever before. These feelings are not new but have been heightened in the face of the pandemic. Physicians are perceived as self-reliant, emotionally stoic, and pillars of the medical community. Society expects perfection from our health care system and turns to us in times of medical crisis. As clinicians, we need to recognize our humanity;  doctors are people too, with the same emotional needs as any other individual.  In fact, one could argue that medicine demands require an even greater level of emotional support than other professions." Susan Wilson is an emergency physician and physician coach. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Peer-to-peer support and the second victim syndrome." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/peer-to-peer-support-and-the-second-victim-syndrome.html)
January 27, 2021
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Why medical students should not let medicine define them

"Doctors are indeed noble for what they do. Their work is undoubtedly physically intense and emotionally taxing. But the notion that they are 'superhuman' and 'different' from the rest of society is exactly the trap that we fall into the moment we don our white coats as medical students. It is because of this trap that we get tunnel vision and let mistakes during our medical school training define our self-worth. We forget that there is a world outside of our flashcards, PowerPoint slides, exams, and clerkships teeming with people, adventures, and stories that, if we so choose, we can enrich our lives with, intellectually, physically, and spiritually. There’s a reason depression, anxiety, and burnout is disproportionately higher among medical students and physicians. In fact, nearly 400 physicians commit suicide a year, the highest of any profession. Might it be because we are anchored to one thing and one thing only? Those of us who pursue medicine have built our entire personhood around the goal of becoming a doctor. If that is all that is meaningful to us, should we really be surprised at the statistics on mental health?" King Pascual is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Why medical students should not let medicine define them." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/10/why-medical-students-should-not-let-medicine-define-them.html)
January 26, 2021
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A medical student's story of racism and bias

"I am left wondering what would have happened if I was the patient’s daughter, niece (who she said I reminded her of), or friend. The nurse made a quick judgment based on my physical characteristics, and she was completely incorrect. I am blessed to be able to challenge people’s implicit bias on a daily basis. When I walk down a hall in the hospital with my medical student badge, I feel both proud and out of place. Medicine has a long way to go in terms of making sure that people of color who are underrepresented in medicine feel comfortable, welcomed, and included wherever they go. It starts with making sure we do not make quick judgments when we see Black people and assume that they are there to take out the trash." Akosua Y. Oppong is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "A medical student’s story of racism and bias." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/a-medical-students-story-of-racism-and-bias.html)
January 25, 2021
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Lessons learned from a combat doctor in Iraq

"My own dream-induced pain started at the same time this child was mowed down. Then and there is when and where my faith in God died because God, the higher power, had allowed this unspeakable nightmare to happen. My hope for the future evaporated, all while helplessness chewed through my guts From Left to Right. This was the same moment I realized that humanity is connected in a definitive, tangible, and spiritual way. A trigger-happy and scared Marine was likewise connected. He made an understandable mistake in the heat of the moment and accidentally destroyed this innocent little girl. His solitary action grew into horror, altering all of our lives. We are all intrinsically connected, and yet, we point weapons at each other, pulling triggers, and then we deal with a fragmented, amputated existence. War eviscerates us all." Reagan Anderson is a dermatologist and author of Universal Death Care. (https://amzn.to/38u63Ht) He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "The trauma of a combat doctor in Iraq." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/the-trauma-of-a-combat-doctor-in-iraq.html)
January 24, 2021
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How health care organizations can tackle racism in patient care

"The new American Medical Association policy recognizing racism as a public health threat and providing an anti-racist approach to equitable care will have no effectiveness unless health care organizations get their own houses in order and actively do anti-racism work in their own institutions. Although I’m not a health care provider, as a health care communicator whose role is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, I sit in rooms where health disparities in hard-hit communities due to systemic racism are regular topics of conversations. But in the hallways, on Zoom meetings, in texts and email conversations, I also learn about all how disparities due to systemic racism are rampant inside an institution and make organizational health equity seem like a faraway dream. How can you fight to advance health equity and racial justice out in the community when you’re not doing the same within your own organization?" Nikki Hopewell is a communications strategist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Health care organizations: Clean up your house first, then you can tackle racism in patient care." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/health-care-organizations-clean-up-your-house-first-then-you-can-tackle-racism-in-patient-care.html)
January 23, 2021
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How to (almost) never have a bad shift

"To understand how to create good shifts irrespective of external factors, I turned to the ancient philosophy of Stoicism. One of its core tenets is that we must focus on what is within our control. Epictetus said: 'Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.' Too often, we ignore his admonitions, and we focus our efforts on things that are outside our control while paradoxically relinquishing control of things that are within our control. Things within our control, per the Stoics, are our own thoughts, emotions, and actions. We relinquish control of them by allowing our emotions to be unduly affected by external things. 'That person said something that made me upset,' or 'I’m angry because I couldn’t get something I needed.' On the other hand, we try to control things that are outside our circle of control, such as other people’s actions or opinions, politics, coronavirus, or even the weather. We try to control them in our minds by resisting their presence, continuously wishing them away, or perseverating that they should be different. In order to have the inner tranquility and outer effectiveness Epictetus encouraged, we must give up the fiction that we can control things outside ourselves and maintain better control of ourselves." Christina Shenvi is an emergency physician and can be reached on Twitter @clshenvi. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How to (almost) never have a bad shift." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/how-to-almost-never-have-a-bad-shift.html)
January 22, 2021
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Unmasking inequality: the power of community organization during COVID-19

"Touted by some as a 'great equalizer,' the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront long-standing disparities in access to health for Black, Latinx, immigrant, and low-income communities. While we are all in this fight together, some are bearing the burden more than others. Studies have shown that Blacks in the United States are especially affected, with them being represented twice as often among COVID-19 deaths as they are in the population (13 percent of the population vs. 27 percent of COVID-19 deaths). In New York City (NYC), primarily Black and Latinx neighborhoods are being ravaged, while whiter and wealthier areas are seeing fewer cases and deaths. Furthermore, there has been a mass exodus from whiter and wealthier neighborhoods, while New York’s Blacks, Latinxs, immigrants, and those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds have been unable to escape financial, mental, and literal suffocation by the virus." Aishwarya Raja is a medical student. Inginia Genao is an internal medicine physician. They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "Unmasking inequality: the power of community organization during COVID-19." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/unmasking-inequality-the-power-of-community-organization-during-covid-19.html)
January 21, 2021
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General surgery, palliative care and the new meaning of the phrase, “going viral” 

"Today and for the foreseeable future, COVID-19 is a serious threat, virulent and contagious, not only leading to an impressive display of human vulnerability and arrogance, but also demonstrating how innovative and creative humans can be during a time of crisis. On a daily basis, I am inspired by the outpouring of courage, empathy, and compassion, as well as the injection of original and mutated ideas that will govern the blueprint of our destiny.  The truth is that the coronavirus has gone viral and, in so doing, opened the door to other remarkable evolutionary adaptations.  Adaptations that will both thwart its virility and enhance our society’s immunity, resilience, and long-term survivability.' Pringl Miller is a general surgeon. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The new meaning of the phrase, 'going viral'." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/04/the-new-meaning-of-the-phrase-going-viral.html)
January 20, 2021
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How shame almost ruined a physician's life

"I do want you all to know that shame is a very familiar brain track (like an 8-track tape, if you know what that is), but not one I am stuck in. The above experience of failing a class turned out to be amazing. I am now appreciative of how far I have come — of what I have learned, through much transformational therapy, mindfulness and coaching work. I am lucky enough to have a choice in my thoughts and to not disengage. I don’t have to be stuck there. I can put it on speaker-phone with trusted individuals in my life. I can dedicate the work I do now to the memory of my patient and her family. I continue to heal and offer healing. Life is really an amazing tapestry with short fibers, longer fibers, many colors and most of all — each thread woven to make a perfect whole. It is when we feel stuck that guilt and shame can get the better of us, impacting all areas of our life. I am sharing this very personal story to make a difference with those stuck in the negative talk and the feeling that the core of who we are is not worthy. Enduring shame is associated with depression, anxiety, PTSD and addiction. Shedding light into the dark areas of thoughts we keep secret make a huge difference." Robyn Alley-Hay is an obstetrician-gynecologist and can be reached at her self-titled site, Dr. Robyn Alley-Hay. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How shame almost ruined a physician's life." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2019/02/she-was-dead-how-shame-almost-ruined-a-physicians-life.html)
January 19, 2021
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COVID vaccines, overcoming skepticism, and pandemic theater

"Environmental cleaning rightfully plays a more prominent role within health care facilities to control the spread of other diseases, but even hospitals have overreacted when it comes to contact precautions for SARS-CoV-2.  I recently went to get a flu shot from one of the hospitals I cover, and I couldn’t help but think that several steps in this process seemed wasteful.  Even though everyone was already masking and maintaining appropriate distance, recipients were each assigned one large desk and one pen to fill out the obligatory paperwork.  Once complete, the pens went into a “dirty” cup, and a gloved staff member had to wipe down the pen, clean the entire desk surface and dispose of the cup before anyone else was allowed to use that station.  Before I could sit down and receive the vaccine, I had to stand back and allow the administering nurse to wipe down the whole chair with isopropyl alcohol.  We didn’t go to these lengths before the pandemic, so why go over the top now for a virus that, for all intents and purposes, is not spread by contact?" Clayton Foster is an infectious disease physician and founder, AirborneID. He can be reached on Facebook and Twitter @AirborneID_CO. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "COVID transmission should not be a touchy subject." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/covid-transmission-should-not-be-a-touchy-subject.html)
January 18, 2021
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How ocean plastic picking made me a better pediatrician

"It has been over a month since I started this new hobby. I told my middle-school-aged daughter tonight, 'I am going to write a post about how ocean plastic picking has made me a better pediatrician.' She replied, 'You mean better than other pediatricians?' 'No, I mean a better pediatrician than I was before,' I answered in all seriousness. I know where her thoughts were coming from. I have always thought that anyone who makes it through the medical training process, including her mother, must have some level of narcissism and arrogance to make it and succeed. We have to convince parents, patients, and colleagues that we are just special enough to deserve their trust, their respect, and that we know what we are doing. Being mid-career, I certainly know I am competent. But the regular ritual of collecting ocean plastic has helped me be a better and more humble pediatrician." Vi Thuy Nguyen is a pediatrician who blogs at Dr. Plastic Picker. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How ocean plastic picking made me a better pediatrician." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2019/12/how-ocean-plastic-picking-made-me-a-better-pediatrician.html)
January 17, 2021
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This physician is overwhelmed. She is not alone.

"I am overwhelmed right now. I know I am not alone. I hear it in the voices of my friends, family, colleagues, patients. We are all feeling it. I am overwhelmed by this virus. There is so much to learn, so much to teach. Every day the information changes. Who is credible? Who is just shouting the loudest? It can be hard to sort, but it must be done. As I figure it out, I need to pass on the information in the most compassionate but clearest way possible, despite the naysayers. I am overwhelmed by our numbers. In my small county of about 40,000, we had two cases on March 22, ten on April 1, seventeen on May 1. We seemed to be doing ok. Then we climbed from 76 on June 1 to 196 on July 1. And as of July 8, we are up to 346. That’s 150 in a week. That more in one week than we had in 3 months. And it is not just from testing more. Our hospital, COVID-free for weeks, is now seeing more and more COVID-19 patients not only in the ER but needing admission and serious treatment. The numbers are heart-stopping." Diana R. Twiggs is a family physician and can be reached at her self-titled site, Diana Twiggs, MD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "I am overwhelmed right now. I know I am not alone." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/i-am-overwhelmed-right-now-i-know-i-am-not-alone.html)
January 16, 2021
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Tips for medical students starting their clinical rotations

"Each year, medical students across the country prepare to start the long-anticipated core clinical rotations. Suddenly, we’re thrust into a world of constant adaptation and evaluation, with many highs and many lows. As I finish up the year and new students get ready to start, I’ve been asked time and time again for my advice. I decided to aggregate my key takeaways from the year, and what I wish I had been told." Netana Markovitz is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "13 tips for medical students starting their clinical rotations." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/13-tips-for-medical-students-starting-their-clinical-rotations.html)
January 15, 2021
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Do doctors make great entrepreneurs?

