Tag Archives: quality care
Dr. Joseph S. Alpert

Socrates on Quality

Following several hours of vigorous exercise on a warm afternoon in the spring of 410 bce, Socrates converses with Asculepo, a young medical student attending the Hippocrates School of Medicine in Athens. Asculepo is telling Socrates about several recent lectures at the school on the subject of quality in healthcare. Socrates: A wonderful afternoon, Asculepo, perfect weather […]

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Learning to De-Adopt Ineffective Healthcare Practices

With rapidly rising healthcare costs constraining US wages and forcing difficult policy decisions, there is increasing pressure to identify means to decrease spending. One attractive target is the de-adoption of medical practices found to be ineffective or harmful. Just as emerging scientific evidence can support novel practices that improve health, it can also reverse beliefs […]

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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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