Not far from the busy pedestrian streets in the center of Vienna, down a quiet narrow street, lies a small cobblestoned city square. Before World War II, this city neighborhood was the bustling, vibrant heart of Vienna's Jewish Quarter, but today it is has a quiet, almost subdued feeling. Vienna's current Jewish population is only a small fraction of what it was before the war, and the quiet feel of ...

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We were a team of women. A strong, intelligent female attending, a fellow, me as the resident, and the eager intern. Gunners in the ICU. Throwing in lines and throwing out numbers and grilling newly published papers for truth. Then I got a call from the head of the department. I was asked about another fellow in the program. A male fellow. His behavior was in question. I was asked if ...

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Do you ever have one of those days, when it seems like every patient is coming in for the same thing?  And that you’ll never remember the differences, when it comes to doing your dictations at the end of the day? A few weeks ago, six of my appointments had as their chief concern “ear pain.”  But of course, in the end, no two ears were at all alike.  I love ...

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Not long ago, one of my elderly patients (who gave me permission to tell this story) began requiring blood transfusions for a condition known as ischemic colitis. Usually, it occurs because there are blockages present in the arteries that supply blood to the colon and, starved of blood, the inner lining of the colon becomes inflamed. But her arteries, it turns out, are normal. So we term her ischemic colitis ...

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Our two presidential candidates are irksome and infuriating to everyone. We are disgruntled with them. The psychiatrist in me asks the question, why are we so angry and upset with them? The majority of us voted for these two as our nominees. What does all of this say about us? Why have we put up nominees that anger and disgust us? We had sixteen other Republican candidates to choose from and ...

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In the last presidential debate, the conversation quickly turned to a subject that is divisive and controversial for many Americans: abortion. More specifically, the topic of late-term abortions. Considering both candidates got the facts on this very sensitive topic wrong, I thought clarifying a few key points might be helpful. When discussing this topic, Donald Trump said the following: “In the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the ...

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He didn't correct me when I addressed him as “Mr.,” only grimaced in his hospital gown like any other 80-year-old with abdominal pain. I knew he was intelligent when he began giving a history of present illness so precise I could transcribe it verbatim into my note, but it wasn't until he described his pain as “epigastric” that I gleaned he had a medical background. “Are you medical?” “Yes, I'm a retired ...

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Physicians are known to be masters of self-sacrifice, and self-control. They undergo years of training and make substantial emotional and financial sacrifices until they complete their training. The reward at the end of the road is a fulfilling job where he or she can treat people who are in need and enjoy the emotional, personal, and financial fruits of their labor. But is this the reality? At a time when the ...

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Is it possible to break down a complex phenomenon like professional burnout into a simple triad? We do it for exotic diseases all the time, so why not? I still remember my salad days in med school vividly. Bouncing between the cockiness of amassing an entirely new body of knowledge and the awkwardness of having nary a clue how to use it, it was excitement I hadn't felt before or since. ...

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"Medicine is not for boys." That's what my 7 year old recently very emphatically told me. My son is not interested in becoming a doctor because it is for girls. He then suggested I discuss medicine with my 3-year-old daughter because she's a girl. My son instead prefers to be a fire fighter, soccer player, or superhero, or maybe a dentist because some boys still actually do that -- but definitely not a ...

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