"We in medicine are experts in delayed gratification. We’ve been in school for what, about 21 years before residency? Then we finally become an attending.  Then we can splurge a little. But still, we were told to hold back. Live like a resident. This is a great skill to have as an entrepreneur. Their world is tough. Countless working hours, low pay, myriad emotions, and a light at the end of the tunnel. Sounds just like residency, right? Now I know the idea of doing another residency doesn’t sound that great, but it’s possible. You’ve already survived one. Many even more than one or a fellowship. You have the power to do another if you wanted." Pranay Parikh is a hospitalist and can be reached at his self-titled site, Pranay Parikh. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD articles, "Doctors make bad entrepreneurs" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/doctors-make-bad-entrepreneurs.html) and "Doctors make great entrepreneurs." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/doctors-make-great-entrepreneurs.html)
January 14, 2021
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A crisis of physician intra-professional respect

"What has become of medicine today? What has become of the sacred patient-physician relationship? What has become of medical offices- aren’t they supposed to be healing places? Who goes to a medical clinic (no matter how Big the Name) to be insulted and diminished and hurt? What has become of physicians as stewards of healing? Why is this happening to us? How much have we been hurt, as doctors, to not be able to see past our own ego and agenda and use our hard-earned healing potential to harm instead of soothe and heal?" Corina Fratila is an endocrinologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Are physicians the stewards of healing that they are meant to be?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/are-physicians-the-stewards-of-healing-that-they-are-meant-to-be.html)
January 13, 2021
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Dear medical community, it’s time to engage in the climate movement

"I plan to reach out to climate organizations and see what I can do to get involved. Whether that means writing more op-eds like this one or writing to legislators, I now recognize that as part of the medical field, especially in regard to mental health, I have a role to play. I invite all of you in the medical field to join me in this effort. You can hear the rumblings in certain pockets that, just like with gun control, medicine should stay in its lane and not be involved in issues like climate advocacy. That’s simply not a tenable stance. With a warming planet and without action, the human population will simply get sicker. That stands in direct conflict with our oath to “Do no harm.” So again, get involved with the climate movement in the best way you know how. Our patients’ and future patients’ lives are on the line." Derek Wolfe is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Dear medical community, it’s time to engage in the climate movement." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/dear-medical-community-its-time-to-engage-in-the-climate-movement.html)
January 12, 2021
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Women physicians and pivoting from medicine

"We must continue to work to create gender equity as here is where we stand today: A significant gender pay gap still exists in medicine where women doctors earn up to 33% less than their male counterparts. Even though women make up 36% of practicing doctors in the country, only 15% of women doctors are department chairs. Among women doctors who are also mothers, 78% felt discrimination. All of this is leading to 48% of women doctors reporting burnout, and 22% of female physicians admitted thoughts of suicide this year right before the pandemic hit our shores. As a nation, we cannot afford to lose doctors to professional burnout and suicide, especially in the midst of a global pandemic worsening and hitting record numbers throughout our country in recent weeks." Archana Reddy Shrestha is a physician life coach, author, and co-founder, Women in White Coats. She can be reached on Instagram @womeninwhitecoatsblog. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "What Kamala Harris means for women doctors." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/what-kamala-harris-means-for-women-doctors.html)
January 11, 2021
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How this surgeon beat a medical staff disciplinary action

"I recently represented a physician in a noteworthy peer review case at an academic medical center. The medical staff president initiated a complaint against a surgeon, who would later become my client. The complaint was that the surgeon inappropriately collected cash payment from an uninsured patient at the hospital’s point of service instead of having his office invoice and collect payment from the patient. The medical staff felt this was unorthodox and highly inappropriate and contra to the medical center’s values. It is important to note that neither the medical staff bylaws nor any hospital rules addressed the collection of payment at the hospital’s point of service. The medical staff president quickly appointed a three-member ad hoc investigation committee, which included one of the surgeon’s competitors, an obvious conflict of interest. The ad hoc investigation committee recommended that the surgeon be disciplined, i.e., lose his medical staff privileges." Barney Cohen is a health care law attorney. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "How this surgeon beat a medical staff disciplinary action." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/how-this-surgeon-beat-a-medical-staff-disciplinary-action.html)
January 10, 2021
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When an epidemic of violence against health care workers meets a pandemic

"The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated factors that cause violence in the workplace. At no time in recent history will you find clinical health care workers under this degree of stress. Physicians and nurses are operating under high alert in hospitals and clinics while facing COVID deniers and abusive treatment (name-calling such as “disease spreaders”) in their day-to-day life. Due to social distancing measures, shutdowns, and resultant economic fallout, patients are experiencing significant psychological and financial burdens. The politicization of the pandemic has elevated the level of difficulty for all parties. This combination of clinical and societal strain increases the likelihood of overly (and overtly) aggressive or unpredictable reactions to day to day encounters." Mercy Udoji is an anesthesiologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "When an epidemic of violence against health care workers meets a pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/when-an-epidemic-of-violence-against-health-care-workers-meets-a-pandemic.html)
January 9, 2021
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When your institution has a less than 1% hiring rate for Black residents

"As soon as I realized we had so few Black residents, I began to ask around to find out if there were reasons why. One person brought up the fact that we happen to be the smaller institution between 3 other larger universities within an hour away and even bigger world-class institutions just 6 hours away. So, there is always a chance that Black residents may be choosing to go to more urban and populous cities for more job opportunities and networking. Another attending explained that the county we are in is in the top ten most populous counties in all of the United States, but Black or African Americans make up only 1.7% of the demographics. There are some odds that black applicants may not have family close enough for support and choose to go elsewhere. But despite these potential reasons, even though our county’s demographic makeup is admittedly small, it’s still better than our institution’s hiring rate." Karen Tran-Harding is a radiologist who blogs at How the Other Side Thinks. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "When your institution has a less than 1% hiring rate for Black residents." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/when-your-institution-has-a-less-than-1-hiring-rate-for-black-residents.html)
January 8, 2021
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Medicine must create inclusive clinical trials

"Researchers should make clinical trials more accessible by providing patients with simple explanations of studies at a variety of locations, including community clinics and medical centers. Increased flexibility regarding transportation and visit timing is essential. Researchers should also allow the participation of people who do not speak English and those living with chronic conditions whenever it is safe to do so. If the treatment will be approved to use on these populations, it is unethical to exclude them. These are considerations that researchers must think about not only when designing COVID-19 studies, but all clinical trials, as this is essential to reducing health care disparities overall. Moving forward, we must put fairness and our patients’ safety above increased cost or administrative burden; perhaps this is how we begin to make amends for the atrocities of the past." Amelia Trant is a medical student. Andrea Silber is an oncologist. They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "Medicine must create inclusive clinical trials." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/medicine-must-create-inclusive-clinical-trials.html)
January 7, 2021
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Beyond the medical lessons learned from COVID

"I am thankful to you SARS-CoV-2 virus as you allowed me to be human again, to make mistakes, and learn from them. You taught me to slow down so that I could reset and redefine my goals. You allowed me to have time for myself, to dream again, and plan my future. You pushed me out of my comfort zone and re-explore what I thought was possible or impossible. You helped me re-embrace my imperfections and love myself just the way I am! You showed me that this pandemic is a circumstance beyond my control and that there will many more circumstances, such as this one in life. However, what will always remain within my control or reach is my own thoughts about, and reaction to, such times. It is up to me now how I want to re-shape them to get to the results I want to see. Thank you, COVID-19, for being a great teacher. I respect you. I am not afraid of you but will always be cautious of you." Annie Nawab is a pulmonary and critical care physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Beyond the medical lessons learned from COVID." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/beyond-the-medical-lessons-learned-from-covid.html)
January 6, 2021
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Care is no longer personal. Care is political.

"To care for dependents, the carer must be cared for, both for the sake of her charge and for her own sake. Without such basic infrastructure, we have anxiety, confusion, and chaos. Contagion knows no independent individuals.  Its boundaries are not the boundaries of our skin. It relies on the inevitable sociality of human beings. But our vulnerability is also our defense: bonds of care minimize, and can even defeat, the power and reach of COVID-19. Care must move out of the private domain, out of the recesses of hospital rooms and nurseries, nursing homes, and day-care centers. We seem to recognize now that a leader of a nation is entrusted with its care. Care is no longer personal. It never was. Care is political." Eva Kittay is a philosopher and author of Love's Labor: Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency (Routledge) and Learning from My Daughter. (https://amzn.to/38rxEb5) She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Care is no longer personal. Care is political." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/care-is-no-longer-personal-care-is-political.html)
January 5, 2021
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A medical student’s 100 days of COVID

"The first 100 days of COVID made me confront and reflect on a lot of aspects of myself and life, as philosophical as that sounds. Often times, I’m exhausted talking about COVID every single day and frustrated because we should be in a much better place right now as a nation. The wound is still fresh, and it deeply hurts to see more people suffering due to a lack of proper health care infrastructure and guidance as an underlying cause rather than the virus itself. I remind myself to be mindful, be kind to myself, allow myself to feel whatever I want without holding back emotions, and stay present. Emotional ups and downs are a part of life, but how you process them matters. It has also given me a glaring reminder that life is not guaranteed. It has reminded me that medical school is only a facet of my life, and the rest of my life is happening now. So why do we say, I’ll do that after I’ve reached 'X' stage in my life? Within reason, just do it, and you won’t regret it. Writing this has given me a lot of peace and clarity, and I hope whoever is reading this can reflect on their experience to gain some level of calm." Priyanka Shindgikar is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "A medical student’s 100 days of COVID." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/a-medical-students-100-days-of-covid.html)
January 4, 2021
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Why flu vaccines are more important than ever in this pandemic

"The flu vaccine can strengthen your immune system, prevent the disease spread among those closest to you, protect your children, and reduce the health care system’s burden. Protecting ourselves and others as we traverse a pandemic is paramount in saving lives and keeping our communities safe and healthy. Along with our ongoing initiatives through Covid Rapid Response Team Chicago to maintain an adequate supply of PPE, host blood drives, and perform screenings in homeless shelters, increasing the rate of flu vaccinations is essential to protect the community. Our country has suffered more than enough during this COVID-19 pandemic – do your part and protect yourself, your loved ones, and our health care heroes this fall by getting your flu shot." Marina Lentskevich is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses the KevinMD article that she co-wrote, "Why flu vaccines are more important than ever in this pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/why-flu-vaccines-are-more-important-than-ever-in-this-pandemic.html)
January 3, 2021
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Climate change, cardiac arrest, and the price of inaction

"We have to start understanding these as the real costs of climate change. We are paying these costs now. In my state of Oregon, people are going to start getting sick and dying in the next few days of the wildfire smoke choking the air. When they show up to the hospital with a severe heart attack, or stroke, or respiratory exacerbation, maybe it will be attributed to the wildfires, but probably everyone will just be focusing on getting through their shift, and the context of this one death, this one illness, will be missed. But make no mistake, the coming wave of hospitalizations, ER visits, and deaths is not random; it is due to climate change." Erika Maria Moseson is a practicing, board-certified pulmonary and critical care physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Apocalypse now: climate change, cardiac arrest, and the price of inaction." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/apocalypse-now-climate-change-cardiac-arrest-and-the-price-of-inaction.html)
January 2, 2021
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COVID-19 vaccines: Channeling the 7 habits to get from vaccines to vaccinations

"As we get excited about vaccine news and results, we need to evaluate our messaging and how we can get to high enough COVID-19 vaccination rates to achieve herd immunity. This requires broad and frequent education on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. It also requires active listening to address concerns so people can make informed decisions. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey are relevant to the task ahead of us to combat COVID-19." Toyin M. Falusi is an infectious disease physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "COVID-19 vaccines: Channeling the 7 habits to get from vaccines to vaccinations." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/12/covid-19-vaccines-channeling-the-7-habits-to-get-from-vaccines-to-vaccinations.html)
January 1, 2021
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Bottles and pacifiers: advice from a Latinx pediatrician

"Growing up in Puerto Rico, 'babas' (bottles: biberón/botellas) and 'bobos' (pacifiers:  chupetes/chupón) were very common among the families and children of the island.  I still remember our Abuelita giving us milk in our “babas,” so my younger sister and I were sure to fall asleep better.  From the time of our births, to when my sister was three years old, the “bobo” was also consistently being used in our home. Now, as a pediatrician, one of the conversations I have most frequently with my Latino families is regarding the proper use of both 'babas' and 'bobos' for their children.  Were you aware that children should begin using training cups (commonly referred to as 'sippy cups') as early as nine months of age?  It is also very important that your child gradually ween off the use of bottles between the ages of 12 to 15 months.  Continued use of bottles after one year of age has been repeatedly documented to increase the risk of tooth decay in children." Johanna Vidal Phelan is a pediatrician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Bottles and pacifiers: advice from a Latinx pediatrician." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/bottles-and-pacifiers-advice-from-a-latinx-pediatrician.html)
December 31, 2020
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Why COVID is so emotional for physicians

"These encounters made my evening shift much more emotional than usual. I am still not sure what it was exactly that evoked such strong feelings of sadness. Was it having a patient who was a health care worker? Was it the rapidity in which all three patients’ conditions deteriorated? Was it realizing that without timely, expert care, all three would die very quickly? Or, was it hearing people wanting to relax the measures and not wear masks, without insight into how quickly things can go wrong and end up deadly? Or, was it the cost of empathy, and just feeling the pains of my patients way too deeply? Or, was it talking to the family members of patients and trying to answer their many questions: How will it be in the ICU? Will it be lonely? Can you please let us visit? Just one time? What can we expect? When will they recover? Or, was it my inability to answer some of these questions? My lack of a crystal ball? Or, was it being already emotionally exhausted from managing everyday challenges of keeping life as normal as possible, with remote learning, running a household, and helping elderly in-laws with lots of medical, emotional, and personal needs?" Jasminka Vukanovic-Criley is a hospitalist and can be reached on Twitter @criley_md. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The emotional side of being a doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/the-emotional-side-of-being-a-doctor-during-the-covid-19-pandemic.html)
December 30, 2020
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Think you have an iodine allergy? You may want to reconsider.

