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Practice Notes

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

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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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Primary care doctors used to receive more feedback from specialists on the status of referred patients. That happens far less these days, to the detriment of doctors' ongoing clinical education.

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The research base upon which medicine is built is constantly evolving. Open-mindedness and a willingness to constantly update one's knowledge are the best defenses against complacency, writes Dr. Monya De.

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Dr. Monya De rounds out her top 10 predictions on what medicine will look like over the decades to come. Not surprisingly, she projects technology to play a big role, from surgical robots to telemedicine.

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New online communities are offering patients support and guidance to an extent not previously possible. That can be a huge boon for colon cancer patients, who might otherwise find themselves isolated and afraid.

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While innovation will spur many changes in health care, current trends may also create unwelcome developments. Dr. Monya De offers her first five of 10 predictions on what medicine will look like in the decades to come.

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HIPAA was designed to protect what’s called “protected health information.” But a rising chorus say the law has been too widely applied and now poses serious barriers to health information for doctors, patients and journalists alike.

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Why is mental health so walled off from the rest of the health care system, even when statistics show that 18 percent of all adults have some kind of mental illness? And weren't federal parity requirements supposed to fix this?

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