Getting the Diagnosis Wrong

Diagnostic accuracy is fiendishly difficult to measure precisely. A new report suggests that nearly everyone will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetimes. More

Getting the Diagnosis Right

If I had the luxury of an hour with each patient, I would have the time to carefully sort through every diagnostic possibility. But the reality is that I, like most doctors, have five to 10 minutes to push the majority of diagnoses to the bottom of the list, come up with the most likely few at the top. More

The Pain Med Conundrum

Under-treating pain violates the basic ethical principles of medicine. On the other hand, we are lambasted for over-prescribing pain medications. What are doctors to do? More

Fear of Dying Alone

What if a patient dies and nobody is there to mourn? Is it like a tree falling soundlessly in the forest? More

My Patient Doesn’t “Do” Vaccines

When my patient told me that he doesn’t “do” vaccines, I decided to try to understand his reasons, More

Should Med Schools Be Renamed for Donors?

24 of the country’s 141 medical schools sport a donor’s name rather than the plain old university name. The pace is increasing, as are the number of eyebrows being raised. More

Board Recertification: A Waste of Time?

It used to be that you tackled the medical board exams just once after residency. Then you went into practice and never looked at a No. 2 pencil again. More

Giving the Doctor a Second Chance

“Someone had said you were a good doctor,” my patient said derisively, “but I was not impressed.” What had I done? More

Medical Memoirs

Given the epidemic of doctor-writers out there, one could be forgiven for assuming that a book titled “Internal Medicine: A Doctor’s Stories,” written by a practicing physician, would be a work of nonfiction (and indeed, it is being marketed as such). But in the introduction, Holt writes that he is “recreating experience as parable,” More

Adventures in ‘Prior Authorization’

“Dear Doctor. We are writing to inform you that a prior authorization is required for the medication you prescribed.” That’s usually where I stop reading. More

The Physical Exam as Refuge

There are few situations where we expect to disrobe and have our bodies touched by relative strangers. More

Our Silence Around Dementia

Dementia is not something we doctors talk much about. We all have many patients with dementia — and more every year — but we never seem to chat about it the way we discuss kidney disease or cancer treatment. Why the silence? More

Doctor Priorities vs. Patient Priorities

The patient cheerfully admitted that he hadn’t been paying attention to his diabetes for the last few years. He’d stopped taking his medicine, stopped seeing his doctors, stopped thinking about the disease altogether. What happens when the patient’s priorities and the doctor’s priorities conflict? More

The Small Costs

We all hear about “health care costs,” a lumbering behemoth that dominates the news. But it is the smaller amounts, literally the pocket money, that often has the strongest effect on the concrete currency of health. Sometimes doctors find themselves in the position of offering their patients a few dollars to help with a co-pay or transportation home. More

Lots of New Patients, Too Few Doctors

Getting a primary care doctor is hard these days, and will only get harder as more people get insurance via the ACA. This is a “problem” that we should welcome, since it means that more Americans will have access to care. But it won’t be an easy problem to solve. Here are some ideas that are being discussed. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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