I was watching a macho shoot-em-up movie the other day; the type where everyone shoots everyone and in the final scene, the dirty blood-stained hero rides homeward on a helicopter or maybe a horse, into a red sunrise or sunset.  He stares blankly, focused on nothing, focused on everything, his look reflecting the turmoil of what he has seen, done and lost.  The hero’s grease-smeared face shows the understanding that ...

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shutterstock_114258730 Every one of us feels a high level of anxiety when we are made to wait.  In grocery stores, we jockey back and forth to the line we perceive is moving the fastest and easily get frustrated when we choose the “wrong” line.  When driving, we will swerve across multiple lanes of traffic to avoid a line at a toll booth or ...

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During morning rounds on my sub-internship, we always spoke softly about TG. There was never any good news. The 56-year-old writer’s lifelong battle with substance abuse was coming to an end – her heart, liver, and kidney were slowly failing. But TG’s devoted husband was in denial. And behind the scenes, we were struggling, too. The patient needed pain control, symptom management, and psychiatric support among other things. At this ...

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The dictionary defines humanism as “a system of thought that centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.” No sector of the economy comprehends this definition better than a small business. In a sea of competition, the small business whose primary focus strays from its customer’s best interests will surely sink. Those with business experience will undoubtedly attest that, whether in a hair salon or restaurant, a happy customer ...

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Being a clinical student is not a walk in the park. When we get together for “Reflections on Clerkship” days every two months in our small groups, students let the floodgates open about the hardships they have been facing on rotations. I am no exception. Transitioning to a strict schedule in the hierarchical world of academic medicine has been no small feat. In fact I was planning earlier this morning ...

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With all due respect to the many caring, compassionate, and skilled male OB/GYN physicians out there, we’d be amiss in ignoring the research showing a near majority of younger women preferring a female gynecologist. Some call this reverse discrimination in gynecology.  I’d more simply call it patient preference. The bigger question is, "Where does this leave the male gynecologist?", especially in a current marketing climate promoting the "female only" OB/GYN ...

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We are fortunate in our country to have the best medical technology in the world. Unfortunately, delivery of this technology, reflected in a worldwide healthcare ranking of 37th, is a disservice to the American people and must be rectified especially when Cuba is ranked 39th. As provisions of the Affordable Care Act are put in place, a daunting factor is the shortage of doctors who will be needed to provide this ...

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Next in a continuing series. Traction and counter-traction: along with maintaining excellent exposure, that is one of the fundamental principles of operating. It's Newtonian: equal and opposite. In nearly all forms of surgical dissection, there's a need for some pull in the opposing direction: tissues that are a little stretched-out, that are under some tension, fall open more easily when dissected. Plus, it's a form of stabilization, another obligatory ...

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"I want everything done. Please, Dr. Rousseau, do everything. We have two children--they can't be without their father. Do you understand? Do what it takes to keep him alive!" Angie, a petite woman with long blonde hair, fixes me with piercing blue eyes. Her husband, Joe, fifty-two, has scleroderma, an autoimmune disease. In its most devastating form, it hardens the skin and destroys the kidneys, heart and lungs. Joe is dying of ...

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If you desire healing, let yourself fall ill let yourself fall ill. -Rumi Yesterday I saw a patient—an 80 year old woman with metastatic cancer involving her bones.  She had near complete replacement of her twelfth thoracic vertebra by tumor, and also significant destruction of her fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae, demonstrated by PET-CT scan and bone scan. She had so much pain in her legs that it was difficult to walk.  In ...

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