How to Talk With Your Doctor.

How to Talk With Your Doctor.

You will probably be happier about your medical care if you and your doctor are a team. Although your doctor is an expert on medical care, you are the expert on yourself. Often you have choices to diagnose or treat an illness, and actively partnering with your doctor, rather than passively letting him do...

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Why your doctor can’t spend more time with patients.

Why your doctor can’t spend more time with patients.

Pauline Chen is spot-on with this feature: An Insurance Maze for U.S. Doctors. If you wonder why your physician seems stressed, inattentive, burned out, or any number of other states signifying that your health interests are competing for attention with other concerns, this is a primary reason why. I read this with interest, as...

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Innovations in Health Care, or, You Can’t Keep a Good Guy Down.

Innovations in Health Care, or, You Can’t Keep a Good Guy Down.

Innovation eschewed in the field of medicine? From the KevinMD blog, an interesting article from several perspectives: how medical practice is steeped in convention, how Dr. Parkinson’s experience has implications for the field of patient advocacy, and whether patients with low-literacy issues would have been able to keep up with the technology-reliant administration of...

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A hospital patient has fewer odds of surviving than an airline passenger.

A hospital patient has fewer odds of surviving than an airline passenger.

  Seems counterintuitive, yes? But examine the facts.  High infection rates (1 out of 3 on a “good” day) can be virtually eliminated; medical errors significantly so. Both require commitment from the public, hospital administrators, and the government. So please don’t be afraid to ask clinicians if they’ve washed their hands before touching a patient! This includes...

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Treat COPD “Naturally”?

Treat COPD “Naturally”?

This headline caught my attention: Treat COPD Naturally With Vitamin D Such an attractive concept. I have learned, though, to look for multiple studies with the same result, and to critically review the researchers for any potential conflict of interest. That said, alternative therapies proven to be effective should certainly be included, but relying...

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Is Your Pain “Real”?

Is Your Pain “Real”?

Doctors are being taken to task for prescribing pain killers — specifically the opioids, such as hydrocodone and oxycontin. It is estimated that one out of five patients falsify their symptoms and are substance-abusers. But note that the 20% abuse rate can be resolved 90% of the time: does the patient cooperate with additional...

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Poverty Is Hazardous to Your Health.

Poverty Is Hazardous to Your Health.

We knew it all along. But anecdotal information does not have the same weight as peer-reviewed scientific research articles. And if that research quantifies the data so that we can make an educated estimate as to how many people die from poverty, and lists specific factors which contribute to illness and death, then we...

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Proven to Dramatically Reduce Medical Errors…

Proven to Dramatically Reduce Medical Errors…

Such a simple concept with a life-or-death impact — many physicians increasingly advocate using checklists to manage medical issues. This isn’t a new idea. The aviation industry and commercial building contractors have relied on this method for decades – with great results. Medicine has been a bit slower to adopt the checklist method, but...

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A Note of Appreciation – and Apology – to Medical Providers!

A Note of Appreciation – and Apology – to Medical Providers!

There’s a lot of content here which doesn’t reflect well on the ignominious few who don’t uphold your professional standards. But to the other 95% of you, please know you are not included! Having spoken with many of you, I understand your frustration with not being able to engage 100% with your patients, and...

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Giving Back to the Community…

Giving Back to the Community…

Next week I will resume Monday afternoon piano concerts at The Heritage, a life care community situated in the Marina, one of San Francisco’s most beautiful neighborhoods. When I was very young, my parents emphasized the importance of putting one’s talents and abilities to use for the benefit of the community. In the process...

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