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Showing posts from May, 2010


I heard on the radio that the first week of June has been designated national "Give-Someone-a-hug-Week".
At first this sounds like it should be a good idea. Hugs are warm, fuzzy, touchy-feely things that allow us to break through inhibitory social barriers. However, upon further reflection, it becomes clear that indiscriminate hugging is not necessarily good. For example, an employer hugging an employee could be interpreted as sexual harassment and lead to a lawsuit. Hugging in the workplace could distract employees and decrease productivity.
Hugging someone who doesn't want to be hugged can be a daunting proposition. He or she may be hard to catch, and may require a surprise hug. Certainly there are people who will take hugging to extremes.....hugging the mailman, the garbage man and so forth. Suppose Safeway (our local “friendly” grocery store) were to get wind of the hug craze? Can you imagine being asked "Paper, plastic, or a hug?" Others may stand in line …

Electronic Medical Records are Here to Stay

Over the past 8 months, our office has successfully made the transition from paper to an electronic medical record (EMR). It has been exciting, but at times painful. All of us have had meltdowns, but we have also had a few delightful "ah-ha" moments. We are finally through the proverbial tunnel, almost into the light at the end of it, and that feels great.

One impetus that helped trigger our decision to take the electronic plunge, was the promise of reimbursement through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), otherwise known as the stimulus plan. Starting in less than one year, physicians who demonstrate meaningful use of an EMR and have a significant population on Medicaid or MediCare will be eligible for large reimbursements from the federal government.
If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique and generous program, I suggest getting started as soon as possible. Some of the criteria that constitute "meaningful use" are technolog…

Where Have all the Flowers Gone?

Last month I attended a conference entitled: Books, Memoirs and Other Creative Nonfiction at Harvard. It’s a great course, and I highly recommend this method of getting CME credit for writing, having fun, and networking with people in the publishing business.
Self-help books, medical texts, and memoir comprise the 3 main categories of medical nonfiction. The publishing world is very interested in books that will sell lots of copies and make money. I don’t know why I was surprised by this. (We all need to get paid for our work.) Maybe it is because I live in a remote rural area, or that I have my head in the clouds. Naively, I figured the compensation for one’s writing would be roughly commensurate with the quality. I expected the publicists, agents, and editors to be interested in one’s prose, one’s command of the English language, and one’s writing style--but instead I found myself being asked about my TV appearances. Why would a writer want to appear on TV? If I wanted to be on TV, …