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Medical Tourists: Incoming and Outgoing

Patients who travel to another country to seek health care are referred to as medical tourists. The term arose because many Americans seek less expensive elective surgical, dental, or cosmetic procedures while vacationing abroad.1 Of course, US hospitals and physicians have also long cared for medical tourists from other countries. Now, many medical tourists are going […]

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Joseph S. Alpert

The Racial Divide Here at Home

My policy as editor for The American Journal of Medicine (AJM) has been to avoid reviewing books despite the fact that we receive a number of courtesy copies of excellent volumes every month. Because we also receive many outstanding manuscripts, this policy preserves space for our clinical and scientific contributions. However, on a rare occasion, I have […]

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William H. Frishman, M.D.

Reform in House Staff Working Hours and Clinical Supervision

  When we were medical interns (WHF and JSA), training in 1969, the weekday work schedule on the ward services was 36 hours on and 12 hours off. Every other weekend, there was a shift from Saturday morning to late Monday afternoon, 56 straight hours. We were off 1 Sunday every 2 weeks. There were […]

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Dr. Joseph S. Alpert

Sloppy, Greedy, or Overworked?

In early 2010, my administrative assistant, Barbara Raney, came into my office with a worried expression on her face. She told me that a lawyer from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, DC was on the phone and wanted to speak with me. My immediate thought was “What have I done that would raise […]

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Joseph S. Alpert, MD

The Fourth Edition of the Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction

Recently, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the European Society of Cardiology, and the World Heart Federation simultaneously published the fourth document in the universal definition of myocardial infarction series.1 The first document proposing a universal definition was published in 2000 in the European Heart Journal and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The […]

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Joseph S. Alpert

The Role of the Environment in Health Outcomes

Disparities in health outcomes in the United States and other high-income countries have been widely discussed in recent years.1, 2, 3, 4 Many reasons have been suggested for these disparities, including the income levels of individuals, their educational attainment and employment status, as well as a variety of neighborhood socioeconomic and environmental factors. During my many years of inpatient […]

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