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The Medical Professionalism Blog

Tag Archives: professional values

A Sacred Moment Ruined

On July 28, my wife’s brother, Marcos, died from cancer at the age of 58. He died at home under hospice care and was heavily sedated over the last weeks of his life. Marcos had undergone two chemotherapy regimens and one experimental treatment. His doctor was exemplary – she provided the best treatment options yet […]

Hold on to Your Heart

The following is a commencement speech given at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School’s 2014 graduation ceremony. Your institution has ceded to me the last 15 minutes of your medical school instruction – how should I use it? One more time through the complement cascade? Or, as Dr. Seldin might have it, a final […]

Medical Professionalism Literature: Reflections on 2013 and a Wish List for 2014

The start of a new year marks the kickoff of the ABIM Foundation’s annual Professionalism Article Prize selection process.  As the staff person in charge of compiling the previous year’s professionalism articles, this project gives me an opportunity to see the depth and breadth of the professionalism literature. We are in our fourth year of […]

Recommended Reading: November 30-December 6

I am going to confess something that may make me a pariah in the land of Eagles madness, not to mention among all of the fantasy football enthusiasts in our office. I don’t like football. Call me uptight, but it’s hard for me to kick back and enjoy a sport that causes significant brain damage […]

The Influence of Ownership on Human Behavior: “Feeding the Beast”

In his post “Unnecessary EKGs – the Heart of the Matter” (09.20.11), Dr. Stephen Smith wrote how owning a new EKG machine in his practice subconsciously motivated him to order more tests so he could justify the investment to his partner. He reaped no financial benefit from ordering more tests as he was paid on […]

An Unexpected Reaction to Choosing Wisely® List at #ASTRO2013

I had the honor of speaking at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on September 23. One of the goals of my session was to announce ASTRO’s Choosing Wisely list of five tests and procedures that patient and physicians should question. Actually, Michael Steinberg, MD, chair of the board […]

Physician, Heal Thy Self

The third annual Professionalism Roundtable meeting, sponsored by the ABIM Foundation and the Mayo Clinic, focused on physician well-being and resiliency. Attendees included twenty-five leaders in the field of professionalism from 10 large health care systems. Mayo Clinic’s Tait Shanafelt, MD, presented some disturbing facts about physician burnout, physician dissatisfaction and its consequences for patients: […]

Purpose vs. Payment

The 2013 ABIM Foundation Forum was entitled “Purpose vs. Payment:  Motivating Change in Health Care.”  The title was, of course, a false dichotomy. Going into the meeting, I was pretty sure that the collective answer would be “both, of course!” But as the animated and spirited conversations among the participants continued over the three-day meeting, […]

Medical Professionalism and the Negativity Bias

Julie Haizlip, MD is a co-author of “Perspective: The Negativity Bias, Medical Education, and the Culture of Academic Medicine: Why Culture Change is Hard” which won the 2012 Professionalism Article Prize in Commentary/Perspective. When we talk about medical professionalism, it is often in the context of our dealings with patients. It is also worth considering […]

Selling Proton Therapy to the Public: High Costs Without Benefit

Arriving in a train station in a Northeast city the other day, I was struck by the number of advertisements for proton therapy at a local academic medical center (AMC) plastered throughout the station and in local subways. The ads feature a bicycle racer with the tag line: “THE WIND IN YOUR FACE IS WORTH […]