Marketing For Healthcare Providers

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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Are You Ready to Cure Your Microbiome Anosognosia?

Do you remember the meaning of the word anosognosia from residency? In the context I’m suggesting it today it means “lack of awareness of one’s own clinical deficit.” This would be an interesting concept in any medical era, but with our understanding of the microbiome and its implications for chronic disease management shifting so dramatically, it’s become a focal one.

When the NIH-funded “Human Microbiome Project” results first came out in 2011, we realized that we are less human that we thought, and might best be described as a “super-organism” [Just guessing here.] made up of 10 percent human and 90 percent microbial DNA. That alone is a discovery that could rock the foundations of what we think and believe. Read more…


The New Promise of Collaboration in Healthcare

This past week I had the honor and pleasure of introducing my book,Women and Cardiovascular Disease, in London. During the event, I was able to meet with many of my European colleagues from both the media as well as the healthcare space. I spoke with countless bright and motivated attendees who are excited to be part of a wave of change in cardiac care for women. We identified many ways in which we may be able to improve education and awareness of women and heart disease in Britain and throughout Europe. Even though the event lasted just a little more than two hours, we were able to brainstorm numerous ideas and made plans for future discourse. Read more…


Rethinking Live Social Media Events in Healthcare

Earlier this week, I followed a live Twitter event that Baylor Scott and White Health conducted around a heart transplant. You can see the stream at #HeartTXLive.

While I’ve not been a fan of live Twitter events, this one made me think. Social health events once conceived in dry, third person narrative have evolved. High definition images render in a way that can made the operative experience pop. In-line video right in my Twitter stream brought the action to life. A nicely designed three-step infographic call for donors was an important message. (On the minus side, I would like to have seen some tighter surgical field shots, and additional context from Dr. Gonzalez, the surgeon, might have added an interesting element.) Read more…


A Better Way to Diagnose Food Intolerances

In my practice, a growing number of patients are individuals who, because of stomach issues, have been placed on severely limited diets by healthcare professionals – or even well-intentioned, but misinformed, friends and family. Often, these new diets are grossly inhibitive to living a comfortable life. The added (and sometimes unwarranted) restrictions can be an extra burden to patients dealing with bowel disorders. So what can we, as doctors, do to help our patients suffering from gut issues speed up the process of discovering the cause? Read more…

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Why We Must Better Support Women in Global Health

If you’ve worked in global health, you’ve seen it happening: the steady trickle of smart, talented women out of the field. The 34-year-old fellow whose young marriage comes under strain from long stints in Cambodia. The junior faculty member who can’t manage a pregnancy or a new baby in the least developed parts of the developing world. The assistant professor, who has already put family plans on hold for her career, struggling to conceive or follow a fertility treatment regimen while spending months away from home.

Women constitute more than 80 percent of medical students seriously considering global health careers. These problems seem small to them when they start out as first year medical students at a median age of 24. Four years later, however, women disproportionately abandon these aspirations, largely because of concerns about how to balance a global health career and family life. As they finish their residency training, they are in their early 30s. If they sub-specialize, they get uncomfortably close to 35 – the much-feared “advanced maternal age.” Read more…


A Patient’s Legacy, and an Enduring Bond

As physicians, we have the unique privilege of meeting and interacting with thousands of people throughout our careers. Every once in a while, though, there are certain patients who really make a lasting impact and forever change us – as caregivers and as human beings. Ed was one of those patients. He also became one of my dearest friends.

Ed, a Korean War veteran, was an amazing man. He was a dedicated father, a devoted spouse, and lived a life that was an example of faith and service to others. I first met him years ago through his daughter. He had moved to my area in order to live near his children and needed a new cardiologist. Fortunately for me, his daughter asked me to take him on as a patient. Read more…

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The Future-Forward Role of Low-Tech, High-Touch Medicine

A student told me about an experience at TEDMED, the future-oriented medical conference that bills itself as “a celebration of human achievement and the power of connecting the unconnected in creative ways to change our world in health and medicine.” He recounted how one speaker showed off the Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant, which news outlets quickly dubbed the “Robo-Doc.” This high-priced gadget is designed to provide remote medical services to patients who wouldn’t otherwise be able to see real-life doctors, but my student told me that the presentation didn’t talk about that much. Instead, he felt, the speaker’s message seemed to be: “Robots are cool, so let’s make more of them.” Read more…

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Four Promising Innovations in Medical Education

Traditional medical school training is too expensive, takes too long, and is not addressing the primary care needs of the country, a complex problem with many moving parts. Medical students burdened by mountains of debt and unable to begin earning until well into their late twenties or early thirties often gravitate to higher-paid specialties and practices in urban settings.

What might we do differently to solve the primary care shortage, particularly in rural areas? And what can we do to reduce the expensive supply side economics of healthcare – where, for example, having too many surgical specialists can drive up either the volume of elective surgeries or the cost of each procedure (because more surgeons mean fewer surgeries for each)? Read more…


Factoring Merit into Medical Prestige

Recently, I was contacted by a prestigious medical organization that was seeking expansion of its board membership. I presumed that this was a personal invitation to join the cause, but soon realized that the caller wanted to use my influence to locate “more credible” candidates with academic gravitas.

When I asked what sort of candidate they wanted my help to find, the response was as follows. Read more…


Treating the Patient, Not the X-Ray

A dignified man, mentally sharp with clear blue eyes, sat before me. Next to him, his wife of 51 years, and next to her, their three children. His voice – surprisingly soft, and muted – offered the probability that he was nervous. Yet his attention was unwavering. He appeared to be waiting for me to speak.

Mr. Meyers (not his real name) was in my office for a fourth opinion regarding his ailing, aching legs – or so his intake paperwork said. The first portion of the paperwork was filled out in a quivering manner, often illegible. The latter part was neat, perfectly written, and precisely poised on the lines provided. Clearly, someone had felt he needed some assistance. His medication list was a mile long. Read more…