The Only Five Criteria to Consider When Choosing A Medical School

Hospital cafeteria food. Malignancy or benign-ness. Patient population seen in the third and fourth years. A medical school interview provides a fusillade of data points to consider, and an applicant can feel overwhelmed. But what criteria actually matter in the long run? Doctors can debate this question endlessly, but here, in no particular order, are the five criteria I believe to be essential considerations when making this all-important decision. Advertisements Continue reading The Only Five Criteria to Consider When Choosing A Medical School

How to Know When to Go to the ER vs. Urgent Care

In this era of Dr. Google and rampant self-diagnosis, it’s becoming increasingly more confusing about where you should go when you’re injured or feeling sick — should you call your primary care doctor, visit an urgent care center or head straight to the ER? Often, the answer to that question isn’t always so black and white. Of course, life-threatening emergencies — a heart attack, bleeding that won’t stop, loss of vision, broken bone, serious head injury — absolutely require a visit to the ER. But for other conditions that aren’t emergencies but still require care within 24 hours, urgent care … Continue reading How to Know When to Go to the ER vs. Urgent Care

Could a freshly designed patient experience revolutionize the doctor’s visit?

The future of the doctor’s visit is the topic of innumerable conference lectures, policy forecasts, and venture capital meetings. Will we all go to community clinics under single-payer health care? Will doctors’ offices shut down as on-demand house calls prosper? Will IBM Watson figure out what that pink mole is? Continue reading Could a freshly designed patient experience revolutionize the doctor’s visit?

Why aren’t we talking more about physician suicides?

I had just finished telling a physician colleague that I was volunteering on the team of a documentary about physician suicide. I told her that at least 400 U.S. doctors die every year in this way, that many of them are shockingly young, and the epidemic knows no international boundaries. Continue reading Why aren’t we talking more about physician suicides?

Obamacare, Louis Vuitton, and a Crisis of Marketing

One of the saddest outcomes of the Republican moves against the Affordable Care act was that revelation that many ACA enrollees didn’t know Obamacare was the same thing. Patients tweeted things like “Down with Obamacare! I’m on an Affordable Care Act plan!” The same patients may well have voted for the current president and for anti-ACA Republicans, not realizing that they themselves would lose their health insurance. How did this branding mishap happen, in a world where everyone knows that Luxottica makes every single pair of machine-made sunglasses in the country and Lancome mascara comes from the L’Oreal people? The … Continue reading Obamacare, Louis Vuitton, and a Crisis of Marketing