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Healthcare is rapidly changing. As a practitioner, how should you think about attracting new patients, navigating online reviews, and building a brand? Read this report.

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Why I Still Don’t Hate Being a Doctor

Judging from recent articlessurveys, and blog posts, the medical profession is remarkably demoralized. Typical complaints range from “feeling like a beaten dog” to “living in humiliating servitude,” to being forced to practice “treadmill medicine.”

If you were to read the comments section of some of these articles, it would seem that there is, indeed, little warmth and sympathy left for physicians: “Poor doctors, making a little less income and not being treated like gods anymore? You have to do extra paperwork? You have to work long hours? Welcome to the real world, you whiners!” Read more…


Cleveland Clinic Opens Center for Functional Medicine: What Does This Mean for You?

It’s finally official. Back in May at our NYC-based Functional Forum, Dr. Mark Hyman announced for the first time that the Cleveland Clinic, long regarded as one of the most credible medical organizations in the world, would be betting on functional medicine as the future of chronic disease management. I’ve had my Google Alerts set up since then waiting for the big announcement.

Yesterday, it arrived and it makes for very compelling reading for anyone who has been following functional medicine for weeks, months, years, or even decades. The Cleveland Clinic will become the first academic medical center to embrace functional medicine, which will bring some much-needed clinical research to this new approach to chronic disease management. Read more…


Learning to Let Go of Perfection

Whenever I talk with groups of medical professionals about job frustration and burnout, a theme tends to show up that’s hard to ignore. I call it “The Pain of Perfection.”

Most of us pursued careers in medicine to help others. And if we’re honest, we must admit that we have Type-A tendencies pumping through our bloodstream, and that these might even be reinforced when we think about all the responsibilities we have to those others – patients and colleagues alike. (Can I see a show of hands, please?) Read more…

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Empathy, Wellness, and Tech: Recapping Stanford’s Medicine X Conference

Medicine X has historically examined how social media, mobile-health devices, and other technologies influence the doctor-patient relationship. But this year, the program also focused on how partnerships forged between healthcare providers, patients, and industry leaders would define the medical team of the future, amplify patients’ voices, and shape medical education. Along with the topics of relationships and connectedness, a number of key themes emerged over the course of the conference, including engagement, empathy, and the importance of treating the whole person. Read more…

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Health Is Social: Why It Really Does Take a Village

No person is an island. The older we get and the more life we experience, the more we know this to be true. We each have to do heavy lifting to attain personal accomplishments, but we’ve all had moments when those around us have eased the weight.

Nourishing, healthy environments support our journey and help us understand how to become the best version of ourselves. In that way, community is a vital element of our environment that can even predict our successes and failures. In an eloquent post on this site, Dr. Dean Ornish persuasively explored the role of support groups in transforming knowledge into action. Community can build us up or pull us down, but rarely is its effect neutral. Read more…

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Are Implantables the New Wearables?

Are you still wearing your wearable? We must confess that, by and large, we aren’t. This, despite the fact that between the two of us, we own countless such devices. Each was bought with the best of intentions: Walk more, run more, sit up straighter, quit slouching, eat less, lose weight. You know the list, right? You might even have one yourself.

Don’t get us wrong. We love digital health and we love our gadgets. It’s just that lately, we’ve found ourselves wanting something that is even more mindless. Something that we can put on once (or once a month) and be done with it. Simply stated, we are ready for the migration from external wearables to something easier – say, embeddables? Or even implantables?

Believe it or not, our wish isn’t as far off as it sounds. Read on for our rundown of what’s in the pipeline and, in some cases, already here. Read more…

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Recognize the Potential Victims of Human Trafficking

If you’ve ever worked in an emergency room, you’ve likely treated a victim of human trafficking. We all have, often without knowing it. With nearly thirty million people in modern-day slavery around the world, trafficking is more prevalent today than at any point in history.

Human trafficking is defined by the State Department as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.” It’s the third largest criminal industry in the world, outranked only by arms and drug dealing. Human trafficking is most commonly known for the severe forms of violence it entails – such as incarceration, rape, torture, and sexual enslavement. Up to 95 percent of victims experience some form of sexual and/or physical abuse during trafficking. Read more…


Lessons Learned on a General Surgery Rotation

There is a lot of mythology surrounding the third year general surgery rotation.

Before I began mine, I knew I would spend the next six weeks hungry, exhausted, frustrated, and – as the newest member of the team – a permanent resident at the bottom of the food chain. What I did not know is how constantly jumbled up those emotions would be with feelings of achievement and heartache, and how touched I would be by my experiences there. Read more…


Five Reasons Doctors Should Curate Their Patient Education

Every physician knows that at its linguistic root, “doctor” means “teacher.” With medicine evolving to keep pace with modern epidemics such as obesity, a return to effective patient education is long overdue. Providing information about self-care, prevention, and the cause of chronic disease can help patients live longer, healthier lives.

In the past, this education has taken many forms, from one-on-ones to handouts, wall charts, books, group orientations, and patient advocates. But the digital revolution has opened up new opportunities, and it is allowing for much more effective and efficient knowledge-sharing. Curation is now the key skill: Pulling together and sifting through information to present to others. In fact, the root of the word “curate” comes from another thing we want to value as a profession: “care.” There are many reasons to curate your patient education in the digital age, but here are my top five. Read more…


The Rise of Medicine’s Creative Class

Are we witnessing the rise of a creative class in medicine?

The creative class in medicine may be seen as a key driving force for change in a post-analog era. They are the disruptors willing to poke the box. The reason that this emerging segment of health care providers is so remarkable is that medicine typically punishes creativity. In medicine, makers make at significant professional risk.

The creative class in medicine is facilitated by the democratized tools for writing, recording, photographing, making, and publishing. Anyone with an internet connection and a good idea can have a talk show. Everywhere I turn, I see docs making things. This weekend Joyce Lee collected a bunch of makers and tinkerers at the University of Michigan for We Make Health Fest. FOAM has evolved beyond a global movement to a mindset about education. Digital provocateur Larry Chu and the thinkers at Stanford’s Medicine X have driven a new conversation about patients and medicine. Look under the hood and you’ll see that Medicine X is driven by medicine’s creative class. Read more…