Recognize and manage physician stress and burnoutA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. "The tragedy of man is what dies inside himself while he still lives." - Albert Schweitzer Statistically speaking When is the last day you truly remember feeling peace, happiness and a deep sense of well being? If you cannot answer this question, you are not alone among ...

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I learned a lot of medicine during residency, but perhaps I actually learned even more about how to just get things done in a hospital. If you wanted a right-upper-quadrant ultrasound done for our patient, I was your man. I had a complicated series of unwritten algorithmic flow diagrams in my head that included handwriting an order, making sure that it was faxed to the right number, calling the appropriate ...

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In his brilliant 1993 satire “Et Tu, Babe,” Mark Leyner proposed a new concept in body art, which is the specialty of “visceral tattoos.”   The narrator travels to Mexico where his chest is opened and the insignia of a “guy surfing a wave of lava, wearing polka-dotted trunks,” is tattooed directly on his heart.  The dye used shows up on CT scans and apparently women, especially x-ray technicians, love it. ...

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When it comes to public-private partnerships between health organizations and the food industry, there are many shades of grey — but Cheetos orange isn’t one of them.  On September 9th of this year, however, the American Heart Association (AHA) Dallas Heart Walk saw Frito-Lay’s Chester the Cheetah riling up the crowd and helping to associate Frito-Lay and Cheetos with the emotions of the day —  joy, hope, charity, happiness, spirit, camaraderie, health, ...

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From the moment I first stepped into a restaurant kitchen, it felt like home; even though for the past eight years my real home has been an operating room, as I am a surgeon. Though many on the outside may not realize it, the chef and the surgeon have much in common. Both profess modest beginnings. Cooks were slaves and surgeons were barbers. Those who did the cutting were not even ...

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A patient I'll call Mildred came to her appointment and handed me a report from a medical screening fair at her church. She wanted to know what to do about it. The print-out said that she had a "mild" blockage in her carotid artery. They told her to discuss it with her primary care doctor (me). You may have seen the advertisements in your local paper, or even on your local ...

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Earlier this May, nurses around the country were acknowledged on a countrywide scale for their hard work and dedication to patient care during National Nurses Week.  Unfortunately, as with most national appreciation days that I cannot personally be recognized for, I failed to take much notice. Now that new doctors around the country, including myself, are in the process of growing into our roles as team-based healthcare providers, we are in ...

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We recently spoke with Nayan Kothari, MD, associate dean for education, chair and program director of the department of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine/Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. He is 74 years old with long-standing spinal stenosis. He told us that his condition did not prevent him from biking and hiking regularly, and he was otherwise in good health. His medications included baby aspirin, atorvastatin ...

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Mommy wars aside, I think you’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard the enormous and real benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is awesome on so many levels. Health of baby and mom alike. Both physical and emotional. But, what if it doesn’t work? What if you’re a mom (like me) who couldn’t produce enough milk? Hardly any in my case. What if you’re an adoptive parent or your baby ...

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A very insightful editorial appeared recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine.The article gave several examples of overdiagnosis in medicine, but I thought the authors did a particularly good job explaining the false hope of CT scanning to detect pulmonary emboli. Emboli occur most often when a blood clot in the veins of the legs breaks off, travels through the right side of the heart, and gets stuck ...

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