"Iodine-based contrast agents are widely used for CT and other X-ray studies. They light up blood vessels and enhance perfusing tissue. These agents are essential for diagnosing everything from clots, to tumor, to bleeding. Unfortunately, many patients do not get contrast studies they may benefit from, due to unnecessary confusion about allergies. The most important step to avoiding confusion is to start calling contrast agents by their names, as you would do for any other drug, and to remove 'iodine' from your allergy vocabulary. Like antibiotics, there is more than one kind of contrast agent. Radiologists routinely dictate the name of the agent used in their study reports, so if a reaction occurs, the information is readily available. The problem comes when we do not distinguish one agent from another. Most patients with a prior reaction were never told the name of the drug they received, and they incorrectly assume that an allergy to one means allergy to all. Not so, just like with other classes of medications." Cullen Ruff is a radiologist and author of Looking Within: Understanding Ourselves through Human Imaging. (https://amzn.to/3qEL23Z) He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Think you have an iodine allergy? You may want to reconsider." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/08/think-you-have-an-iodine-allergy-you-may-want-to-reconsider.html)
December 29, 2020
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Behind the scenes of a hospital’s COVID response

"In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu shot has never been more important. Many people are staying indoors, wearing a mask, and washing their hands frequently. In this environment, patients ask me, “With all this social distancing, do I really need a flu shot this year?” The answer is unequivocally, “Yes!” Even the safest practices do not guarantee that a person won’t catch the flu or the coronavirus. For people who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill from either the flu or from COVID-19, it is critical that they get their flu shots before the start of the flu season in the fall. A bad flu season could combine with the coronavirus pandemic in the fall and winter. And because both illnesses present with the same symptoms, it is possible that physicians will have to test sick patients for both." Grace Lozinski is an internal medicine physician and chief quality officer, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Newport Beach, CA. She shares her story and discusses the KevinMD article, "The flu shot is more important this year than ever." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/the-flu-shot-is-more-important-this-year-than-ever.html)
December 28, 2020
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Food allergies are not funny

"If we do not raise objections to this kind of comedy, we are teaching those around us that food allergies can be funny. It is no that surprise that data indicates kids and adults are anxious, embarrassed, and bullied due to food allergies. When we make light of anaphylaxis, we perpetuate the misleading stigma regarding food allergies. It has been my steadfast belief that in educating the greater public on the potential severity of food allergies, we will reach a point where it will be taboo to make these kinds of 'jokes' publicly. I hope for a day that it is simply unacceptable to joke about food allergies. Clearly, we are not there yet." Lianne Mandelbaum is founder, the No Nut Traveler, and can be reached on Twitter @nonuttraveler. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Food allergies are not funny." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/food-allergies-are-not-funny.html)
December 27, 2020
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Surgical smoke evacuators and inertia in the time of COVID

"Early in the pandemic, in thinking of and discussing possible solutions to help protect health care workers, two of my former colleagues and I recalled a device called the Surgical Smoke Evacuator (SSE), which we used extensively since the 1990s when we worked together at the University of Pittsburgh to collect and safely dispose of the papillomavirus-containing smoke and aerosol cloud generated during the laser or electrocautery removal of laryngeal, cutaneous, and genital warts (papillomas). These FDA-approved air suction devices are still in routine use today in operating rooms around the world. They have been vigorously advocated by organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES). SSEs utilize a very powerful suction pump and the most effective small-particle filter, the ultra-low particulate air (ULPA filter) used in clinical medicine. ULPA filters are much more effective at trapping particles the size of coronavirus (which are only approximately 0.1-0.12 microns in diameter) than are the better-known and more commonly-used and better-known HEPA filters." Rene’ M. Gonzalez is an anesthesiologist. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Surgical smoke evacuators and inertia in the time of COVID." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/surgical-smoke-evacuators-and-inertia-in-the-time-of-covid.html)
December 26, 2020
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Talking politics in the exam room

"The medical profession now understands that social determinants of health are probably the most important driver of a patient’s overall health, and these determinants are largely the result of political decisions. Clearly, we have a professional responsibility to teach our patients the science underlying their health issues. Don’t we also have a professional obligation to ensure that our patients understand the health ramifications of their political choices? If that is the case, do we not have a professional obligation to initiate a conversation about the political issues which impact our patients’ health? If we fail to breach the taboo of 'talking politics' in the exam room, are we not shirking our professional responsibilities to our patients and society?" Hayward Zwerling is an endocrinologist who blogs at I Have an Idea. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Talking politics in the exam room." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/talking-politics-in-the-exam-room.html)
December 25, 2020
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Why corruption is ruining your health care

"Doctors help patients, and they love us for it. We fix bones, replace joints, cure killer infections, and control diabetes with insulin. We use painless scans for diagnosis. Liver, kidney, and heart transplants are now routine. Some patients get cured of lymphomas, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and testicular cancer. Lives are prolonged for myeloma and amyloidosis. Vaccines have saved millions worldwide. We have complex technologies such as the heart bypass machine and dialysis. We replace diseased heart valves with artificial ones that work. Cardiologists permanently correct irregular rhythms using techniques that would seem natural on Star Trek. Other specialists gift infertile couples with children. For a lot of the rest, supporting evidence that it works is lacking." Robert Yoho is a cosmetic surgeon and author of Butchered by “Healthcare”: What to Do About Doctors, Big Pharma, and Corrupt Government Ruining Your Health and Medical Care. (https://amzn.to/36U4sdj) He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "How I was wrong about health care." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/how-i-was-wrong-about-health-care.html)
December 24, 2020
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How to develop a mission-driven personal brand

"When it comes to social media, embrace a micromedia mindset. That means sharing entertaining, informative content that provides value. Think of yourself as the editor of your newspaper. Newspapers include various content: current events, interviews, information and research, op-eds, and more. Some of these are news-driven — like current events and information and research. Some are relationship-driven — like interviews. And some are self-driven — like op-eds. Jump into social media by sharing content in thirds. Aim for 1/3 news, 1/3 relationships, and 1/3 you. Don’t start building your personal brand with too much focus on you. If you fill your feeds with op-eds, that will be hard for you to sustain, and it will ultimately turn audiences away. An important outcome of creating a personal brand is that it’s yours. It will go wherever you go. If you’re building a new practice, applying for a new job, jumping into the industry from medical school, or establishing your legacy, your personal brand is the path to take." Paige Velasquez Budde is CEO, Zilker Media and can be reached on Twitter @PaigeVelasquez. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How to develop a mission-driven personal brand." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/how-to-develop-a-mission-driven-personal-brand.html)
December 23, 2020
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Understanding critical care in the ICU: then and now

"I write this as a caregiver, patient educator, and clinical researcher. The coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on intensive care units (ICUs).  Due to the rapid and continued increase in critical illness from COVID-19 infection, discussions about capacity and specialized equipment have become commonplace. Terms such as ventilators, ECMO, PPE, emergency use authorization, and proning have entered into the lingua franca. Critical care happens in the ambulance, the emergency department, and across the hospital.  Ultimately the sickest and most severely injured patients end up in the ICU, or their medical providers are assisted virtually by trained clinicians (e-ICU). Before the pandemic, there were nearly 100,000 ICU beds across the U.S. COVID-19 has necessitated the creation of de facto ICUs, in repurposed operating rooms, in tents, and on ships. Non-critical care medical personnel have been deployed to meet the demand to render care for acutely ill patients." Sara L. Merwin is the co-author of The Informed Patient: A Complete Guide to a Hospital Stay. (https://amzn.to/2K8nzqY) She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Understanding critical care in the ICU: then and now." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/understanding-critical-care-in-the-icu-then-and-now.html)
December 22, 2020
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Does your doctor’s age matter?

"If I had $100 for every time I walked into a patient’s room, introduced myself as the doctor, and was immediately asked, 'Hey, how old are you?' I might be able to retire right now — at the age of 28. Of course, I am exaggerating, and yet this question echoes for my baby-faced colleagues and me constantly. Whether it’s simple curiosity or blatant reverse-ageism, I find this question erodes trust before it is built. I haven’t yet found an agreeable way to bypass it. I usually just state my age before quickly moving on. Rarely, some congratulate me on my accomplishments given 'such a young age.' But these felicitations are like writing in the sand, which quickly wash away in the waves of emotions I begin to feel the moment they ask me that question." Sneha Shah is an internal medicine chief resident who blogs at Insights on Residency Training, a part of NEJM Journal Watch. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Does your doctor’s age matter?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/does-your-doctors-age-matter.html)
December 21, 2020
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Don’t underestimate the value of intergenerational relationships

"With the rapid growth of modern medicine and awareness in lifestyle and environmental influences, individuals can live longer and healthier lives. Approximately 15.2 percent of the U.S. population consists of individuals 65 years and older. To make the added years of life expectancy fulfilling, older adults need to stay socially connected and involved. One key method is through the development of meaningful relationships. Through the intergenerational paradigm, researchers have recognized a mutually beneficial relationship for both older and younger generations. The focus on relationships between the young and the old has been centered around the historical and cultural bond. Traditionally, family dynamics were structured to allow elders to share their wisdom and experiences with the younger generations while also establishing the family’s norms and values. However, the social and economic changes have led to family structures to be transformed from single units to more complex and involved relationships. With the different family dynamics of single-working parents and two-working parents, there has been an increase in job opportunities. For this reason, many families move to newer cities and areas where there is higher job availability to support the family’s financial needs. These changes have separated the two generations and have left them both missing key relationships of life that can improve their overall well-being." Satya Moolani is a premedical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "The value of intergenerational relationships." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/the-value-of-intergenerational-relationships.html)
December 20, 2020
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Issues faced by LGBTQ individuals in the operative setting

"Studies have repeatedly demonstrated a vast majority of pain physicians don’t feel like they have adequate training in meeting the unique needs of this patient population, though most agree that such efforts are very necessary. This disconnect between demand and supply is a problem, a big one. With the current pandemic stretching many people thin financially, the last thing that needs to happen is people avoiding the hospital out of fear, not of the virus, but of the health care field itself, much like what my patient seemed ready to do. In some instances, this could be the difference between life and death. There needs to be a much larger emphasis placed on training students and even residents on how to become more aware of micro-aggressions, biases, and the struggles of the LGBTQ community. I’m not saying the changes will be evident overnight, but they won’t ever happen if we aren’t willing to even try." Indraneel Prabhu is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Issues faced by LGBTQ individuals in the operative setting." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/issues-faced-by-lgbtq-individuals-in-the-operative-setting.html)
December 19, 2020
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How to be a transformational, supportive leader during COVID-19

"The behavior of managers and supervisors in organizations affects the mental health of their employees. This is especially true during times of uncertainty, such as a global pandemic. Does a leader’s health and well-being change how they lead? Early evidence shows that when leaders are experiencing challenging conditions, they are more likely to become resource depleted and exhibit negative behaviors, such as passive leadership or abusive supervision. You know the kind of boss who doesn’t give you any credit, puts you down in front of others, or is simply never around? When leaders are resource depleted and are experiencing poor health (e.g., lack of, or poor quality sleep; excessive use of alcohol), they are more likely to act abusively. The good news is that leaders are often well-equipped to deal with stressors that affect us all, like the impacts of COVID-19, and can take steps to prevent passing their difficulties on to their employees. Three styles of leadership can help support employee well-being during difficult times." Kara Arnold is a professor of organizational behavior, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, Canada. Jennifer Dimoff is an assistant professor of organizational behavior and human resources, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "How to be a transformational, supportive leader during COVID-19." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/how-to-be-a-transformational-supportive-leader-during-covid-19.html)
December 18, 2020
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What it’s like to be pregnant in a pandemic

"What has kept me comprised during this entire time has been the realization that this whole situation is not normal. It’s not normal for me; it’s not normal for millions of other people. This is not how pregnancy is supposed to go. This is a pandemic and an uncertain time for everyone. Many of us have caved under pressure, either it is financial, or the risk of exposure to a high-risk individual at home, or the fear of losing your friends and family. Each of us has reasons to be afraid. Being pregnant is just one of them and should be considered that way. It is important to acknowledge the unfamiliarity of this all and be thankful for what we have. I am thankful for supportive family, friends, and colleagues who have supported me (virtually) and practically in so many ways. I am thankful for the many work from home days, where I have felt so exhausted to get out of bed. I am thankful for health and food on my table, and my heart goes out to those who haven’t been fortunate enough. And with that, I am also hopeful for better days, and a healthy child." Saba Fatima is a pediatric hospitalist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "What it’s like to be pregnant in a pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/what-its-like-to-be-pregnant-in-a-pandemic.html)
December 17, 2020
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What does colon cancer screening have to do with self-driving cars?

