Tag Archives: doctor-patient relations

Medical Axioms: The Pithy Little Sayings That Reflect Deeper Knowledge

  I love axioms. Perhaps it is the result of hearing them from one of my earliest mentors in medical school. Or perhaps it is the result of advice given me by my journalist/English teacher mother who told me that everything you write can be improved by condensation. Whatever the underlying reason, I continue to […]

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nurse showing an elderly woman something on a tablet in office

Candid to the Bitter End: Indiscriminate Disclosures

  The physician’s obligation to tell the patient the full truth about his or her condition has become an established ethical principle, enabling patients’ autonomy, shared decision-making, and patient-centered care. However, indiscriminate application of this obligation may at times be harmful to the patient, contradicting the old Hippocratic imperative of “first do no harm” (“Primum […]

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American Journal of Medicine Editor Joseph Alpert

Please Say Thank You

I frequently get letters from readers regarding one of my editorials or commentaries. Editorials and commentaries in The American Journal of Medicine (AJM) are expressions of opinion by the author of the piece. Of course, most observations in the Journal deal with medical topics, although occasionally they will stray into remarks about life in general or current events. As […]

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Restoring the Art of Medicine

There was a time when physicians and laypersons frequently and comfortably referred to the “art of medicine,” but that was 45 years ago. Times have changed. Back then, as an eager and idealistic medical student, the expression puzzled me and discussions with my classmates and teachers about its deeper meaning left me unsatisfied. For the […]

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Recognition and Prevention of Nosocomial Malnutrition: A Review and A Call to Action!

Nosocomial malnutrition in hospitalized adults is a morbid, costly, and potentially preventable and treatable problem. Although recognized as contributing to many serious complications of hospitalization, malnutrition is often missed when present on admission and rarely diagnosed if it occurs during hospital stay. Many routine clinical practices such as holding nutrition for testing or failing to […]

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