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Monday Nov 28, 2016

Ensuring Appropriate Care When Views of Physician, Patient Collide

Patients often forget that physicians are people with their own beliefs, and ethical dilemmas can arise when these beliefs conflict with a patient's medical needs and wishes. Kimberly Becher, M.D., considers how to preserve both the dignity of physicians as well as appropriate care for patients when that occurs.

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Tuesday Nov 22, 2016

Doing My Part to Help Physician Workforce Reflect Diverse Population

When minority physicians treat patients of the same minority group, patient satisfaction often improves and care is more culturally proficient. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of minority doctors in our health care system.

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Monday Nov 14, 2016

Community Finds Right Prescription to Fight Hunger

More than 15 percent of Oregonians live below the federal poverty level -- more than the national average. And a recent poll found that 28 percent of those who visit food pantries worry about where their next meal will come from. Now, a simple screening tool, a healthy teaching kitchen and a "food pharmacy" are giving physicians the ability to address their patients' food insecurity. 

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Tuesday Nov 08, 2016

Girl Power: Moving Toward Balance in Physician Workforce

Women make up more than half of the U.S. population but only about one-third of the physician workforce. However, among the younger generation of physicians, more women are entering the pipeline. In fact, this year marked the largest increase in a decade in the number of women enrolling in medical schools.

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Friday Oct 28, 2016

Treating Elderly as Treasures Improves Empathy, Care Quality

Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. By the time the last baby boomers reach that age in 2030, 18 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older. Unfortunately, some people have difficulties when it comes to providing care for the elderly, whether it is because of the complexity of patients' illnesses and physical frailty, the sensory overload of the nursing home environment, or communication difficulties due to generation gaps, hearing loss or dementia. Kurt Bravata, M.D., writes that working in nursing homes before med school and growing up with a large extended family showed him the rewards and importance of caring for the elderly.

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Wednesday Oct 26, 2016

Team-based Care Aids Response to Pain Crisis

Thousands of patients with chronic pain needed help after several pain clinics in Washington closed this summer. Helen Gray, M.D., writes that a team-based approached, including working with clinical pharmacists and registered nurses who serve as care managers,  allowed her practice to help fill the void.

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Friday Oct 14, 2016

Could Self Care or Telehealth Curb Overuse of Health Care?

More Americans now have health insurance, but there is a still a physician shortage. Natasha Bhuyan, M.D., ponders solutions to overconsumption of health care.

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Tuesday Oct 11, 2016

Will You be Prepared When Disaster Strikes?

Whether you live in an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes or other natural disasters, there are steps family physicians can take to help patients and families, as well as their own practices and communities, prepare for the worst.

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Monday Oct 03, 2016

Patient Preference, Priorities Should Matter

Kimberly Becher, M.D., writes that the latest book by Atul Gawande, M.D., reinforces what she practices: Patients' priorities must be considered in care decisions.

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Wednesday Sep 28, 2016

Mental Health Resources Lacking in Opioid Crisis Fight

At a time when opioid abuse is skyrocketing, mental health resources needed to address the epidemic are in short supply, writes Gerry Tolbert, M.D.

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Monday Sep 19, 2016

Community Response to Disaster Shows Beauty of Rural Practice

An epic flood ravaged her town, but what Kimberly Becher, M.D., remembers most are the selfless acts of kindness that helped her patients put their lives back together.

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Wednesday Sep 14, 2016

Death in the Family: It's OK to Let Go

Relatives often turn to physicians with medical questions. Margaux Lazarin, D.O., M.P.H., addresses the difficulty of providing insight and comfort when a family member is dying.

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Thursday Sep 01, 2016

Physicians, Wellness Should Begin With Us

Venis Wilder, M.D., writes that when physicians neglect their own needs, their ability to care for others suffers, as well.

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Monday Aug 29, 2016

Family Physicians Can Cut Unnecessary Surgeries

Robust clinical trials demonstrate relevant outcomes of various surgeries. Does a surgery extend a patient's life? Does the surgery decrease a patient's pain? Does it improve the patient's quality of life? Answering these questions, along with weighing risks and other treatment options, should help guide decisions regarding whether to pursue surgery. But even with better data, unnecessary surgeries are still common.

Family physicians are able to take a holistic, unbiased and evidence-based view that can play a vital role in counseling patients on appropriate treatment options.

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Monday Aug 22, 2016

Everyday Heroes: What We Do Today Saves Lives Tomorrow

Through detection, prevention and careful health management, primary care physicians save countless lives each day with little drama or fanfare.

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The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.