"We can clearly see that exponential technologies are disrupting cars and phones. So why wouldn’t these technologies find their way into health care and gastroenterology? What do stool tests have to do with self-driving cars? We’ll soon find out. But let’s first go back to the discussion we had earlier on the shift to digital. Screening for cancer through colonoscopy, while a gold standard, reminds me of a field that’s at the crossroads of disruption—much like music or photography was before iTunes or smartphones. If you consider the argument for a moment, a colonoscopy is largely limited to one doctor and one patient at a time. When a doctor performs a colonoscopy, he or she can’t scale beyond the procedure. With each procedure, the learning happens within the capacity of that one doctor. To put that into context, only a very small percentage of doctors become endoscopists. And an even smaller percentage achieve mastery in endoscopy. Statistically speaking, we are talking of a very few highly qualified individuals who can reliably screen for cancer using sophisticated methods. Ask yourself what could make the field of cancer screening go digital? Something that can accelerate cancer screening and give control to the nonexperts. I’m sure you might have arrived at DNA testing or artificial intelligence." Praveen Suthrum is president and co-founder, NextServices and blogs at redo | healthcare. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "What does colon cancer screening have to do with self-driving cars?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/what-has-colon-cancer-screening-got-to-do-with-self-driving-cars.html)
December 16, 2020
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How can we redefine locum tenens?

"Hiring locum tenens clinicians often proves to be more efficient, and when a position goes unfilled, health care organizations are potentially leaving millions of dollars on the table in unrealized revenues. Once in place, locum tenens clinicians can help organizations expand their service lines, provide access to specialists, relieve existing staff workload, keep the operating room running, manage throughput in the emergency department, and cover call. They are also part of a growing natural progression in health care — telemedicine. Locum tenens clinicians are being used in telehealth settings, allowing the flexibility to simply video chat with a patient for a consult or provide a second opinion to another physician. Utilizing locum tenens clinicians ultimately benefits patient care while positively impacting the bottom line. Among the available strategies to deal with the current challenges in clinician recruitment, the locum tenens model can undoubtedly evolve into a viable and attractive long-term strategy for the provision of everyday health care access." Sridhar Rajamani is a pulmonary physician and member of the advisory board, LocumTenens.com. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "How can we redefine locum tenens?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/03/how-can-we-redefine-locum-tenens.html)
December 15, 2020
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When coaching physicians with wellness, don’t lead with mindfulness

"In my work with physicians and physician leaders in academic medicine, I learned that physicians are highly self-reflective and aware of the pressures they face; however, they are frequently the last to ask for help, and the first to deprioritize their own self-care.  This has led to high suicide rates in the overall physician population. For coaches partnering with physicians on wellness, leading with mindfulness first could cause an adverse reaction.  A colleague and I held a workshop on physician wellness and began the session with mindfulness.  Several left the room, and a few others spoke up, indicating that what they needed was not mindfulness, but solutions for inefficient processes and increased demands from their medical coding departments.  We did not make that mistake again! These professionals are overwhelmed; they are just trying to get through the day and meet their goals.  Oh, and take care of their patients. Mindfulness can be seen as “another thing to do” in an already packed schedule or can make physicians feel angry or “guilty” for not already trying something that seems so simple and cause them to close down to exploring other solutions." Cory Colton is an executive coach. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "When coaching physicians with wellness, don’t lead with mindfulness." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/when-coaching-physicians-with-wellness-dont-lead-with-mindfulness.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 14, 2020
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Turn 2020 into an opportunity by changing your mindset

"A few months ago, I signed up for a virtual conference for women in medicine. It's a group of women, over 10,000 of us, who have watched me and supported me through the past two years of my career. Two years of struggle. Two years of personal and professional pain. Two years of opportunity for growth, and two years of numerous setbacks that were only overcome with all of their assistance. At the close of each interview with women leaders in various industries, the organizer asks them what 2020 has taught them. A friend of mine from the group reached out to a few of us and asked us what 2020 had taught us. In my response, I referenced so much of what we have touched on in this class and things that have been brought to the surface by the turmoil of this year. The only way to save medicine, save our country, and to save ourselves is to pivot." Nicole M. King is an anesthesiologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The only way to save medicine, save our country, and to save ourselves is to pivot." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/the-only-way-to-save-medicine-save-our-country-and-to-save-ourselves-is-to-pivot.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 13, 2020
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Proponents of independent non-physician practice make a dangerous assumption

"Most Americans have remained dangerously unaware of this revolution in health care. Being treated by a non-physician is not on the radar of the average patient, most of whom assume that anyone in a white coat is a physician. If patients do wonder about being treated by a non-physician, they are reassured that their nurse practitioner or physician assistant is “just as good” as a doctor, an idea reinforced by multi-million-dollar direct-to-patient advertising campaigns. But is care by nurse practitioners and physician assistants really as good as that of physicians?" Rebekah Bernard is a family physician. She is the co-author of Patients at Risk: The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare. (https://amzn.to/2UIhL9H) She shares her story and discusses the article that she co-authored, "Proponents of independent non-physician practice make a dangerous assumption." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/11/proponents-of-independent-non-physician-practice-make-a-dangerous-assumption.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 12, 2020
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Can there be hope amid politics?

"Humans are complex. Humans are multifaceted. Humans are capable of grit and determination. This means that humans are also worthy of hope. If I learned anything from watching this moment in history, I realize that it’s not about being a 'Democrat' or a 'Republican' it’s about being human. What we do now will echo through future generations. My hope is that we choose to be better tomorrow than we are today." Anjani Amladi is a psychiatrist and can be reached at her self-titled site, Anjani Amladi, MD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Can there be hope amid politics?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/can-there-be-hope-amid-politics.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 11, 2020
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Mental health in medical professionals and the power of sharing stories

"Frontline medical professionals must collectively share what they experienced as a whole. We must piece together these narratives and unearth commonalities to truly know what happened. Just as we must continue rigorous quantitative research on the virus itself, we must also conduct a qualitative examination. In the peri-COVID era, it will be critical to cultivate lasting empathy for the frontline and process the collective trauma that has likewise claimed lives as the virus itself. Only by establishing widespread, lasting awareness will empathy-driven solutions arise and will continued behavior change (e.g., social distancing, wearing face coverings) persist. The act of storytelling comes with the added bolstering of mental health; it is a means of coming to terms with a challenging and rapidly changing work environment being directly in harm’s way with inadequate protective — both physical and psychological — equipment." Vibhu Krishna is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The mental health benefits of sharing stories." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/05/the-mental-health-benefits-of-sharing-stories.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 10, 2020
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How to decrease your dread of being on-call

"Have you ever wondered how much time we spend worrying about call, versus the amount of time that we actually spend being on call? What about the Monday after a long weekend, returning from vacation, or an overnight shift? Is it as bad as we think it’s going to be, even a fraction of the time? Is it worth all of that anticipation?" Katie Townes is a physician and founder, Physician Lounge Online. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "4 ways to decrease your dread of being on-call." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/4-ways-to-decrease-your-dread-of-being-on-call.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 9, 2020
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Mental health in our youngest healers

"I was admitted to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation and stabilization just after my third year of medical school. Leading up to my episode, I thought I was fine – stressed, sure, overworked, definitely, but I thought that was normal for someone just finishing a year of clinical rotations. I deteriorated rapidly, and by the time I was admitted, I felt dazed, disoriented, and completely exhausted. I didn’t know what day it was or where I was, but I knew one thing with crystalizing certainty – I wanted to be dead. It was an incredibly isolating experience, one that left me feeling alone and terribly frightened. But since then, I’ve come to realize the harsh reality: I am not alone. Mattie Renn and Thomas Pak are medical students. They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "The mental health jeopardy of our youngest healers." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/the-mental-health-jeopardy-of-our-youngest-healers.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 8, 2020
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How to bring joy and be valued while avoiding burnout

"When I was regularly working 80+ hours a week, and was on call almost every day, I had to admit that something needed to change. I stepped back and did significant research to find a strategy to help coach myself out of constant exhaustion and put myself first. Today, I’m a peak performance speaker who helps other ambitious and overworked health care professionals to find their voice, feel more confident as influential leaders, and fall back in love with their career. I believe with the right system, ambitious professionals can be both: powerhouses in health care and passionate people in life. You just have to say no to almost everything, so you can say 'heck yes' to the only things that matter! Let me share with you the three-step process that has helped me to fall back in love with my career." Sabrina Runbeck is a cardiothoracic surgery physician assistant. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How to bring joy and be valued while avoiding burnout." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/how-to-bring-joy-and-be-valued-while-avoiding-burnout.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 7, 2020
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How to be sick: challenges faced by those with chronic pain and illness

"I write in my book, 'I know from experience that nothing positive comes from directing blame at yourself.' When it comes to chronic illness (which includes chronic pain), it’s crucial to remember that you are not the enemy. Anyone can get sick, physically or mentally, and anybody can develop chronic pain. I just got an email from a women who turned 20 last month and has been in chronic pain for most of her young life. Chronic pain and illness come with the human condition. It’s not your fault when they come calling. Don’t make things worse by adding self-blame to the mix. Instead, add self-compassion to help alleviate your emotional suffering." Toni Bernhard is a patient advocate and the author of How to Be Sick: Your Pocket Companion. (https://amzn.to/3pCHcb9) She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "10 challenges faced by those with chronic pain and illness." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/10-challenges-faced-by-those-with-chronic-pain-and-illness.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 6, 2020
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A message to medical interns, in the midst of a pandemic

"Ultimately, our job is a difficult one. It’s hard to take usual comfort in heartwarming statistics or hollow promises of prosperity when you find yourself loving and grieving your patients. I have found there is comfort and an impenetrable hope that comes from this; this is the life-hack for training: Seek the welfare of the program, the institution, the city where you have found yourself. For in its welfare, there you will also find your welfare. As you start, finish, or continue your training, let the foundation of your vocation be marked by the virtue of hope rooted in doing the little things with great love. This rhythm will help you not only in the transition to or from training, but will also allow you thrive in the wake of this pandemic." Sumner Abraham is an internal medicine physician. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "A letter to medical interns, in the midst of a pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/04/a-letter-to-medical-interns-in-the-midst-of-a-pandemic.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 5, 2020
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This is what a successful health care system looks like

"If we are serious about supporting the optimal health and well being of our nations’ patients and physicians, we need to start believing and implementing the science across the public and private sectors. We need to recognize that at its core, the practice of medicine is a human science. We need to allocate and deploy resources to the people and programs in health care doing the work of healing our nation. We need to provide a 'self-care as health care' optimal health system, which is educative, accessible, preventative, and patient-centered. This is what a successful health care system looks like." Lillie Rosenthal is a physiatrist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "This is what a successful health care system looks like." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/this-is-what-a-successful-health-care-system-looks-like.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 4, 2020
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Who are the doctors who end their own lives?

"Recently, a fellow physician mom ended her life. While outwardly, a very vibrant, lively, and happy woman, she fought her own internal demons for some time. From what we know, she struggled with depression but was still committed to being a good mom, physician, and wife. Sadly, a few days before her birthday, she could no longer bear her sadness and decided to end her agony. I know many physicians’ lives follow these patterns. What shook me this time, though, was a discussion I had with a very close group of friends. These are all very highly educated professionals whom I love, respect, and admire. But, none are physicians." Fariha Shafi is an internal medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Who are the doctors who end their own lives?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/01/who-are-the-doctors-who-end-their-own-lives.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 3, 2020
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COVID-19 highlights chronic oppressive job conditions

"In medicine, the guise of 'professionalism' is an example of how an oppressive system has led us to believe that we ought not to advocate for our rights. It would be 'unprofessional' to organize for a better health care system for both patients and workers. To work towards personal liberation, Boal calls for a transformational process to bypass the censorship of habit and find ‘antibodies’ to oppression. With this situation so clearly revealed, the COVID-19 crisis has become an unprecedented moment for physician organizing. Where does this leave the mental health profession and their role in managing this current crisis? We are very much equipped to address individual concerns. But addressing systemic issues does not come naturally to the mental health profession, which was founded in large part on individually-based approaches. But any approach to mental health today must recognize that if the system we work in is making us sick, then it is not enough to change ourselves." Eden Almasude is a psychiatry resident. She shares her story and discusses the KevinMD article that she co-wrote, "COVID-19 is the symptom. Chronic oppressive job conditions are the disease." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/covid-19-is-the-symptom-chronic-oppressive-job-conditions-are-the-disease.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
December 2, 2020
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I will be a doctor because I was once a patient

"Everything I ever have and ever will accomplish is in part due to the doctors, nurses, administrators, and security officers who gave me safe, compassionate care. This was no fairytale ending; I wish I never had to make this choice, and I grieved for months for the path I did not choose. But I often think of the resident who held my hand in the procedure suite and told me I would make a fantastic doctor. And when I look at what she gave me — the freedom to pursue my medical education, the privilege to care for patients, the right to live my life how I choose — I hope I’ve made her proud." Shira Fishbach is a medical student. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "I will be a doctor because I was once a patient." The opinions expressed in this episode are those of the guest and are not necessarily those of the host or the host's employer. Please review KevinMD's terms of agreement under "Information disclaimer."  
December 1, 2020
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Why physicians need personal loans designed by doctors for doctors

