"Annie, Annie, are you OK?" Many of us learned to resuscitate a person who has collapsed using Annie, the mannequin based on a death mask of a young woman who had drowned in the Seine in Paris in the 19th century. Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has become increasingly accepted and expected as the years have passed, and we have even begun to make affordable machines to deliver a life-saving shock (defibrillation) ...

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I recently attended the annual Society of Hospital Medicine conference in Las Vegas. As a proud hospital medicine doctor, this organization has grown exponentially over the last decade, and thousands of hospital physicians from across the nation descended on the city for a few days of great learning and networking opportunities. However, away from the conference, this being Vegas, there had to be some time for fun as well. On Saturday evening, ...

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I am nearing the end of my training at one of the top surgical fellowships in the country. I chose this fellowship not just for the name, but also because the surgeons all seemed like genuine and altruistically motivated individuals. It was two-thirds of the way through fellowship when I found myself in conversation with two male trainees. We were discussing the younger trainee and his girlfriend; he would be ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. One thing about me that even my closest friends are unaware of is that I am a zombie fighter. Unlike the ones in video games, TV series, or movies, the zombies that I fight in my practice are prescriptions that won’t die. They ...

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The middle-aged man in my exam room wasn’t an alcoholic. At least, that’s what he declared to me as I asked him questions about his drinking.

"I’m not like those people," he said, smiling nervously. "I go to work. I don’t fall down the stairs. I don’t embarrass myself."

As we spoke further about the consequences of drinking six to seven beers every night (and a few shots here and there), ...

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If you are a physician reading this, please pat yourself on the back. You made it through medical school and residency so, de facto, you have both resiliency and grit (serious buzzwords, y’all). But as anyone who has gone through these professional challenges, it often doesn’t seem so. I am 44 years old and am faculty at a major public university and cis-gendered, heterosexual, married, two kids and have a full-time ...

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Afterword from a story entitled “Litigation Lane,” excerpted from Beyond Bedlam’s Door: True Tales from the Couch and Courtroom (Thunder Lake Press).  Forensic psychiatry involves the interface of psychiatry and the law. Over the years, I was asked to psychiatrically evaluate people in the context of civil ...

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President Donald Trump in a recent press briefing with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced, “Of course the Australians have better health care than we do - everybody does.” On the heels of the House narrowly passing the first in many steps toward Obamacare repeal and replace, President Trump’s comment caused a bit of a stir, to say the least. MSNBC was all over it. Chris Hayes interviewed fellow socialist Senator ...

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Recently, the Harvard Chan School of Public Health reported on the effect of surgical checklists in South Carolina. The press release was titled, “South Carolina hospitals see major drop in post-surgical deaths with nation’s first proven statewide Surgical Safety Checklist Program.” The Health News Review, for which I review, grades coverage of research in the media. Based on their objective criteria, the Harvard press release would ...

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December 2012, three days before Christmas. It started as an ordinary day, but soon it would become the turning point of my career. As I entered my office, I noticed a different energy in the room. The receptionist looked at me and said, “Doc, one of your patients died last night.” As a psychiatrist, I am not used to the feelings generated when someone you cared for, passes in the ...

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When my children were growing up, I advised them, “Don’t choose any profession in which your worth is determined by knowing a body of information or using algorithmic thinking. If you do that, you’re toast.” ”Toast” because monopolies on information have been supplanted by the internet, and algorithmic thinking replaced by computers and artificial intelligence. Incredibly, this seismic shift in what society values has occurred in just a single generation. And that’s ...

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I stood in line behind a physician, slightly balding and in a long, starched lab coat at the coffee shop in our hospital. As he paid and took his coffee, I noticed that he smiled and called the clerk by name, “Thank you, Terri.” He went on about his day, and I was left to wonder about the man, his practice and what type of person he was. My friend has ...

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I pause in front of the door. On the other side, you all wait. A spouse, sons and daughters, sometimes with their own small children in tow. Today, it’s your husband and father you have come for. Yesterday it was someone else’s mother. You have come from near and far, across the street and the country. Your weary eyes are unable to mask your sadness. Over the past week, you ...

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Mindfulness has gained a lot of awareness and attention over the last few years as the medical community has set out to find strategies for prevention of physicians burnout. What has been coined “mindfulness-based stress reduction” or “mindfulness” is a principle proven long before medical researchers decided to reduce it to treatment strategy to promote acceptance among the physician community. This very useful tool today is becoming widely used in ...

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“We don’t want them here.” President Trump could not have sent a clearer message to Muslim children around the world. In the eyes of our nation’s elected leader, these kids are not wanted in the United States. Trump’s immigration policies have been focused on keeping "radical Islamic terrorists" out of the United States, but research in child psychiatry suggests that ...

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"This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend, the end Of our elaborate plans, the end Of everything that stands, the end." - The Doors I am an obstetrician. My job, distilled to its essence is to be present and assist during the birthing of a new life. Labor has its inherent risks, but with credit to those who came before me, delivering a child has never been safer for ...

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Not once during my eight years of medical school and residency training was I ever asked the converse of the titular question, what was my wife’s opinion of my career choice. Not while scrubbed into a case on my surgery rotations, not in the middle of an overnight call in the neonatal intensive care unit and never once by an attending, fellow or co-resident. Even those who knew me best and ...

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“Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered,” the saying goes. And so may it prove to be true for the pharmaceutical industry. Three articles, all published May 3, illustrate the greed and egregious pricing by certain drug companies that are gaining public recognition and scrutiny. As an example, Marathon invested $370,000 to obtain the license for the data on “deflazacort,” a steroid available for about $1,200 a year in the United Kingdom. ...

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I received these emails recently. The writer gave me permission to publish them. They have been edited for length, and some details have been changed to protect his anonymity.

I'm a third-year medical student at an allopathic state medical school. I've always wanted to do surgery. My problem is I failed USMLE Step 1 the first time and got a 207 on my second attempt. I hadn't failed anything else throughout first ...

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STAT_Logo The cadaver lab is a rite of passage in medical school — those few months early on when we dissect a human body to better understand our anatomy. It’s grotesque: peeling back skin, separating muscle sinews, and sawing through bone. It’s so emotionally jarring that young doctors in training often compartmentalize the experience, and this person before us ...

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