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private practice professionals; unexplained immunity; heavy toll of cancer

Why Private Practice Will Always Survive

Employed doctors are often torn. Many enjoy the steady salary and the ability to focus on being doctors instead of handling administrative tasks, but they bemoan the rules of their employers and their lack of involvement in key decisions. Seven doctors spoke with Medscape Medical News about why they chose private practice.

Greater control: Some doctors have chosen private practice because of the greater control it allows over decisions such as scheduling, technology, and how many patients to accept. Although a large organization will always focus on revenue, in a private practice, you may want to consider other factors, such as spending as much time as you want with a patient.

Avoid Burnout: Private practice offers some physicians a better work-life balance; control over their time means they don’t have to work at a breakneck pace and can see their families whenever they want.

Private practice has its advantages and disadvantages: your business can always fail and you are left without a safety net. But increasingly, doctors are happily doing that business.

What makes some infections asymptomatic?

Polio, typhoid fever, COVID: in many patients, these diseases are deadly. But some may have them and never know it. Why? The short answer: more research is needed. This question is a surprisingly thorny area of ​​epidemiology.

In general, very young infants and older populations are more susceptible to infections due to their less functional immune systems. But the Spanish flu, for example, targeted those in the middle. Why? We really don’t know.

Hidden in plain sight: Typhi bacteria have capsules on their surface that allow them to hide from the immune system. With polio, infected cells sometimes break off from the rest, to be ingested by other people. And not killing a victim, while remaining undetected, allows them to spread to more hosts.

The great unknown: There is much that is still unknown about immunity. Meningococcus can live indefinitely in your nasal passages and never make you sick. Or it can send you to the hospital in hours. An individual’s microbiome, T-cell immunity, inflammation—these are all factors, but we can’t explain them with certainty.

The emotional cost of cancer

Only the patient has cancer, but caregivers, patients, and doctors alike are victims of the emotional toll that the disease brings. Speakers addressed the issue at a meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology earlier this month.

Caregivers: The demands of being a full-time caregiver are intense. They may spend 32 hours a week caring for a loved one with cancer. About 30% of caregivers report having depression or anxiety, and 21% feel lonely.

patients: Night sweats, weight loss, vomiting, and depression are well-known side effects of cancer and its treatments. Fatigue, in particular, is a subtle curse because it gets worse over time.

Clinicians: Burnout is one of the biggest problems facing oncologists and nurses, and it got worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. Burnout is bad for both doctor and patient; the more distant and tired a doctor appears, the less inclined a patient may be to open up about how they are doing.

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