This episode is brought to you by Doc2Doc Lending (https://www.doc2doclending.com/), a novel lending platform created for doctors, by doctors, with the aim of facilitating fast access to personal loans at rates that make sense.  "For the vast majority of us doctors, a career in medicine will also mean spending a significant portion of our adult lives carrying multiple forms of debt.  Understanding student loans (the average medical school graduate in 2019 had $201,490 in student loans while the average dental school graduate had $292,159), credit card debt, home mortgages, car loans, and practice loans, becomes a worthy exercise given the potential impact – both positive and negative – these products can have on our personal and professional lives as we consume them. We’d like to propose a methodology to understand and assess loan options, using a doctor-specific perspective, to better appreciate when the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa. This methodology is based on our experience in speaking with applicants through the Doc2Doc Lending platform (the platform facilitates personal loans exclusively to physicians and dentists, and as part of the application process offers each applicant a call with a doctor-member of our Doc2Doc team to speak through the product, application process, and the applicant’s goals) and it is by no means meant to be financial advice.  Through these conversations, we have observed many similar themes that arise from applicant to applicant which has formed the basis for this construct. In our experience, there are three common areas that will generally be the determining factors as to whether a loan may make sense: the immediate and future impact on cash flow the total cost of the money borrowed over the entire term of the loan the degree of flexibility built into the terms of the product As doctors, debt is a real and important part of our personal and professional lives.  We hope this framework may serve as a starting point for better understanding when a loan is the right decision for you." Kenton Allen and Zwade Marshall are anesthesiologists. They are cofounders, Doc2Doc Lending (https://www.doc2doclending.com/), a novel lending platform created for doctors, by doctors, with the aim of facilitating fast access to personal loans at rates that make sense.  Doc2Doc Lending was founded on the belief that doctors are a unique group that are more responsible in repaying debt obligations than the general population.  Doc2Doc Lending employs a proprietary underwriting algorithm that considers doctor-specific metrics to enable interest rates that are often more favorable than those found at traditional banks.  Drs. Allen and Marshall are neither licensed financial nor investment advisors; they are not accountants or attorneys.  Any opinions expressed above are solely their own. Learn more at www.doc2doclending.com.
December 1, 2020
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How physicians can find jobs in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries

"I’m now CMO at a private biotech company focused on developing therapies for patients with rare endocrine diseases. We are conducting a trial in the U.S., Europe, and Israel.  I mention this to raise the possibility of travel in pharma/biotech roles.  In most companies, roles are both 'functional' (i.e., clinical development, medical affairs, marketing) and geographic (i.e., global, regional). I’ve had both global roles, being responsible for the entire world strategy for a therapy, and U.S. specific roles where I’ve focused on the U.S. only.  Some roles, like medical science liaison, are smaller areas of focus (state or several states).  I enjoy travel and have been able to do so extensively; however, there are roles where travel is limited.  One of the great things about physician roles – there is a broad range of careers that can be had, and it’s likely there is one to fit your life needs! There is a need for physicians in pharma/biotech, and physicians need to more exposure to this career path.  I encourage doctors to network; connect with people to learn and make your name known.  My final piece of advice is to understand how all of your past experiences, whether leadership, management, or research translate into supporting your resume for a role in pharma/biotech; do not undersell your experience!" Nerissa Kreher is a pediatric endocrinologist and founder, The IndustryMDCoach. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How physicians can find jobs in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/how-physicians-can-find-jobs-in-the-pharmaceutical-and-biotechnology-industries.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
November 30, 2020
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How this physician’s first experience with death affected her

"My sister called me. I answered. And, then, I lost it: 'He died. He died,' I repeated. 'Our patient died. I literally did CPR on this guy. We tried to save his life, and he died,' I repeated over and over. The tears streaming down my cheeks were cathartic. More than signifying a loss, the tears signified that I was still human, that I haven’t lost touch with reality. Residency hasn’t changed me. Death still affects me. I’m not numb. I’m human. My tears were confirmation that I haven’t changed in that way. I was not calloused. He died. And I still felt it. I had a heart." Maseray S. Kamara is a general surgery resident and can be reached on Instagram @drkamara. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Death still affects me. I’m not numb. I’m human." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/death-still-affects-me-im-not-numb-im-human.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
November 29, 2020
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A physician moves from the exam room to the C-suite

"The dictionary definition of learning is 'the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.' For leaders, the most crucial and common way of learning happens through experience, and as we often say, leadership is flying the plane while building it. Moreover, the onus of making the process of learning an active one is on the leader, and self-reflection is the key to it. So, what’s self-reflection? Simply put, reflection is a conscious consideration and analysis of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors for the sole purpose of learning. Experiences can be messy, but reflection gives us an opportunity to unravel and sort through our feelings and thoughts, and the ability to gauze new perspectives. Self-reflection helps us see the bigger picture, see ourselves in a richer multidimensional way, and create meaning." Priti Golechha is a pediatrician and a physician executive. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Lifelong learning through skillful self-reflection." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/lifelong-learning-through-skillful-self-reflection.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
November 28, 2020
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Essential tips for the physician-entrepreneur

"Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely road. Everyone dreams of life after a successful round of funds being raised, staff being hired, and plunging headfirst into the making and shipping of widgets. But there are many days which no one talks about, where a budding entrepreneur must find a way to get ideas from their brain to a whiteboard to a minimum viable product. In those times, progress can seem elusive, and sometimes even when the resources are at hand, we may not know if we are moving forward." Amelia L. Bueche is an osteopathic physician and founder, This Osteopathic Life. Akash Sharma is a nuclear radiologist and can be reached at Jeevun. They share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "Accountability partnership: a secret ingredient for entrepreneurial success." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/accountability-partnership-a-secret-ingredient-for-entrepreneurial-success.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
November 27, 2020
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COVID-19 is a war on two fronts

"I’m exhausted. As the pandemic rages on, the mental toll of dealing with COVID-19 has started to wear on me. As a practicing hospitalist in the Midwest impacted by one of the many hotspots caused by the meatpacking industry, I have spent a fair bit of time with this virus on the frontline. Some aspects of practicing medicine in a pandemic have actually improved, such as the increase in possible treatments and data to support those treatments. But one of the most stressful aspects of practicing medicine right now is the unexpected second front—the propagation of information from an increasingly vocal group of people who think the dangers of COVID-19 are imagined or manufactured." Clarissa Barnes is an internal medicine physician and can be reached at Dr. Clarissa Explains Healthcare. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD articles, "COVID-19 is a war on two fronts" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/05/covid-19-is-a-war-on-two-fronts.html) and "To my health care colleagues in South Dakota." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/to-my-health-care-colleagues-in-south-dakota.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
November 26, 2020
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Ballad of a sober man: an ER doctor’s journey of recovery

"Now, in her afterlife, she occasionally accompanied Maggie on excursions into my head, usually at night. Make that a double vodka. I thought I had finally learned in sobriety how to put them in the past, encased in a box, and keep them there. Still, sometimes they found a way out to visit me. The program taught me how to at least limit their appearances. I worked hard over the months, showing up for shifts with an energy I had not seen in myself for decades, a newfound enthusiasm I had not felt since my residency days back in Baltimore." “J. D. Remy” is an emergency physician and author of Ballad of a Sober Man: An ER Doctor’s Journey of Recovery. (https://amzn.to/3lZlBHu) He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "A sober emergency physician returns to work, just in time to face the COVID-19 pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/a-sober-emergency-physician-returns-to-work-just-in-time-to-face-the-covid-19-pandemic.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
November 25, 2020
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Parenting in a pandemic: Making the best decisions for your family

"You have made difficult choices about your family’s health and safety already. Pediatricians help parents make these kinds of decisions all the time. The shared- decision model for practicing medicine encourages doctors like me to help provide information and counseling to empower you to make decisions. You’ve already made decisions essential to your family’s health, whether about vaccination, safe sleep, or car seats. Other more everyday decisions parents make also carry real risk — driving while tired or distracted or selecting other activities like skiing or soccer. You can make difficult decisions and, in the process of coping with the pandemic, maybe you’ll learn more about what’s important to your family." Kelly Fradin is a pediatrician and author of Parenting in a Pandemic: How to help your family through COVID-19. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Parenting in a pandemic: Making the best decisions for your family." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/parenting-in-a-pandemic-making-the-best-decisions-for-your-family.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
November 24, 2020
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Financial tips that resident physicians need to know

"These strategies on how the rich get richer do not only apply to the wealthy. These same opportunities and strategies are open to us as well. If we want to accumulate wealth, or simply keep more of the money we currently have without paying a large portion in taxes, then we should consider following the strategies above. Think about what you are good at or what you like doing and consider a business you could start, product you could create/sell, or service you can render then file it as an LLC (or other business entity). Before you know it, you’ve “started your own business” and can now take advantage of tax rules that allow you to write off many of the expenses you already paid for. If you feel you pay too much in taxes, then meet with a tax advisor or talk to an experienced professional about ways you can lower your taxes. If you’d like to have your net worth increase in value so you can start living the life you’ve always envisioned, then talk to a financial planner and start investing. If you don’t have a financial planner or don’t think you can afford one, then start by putting money aside in your job’s 401(k) plan and investing the money in that account into a low-cost index mutual fund. (If you’re an advanced investor, then start learning about real estate and other active/passive investments.)" Altelisha Taylor is a family medicine resident and can be reached at Career Money Moves. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "3 ways the wealthy increase their net worth." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/3-ways-the-wealthy-increase-their-net-worth.html) This episode is sponsored by Elsevier Health (https://www.us.elsevierhealth.com/). Looking to update your personal or professional medical library? Shop Elsevier Health’s Holiday Sale and save up to 35% on your purchase of medical books! Plus, you can take an extra 5% off your order with code KEVINMD at checkout. Take advantage of the biggest sale of the year from Elsevier, the world-leading provider of medical books and reference materials. Shop us.elsevierhealth.com now through December 31.
November 23, 2020
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Essential physician communication tips to improve the patient experience

"A majority of physicians see between 11 and 20 patients per day, and among all practices, the majority of doctors spend between 17 and 24 minutes with each patient. Assuming a five-day workweek, this translates to more than 900 patient interactions per year and over 1,066 minutes spent communicating with patients. Today, many of these interactions fall short of effective communication so pivotal to building rapport, trust, and loyalty with patients and ultimately driving down the bottom-line results. While most physicians are compassionate by nature, many struggle to convey that compassion. A recent survey on doctor-patient interactions found that 71% of patients reported they’ve experienced a lack of compassion when speaking with a medical professional, and 73% stated that they always or often feel rushed by their doctor.  These findings highlight the need for medical professionals to develop the 'soft skills' – verbal and non-verbal communication techniques, listening skills, and empathy – critical for transforming the patient experience, increasing patient satisfaction, and improving outcomes." Anthony Orsini is neonatologist and founder, The Orsini Way. He is the author of It's All In The Delivery: Improving Healthcare Starting With A Single Conversation. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "The case for compassionate communication." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/the-case-for-compassionate-communication.html)
November 22, 2020
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Why spiritual health is so important

"Around the time of the coronavirus outbreak, 2019 also marked a full century since the death of Sir William Osler, who revolutionized medical training. Despite some lingering debate over whether Dr. Osler’s pneumonia-related death should be counted among the 50 million lost to the 1918 influenza pandemic, his notes suggest that he believed the flu precipitated his demise. As a chaplain who teaches medical humanities and professional identity formation in a medical school, I’ve been thinking about how Dr. Osler might have guided medical students during COVID-19.  Here, the evidence is a little clearer. Dr. Osler advocated for trainees to 'let no day pass without contact with the greatest literature in the world,' and to spend 30 minutes each night reading from a bedside library of ten classics. Included among these recommended texts were the Old and New Testaments and Sir Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici, a physician’s spiritual testament." Elizabeth J. Berger is an advanced practice board-certified chaplain and a narrative medicine specialist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Why spiritual health is so important for medical students." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/why-spiritual-health-so-important-for-medical-students.html)
November 21, 2020
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Mental health care in children during COVID-19

"Our country, and the world, is beyond exhausted by COVID-19 and the utter chaos and destruction of lives it has caused. All people, including physicians, are being pushed beyond capacity. What do we mean, collateral damage? Originally related to war: the unintended result of a terrible, unprecedented event or action. We may not be in a traditional war, but make no mistake, we are in a war. We can and must do better for our mentally ill patients. They deserve it. Their families deserve it. As physicians, we took an oath to care for all people, not just those with a 'cool kid’s disease.' It is time." Ann L. Contrucci is a pediatrician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Mental health care is the not so silent collateral damage of COVID-19." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/mental-health-care-is-the-not-so-silent-collateral-damage-of-covid-19.html)
November 20, 2020
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Declaring racism as a public health crisis from the lens of two Latinx student doctors

"Antiracism requires action-oriented work and calls us to ask, how will we work to become antiracist? How will we change our institutional culture and systems to become antiracist? As Latina medical students, we have seen and experienced racism in many aspects of society and have felt the need to change our institutional culture. If we act now, we will foster physician leaders adequately equipped to address health disparities. We are calling on other Latinx people, other non-Black people, and allies in medicine to go beyond these protests and commit to the journey of antiracism and health equity for all." Yesenia Salazar and Camila Hurtado are medical students. The share their stories and discuss their KevinMD article, "Declaring racism as a public health crisis from the lens of two Latinx student doctors." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/declaring-racism-as-a-public-health-crisis-from-the-lens-of-two-latinx-student-doctors.html)
November 19, 2020
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An inflexibility and inflammation root-cause approach to treatment

