The Art of Patient Care Blog

The Art of Patient Care Blog contains a listing of all the new and/or updated pages on this site. Also included are visitor comments, editorials, article reviews, case studies, pertinent news items and other miscellaneous information all related to enhancing our ability to provide high quality, competent and compassionate care to patients who are looking to us for our knowledge and support.

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View Greg Warth, MD's profile on LinkedIn

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Nov 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day of giving thanks, I am reminded of all of those who have supported this site over the years. I welcome your comments, your guest articles, and your readership. I am deeply grateful for all of you who are interested in these topics on humanity in medicine, the promotion of which, when combined with science, helps to improve healthcare everywhere. May your day be filled with blessings and joy as you gather with your friends and family.

Nov 17, 2023

Caring for Patients with Chronic Illnesses


Caring for Patients with Chronic Illnesses takes patience, understanding and compassion and is sometimes quite challenging. Here are some solutions.

Continue reading "Caring for Patients with Chronic Illnesses"

Sep 16, 2023

Elder Abuse

Information about a serious and rising health problem as our population becomes older.

Continue reading "Elder Abuse"

Apr 11, 2023

Healthy Lifestyle


How to enjoy and healthy lifestyle while saving money at the same time.

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Apr 11, 2023

Humor in Medicine


You have to have a sense of humor in medicine for many reasons, but be careful with it and don't overdo it.

Continue reading "Humor in Medicine"

Mar 08, 2023

Coastal Virginia Medical Society

A new medical society is born in Eastern Virginia. The Coastal Virginia Medical Society has been created by dedicated physicians from three cities - Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach. Their new website contains a Blog that may be of interest to other medical societies across the country. It promotes a new emphasis on improving our current beleaguered, overcomplex, inefficient, business-run healthcare system. There has to be a way to make this better. Let's get together and communicate with each other.

Continue reading "Coastal Virginia Medical Society"

Mar 01, 2023

How to Teach Bedside Manner in Medical Schools

Teaching better bedside manner in medical schools is a crucial aspect of medical education as it helps future healthcare professionals to build trust with their patients and provide empathetic care. Here are some ways to teach better bedside manner in medical schools:

Role-play and simulations: One of the best ways to teach bedside manner is through role-playing and simulations. This approach allows students to practice their communication skills in a safe and controlled environment. Simulations can be used to teach students how to deliver bad news, communicate with patients with different cultural backgrounds, and how to manage difficult conversations.

Patient-centered care: Teaching patient-centered care is another effective way to improve bedside manner. This approach focuses on the patient's needs, preferences, and values. Students can learn how to listen to their patients, show empathy, and involve them in their care plans.

Interprofessional education: Interprofessional education (IPE) involves teaching students from different healthcare professions to work collaboratively. This approach helps students to understand the roles and responsibilities of other healthcare professionals and to learn how to work together to provide patient-centered care.

Cultural competence training: Cultural competence training is essential in teaching students how to provide care to patients from different cultural backgrounds. Students can learn about cultural beliefs and practices that may impact a patient's health and how to communicate effectively with patients from diverse cultures.

Patient feedback: Lastly, obtaining patient feedback can be a valuable tool in improving bedside manner. Encouraging patients to provide feedback on their interactions with students can help students to identify areas for improvement and to learn from their experiences.

In conclusion, teaching better bedside manner in medical schools requires a combination of different approaches. Incorporating role-playing and simulations, patient-centered care, interprofessional education, cultural competence training, and patient feedback can help to improve students' communication skills and build more empathetic and compassionate healthcare professionals.

Feb 07, 2023

Join Your Local Medical Society

The healthcare industry in America is not what it used to be. A lot of changes have occurred since the 1970s when I first started practicing. A few things are better, but most are not.

What's good?
1. Better technology.
2. Many advances in the science of medicine.
3. Medicare and Medicaid – great for seniors and for the disadvantaged.

