A female patient came to see me with some difficulty swallowing, a very routine issue for a gastroenterologist. I performed an scope examination of her esophagus and confronted a huge cancer occupying the lower portion of her esophagus. I expected a benign explanation for her swallowing issue. She was relatively young and not particularly […]
Earnest Tipp was very overdue for his blood pressure follow-up. Almost a year and a half overdue, as a matter of fact. The last few times I had refilled his medications, I had added “needs follow-up” to the signum on his scripts. The other day I finally saw him in my schedule. I thought about […]
I am lucky enough, from time to time, to be invited to speak to young women who want to be surgeons when they “grow up.” I always have a hard time striking a balance between what I should share that is positive and inspirational and what I should share that is a little harsh and […]
If the analogy between medical training and a fraternity is true, then medical students are the pledges. For many, the most grueling part of this pledge process is the third year surgery rotation where the modified Murphy’s Law is applicable almost daily: Anything a medical student can do wrong, a medical student will do wrong. […]
For me, hepatitis B booster shots feel pretty much as pleasant as being sucker punched in the arm. You can imagine that it didn’t inspire much elation when I scrolled through my calendar to see, spelled out in big red letters, a reminder for “Hep B #3.” Now, as I reflect, this reminder feels like a […]
Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 46-year-old woman is evaluated before undergoing a dental cleaning procedure involving deep scaling. She has a history of mitral valve prolapse without regurgitation and also had methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) aortic valve endocarditis 10 years ago treated successfully with antibiotics. The […]
I practice gastroenterology in Cleveland in the dark shadow of a large medical institution whose name contains the name of our city. They are a world class medical institution whose reputation is largely derived from its cardiovascular department. Presumably, these practitioners, like all doctors, advise patients who smoke that cigarettes have deleterious health effects. […]
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As the Obamacare machine continues to grind forward, many patients have re-enrolled in a second year of coverage. While most have not had to use their insurance (the young and healthy crowd), others have found their newly minted coverage to be far less than promised. High deductibles, and up front out of pocket expenses, forced […]
I remember being more confident that most of my peers. The look of dread on my fellow interns face pre-call, and the fatigue post-call always seemed unnatural to me. Maybe it was on account of my lifelong pursuit of medicine. I felt nothing but elation at the newly branded “M” and “D” that came after […]
As the rugged beauty of the Pacific Coast unfolded in all of its splendor, I was in awe of the entirely different experience: the one created by our Uber driver, Calvin (name changed to protect anonymity). My friend and I, attending our annual cardiology meeting in sunny San Diego, carved out a few hours of […]
“Doctor, I have trouble breathing when I walk up stairs, and I cannot lie flat in bed, so I have to sleep sitting in a chair. I feel much worse than before I got pregnant.” I recognized the diagnosis at that point, but I continued the appointment to confirm my suspicions and to revel in […]
There were a lot of happy faces on March 20th as depicted in this brief video of the excitement on the campus of the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Similar scenes took place at every U.S. medical school because 93.9 percent of the 18,025 graduates of U.S. allopathic medical schools matched in a specialty. […]
Sometimes, after crafting an important or complex plan of care with a patient, I say: “Let me type all this into the computer so that, in case I run into that big bull moose up on Vaillancourt Hill on my way home tonight, the next doctor who sees you will know what we were thinking […]
Dear Bill Maher, I respect your First Amendment right to exercise free speech. In regards to your recent comments on doctors, however, your words don’t matter. Here’s why. There is a concept known as the beauty of medicine; I attempt to capture it in the following paragraphs. Continue reading … Your patients are rating you […]