"In medicine, empiric therapy is treatment that is administered based on the probability of success because we don’t have all of the information. We make our 'best guess.' Actually, empiric decision-making exists in our everyday lives — running the garbage disposal when the sink is clogged, jiggling the key in the lock when it doesn’t turn. Mr. Thomas was in stable condition, and I estimated that his chances of finding an answer to his chest pain with another specialist, was very low. It was time to make my best guess. I explained my theory to Mr. Thomas and suggested we try some myofascial bodywork. In the best case, he would feel a difference; and in the worst case, he would feel a little sore and looser in his body, but without pain relief. Mr. Thomas was definitely interested. With hope and caution, we proceeded. I started with the sides of his chest … zig … then his abdominals … zag … then low back … zig … I checked with him frequently as he groaned with each maneuver, but he always nodded to continue. When the trial was over, I helped him sit up on the exam table." Cathy Kim is a family physician and can be reached at Dr. Cathy. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Fascia in primary care: When chest pain is not in your chest." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/fascia-in-primary-care-when-chest-pain-is-not-in-your-chest.html)
November 18, 2020
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Why the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to introduce meditation to children

"While there is a myriad of expert opinions on what long term effects this pandemic will have on our children and their physical and mental health, we must also remember the age-old idiom: this too shall pass. We must also be sensitive to not add to parents’ already full plates. Meditation is not meant to be another task on the already burdened shoulder of parents, but quite the opposite: a way to cope with the increasing demands placed on us by the pandemic. Despite the ubiquitous and understandable parental concerns regarding what type of adults these baby zoomers will turn out to be, pediatricians have a unique opportunity to counsel and provide some small silver linings. For example, many children are learning to adapt quickly to unpredictable situations. Many are becoming adept in technology, which will give them lifelong computer proficiency that may help in future careers. Many more are becoming excellent self-learners, and many parents are getting a unique opportunity to observe their children in a classroom setting. Finally, pediatricians can suggest the introduction of meditation and mindfulness as a means to counteract the possible negative effects the pandemic may have on our children." Ana Pal and Samira Hodges are pediatricians. They can be reached on Twitter @thepedipals. They share their story and discuss their KevinMD article, "Why the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to introduce meditation to children." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/why-the-pandemic-is-the-perfect-opportunity-to-introduce-meditation-to-children.html)
November 17, 2020
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Appreciation in the personal finance world

"Appreciation in the personal finance world has two different components to it: Quantitative: increasing value of net worth and financial assets Qualitative: feeling of gratitude for one’s finances, resources, and circumstance. This is not dependent on the dollar amount. These are both important, but the qualitative is the best predictor of increasing wealth and personal wellbeing. We are programmed by these components, which makes our brain to focus on what is wrong and what is insufficient. We tend to focus on what needs to be fixed than what we already have. When all our attention is on what needs fixing in our lives, our relationships, and our finances, we spiral into negative feelings." Latifat Alli-Akintade is a gastroenterologist and can be reached at MoneyFitMD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Appreciation in the personal finance world." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/appreciation-in-the-personal-finance-world.html)
November 16, 2020
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COVID-related stressors and increasing instances of substance abuse

"While the rise in substance use disorders during COVID will become more apparent as the pandemic eventually ebbs, the silver lining is that this is not a novel problem. We understand substance use disorders far better than we understand COVID-19, and we also know that one of the largest obstacles to treatment is the shame associated with admitting that one has a problem. Furthermore, we also possess lifesaving drugs (such as Naloxone) that can prevent those with opioid use disorder from dying of an overdose. Moving forward, we in the mental health community should encourage efforts to eliminate stigmas associated with addiction. More concretely, policymakers should be ready for the increase in opioid-related overdoses and ensure first responders have access to drugs like Naloxone. Secondly, COVID-19 patients and family members should receive easier access to mental health care to improve resiliency and potentially reduce instances of substance abuse disorders that begin as PTSD-related self-medication." Samoon Ahmad is a psychiatrist. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "COVID-related stressors and increasing instances of substance abuse." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/covid-related-stressors-and-increasing-instances-of-substance-abuse.html)
November 15, 2020
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Let’s make compassion go viral

"We are social beings. Evolution has taught us that in order to survive, we must work together. Community trust (trusting your fellow citizen) is a very effective way to build community resilience when hardships strike. Studies have been done in the wake of natural disasters and have shown that social infrastructure and connections have equal, if not more, impact on the ability of a community to 'bounce back' than physical infrastructure. During this terrible pandemic, let’s make compassion go viral. Let compassion be the vaccine for society. As so eloquently said by the Dalai Lama:  'Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not a luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.'" Aseem Desai is a cardiac electrophysiologist and author of Restart Your Heart. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "During this terrible pandemic, let’s make compassion go viral." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/06/during-this-terrible-pandemic-lets-make-compassion-go-viral.html)
November 14, 2020
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Hassle-free real estate investing for busy doctors

"Why real estate? By having a 'why' you want something, it’ll help keep you motivated to pursue your goals when setbacks and mistakes occur. For our family, we wanted passive income streams. Passive income gives you options. I love options. It doesn’t matter if you want to work forever, retire early, or change careers, multiple income sources can make it happen. Our passive income is not only tax-free, but we’re also able to access it if needed, unlike traditional retirement accounts." Jeff Anzalone is a periodontist who blogs at Debt Free Dr. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Hassle-free real estate investing for busy doctors." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/hassle-free-real-estate-investing-for-busy-doctors.html)
November 13, 2020
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A nontraditional approach to fear and stress

"Like 9/11, we have a new reference point touching everyone on the planet: life before COVID-19 and life after. Regardless if you get it or don’t, the unknowns and secondary consequences are scary. Life before COVID was scary, too, minus the urgency. Before COVID, we sensed the weight of living on a sick planet. We felt powerless to change the tide of forces affecting our lives for the worst. We normalized the slow spiral down the drain of political divisions, economic inequality, costly health care, deteriorating education, unreliable information, and unsustainable living. We let our existential fear buzz like a refrigerator’s white noise. COVID innocently shines a floodlight on our curious collective permissiveness. It illuminates silent fear." Ruchi Puri is an obstetrics-gynecology physician and can be reached at her self-titled site, Ruchi Puri, MD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "COVID illuminates silent fear." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/covid-illuminates-silent-fear.html)
November 12, 2020
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A call for a moratorium on the sale of inhalable products

"The inflammatory response elicited by the novel coronavirus can do great damage to the essential function of lungs. People with underlying lung disease are more vulnerable to this coronavirus, including people with asthma, emphysema, lung fibrosis, and even people with high exposure to air pollution. Smoking and vaping are perfectly preventable forms of high-intensity air pollution. We strongly urge city, county, and state governments across the planet to place a temporary moratorium on the sale of all inhalable products to protect our lungs and our freedom." Jayshree Chander is an occupational medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "A call for a moratorium on the sale of inhalable products." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/a-call-for-a-moratorium-on-the-sale-of-inhalable-products.html)
November 11, 2020
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Palliative care and the importance of holding space

"Holding space means being physically, mentally, and emotionally present for someone. It means putting your focus on someone to support them as they feel their feelings. An important aspect of holding space is managing judgment while you are present. Like when you tell a patient that they have stage IV pancreatic cancer and that it is nonsurgical and even with the best treatments, their time is very short. Then you hold space. You say nothing. You sit there and provide support by sitting there-next to their emotions. You don’t run to offer false hope. You don’t run to talk about 5 percent of the patients that respond to the newest therapy. You don’t try to look at the bright side. Change the subject. Or worse, run out the room. You hold space. Sometimes, you sit for 2 minutes. Sometimes 10 minutes. While saying nothing. It feels like an impossibly long time, but I wish I could tell you how you are bearing the weight of that news by just sitting there. Holding space." Faryal Michaud is a palliative care physician and can be reached at Write Your Last Chapter. (https://writeyourlastchapter.com/) She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The importance of holding space." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/the-importance-of-holding-space.html)
November 10, 2020
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How to balance family and professional needs during the pandemic

"The reality of being a medical practice owner is that we are small business owners and very vulnerable to the impact of COVID. Having previously worked in the telemedicine industry and because I am a psychiatrist, I initially felt that I was in a good position to adapt to this crisis – and this has been overall true, but the reality is it hasn’t been so easy in other ways. I was able to transition to a full telemedicine practice rather quickly and seamlessly; I am fortunate that I have been able to work to some degree while some of my colleagues have not. On the business side, I have had a significant decline in my overall revenue because patients were, especially for the months of March through May, seeking less health care overall, didn’t have sufficient privacy for telehealth sessions, or even simply preferred to wait for in-person visits to become available. As you know, New York was hit particularly hard, so this has been a prolonged situation of waiting until the coast is clear. Despite decreased revenues, operating costs remain at their pre-COVID levels – I am carrying the expense of my office rent and utilities, malpractice insurance, and other insurances, for example, accountant, biller, receptionist, and none of those expenses will be decreasing anytime soon if ever. I am the only clinician in my practice, but I would like to be able to rehire and re-expand my practice again but am facing some challenges in hiring due to poor cash flow." Sharon M. Batista is a psychiatrist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "7 tips to balance family and professional needs during the pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/7-tips-to-balance-family-and-professional-needs-during-the-pandemic.html)
November 9, 2020
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Medical aid in dying is not assisted suicide

"To help the reader understand the issues better, I would like to relate some stories. A friend of mine was dying of pancreatic cancer. He had an implantable morphine pump and was on both hospice and palliative care. Still, he found that his suffering was unbearable and wanted to die sooner. Doctors told him that his only option to end his suffering was to voluntarily stop eating and drinking, which he did. As a result, he developed psychosis, and his loving family has been scarred by the experience. He died after 10 agonizing days. I heard about an individual with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), which is incurable and causes the death of neurons that control muscles and eventually leads to the inability to move and then the ability to breathe. This person killed himself with a gun before he lost the use of his arms. I had a number of patients with cancer that we were not able to control their pain, and I gave them palliative sedation (a morphine drip that caused them to become unconscious) to control their suffering. Had it been available, medical aid in dying could have helped all these people. When my cancer gets worse, I expect to have a great deal of pain. I would like the option of having medication to put me to sleep, end my suffering, and to die, at home, with my family and friends around me." The author would like to correct the following statistics from the podcast: 17 percent of terminally Ill individuals discuss medical aid in dying with family and friends. 2 to 10 percent discuss medical aid in dying with a physician. 0.6 percent get medical aid in dying prescriptions. 0.3 to 0.4 percent use a medical aid in dying drug. Roger Kligler is an internal medicine physician. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Medical aid in dying is not assisted suicide." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/10/medical-aid-in-dying-is-not-assisted-suicide.html)
November 8, 2020
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Imagining a pandemic as a physician novelist

"There are some things that we are living through as a result of COVID-19 that I did not imagine in my fictional account. For example: the timeline. As we are now four full months into this pandemic in the U.S., some experts estimate that we are still early in the game. As one doctor put it, we are only at about the twenty-yard line of the football field. My imagined timeline was much shorter. Another thing I didn’t foresee was the perception of danger dividing along political lines. In fact, I imagined the opposite: that people would, in the name of self-preservation, view with suspicion any political down-playing of the danger of a global pandemic and insist on any means possible of protecting themselves. And among the most devastating consequences of this pandemic that I hadn’t imagined for my novel was the situation of people dying alone in hospitals without their loved ones. Not being able to hold the hand, give a final hug, say goodbye. Undoubtedly, penning an imaginary pandemic is much less stressful than living through one. Living through a pandemic day by day has carried with it a chronic anxiety that I did not anticipate: not just the fear of contracting the illness, but the constant worry of pre-symptomatically transmitting it, thus second-guessing every errand, every visit to loved ones. As we all work through this unprecedented medical crisis, I hope we continue to make steady progress in treatment and prevention of this devastating illness. Stay safe." Teresa Fuller is a pediatrician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Imagining a pandemic as a physician novelist." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/imagining-a-pandemic-as-a-physician-novelist.html)
November 7, 2020
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Moral injury and practicing oncology during COVID-19

"As our office begins to return to pre-COVID operations, it has been uplifting to have a relative sense of normalcy, even though morale seems to be reduced. It is difficult to promote team building and improve morale when everyone has to maintain social distancing. I would love to go out for a meal with my staff, hug my patients, and lecture our trainees face-to-face in a classroom. While the hope is that all of these distancing measures are temporary, avoiding despair is another layer added onto an already heightened level of stress. I think all of us in medicine who have survived the pandemic thus far are grateful, even as we mourn the tremendous loss of life. There are signs that we can overcome this new normal moral injury involving fear, stress, and work-life imbalance. Several things that were burdensome pre-COVID such as licensing regulations, charting requirements, being unable to do telemedicine, for example, all were revised in some positive way as a result of the pandemic. In the same way that protests for social justice are rising, so are voices in medicine that will hopefully use this time of uncertainty to potentially change and improve health care systems. As we continually provide hope to our patients, perhaps there is hope for our profession to improve when we come out of this challenging time." Marc Braunstein is a hematology-oncology physician and can be reached on Twitter @docbraunstein. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD articles, "My new normal moral injury" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/my-new-normal-moral-injury.html) and "Practicing oncology during COVID-19." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/03/practicing-oncology-during-covid-19.html)
November 6, 2020
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Examining the duty of physician officials in the government

