If you’re like me, you’re getting a bit restless hearing about what may or may not happen to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). As doctors, we are trained to act. While administrators plan new quality improvement programs, we take each day as an opportunity to improve our practice and work more closely with our teams. While our clinics and hospitals try to figure out how to streamline workflows in our EHRs, ...

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of the most beloved stories of all time. It is a classic story with a theme that resonates as we end the year and commence a new one. The story revolves around the main character examining his past, present, and future. He realized that key events have shaped his life and turned him into the man he is. Before the story ends, ...

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The ultimate goal of every young physician while in medical school and residency should be to become a remarkable doctor. However, what if one of the biggest factors of being a great doctor was not addressed from the start? Financial wellness may not directly correlate with being an incredible doctor, but stress can and does, and today's young medical professionals have a lot on their plates — beginning with $200,000 in ...

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As a physician from Ghana brought up in a very religious family, I must admit that when it comes to gay rights and other issues related to sexual minorities I was as far to the right as anyone could be.  My first experience with openly gay individuals was when I came to the United States. Needless to say, gay behavior in Ghana was so stigmatized as to be nonexistent in ...

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Recently, my friend had a patient. The guy, patient with a history of autoimmune disease came in with pain, anxiety, and tachycardia.  She walked in and felt the psychosomatic overlay. What was her intervention? Meds? Psych? Nope. She closed the door, held his hand, pulled out her mom self and let him tell her for 15 long minutes about his hard life. The nurse watched the monitor as his heart rate dropped in ...

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The reason for Chandra’s office visit is to fill out form N-648. Chandra* is a fifty-nine-year-old Bhutanese refugee who has been my patient for the last nine months. Form N-648 is a six-page bureaucratic nightmare that is guaranteed to bring my clinic day to a grinding halt. My refugee patients bring me this form to certify that they are unable to take the test to become a U.S. citizen due ...

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In my former life as a hospital-based, shift-working physician with young children at home, this time of the year inevitably brought the same question from at least a handful of individuals:  “Isn’t it hard on your kids not to have you home on Christmas?”  Thankfully, I was always able to answer truthfully, “no.”  With consistent effort and a no-nonsense attitude, my kiddos either didn’t know the difference because they were ...

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When was the last time your child read a book featuring someone different from them? When did they last read a book about an African American girl celebrating her birthday, a Mexican American girl celebrating her quinceañera, or a Jewish American boy celebrating his bar mitzvah? What about a book featuring Chinese American, Native American, Indian American or Muslim children? Think of the last few books you read to your children. Chances are, ...

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I am a family physician who has been in practice since 2007. My practice is broad in scope; immediately out of residency I worked in a community health center where I practiced obstetrics, newborn care, and inpatient medicine and pediatrics, along with my outpatient obligations. Since 2011 I have been a locum tenens physician working in rural Colorado in emergency departments, clinics, and hospitals. I recently received your American Board of ...

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For any health care professional, a typical day in the hospital brings about its unique challenges. Depending on the patients that we see, one second the situation can be routine, and the next second, it can become complex. In the midst of this flux, there is an expectation for us to make important decisions, with the speed of these decisions dependent on how a patient is doing at a given ...

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