I was deeply disappointed to receive the email this week in which I was told that the decision to publish an article I wrote was an error. The editor of the journal, which is PubMed-indexed and respected on an international level, explained that the decision I received was intended for another author. In the days following this news, I have only been able to think about the loss of the ...

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I felt a gust of sharp pain a couple of centimeters to the right of my belly button. It will subside, I thought. All pain subsides. It was an easy dictum to follow as a 39-year-old pediatric eye doc who last spent a night in the hospital as a patient in 1977. I’d undergone bilateral laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair ten days earlier, so I was accustomed to brief squalls of discomfort ...

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As the millennial presence in health care becomes more prominent, the climate of the health care system will inevitably change. Speaking from a personal perspective, there is a growing emphasis on lifestyle in the conversation of career choice. Medicine is becoming less and less of a life, and more of a part of life, a part of the work-life balance. We (millennials) also place emphasis on impact. We want to ...

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The young woman sat in the corner of my exam room, facing away from me as I asked her questions. Her answers were short. "I’m from El Salvador." Why did she come? "Because of the violence." Her voice was flat. Her hands trembled. I knew she had suffered terribly and I needed to ask her how. Slowly, quietly, she recounted the gang violence she had fled in El Salvador. The assault ...

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Being in a hospital is a scary and frightening time, and it’s easy for those of us at the frontlines — doctors and nurses — to forget that as we go about our busy work days. Patients are at a very low point in their lives and will remember everything about their hospital stay, including all their interactions, for a very long time. As someone with a keen interest in improving ...

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When I was growing up, RuPaul was all I knew of transgender anything.  She was tall, flamboyant, charming, and I would look at her and try to see the man underneath the drag.  I didn’t know the definitions of drag and trans, gender identity and intersex, ambiguous genitalia and gonadal dysgenesis. Now that I’m a physician, I see transgendered patients on a regular basis -- unfortunately, it’s usually in the setting ...

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Despite above average intelligence and work ethic, the average physician is an absolute imbecile when it comes to the topics of personal finance, investing, and business. The lack of expertise on these critical life topics is having a dramatic effect not only on the financial lives of physicians but also their rates of burnout and thus their patient care. In past decades, by virtue of their above average income, a ...

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I’ve had many opportunities to address physicians across the spectrum of health care settings, from those who run private practices, to those who work in large and small groups, to those who are hospital affiliated and employed. I often ask them the question “who controls the practice of medicine?” The answers I receive vary: government, insurance companies, hospitals, health systems, lawyers, employers and, rarely, patients. But one answer I never ...

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“I am not on call,” Dr. Brian Stoltz said over a lot of background noise through what must have been the speakerphone in his car. “I know,” I said. “Cityside ER said there is nobody on call for ophthalmology this weekend. I have a 54-year-old woman with intense tearing, discomfort and only 20/70 vision in her right eye.” “And she’s not a patient of our office?” “No, she has only had to see ...

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With Match Day come and gone, and I cannot help but find myself reflecting upon the journey.  The inaugural day of medical school orientation was nearly four years ago now, and it would be entirely cliché to say it feels like it was just yesterday.  Rather, the truth is that it honestly feels like a lifetime ago.  And yet I still remember the finest details of that day, down to ...

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If you are planning on complying with Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), make sure to allot the appropriate time and funding necessary to update/upgrade your practice. Realize that the measures will be arbitrary, the data implementation arduous and the moments for live patient care fleeting. Expect that, no matter how Herculean the task may be, the finish line will move often and unexpectedly. Prepare to get ...

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When Barbara (name changed) recently underwent her fourth Cesarean section, she was appalled by the care she received during her recovery.  Her catheter overflowed, and a CNA asked her to check her own incision.  When the CNA asked if she was breastfeeding her baby, Barbara replied tearfully that she couldn’t lift her out the bassinette.  Rooming-in is a great idea. Unless you’ve had a 36-hour labor or major abdominal surgery. Pregnant ...

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Doctor Barbie has a laptop. She comes with other accessories, like a white lab coat and stethoscope of course, but one of her largest and most prominent medical tools is her laptop. As a pediatrician’s daughter, my child selected doctor Barbie from the aisle of infinite Barbie options because she knew I was most likely to purchase this one when otherwise walking the store repeating the mantra “no more toys.” ...

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Technology has been moving at a lightning pace the past two decades. Technological advancements have crept into every facet of life, from HD screens that now blare ads at us at gas station pumps to disruptive start-ups like Netflix, Airbnb, and Uber, which have rocked entire industries, the air of change is inescapable. The medical field, on the other hand, remains in many ways the same as it has been ...

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“Do you know the visa process in the U.K.?” Yousef asks me nervously in the physician work room at our hospital in Florida. “I’ve spent the last two weeks looking up the different countries where I might be able to work — Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.” Yousef goes on to list the various visa and medical licensing procedures in each country and has clearly done his research. As ...

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As a doctor, I am guided by the code of medical ethics. The code is made of up of four principles: autonomy, justice, do good and do no harm. These principles guide me and my colleagues, including the fifteen doctors in Congress, as we care for others. In the debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act, thirteen of the fifteen doctors in Congress have publicly stated that they ...

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As a gynecologist, I not only witness new love but have to regularly ask about it because it can impact my patient’s health. They may need birth control, STI screening and counseling, or pre-conceptual counseling. Then there is one of my favorite group of patients: those that are “older” and entering into new relationships either for the first time or following a divorce or loss of a spouse. The balance ...

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I burned out early. I was done being a doctor at the end of fellowship. Although I took a job as a critical care physician, I desperately sought to alter my career somehow. I looked into website development, something I had been good at in high school. I took a few refresher classes on my days off and started coding my own sites. Luckily, my first job out of fellowship accepted many ...

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One of the first things they teach in medical school is that if you haven’t pretty much figured out the diagnosis by the time the patient finishes sharing their history, your doctor hasn’t done his or her job well.  Certainly, this is a bit of an exaggeration, as many diseases cause similar symptoms. As you share your background, your doctor is creating a list of possibilities of the most likely conditions ...

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Having recently returned from a medical mission to the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, I have become consumed with advocating for the rights of the children outside of our borders.  All the while the children I have spent the last five years caring for have been fighting for themselves in this changing political climate. As a pediatrician for an underserved immigrant population, I have seen first hand how a simple ...

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