What's not good?
1. Technology – EMRs – interfere with doctor-patient interaction. Don’t save time. Cost too much. Too much redundant information to be useful and efficient.
2. Art not keeping up with science.
3. Medicare and Medicaid – Inadequate reimbursement, archaic and costly regulations. Mandated record requirements add to the cost but not to the care.
4. Healthcare delivery, poor access to care.
5. Commercial insurance is a barrier to good care – too many restrictions on tests and medications that end up costing more in the long run and delaying efficient care.
6. Government, administrations, and insurance companies are controlling personal medical healthcare decisions.
7. Cost of everything medical is too high.
8. Fraud.
9. Fragmented care. Patients have 5 specialists but no primary care doctor.
10. Inefficiency.
11. Poor attention to patient needs. Long waits for testing and appointment scheduling.
12. Hospitals and ERs are overcrowded and have been for many years, even before the pandemic.
13. Inadequate primary care.
14. Lack of patient trust in the science of medicine.
15. Physician and nursing shortage.
16. Overburdening of healthcare workers.
17. Too many restrictions, and regulations.
18. Medico-legal issues. Frivolous lawsuits.
19. Distribution of healthcare dollars is grossly uneven and unfair.
20. Healthcare workers have little or no voice in decisions that affect healthcare.
21. Average life expectancy going down not up.
22. Poor prenatal care for many.
23. Lack of preparation for future pandemics and other anticipated disasters (We know they are coming, just don’t know when.)
24. Doctors are still not trained well in bedside manner and professionalism. This is not a high priority in most medical schools. Even if they are, the current incentives drive them to forget about it.

Who makes most of the decisions relating to patient care and all of the above problems? You would think it should be the experts in providing care, the ones who were educated for many years to learn how to take care of patients. But they have very little voice in the matter, especially locally, in our communities. We know what the problems are but are powerless to fix them.

That’s why it is so important for healthcare workers to belong to their local and state medical societies, and to be active in those societies. It’s the best way we have at this point to make a difference. By continuing to allow other people to make decisions for us, the healthcare system will remain broken.

The managed care systems of the 1970s and administrative institutions have ballooned into monstrous organizations. They have had 50 years to improve the system. And where are we now? We’re definitely going in the wrong direction. Medical people need a seat at that table. Join your local medical society. Help to make it stronger.

Feb 06, 2023

Why is Bedside Manner So Important in Patient Care?

Bedside manner refers to the way healthcare providers interact with patients and communicate with them. It encompasses their demeanor, tone, body language, and overall approach to patient care. Bedside manner is an essential aspect of patient care as it has a profound impact on the patient experience, health outcomes, and the provider-patient relationship.

Positive Impact on the Patient Experience: A healthcare provider with good bedside manner can make patients feel more comfortable and at ease, reducing their anxiety and stress. This, in turn, can lead to better cooperation and compliance with treatment plans, which is crucial for achieving good health outcomes.

Improved Provider-Patient Relationship: A provider with good bedside manner is able to establish a strong, trusting relationship with their patients. This is important for building trust and ensuring patients feel comfortable discussing their health concerns and asking questions. A positive provider-patient relationship can also lead to increased patient satisfaction and loyalty.

Better Health Outcomes: Patients who feel comfortable and trust their healthcare providers are more likely to follow treatment plans, adhere to medication schedules, and make lifestyle changes that promote health and wellness. Good bedside manner can also encourage patients to be proactive about their health, leading to improved health outcomes in the long term.

In conclusion, bedside manner is a critical aspect of patient care that can have a significant impact on the patient experience, provider-patient relationship, and health outcomes. It is essential that healthcare providers prioritize good bedside manner and work to continuously improve their communication and interpersonal skills.

Continue reading "Why is Bedside Manner So Important in Patient Care?"

Feb 04, 2023

Medical Professionalism

Medical professionalism is an integral part of the healthcare industry. It is a set of values, behaviors, and attitudes that are considered essential for providing high-quality medical care. These principles are essential in building trust between healthcare providers and their patients, and they help to ensure that medical treatment is safe, effective, and ethical.

The following are the core principles of medical professionalism:

Patient-centered care: Medical professionals should prioritize the needs and wellbeing of their patients. They should listen to their patients' concerns and make informed decisions based on their patients' best interests.

