Making All Lives Matter in Medicine

by Michael O. Memsah, M.D. I was in medical school when I learned that I did not matter in medicine. One particular day on service started uneventfully. However, after the team’s discussion of a patient, all attention turned toward me when a senior physician asked me a question about the rap music that had been playing in the background. “Help me understand something:” I recall the physician saying. The physician asked about word choice in rap lyrics, and then, pretending to quote a rap song, repeated the word “nigger” several times in rapid-fire succession. So begins this important “Viewpoint” article in JAMA Internal Medicine.  Most of us will benefit from … Continue reading

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Doctorpreneurs

The Business of Medicine: Old paradigm and new  I wish I was a young buck looking for my first job. Recently, I received an email promoting a new position: Hi Dr. …, Hope this email finds you well! I’m contacting you regarding a Dermatology Opening in [a scenic rural area]  Please see below for details and send CV if interested. Seeking a BE/BC Dermatologist to join its medical staff.  Join the most trusted hospital in the area due to its highly trained physician staff and its arms-length affiliation with the University of [X] Hospital in {Y]. The community itself is an attractive university town located in the Foothills of the redacted … Continue reading

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Health Anxiety

seen every day in medical offices Health Anxiety: lurking in plain sight All practitioners will learn useful information from this article. Excerpts “Many patients, despite how much they would like to, cannot do what we would like them to do: ‘stop worrying.’” As physicians, we see a few such people every day. Health Anxiety seems to be epidemic (perhaps, endemic) in our communities, yet it is poorly recognized. “People with health anxiety do not ask relief from somatic symptom, but rather only desire freedom from worry about disease. A key component of health anxiety is rumination, so that patients cannot stop thinking about a disease once the thought has come … Continue reading

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Robotic Accutane Prescribing

Welcome to the Akamai Skin Clinic’s Robotic Accutane Centre. We recognize that many dermatologists do not want the hassle or liability of prescribing Accutane (a.k.a. isotretinoin) and so, we have developed a novel prescription system. Our certified realistic humanoid isotretinoin robotic paraprofessionals will make your office visit pleasant, entertaining and efficient. These Accu-Bots (ABs) have been programmed to care for people with severe acne since the clinician-patient interaction for this indication is structured and predictable. Our ABs have high-resolution scanners to grade your acne and compare your progress with previous visits. They also have the entire PUBMed database of isotretinoin articles in their memory to enhance patient care. Here is … Continue reading

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Skin Wars

by Mr. B. In 2014, I won an insidious lottery: contracting Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris (PRP), a rare skin disease that one in 400,000 people get. After accepting this horrific verdict, I discovered I had a major choice. Do I take high-risk drugs in hope for a cure, after assuming a drug had initially caused my PRP? During the challenge of being alone in my struggle, I fortuitously discovered a special dermatologist. Dr. K respected my concerns about a conventional physician-patient relationship, and he followed my lead in selecting my treatment. The communication and trust we developed led to a slow, minimal treatment that after one year resulted in remission without … Continue reading

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The Dao of the Red Man

by Dr. K. In September of 2014, I saw Mr. B., a 68 years old man, with a wide-spread dermatitis that turned out to be pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP).  He was miserable with generalized red skin, scaling and painfully thickened palms and soles.  My essay, “The Dao of the Red Man” describes our long and complicated therapeutic journey.  Mr. B. relates his personal PRP struggle  in “Skin Wars.”  The interested reader will learn much from reading and comparing  both Mr. B. and my narratives.  They speak to PRP, the physician-patient dyad, and shared-decision making. The Dao of the Red Man Skin Wars – Mr. B Also see: Skin Wars by … Continue reading

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My Embarrassing Red Face

Anonymous My journey with Red Face Syndrome has been tough, especially as I am a high school student. It started with some type of rash, maybe an allergic reaction, under my nose and on my chin. It wouldn’t go away so I went to my doctor. She confirmed my suspicion that it was an allergic reaction and treated me with a pill, hydroxyzine, and triamcinolone ointment. I took the pills until they were gone and used the ointment. My rash cleared up so I stopped the medicines. I was so happy that the rash was gone and I could stop having uncomfortable sleepless nights with ointment covering my face. After … Continue reading

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My Struggle

By Lee Thompson  Abstract:  This is the first-person narrative of a young woman’s pursuit of beauty and how it went awry.  Illness narratives come in three types: restitution, quest, and chaos.  Although she is still on a quest, there are aspects of chaos in this woman’s story.  Shame and humiliation are subtexts in patients’ stories, but physicians rarely hear them.  These emotions are not generally inquired about during the truncated medical encounter. All I wanted to have perfect teeth. In America, if you want to be beautiful, you have to have perfect white teeth. As I blindly pursued my goal, no one ever informed me that whitening my teeth could … Continue reading

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Lament of Hand Dermatitis Patient

I don’t want to write about my hand dermatitis. I don’t like the term. Just be normal. I don’t want to go to the doctor or the pharmacy. I don’t want to take any pills, creams, antibiotics, narcotics or any medicine. I don’t want to be treated like a criminal or a drug addict. I don’t want to sit around and wait for appointments and refills and be questioned over and over. I don’t want to have to show my ID to the same person every time I fill a narcotic prescription. I don’t want to spend my money on co-pays, tape, creams, gloves, and other stupid medically-related items. I … Continue reading

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