"The duty of physician officials in the government exceeds that of other officials. As physicians, they have a unique moral obligation to do more than protect the constitution from enemies, foreign and domestic. They have a duty to be unambiguously truthful, to use their power to do good, and to avoid harm. If they fail in any of those regards, they must be held accountable by their peers, and by society. This is especially urgent when those who appointed them to these positions of authority fail to manifest in their actions the moral necessity of telling the truth, doing good, and avoiding harm. In that case, peer and public accountability are all that is left to uphold these essential ethical standards. If this level of peer accountability seems extreme, imagine the consequences if the most powerful and public-facing physicians in the country continue to erode public trust in their own profession. Physicians have always held one another accountable to the highest ethical standards of medicine. The need is more urgent than ever. The potential for great human suffering demands that the unified voice of medicine muster its moral courage and act as though its life depends on it." Charles E. Binkley is a bioethicist and general surgeon. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "The failure of the U.S. government’s physicians to do good, avoid harm, and tell the truth." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/the-failure-of-the-u-s-governments-physicians-to-do-good-avoid-harm-and-tell-the-truth.html)
November 5, 2020
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An Indian doctor with vitiligo shares his story

"Growing up, my family sheltered and protected me with everything related to vitiligo. People never really asked me what happened to my skin. And, if I did get questions, I honestly did not know how to answer them, so I would say 'oh, they’re just sunburn scars' or some version of that story, and moved on. Thinking back, I probably was too supported and busy to really have an opportunity to be bothered by it. That, in itself, was a blessing. I pursued many years of schooling and training to ultimately become a practicing physician. Now that I’ve been in medicine for many years, I primarily value and cherish the connection with my patients, as I sincerely believe medicine is fundamentally about the human experience. But, when I hear statements like 'you don’t look Indian' from patients, I am constantly reminded each time that I have vitiligo. Reflecting on how best to answer this question, I ask myself if I should react and explain the skin condition, or just let it go. The truth is that the majority of the time, I do 'let it go' when it comes to discussing my skin condition with patients. I simply don’t want to explain to patients that I have vitiligo." Dhaval Desai is a hospitalist. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "The story of an Indian doctor with vitiligo." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/06/the-story-of-an-indian-doctor-with-vitiligo.html)
November 4, 2020
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COVID-19 amplifies health disparities

"The daily email update on COVID-19 affecting our hospital system is a glaring reflection of the health disparities amongst those in marginalized groups. The farther south you go, generally in San Diego, the higher the number of socioeconomically disadvantaged persons, and that tends to include a disproportionate number of persons of color.  These populations may be unable to physically distance due to living conditions and job conditions.  Perhaps there is a higher number of persons living together per household, in a smaller space, along with the inability to work from home.  And the mortality rates of those from COVID-19 amongst these persons is higher than white counterparts. Sometimes there is an inherent distrust in the medical system.  COVID-19 and racism intersect. However, this is not a unique situation in health care—many chronic illnesses portend worse outcomes for those in marginalized groups.  Marginalization means just that: glaringly apparent in health outcomes and socioeconomic disparities." Ni-Cheng Liang is a pulmonary physician and founder, the Mindful Healthcare Collective. She shares her story and discuss her KevinMD article, "COVID-19 becomes a magnifying glass for health disparities." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/covid-19-becomes-a-magnifying-glass-for-health-disparities.html) Resources mentioned in the show: Implicit bias test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html Health Disparities Widget: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/data-search/health-disparities-data/health-disparities-widget Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities: https://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/strategies2016/index.html Conscious Anti-Racism: https://www.jillwener.com/consciousantiracism
November 3, 2020
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How improv helps physician leaders

"Signing up for an improv class was unchartered territory. It was far beyond my comfort zone, like skydiving, for a little thrill. I’m not an adrenaline junkie interested in the ultimate adventure nor an aspiring actress hoping for a guest appearance on SNL. I’m a physician and a physician leader. Learning improvisational theatre wasn’t on my comprehensive, personal to-do list. But I’m also a physician coach. I sense what others feel in the moment without interpretation or judgment. However, when I tried to turn the same discerning sage on myself, I was faltering. The voice of compassion that I once used during patient visits and that I now use during client sessions, is sometimes muted by an inner critic that tells me to keep self-awareness out of awareness. It is this voice that I wanted to stifle when I hit the submit button." Terri Malcolm is an obstetrician-gynecologist and founder, Master Physician Leaders. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How improv helps physician leaders." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/how-improv-helps-physician-leaders.html)
November 2, 2020
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Health misinformation from a patient perspective

"What on earth are we doing here, folks? To try to save a tanking economy, workers were sent back to their jobs much too early, causing again a spike in cases of the virus. I realize that the loss of a paycheck is a major traumatic situation for any breadwinner, but so is the loss of life. Our doctors and nurses are doing their best to treat COVID-19 patients under their care. Many are putting themselves in harm’s way and risking their health to care for those hospitalized. Some have been separated from their own families so as not to potentially carry the virus to them. And how do we repay them for their valiant efforts? By ignoring the guidelines put forth by the CDC and all other medical institutions. That doesn’t make sense." Michele Luckenbaugh is a patient advocate. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The loss of a paycheck is a major traumatic situation. The loss of life is worse." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/the-loss-of-a-paycheck-is-a-major-traumatic-situation-the-loss-of-life-is-worse.html)
November 1, 2020
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Depression vs. burnout: A physician goes through both

"I have been depressed. I have been burned out. I have been both. I have been neither. How do you know if you are depressed vs. burned out when your chief complaint is, “I feel like crap?” It’s time to call a consult. I don’t mean curbsiding your colleagues to fill your medications off the record without evaluation. I mean, ask for real help, from someone who can objectively help you define your diagnosis and the best path forward. If you “feel like crap” and think you may be depressed or burned out, please reach out to a trusted physician, therapist, or coach. You are not alone, and there is hope and help waiting for you." Kara Pepper is an internal medicine physician and can be reached at her self-titled site, Physician Life Coach: Kara Pepper, MD. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Call a consult: depression vs. burnout." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/call-a-consult-depression-vs-burnout.html)
October 31, 2020
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Telemedicine in COVID-19: Disparities still exist

"An increasing number of institutions are relying on telemedicine to continue delivering care to patients in lieu of typical outpatient visits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine has been lauded as a potential equalizer in health care access. Indeed, it allows for safe and easy access to medical professionals. It especially benefits patients with transportation issues or those seeking specialty care from far away. Some pitfalls such as reimbursement issues and lack of physical exam notwithstanding, telemedicine overall is a helpful service at a time like this. However, telemedicine does not benefit all patients equally. In fact, it exposes and amplifies the existing health care disparity in a subgroup of patients." Wenjing Zong is a pediatric gastroenterology fellow. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Telemedicine in COVID-19: Disparities still exist." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/05/telemedicine-in-covid-19-disparities-still-exist.html)
October 30, 2020
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#MedBikini and medical professionalism

"While our bodies have been a bastion of the heart and soul of medicine, a group of our peers thought it was acceptable to diminish the capabilities of our bodies to pictures on social media. They thought our ability to be exceptional physicians was inversely proportional to the number of pictures that showed us holding a drink or wearing a bikini. Our bodies do so much more than just practice medicine. What we choose to do with our bodies in our own free time should not become part of an investigation that is packaged as peer-reviewed research. Our bodies may have tattoos, ride motorcycles, or compete in pole fitness competitions for sport. None of that impacts our practice of medicine negatively. It’s past time we start celebrating the strength of our bodies and hold accountable those who try to negate our accomplishments with an ill-perceived attitude of sexism and misogyny." Jessica Pearce is an obstetrician-gynecologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Let us talk about the underlying situation of #medbikini." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/let-us-talk-about-the-underlying-situation-of-medbikini.html)
October 29, 2020
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How writing can change minds and make you a better physician

Meet the physician who has written multiple widely-shared articles on KevinMD. How does writing change minds and bring people together? Why is humor such an important part of her pieces? Explore how her articles come together, and why writing has made her a better physician. Rada Jones is an emergency physician and can be reached at her self-titled site, RadaJonesMD, and on Twitter @jonesrada. She is the author of Overdose. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How masks are like your underwear." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/how-masks-are-like-your-underwear.html)
October 28, 2020
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To better take care of patients, we need to take care of ourselves

"I wonder what keeps us physicians going? What makes us show up to work every day? Even though it might sound clichéd, for most of us, it’s the love for medicine; it’s the love to be there and still be able to make a difference. And maybe money too. Here I have some self-help tips/tools that could potentially help us through these tough times. We cannot change our surroundings. We can certainly adapt." Manju Mahajan is a family physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "To better take care of patients, we need to take care of ourselves." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/to-better-take-care-of-patients-we-need-to-take-care-of-ourselves.html)
October 27, 2020
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Search engine optimization for physicians

"What is SEO? In short, it is the process of optimizing content found online in order to help it be seen by those searching for the information found in that content. It used to be that people would just stuff their poorly written, short, and low-quality blog posts with their keyword, and they would rank for that keyword. Long gone are those days, and it’s a good thing because when it comes to health care and medical content, that kind of content has no place being seen. If we all start putting out quality medical content, soon there will be no room on page one for all of the noise that not only provides low-quality information but can actually put people’s lives and health in danger." Andrea Paul is a physician-entrepreneur and can be found on Instagram and Facebook. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Search engine optimization for physicians." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/09/how-the-google-algorithm-update-helps-doctor-written-content-rank-higher.html)
October 26, 2020
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How coaching prevents and treats physician burnout

"Physicians are advocates of health. This must include our own. Physicians identify threats to health. This must include those that threaten our own – burnout is proven a grave threat. Physicians seek, prescribe, and perform curative treatments. We have the treatment for burnout available – we must prescribe it for each other and seek it for ourselves. Physicians advocate for vaccination as prevention. We have the inoculation for burnout – we must make it widely accessible and encourage collective participation to gain the necessary herd immunity. We have available to us a single solution that fulfills both prevention and cure for the pandemic of burnout – this single treatment will sustain the workforce that is needed to navigate the other pandemics we face. Coaching empowers us to continue our work in advocating for health, identifying and eliminating threats with our compassion, expertise, empathy, and lives intact. We must lead by example, ask for the help we need, use prevention as medicine, and emerge together immune to the toxicities threatening our profession and eradicate the disease of burnout through coaching." Amelia L. Bueche is an osteopathic physician and founder, This Osteopathic Life. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "How coaching prevents and treats physician burnout." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/how-coaching-prevents-and-treats-physician-burnout.html)
October 25, 2020
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3 coronavirus facts Americans must know before returning to work and school

"We can’t un-bungle our nation’s COVID-19 response. Political leaders acted too slowly; health agencies committed unforced errors with testing kits and, amid the confusion, an information fog settled over the land. Americans remain afraid, perplexed, and chronically misinformed (despite wall-to-wall coronavirus coverage across the leading cable news programs and print publications). To counter the uncertainty, any plan to get us out of the coronavirus crisis must first acknowledge and broadly communicate three immutable, scientific facts." Robert Pearl is a plastic surgeon and author of Mistreated: Why We Think We’re Getting Good Health Care–And Why We’re Usually Wrong. He can be reached on Twitter @RobertPearlMD. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "3 coronavirus facts Americans must know before returning to work and school." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/05/3-coronavirus-facts-americans-must-know-before-returning-to-work-and-school.html)
October 24, 2020
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A terminal diagnosis for my baby

"Eventually, this thankfully passed. Now, almost three years later, I know that this loss will always be with us. Miriam was beautiful, she was our only girl, she was perfect for our family, and she’s always missing. Still, my memories of being in the hospital are incredibly sad but also peaceful. In part, this is due to the incredible support and love we got from our family, friends, rabbi, and community. But in a big part, this is due to the clear and honest way we got Miriam’s diagnosis and the support, concern, and compassion from her medical team." Sophia Zilber is a patient advocate. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Getting a terminal diagnosis for my baby." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/01/getting-a-terminal-diagnosis-for-my-baby.html)
October 23, 2020
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A physician experiences unprofessional behavior. What happened next?