Compassion: Medical professionals should exhibit compassion and empathy towards their patients. They should show empathy for their patients' experiences and strive to understand their patients' perspectives.

Integrity: Medical professionals should act with integrity and honesty at all times. They should be transparent about their practices and maintain patient confidentiality.

Responsibility: Medical professionals are responsible for the well-being of their patients. They should be knowledgeable, well-prepared, and competent in their field. They should also take responsibility for their actions and make decisions based on their patients' best interests.

Respect: Medical professionals should treat all patients with respect, regardless of their background, culture, or beliefs. They should also respect their colleagues, and work collaboratively to provide the best possible care.

Medical professionalism is essential for maintaining the quality and safety of medical care. It is important for medical professionals to uphold these principles at all times and to strive for continuous improvement in their practices. This will ensure that patients receive the highest quality care, and that the reputation of the healthcare industry is maintained.

In conclusion, medical professionalism is a critical component of the healthcare industry. It helps to build trust between healthcare providers and their patients, and it ensures that medical treatment is safe, effective, and ethical. Medical professionals should strive to embody these principles in their practice and work to continually improve the quality of care they provide.

Continue reading "Medical Professionalism"

Jan 29, 2023

Five Steps to Avoid Physician Burnout

1. Prioritize Self-Care: Establishing a healthy work-life balance is key to avoiding physician burnout. Set aside time each day for activities that relax and rejuvenate, such as exercising, spending time with family and friends, or engaging in hobbies.

2. Cultivate Healthy Habits: Eating healthy, regular meals and getting adequate sleep are important to maintaining energy levels during the workday. Make sure to practice good self-care habits throughout the day.

3. Connect With Colleagues: Spending quality time with colleagues can provide needed social support and prevent feelings of isolation that are common among physicians dealing with burnout. Participating in team meetings, attending conferences and taking part in other professional development activities can also help stay connected and motivated.

4. Take Breaks: Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help improve concentration and focus while preventing burnout. Even brief pauses spent away from the patient care environment can give physicians a much-needed physical and mental break from their daily duties.

5. Manage Stress: Learning how to effectively manage stress is essential for avoiding burnout. Regularly practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress levels during times of intense pressure at work.

Jan 06, 2023

Continuity of Care A Personal Voyage

Carol Stickney and Opal Bristow published a book (let) entitled Discharge Planning and Continuity of Care. Carol had gotten sick later in life and needed

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Jan 06, 2023

Patients asking questions

In the old days, good patients were the ones who didn't make any noise and were grateful, says Clancy. It turns out that those patients don't do so well.

Continue reading "Patients asking questions"

Nov 11, 2022

Compassion Fatigue

What is Compassion Fatigue? Most healthcare workers have experienced it. Here is an article explaining it and providing resources to help.

Continue reading "Compassion Fatigue"

Apr 18, 2022

Cannabis and Cancer

THC and Cancer

How patients can get relief from the side effects of cancer treatment.

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Oct 04, 2020

Megan Warth: Nursing, Compassion, the Calling and COVID-19

After waiting in line for eight hours outside New York City’s Javits Center, Megan finally completed the check-in process. She and her Navy colleagues

Continue reading "Megan Warth: Nursing, Compassion, the Calling and COVID-19"

Jul 15, 2020

Hospice Care

Hospice care can provide peace and comfort for terminally ill patients and their families.

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May 21, 2020

Senior Care Resource is a leading senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones. We have been featured by AARP, The Administration for Community Living, The National Legal Resource Center, and Forbes, as well as referenced by many governmental agencies and organizations across the Internet.

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Dec 15, 2019

Medical References and Resources for The Art of Patient Care


A listing of medical references and resources relating to the art of healing and patient care.

Continue reading "Medical References and Resources for The Art of Patient Care"

Oct 29, 2019



Burnout is a syndrome that can bring even the most compassionate physician to his/her knees, resulting in poor bedside manner and, even worse, poor patient care.

Continue reading "Burnout"

Oct 23, 2019



Compassion is an important component of patient care from both a therapeutic as well as a humanitarian viewpoint, yet its importance is little emphasized in our training.

