Slave, I am not Servant, I may be Arrogant, I am not Ignorant, I may be Un-engaged, I am not However, Quiet, I may be. Your coat is long, mine short Your knowledge mile deep, mine mile wide You have seen 100 patients this week, I have seen 10 You trained for 10 years, this is my first If I look scared, it’s because I am If I seem intimidated, I indeed am If I appear confused, I in fact am If I ...

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In high school and college, I waitressed in a Dunkin’ Donuts shop that sat between Boston Common and the Combat Zone’s porn shops, strip clubs, and bars. The wages paid for school, clothes, rent, and food. At the time, I didn't realize this job would provide useful skills for my later medical career, an early pre-med training of sorts. Look the part. I donned the bubblegum pink polyester uniform that clearly identified ...

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Laws that allow assisted suicide restrict the provision of “aid-in-dying” drugs to patients whose mental status is not impaired and who are capable of sound judgment. Medscape recently featured a video interview of Timothy Quill, the palliative-care specialist and long-term assisted suicide activist. He is interviewed by the ethicist Arthur Caplan, and the two discuss the psychological evaluation of terminally ill patients who request physician-assisted suicide (PAS). Several points ...

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An excerpt from The Mindful Nurse: Using the Power of Mindfulness and Compassion to Help You Thrive In Your Work. Do you ever feel panic at the end of a long weekend or vacation, wondering where the time went? Do your days, weeks, and months blend into one another, each ...

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In what has been called the “opioid epidemic,” we talk a lot about two groups of people: 1. Patients who try to con their physician to get an opioid prescription, and 2. Physicians who capitalize on these patients by creating “pill-mill” clinics (that dispense opioids generously). This narrative results in top-down regulations that restrict the relationship between physicians and patients everywhere. Doctors are often blamed for the problem, so new guidelines target them. ...

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“Who’s in charge of the case?” the doctor asked a bit impatiently. My husband was in the hospital, and his care seemed disjointed and fragmented. I was concerned and called his primary care physician (PCP) to ask advice. He hadn’t known my husband was in the hospital again and seemed frustrated. I thought about his question for a minute and answered, “I guess I am. I am the one who talks to ...

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An excerpt from Flatlining:  How Healthcare Could Kill the U.S. Economy. In recent history, the U.S. economy has experienced the near catastrophic failure of two major market segments. The first was the auto industry and the second was the housing industry. While each of these reached their breaking point for different reasons, they both required a significant government bailout to keep them from completely melting down. What is also ...

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I grew up studying my physician parents. My dad, a pathologist, was a hard-working hospital employee with multiple odd jobs on the side. He always worried about whether he’d have enough for retirement, though he never really wanted to retire. My mom, a psychiatrist, is more of an entrepreneurial businesswoman. She had her own private practice (even though all the other employed doctors warned she’d never make it ...

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Let’s start with the most important part first. Your primary goal while in residency/fellowship is to become a great doctor. The kicker is that you also have to devote some time to your finances and not completely neglect them. We will outline the few financial items you should worry about while in residency. Student loans If you don’t have student loans, go ahead and skip to the next item; however, the unfortunate ...

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A couple of years ago, I took care of a 12-month-old boy with a cough. He had been seen by three other doctors over the last two days. Initially, he was seen by his pediatrician, who told his mother that it was “just a virus” and that his symptoms would go away on their own. Unsatisfied with this answer, she left the pediatrician’s office and drove immediately to an urgent ...

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An article released in the JAMA sites evidence that the suicide rate in America has risen by 24 percent in the last 15 years associated with a significant reduction in the numbers of psychiatric beds available. The U.S. has had a lower capacity for psychiatric patients than comparable countries in Europe for years, but between 1998 and 2013 that number dropped even further. Waiting in the ER for days This ...

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Over the 2016 Christmas weekend, 27 Chicago citizens were shot, of which, 7 were shot fatally. While studying in a Chicago medical school in 2011, I saw the effects of gun violence first. It saddens me to realize that six years later, little, if anything has changed. This past year, Chicago has reported a total 745 homicides, a 56 percent increase since last year and the first time in over ...

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Yes, suggestions for improvement are coming at you from every angle.  Administrators, your patients, your colleagues, your mother, yourself.  It’s quite possible that the last thing you feel you need are resolutions.  But for those of you that are looking to make some concrete changes in 2017, here are some to consider: 1. Take care of yourself as well as you take care of your patients. 2016 has proven to us ...

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At the start of the first week of the medical school at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, students get introduced to the anatomy lab, and by the end of the week, the first dissection occurs. Students study muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and other structures on dead bodies they dissect under the instruction of Dr. Abdo Jurjus, the anatomy course coordinator and instructor. First-year medical students spend around 3 hours a ...

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The drama in Syria captivates much of the world. We sit and watch horrified as innocent civilians and children suffer. The pictures coming out of the devastated city are truly heart-wrenching and the fabric that nightmares are created out of. As if to add to that unbelievable suffering, a bomb exploded in a Coptic church in Cairo, Egypt targeting women and children. Their only crime was going to attend the ...

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On June 30, 2015, California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 277 (SB277), which tightened requirements so that parents could no longer opt out of vaccinating their children if they were attending state licensed schools, daycares, and nurseries. Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician, sponsored the legislation, which quickly became a nationwide litmus test on the debate over personal liberty versus public health in the aftermath of the large, ...

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Lena Dunham is under fire because of comments she made on her Podcast Women of the Hour. The episode, entitled Choice, begins with a thoughtful discussion of choice and how pro-life is a misnomer because those who self-identify that way are just anti-choice. You can listen to the episode here. The comment that has some up in arms is around the 14:40 mark. Dunham discusses how she was approached ...

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As an intern, I once cared for an elderly gentleman who came in with heart failure. In no time, we grew fond of each other. It was almost like he looked forward to my visits. He sometimes called me “sunshine.” I am not sure if he meant it in a way that meant that I woke him up every morning.  He was almost ready to go back home when he ...

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As a pediatrician who has been practicing for fifteen years, the most frequent non-medical question that patients' parents ask me is, "Doctor, do you have children of your own?" Their questions show that although they value my medical education and expertise, they want to know if I've had first-hand experience with the worries and difficulties of having a sick child, making decisions regarding vaccinations, and raising children in general.  I answer ...

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Anyone with a computer or smartphone is well aware of the incessant alerts that flash across the screen, often accompanied by a beep or exclamation point. The alert may be for an upcoming appointment, a reminder of an acquaintance’s birthday -- or a just-announced sale at your favorite online retailer. How many of these alerts are really important? It’s easy to ignore a media news flash -- but what if you ...

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