Family physician, author, blogger, speaker, physician leader.

Recent Articles

Millennial Doctors More Tech-Savvy, But Not Better Doctors. Different Education. Different Challenges.

Are Millennial Doctors well trained for the 21st century? That was the question posed in NPR’s Millennial Doctors May Be More Tech-Savvy, But Is That Better? I believe how Millennials Doctors are educated may make them less adequately prepared than previous generations. This isn’t a reflection of medical education, but of education in general. Do the technological tools available prevent the engagement needed to develop deep learning and expertise of our future doctors? Do residency hour work restrictions prevent this learning as well? Dr. Amy Ho noted that “with modern technology, med school really wasn’t too hard… If you want to do the whole thing by video stream, you can,” she says. “I would wake up at 10 a.m., work out for an hour or so, get some lunch and then video stream for 6 hours and then go to happy hour. It actually was not that bad.” Is learning […] Read More »

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How to Make Primary Care Doctors’ Lives Better

Making primary care better for doctors currently in practice and attractive to medical students and residents is critical given the needs of our health care system. It also has been a major focus of the health care organization where I work. A few colleagues and I noticed that many primary care doctors still stayed later than others despite lowering patient panel responsibilities and the implementation of the nation’s most robust electronic medical record (EMR) where patient information is available and updated real-time 24/7. Interestingly, this cohort was the same group that stayed later even when we used paper charts and had larger panel responsibilities. With patients expecting more in quality and service, the more we could support primary care doctors in specific tangible ways to make their work more personally and professionally satisfying, the better they could care for patients. On my days off, I would observe my colleagues as […] Read More »

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Why Obamacare Will Make Americans Less Healthy and More Insolvent.

As people select health insurance during open enrollment, what many don’t realize is how the creation of the health insurance exchanges or health insurance marketplace via the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare will ultimately result in Americans becoming less healthy and more insolvent. Let’s review the pros and cons. Although the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare provided important benefits of expanding and ensuring coverage with preventive benefits, insurability of all regardless of prior medical conditions, and uncoupling health insurance from employment, it is the creation of the health insurance exchanges that will result in Americans becoming less healthy and more insolvent. In a few years, the annual ritual of open enrollment you and I take for granted and how we get care will be fundamentally different. Insurance Exchange Has Pros and Cons Allowing people to buy health insurance on a public exchange the same way we purchase airline tickets, cars, […] Read More »

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Is HealthFair or Life Line Screening Worth the Money?

Is HealthFair or Life Line Screening worth your money? Both groups offer similar screening packages. Using an ultrasound machine, they scan the public for peripheral vascular disease, heart disease, carotid artery disease, and aortic aneurysms. For more advanced packages, HealthFair will also do blood work which can include testosterone, high sensitivity c-reactive protein, PSA (prostate specific antigen), and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Is it worth it? Medically speaking, no. If you have no symptoms of leg pain with walking, shortness of breath, or symptoms of a stroke or mini-stroke, then the chance you will find something medically important is low. Except for aortic aneurysm screening, which should occur in men between age 65 to 75 who have ever smoked 10 packs or more of cigarettes, there continues to be NO evidence that ultrasound testing for these conditions actually results in better outcomes, particularly in patients who have NO symptoms.  Again […] Read More »

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A Healthy Life Is More than an Annual Physical Examination

Having a healthy life is more than getting an annual physical examination. It is about having healthy habits. Some of these healthy habits make common sense. Others seen unnatural, but yet are vitally important. A healthy life is more than feeling well. It is about living life to the fullest and ensuring you are doing your part to improve both your quality of life and longevity. Which ones are you missing? How do you measure up? Five or more – servings of fruits and vegetables. Those that live longer seem to have this simple habit. Common traits included not smoking, drinking in moderation and…. Physical activity Although many recommendations advocate 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week, consider some other options. 10,000 steps per day – measure with a pedometer or an app for your smartphone. Surprise yourself and see how much you. If you don’t […] Read More »