Continue reading "Compassion"

Oct 14, 2019

What a wonderful site!

I am a dental surgeon in London England of nearly 30 years who came upon your site by chance. It is rare to find such a well grounded, logical and very

Continue reading "What a wonderful site!"

Aug 29, 2019

The Doctor Patient Relationship

The doctor patient relationship is a special bond like no other. It needs to be respected and treated carefully as a partnership emphasizing equality and trust.

Continue reading "The Doctor Patient Relationship"

Jul 20, 2019

Listening to Patients

Communicating with Patient

Listening to patients is the key to proper pursuit of diagnosis and correct treatment.

Continue reading "Listening to Patients"

Mar 06, 2019

Grief Reactions Associated with a Short vs. a Prolonged Illness

A thousand cuts

The grief reaction during a prolonged illness is difficult to endure. The relief afterwards can be unwittingly misinterpreted by superficial bystanders.

Continue reading "Grief Reactions Associated with a Short vs. a Prolonged Illness"

Dec 09, 2015

Retainer Practices and HMO Patients

Most of the time, in the world of PPO insurance and government-based insurance (Medicare and Medicaid), when a patient needs a referral to a specialist

Continue reading "Retainer Practices and HMO Patients"

Dec 09, 2015

Simply Amazing!

I am a corporate training & organizational development consultant for a large healthcare system. My primary responsibilities include training design, development,

Continue reading "Simply Amazing!"

Aug 15, 2015

Continuity of Care

Talking about continuity of care isn't enough. We have to do something about it.

Continue reading "Continuity of Care"

Aug 15, 2015

Advance Directive


Discussing the advance directive and code status with patients and families is an art unto itself.

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Aug 15, 2015

Providing extraordinary care

If somehow we can manage to maintain the same techniques taught in achieving our status in the medical field we would be extraordinary. Unfortunately,

Continue reading "Providing extraordinary care"

Aug 15, 2015

Patient Care

To learn more about Patient Care in King Abdulaziz Medical City, please click here: Patient Care

Continue reading "Patient Care "

Aug 15, 2015

Altruism in Medical practice

I have a concern about your statement that we should be concerned about the well being of the patients far more than our own (paraphrase). I beg to differ.

Continue reading "Altruism in Medical practice"

Aug 15, 2015

Patient Bathing

Hello, and Thank you, If you could guide me , (I need help in sharing this research) I felt I should advise you of a product that we have been

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Mar 17, 2013


Is there an afterlife? Should we use this to comfort people as they are dying?

Continue reading "Afterlife"

Mar 09, 2013

Health Insurance - Information

Looking for some reliable, updated, easy-to-understand information about health insurance in the U.S., and how it is affected by Obamacare? Check out this site...

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Mar 03, 2013

Primum Non Nocere

We understand the need for proper utilization of medical resources, but knowingly causing potential harm to patients to reduce costs should not be part of the equation.

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Dec 26, 2012

Interesting Patients

Medical students and residents love to have interesting patients. What makes a patient interesting? It's more about provider perception than the type of illness.

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Dec 10, 2012

From The Beginning!

I first met Dr. Warth Dec.20, 1976 in the emergency room at Virginia Beach Hospital. God Blessed me that night. Coping with a masive heart attack, he worked

Continue reading "From The Beginning!"

Nov 03, 2012

Maintaining the Extraordinary

If somehow we can manage to maintain the same techniques taught in achieving our status in the medical field we would be extraordinary. Unfortunately, even newcomers loose site very fast when dealing with over worked, under staffed, and plain lazy people who actually hide or pretend they do not hear a bell or alarm. Mercy!
-Barbara Jones, USA

Nov 03, 2012


I would like to appreciate your insight regarding this very important aspect of the medical profession. i think this article will or should enhance retrospection by all health professionals,majority of whom have forgotten how to be human and act like they are "gods".
-Julius Banks, Uganda

Jul 07, 2012

Health Reform

How much do we really know about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)? Amidst all the hype, emotion, confusion and misinformation about it, when it comes down to the real facts about it, I don't think the average, news-watching American really understands it or knows what's in it. I'm in the healthcare business and tested myself with a questionnaire about it recently and was surprised to find out that I didn't know as much about it as I thought.