"Setting: An impersonal, windowless conference room within a hospital Characters: A nurse in charge (NIC), a department chair (DC) and me (ME) NIC: Thank you for joining us to discuss the report you made of unprofessional behavior in the operating room. We’d like to start by letting you know that in this institution, we have a culture of informality. When I first got here, I found it unsettling that doctors were called by their first names in meetings. DC: Yes, this culture was also surprising to me. At [Ivory tower institution 1], where I trained, no one would have ever called a physician by their first name! And at [Ivory tower institution 2] where I worked before moving here, no one would have dreamed of calling a doctor by their first name. Can you imagine someone calling Dr. [Worldfamous Surgeon at Ivory tower institution 2] Steve? It never would have happened! He would have been so angry! But here, I get called by my first name pretty regularly. I’ve gotten used to it, and now I don’t even mind. ME: We’re not here because someone called me by my first name. DC: What do you mean?" Sarah M. Temkin is a gynecology-oncology physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "A discussion about unprofessional behavior: a play in 1 act." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/a-discussion-about-unprofessional-behavior-a-play-in-1-act.html)
October 22, 2020
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Telehealth is the future but it is obscured by a dismal present

"Will the unfavorable regulatory environment permit telehealth to flourish? Perforce we’re beginning to see a relaxation of restrictions that have hitherto obstructed progress.  Recently, federal officials approved interstate licensing, thereby prompting greater telehealth conversion, utilization, and expansion. Medicare’s 1135 Waiver is also encouraging, and, in as much as it serves the same ends, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s leave to prescribe via telemedicine without a prior in-person meeting is a  similarly promising development. In light of circumstances, anything that might reduce cost, improve delivery, and wrest control from bloated, dysfunctional health care systems is viable." David Hanekom is an internal medicine physician. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Telehealth is the future but it is obscured by a dismal present." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/telehealth-is-the-future-but-it-is-obscured-by-a-dismal-present.html)
October 21, 2020
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Can what you eat worsen your ADHD?

"Suzy was a bright and hardworking student. However, even though she was conscientious and generally cheery, her grades began to fall during her senior year, and she started to feel depressed. She also constantly had an upset stomach, which she had just accepted as a way of life. She’d had an ADHD diagnosis since she was younger, but while Ritalin had helped her focus on her work in the past, the effect seemed to be dwindling as she built up a tolerance. I noted that her diet seemed to have shifted toward more comfort food. Her meals were cereal with milk, a sandwich, pizza, or pasta. She was eating a lot of dairy and gluten, and it’s no coincidence that both of these dietary components can exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD." Uma Naidoo is a nutritional psychiatrist and author of This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Can what you eat worsen your ADHD?" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/can-what-you-eat-worsen-your-adhd.html)
October 20, 2020
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Sexual offender treatment during COVID-19

"Let’s not suffer more hardship then already incurred by COVID-19. Recognizing that both the psychosocial stressors arising from COVID-19 and the withdrawal of effective sexual offender treatment increase the risk of sexual violence, public safety demands that offenders have access to treatment. Without sexual offender treatment during COVID-19, we exchange one public health crisis for another." Renée Sorrentino is a psychiatrist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Sexual offender treatment during COVID-19." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/the-withdrawal-of-effective-sexual-offender-treatment-during-covid-19.html)
October 19, 2020
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Be an upstander and not a bystander

"The incident bothered me all day and the following many days. I couldn’t quite put a finger on what it was and brushed it aside and stopped thinking about it. In the wake of recent events, it dawned upon me that it wasn’t the patient’s comments that bothered me. It was the fact that no one standing in the room witnessing the conversation stepped in. Not during the conversation, and not after. Considering I’ve worked with my colleagues every single day, and in the same place for the last 12 years, I felt strangely betrayed. Stories like this happen every day and are sadly more common than we realized. There will always be racist, insensitive, inappropriate comments by people across life. Its how we react to them is what will shape our lives. Most individuals have asked how they can help. Well, start by being an upstander and not a bystander. That will mean the world to us, people of color, and immigrants. And let’s start teaching and training students in medical school, nursing, and technical schools how to identify and stand up to inappropriate comments. It may take us a few generations to make seismic changes, but we must start now." Aasma Shaukat is a gastroenterologist and can reached on Twitter @aasmashaukatmd. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Be an upstander and not a bystander." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/be-an-upstander-and-not-a-bystander.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 18, 2020
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What it’s like to write about COVID-19 while it’s killing your mom

"My mom was beyond vulnerable to the virus. May of 2020 marked two years since she’d become a nursing home resident—receiving care for several chronic illnesses. She died of failure to thrive due to Coronavirus 2019 on June 1, 2020, at the age of 75. As her oldest child, her health care proxy, and a health care writer for more than 15 years, I knew that a positive result in a long-term care facility was statistically almost sure to end one way. She’d already been showing signs of global decline for months, and had a DNR order in place. Professionally, I’d been immersed in COVID almost from the time it began. I was writing articles about physicians’ liability exposure during the crisis and how clinicians could seek resources for help coping with trauma related to the pandemic. Personally, I was connecting with my mom the best I could (asynchronous videos, cards in the mail). I was defending her final wishes. And I was preparing mentally to say goodbye, even if it couldn’t be in person." Debra A. Shute is a journalist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "What it’s like to write about COVID-19 while it’s killing your mom." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/what-its-like-to-write-about-covid-19-while-its-killing-your-mom.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 17, 2020
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What does a physician’s ideal life look like?

"You are a physician. You have put in years of hard work and sacrifice getting here. Now what? Does your life look and feel exactly how you imagined it would? If not, what does your ideal life look like? Certainly, answers to this question are deeply personal, and will vary depending on the individual. As physicians, we need to engage in a process of self-discovery to create the lives we want and deserve. This requires each of us to examine our lives as they currently are, envision what they could be, and take inspired action to make the changes that are necessary to achieve our goals. To start, you might ask yourself the following questions: What aspects of my career and personal life do I find the most rewarding and fulfilling? What aspects am I simply tolerating? And what aspects actually make me feel unhappy, or unsettled?" Gina Geis is a neonatologist and physician coach. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The path toward your ideal life." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/the-path-toward-your-ideal-life.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 16, 2020
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A medical student volunteers with the medical corps

"An email arrived inviting med students to join the State of Georgia’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). The MRC is an organization of doctors, nurses, PAs, EMTs, and med students who are the first medical boots on the ground for disasters in Georgia. They establish mobile hospitals and provide medical care. With extra time in isolation, I signed up and shortly received a notice for locations at food banks available to students. I requested an assignment, received my orders, and deployed the next day to serve for two weeks. When I arrived, the food bank was in desperate need of volunteers. With the state shutdown, more people needed food, but fewer people were able to help. The Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF), a statewide Army branch of volunteers, assigned soldiers to work at the food banks since normal volunteers were under lockdown. I was assigned as medical support for the soldiers." Mason Bennett is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "A medical student’s unique education in a pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/a-medical-students-unique-education-in-a-pandemic.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 15, 2020
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Free speech, cancel culture, and taking down statues

"History cannot be changed and should not be erased. The First Amendment was placed first for a reason. It is the bedrock of our nation’s ability to overcome despots like Hitler and to abolish slavery. However, it comes at a price. You may hear things you don’t like or make you uncomfortable. You may see statues or places like the Old Slave Market that offend you because of what they represent. But you also see works of art like the Declaration of Independence. You cannot have one without the other. To limit speech or erase history because you do not personally like it, or because it doesn’t fit your narrative is a step towards liberal and/or conservative fascism. Personal liberty is sacrificed." Andrew Pickens is an emergency physician. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD articles, "The cancel culture and the erasure of less just times and imperfect people" (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/06/the-cancel-culture-and-the-erasure-of-less-just-times-and-imperfect-people.html) and "The DNA of the United States of America." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/the-dna-of-the-united-states-of-america.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 14, 2020
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A physician receives a derogatory email. Here’s what she did next.

"The disparity of women physicians in research is a systemic issue that should be mitigated appropriately.  Women, especially minorities and immigrants, need institutional support to succeed as clinician-investigators. Medical institutions should actively participate in increasing funding mechanisms available solely for the development and promotion of female clinician investigators. Funding for research projects, in terms of time effort and supplies such as data management tools, is vitally important to address gender inequities in research. Protected time for planning, conducting, and writing grants and manuscripts for the project is also essential. Women and men in medicine need to become better at involving the appropriate clinical expertise in research projects.  Research, in general, will benefit from the increased collegiality and partnerships among medical specialties." Tina S. Ipe is a pathologist. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "A physician unmutes herself after receiving an email." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/a-physician-unmutes-herself-after-receiving-an-email.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 13, 2020
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How physicians can be activists

"We dealt with the death, uncertainty, and fear of COVID-19 with a stiff upper lip. But our hearts broke when George Floyd was murdered by the police on May 25. George is a symbol of an immense problem. A study reported that one in every thousand Black men can expect to be killed by the police. One in every thousand! Racially directed violence by the police is a public health problem. Clinicians cannot be silent. Clinicians will not be silent." Karim Khan is an infectious disease fellow. He shares his story and discusses the KevinMD article that he co-wrote, "White Coats for Black Lives: How to transform anger into action." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/white-coats-for-black-lives-how-to-transform-anger-into-action.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 12, 2020
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COVID-19 misinformation is a public health crisis

"Government officials, regardless of political affiliation, should seek sound medical advice before communicating with their constituents. Appropriate public health information should be shared so that constituents are not harmed by following misinformed medical information. Government officials, news media, and social media platforms should account for the health information they spread. We must combat misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic so that we are better prepared to handle a potential second wave or any viral outbreaks in the future." Jacob Uskavitch is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "COVID-19 misinformation is a public health crisis." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/covid-19-misinformation-is-a-public-health-crisis.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 11, 2020
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What is the future of telehealth?

"Almost overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted how we deliver primary care to patients. Before the pandemic, telehealth seemed to be a way to deliver urgent care for acute issues to a select group of tech-savvy patients. Now, at least in my practice, the majority of primary care (acute care, chronic disease management, and preventive care) is being delivered through “telehealth,” meaning that we conduct visits virtually via video or telephone. While, of course, this is currently safer, many patients also seem to value the improved convenience and accessibility of these visits compared to traditional office-based care. However, as we continue to move forward providing virtual care to patients during the pandemic and beyond, we need to recognize our current deficiencies in providing this type of care and acknowledge that providing the full scope of quality telehealth will require more than just a video connection with a patient." Cara Litvin is an internal medicine physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "Envisioning the delivery of true primary care telehealth." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/envisioning-the-delivery-of-true-primary-care-telehealth.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 10, 2020
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Medical students are benched during the pandemic

"There is no single culprit responsible for this shift in medical education. However, two, in particular, should be noted. The first is the culture of defensive medicine, or more bluntly, CYA (cover-your-ass) medicine. This culture has been insidiously infusing itself within the modern health care system for decades. The fear of being sued for malpractice is ever-present. Undoubtedly, this has led to hesitations in allowing medical students to be involved in patient care. Another important consideration is our capitalistic health care system. In an era when physicians are being pressured by hospitals to see more patients, coupled with intense bureaucratic demands and documentation requirements, it is no secret that learners slow down productivity and drive down the bottom line. As a result, education suffers. What is the consequence of all of this? The 'finish line' keeps getting pushed back further and further. More resident physicians are deciding to pursue fellowship before becoming an attending. For instance, in the field of general surgery, 80 percent of residents decide to pursue a fellowship. It is unclear how this will affect patient care in the future. Undoubtedly though, it begins at the medical student level. The decision to remove medical students from the hospitals in the midst of this crisis is the ultimate reflection of a much larger problem, that being, the regression of the role of medical students." Clayton Korson is a medical student. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "Medical students are benched during the pandemic." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/08/medical-students-are-benched-during-the-pandemic.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 9, 2020
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How to minimize virtual medicine liability risk

"Telehealth has come into focus during the COVID-19 pandemic as physicians face an immediate need to reduce exposure by providing care—or at least triage—remotely when appropriate. Under usual circumstances, telemedicine is comparatively low risk. That said, telemedicine does bring specific risks to patient safety and physician/practice liability. Minimizing those risks calls for adapting daily practice routines around informed consent, documentation, and other standard components of a patient encounter, as well as adjusting the practice’s insurance coverage." David L. Feldman is chief medical officer, The Doctors Company and Healthcare Risk Advisors. He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, "7 tips for telehealth during COVID-19." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/04/7-tips-for-telehealth-during-covid-19.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 8, 2020
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Human trafficking survivors and trauma-informed care

"As a physician working with human trafficking survivors, I have become accustomed to those with a history of surviving violence. But the patient in question is in my general primary care practice. This should highlight to care providers that there may be many more patients out there who have been exposed to trauma in their past, and we need to take this into account. One way to be inclusive is to incorporate the substance abuse and mental health services administration principles of trauma-informed care into practice." Andrea Reilly is an internal medicine-pediatrics physician. She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, "The challenge of trauma-informed care in the age of COVID." (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/the-challenge-of-trauma-informed-care-in-the-age-of-covid.html) This episode is sponsored by The Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX). The Nuance DAX solution makes it possible to forget the tech-toggling and reduces documentation burdens no matter how or where care is being provided. (www.kevinmd.com/nuancedax)
October 7, 2020
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A message from a pediatric emergency physician: Be kind

"As I read about Dr. Breen, saddened by the fact that we have been robbed of yet another young, promising, motivated physician, I am reminded that as bad as this pandemic is — and truly believe it is awful — when it gets better (and I have to believe that it will), we can’t forget. Because all the other things that have always been there but got shoved to the back burner by COVID will be there again. And no matter what kind of medicine you practice, there will be unique (and some not-so-unique) stressors. We are always expected to be kind to our patients. But my plea to you is to be kind to each other and, more importantly, yourself. You’re worth it. And I promise there is someone out there who understands what you are going through. Sometimes you just have to ask." Annalise Sorrentino is a