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Practice Notes

Dr. Monya De, MD, MPH, blogs about health care delivery and health reform, drawing on her experience and observations as a primary care physician.

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At least 400 U.S. doctors commit suicide every year, a higher rate than in the general population. For this tragic fact to change, medical schools and hospitals will need to undergo a cultural revolution.
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While the country's demographics signal a rapidly growing number of seniors, geriatricians are in short supply. Many hospitals don't even have a geriatrician on call to consult on tricky medical decisions or prescribing plans.
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Can you imagine a lawyer stopping in the middle of a divorce deposition to type up everything that was just said? Why then do we ask doctors to do such rote tasks?
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Need a Saturday scan? MRIs are much harder to come by on weekends at many hospitals. How can that still be in today's on-demand economy?
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Whether it's Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa or the Flamin' Hot Cheeto Bagel, media coverage of stunt foods “only normalizes extreme levels of salt and sugar in food and alters our taste buds to promote addiction,” argues Dr. Monya De.
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After Reynolds' death, the media gathered around the idea of “broken heart syndrome.” Who called up neurologists to ask how to recognize or prevent a stroke? Practically no one.
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A number of startups and older companies are developing new apps and services that aim to make patient check-in and gathering medical histories faster and easier.
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Physicians are often terrible at heeding their own advice. "Among a trio of lung specialists I once knew, only one was not a chain smoker himself," writes Dr. Monya De. How does this happen?
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Medical school debts can make loan repayment programs a win-win for both docs and underserved patients. But some basic fixes could make such programs far more effective.
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Doctors see patients with cases of food poisoning all the time. But patients too rarely bother to report the incidents to their local health department. If they did, we'd all be happier diners.

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