I've also been a victim of media hype and misinformation.

I think one of the things that we have to be careful about is that there are many opinions about how certain aspects of the program are going to effect various groups and the nation as a whole in the future. These are mostly guesses and conjecture heavily tainted with bias. The bottom line about future effects is that nobody really knows; there are just too many variables - that's why there are so many differing opinions and projections. I think we will just have to live it and see what happens, then try to fix the parts that aren't working well.

One of the major physician organizations, the American College of Physicians, of which I am a member, seems to have a positive viewpoint about it. The article sited here seems factual, although it's not totally without bias, because it's written from the viewpoint of internal medicine physicians.

The government's informational website about it is at Of course, this has a positive bias about it also, but it is nevertheless factual.

One of the better listings of some of the important aspects of the ACA program presented as facts without a lot of guessing or conjecture can be found here in a format that even I could understand...

Continue reading "Health Reform"

Apr 30, 2012

Support for the Patient During A Serious Illness

How should friends or family support a patient during a serious illness?

Continue reading "Support for the Patient During A Serious Illness"

Apr 17, 2012

On the Subject of Rewards in Medicine

After two long years of suffering with end-stage COPD and cor pulmonale, my patient, a 92 year old retired surgeon, whom I had seen on numerous occasions for home visits, died at home comfortably with a hospice nurse and family at the bedside. A few days later, the whole family came to see me at the office for the sole purpose of saying 'Thank you" for providing the same good care and personal attention to their father that he provided to his patients while he was practicing. Made my day!

Jun 04, 2011


It's becoming common practice to use protocols based on evidence-based medicine in writing orders and treating various illnesses. While this is helpful as a reminder of evidence-based guidelines and provides a checklist so that you don't forget certain things as you are writing orders, please try to avoid the pitfall of using the protocol as a cookbook and as a replacement for thinking and using proper clinical judgement about an individual case.

Protocols are written as a guide that will probably work for the majority of routine illnesses, but patient care is loaded with so many different variables, that what works for many or even most, will not work for all patients.

Remember that, no matter how much certain institutions want to standardize care for diseases, it is impossible with current technology to standardize individual patients. If it were possible, our computers could direct patient care, and there wouldn't be a need for doctors. There may come a time, I am told, when computers will be able to think and maybe even surpass human intelligence, but we're definitely not there yet, and I personally hope we never will be.

For now, the doctor, not the protocol, should be running the show.

Apr 22, 2011

Nurses Week!

Beginning April 12th, kicked off their 2nd annual Nurses Week Design Challenge, where nurses and nurse-aficionados can create clever t-shirt designs in celebration of Nursing Week and the nursing profession. Users may submit designs using the simple yet powerful design tool.. no design skills necessary! Three brilliant & creative winners will be chosen on May 16th to win over $2000 in prizes including an iPad2.

Visit the following link to view, participate, and vote in the contest:

Continue reading "Nurses Week!"

Mar 23, 2011


Objectivity is another mark of professionalism in patient care - another goal for which to strive - but it's not always as easy as you might think.

Continue reading "Objectivity"

Mar 04, 2011

Clinical Judgment


Clinical judgment requires a balance between compassion, science and common sense. How do we sort out what is the best option when there are no textbooks or studies that tell us what to do?

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Oct 10, 2010

Case Study: Code Status

This case study demonstrates the problems you can get into if the predetermined code status is not followed properly.

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Sep 19, 2010

Call the Palliative Care Team Early

An recent article in the August 19, 2010 issue of the NEJM caught my attention - "Early Palliative Care for Patients with Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer", by Jennifer Temel, et al. The investigators found that when patients with newly diagnosed NSC lung cancer received early palliative care, the quality of life and mood were significantly higher at 12 weeks than those who received standard care. Furthermore, the group that received the less aggressive palliative care actually lived longer than the standard care group who had more aggressive care!

Continue reading "Call the Palliative Care Team Early"

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