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male, Afr.Amer. doctor standing, smiling outside

‘A Man Walks Into a Bar’: Riddles in the Teaching of Medicine

For some years now, one of us (AV) has enjoyed posing this riddle on teaching rounds with residents.1, 2 A man walks into a bar and makes a wager: He will keep his head submerged in a bucket of water for as long as the patrons wish. If he succeeds, the patrons must each buy him […]

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doctor holds tablet and talks to patient

On Becoming a Woman

It was a cold day in January when I first met him. I was an internal medicine resident at an urban academic center, halfway through intern year and just trying to survive as a young physician. My primary care clinic schedule was filled with hospital follow-ups and urgent visits. The first patient on my schedule […]

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House Calls

When I was a medical student, 50 years ago, physicians, especially pediatricians, internists, and family physicians, were still making house calls as part of their provision of care for their patients.1 The symbol of the practicing physician at that time was the “black bag,” which contained diagnostic tools like the stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, tuning fork, reflex hammer, […]

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Social Media and Physician Conflict of Interest

The use of social media by physicians has increased substantially in recent years, with some estimates reporting increases from 41.6% in 2010 to as high as 90% in 2011.1 While personal use is more common, approximately 65% of physicians interact with various social media platforms for professional reasons.1 For example, some physicians use social media to promote […]

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doctor gives a physical examination of a patient

Reducing Hospital Toxicity: Impact on Patient Outcomes

Circadian rhythms are endogenous 24-hour oscillations in biologic processes that drive nearly all physiologic and behavioral functions. Disruption in circadian rhythms can adversely impact short- and long-term health outcomes. Routine hospital care often causes significant disruption in sleep-wake patterns that is further compounded by loss of personal control of health information and health decisions. We […]

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