Life as a resident doctor can bring some of the most memorable patients encounters of our career. After all, this is the time in our training when we are the most naïve, vulnerable and most importantly impressionable. There is a certain patient scenario, however, which has changed the way I view one the most important experiences a patient can have: labor. Let me explain. I get paged for an epidural.  Once I ...

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When it comes to cancer, I'm neither physician nor patient, nor even a policy expert.  But being both a critical thinker and a feminist, I'm struck by what the juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated new oncology studies, published in highly respected medical journals a month apart, can tell us about how gender shapes the way we perceive (or misperceive) illness, and the impact that has on patients' well-being. On April 14, ...

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I was 13 years old when I first had thoughts related to suicide. While my thoughts never really included calculated ways of ending my life, I remember such a profoundly overwhelming desire to be anesthetized to all of my emotions and worries. In the medical field, that kind of thinking is classified under the label of “suicidal ideation,” which is often accompanied by other diagnoses of mental illness. I have ...

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Two weeks before my oldest cousin’s twenty-third birthday, he shot and killed himself. It scarred our family. The kind of jagged, gnarled scar, like a poorly-filled pothole, that -- even though it’s been nearly twenty years -- you still run your fingers across from time to time and feel the sting of a fresh wound. We weren’t all that close, but as a 14 year old, sorting through my own perceptions ...

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Dr. Brian Goldman, in his blog for CBC radio, wrote about the new article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) on the sex ratio after induced abortion in Ontario, (i.e., sex selective abortion). The article in the CMAJ confirms what is no surprise to me as an OB/GYN, that the ratio of male to female births for a third child born to women who emigrated to ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 50-year-old man is evaluated for a 1-year history of increasing urinary frequency and urgency and occasional urge incontinence. He has no symptoms of urinary hesitancy or incomplete emptying. The patient has primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Medications are dalfampridine and vitamin D. On physical evaluation, temperature is 36.8 °C (98.2 °F), blood pressure ...

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asco-logo I was at a meeting in 2014, called the REV Forum; its objective was to rethink cancer care delivery by gathering patients, advocates, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs. Even now I am struck by some of the things I learned that day. One that stays in mind is when a woman who looked like she was in her ...

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I am going to confess that I am my children’s pediatrician.  I have given them every vaccination they have ever had and probably would not trust another provider to do it.   I endorse the vaccination schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics; I believe it is safe and prevents disease.  I completed medical school and three years of pediatric training that helped shape this belief.  I have seen death ...

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The cancer moonshot initiative raised skepticism because of the limited funding to end cancer. Unfortunately the recently announced panel membership confirms that while the project may launch, skewed representation may tilt the mission off course. It is no surprise that the panel heavily tilts toward immunology, medical oncology, surgery and big science. But three core specialties you would find at any tumor board are missing: pathology, radiology, and radiation ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 55-year-old man is evaluated following a screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus. He is asymptomatic. He has a history of hypertension and hyperlipidemia. There is no history of anemia, liver disease, or kidney disease. Medications are lisinopril and rosuvastatin. On physical examination, blood pressure is 123/76 mm Hg and pulse rate ...

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