“A good surgeon has the eye of an eagle, the heart of a lion, and the hand of a woman …” – 15th century English proverb #ILookLikeASurgeon, a hashtag on Twitter and the movement it has inspired, has resonated deeply with me. I look like a surgeon. There is so much more behind this seemingly simple statement of fact. I am not just stating that I have excelled and I have achieved and ...

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The vast majority of physicians enter medicine with an inborn sense of compassion. Junior residents, however, are the logistical workhorses of teaching hospitals — their north star is efficiency and they are measured largely on their capacity to “get things done.” The consequence is often a slide towards unwitting apathy. I, like all residents, have witnessed this reality first-hand. By reflecting on my experiences, I hope to discover insights we ...

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The job of being a doctor can sometimes be like that of your favorite sidewalk juggler. It used to be that a good family doctor would have to show up in the clinic for a couple of hours, make a few house calls, and be available if anyone needed him while he played a round of golf in the afternoon. (Really, this is quite an exaggeration but it sets the ...

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About a year ago, I wrote a piece on my blog called “How to Welcome Incoming Residents.” It was about my struggle with getting the right messaging, messaging about the reality of stress during residency and the necessity of incorporating self-care and outreach to others. This year at orientation, in addition to adding the great suggestions posted by readers of the article, I took a different tack. It ...

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“This is our sickest patient,” my co-intern began as she told me about one of her patients I would care for overnight. It was my first week of intern year, and I was assigned the overnight cross-cover shift for a busy cardiology service. Introducing myself as “Dr. Tredway” still rolled awkwardly off my tongue, but I had grown more comfortable throughout the week in my new role as a physician. ...

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shutterstock_137913404 1. Be nice to others, even if there are a lot of butt sniffers out there. 2. Waiting to be seen is really hard. Try to keep a schedule and routine. 3. Get out for that walk. It will fill you with joy, well-being and makes the rest of the day calmer. Take other dogs on that walk to improve their well-being too. 4. “Good ...

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“If he is hungry when he wakes up, and you don’t let him eat, we’re taking him to another hospital,” the man shouted. I stood trapped between a protective papa bear and his cub. My instinct was to find an exit, but I braced myself for more. This father gave me one last glare before side-stepping around me and wrenching open the door to his child’s hospital room. I glimpsed ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I love pre-visit planning. OK, “love” may be too strong a word -- I like pre-visit planning. Pre-visit planning isn’t new. Many of you have done it for years, even before it had a name, for example when pre-ordering labs before a visit. I did not begin ...

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This article was originally written on August 11, 2015. My psychotherapy supervisor taught me a tip during residency: to pay close attention to the very first thing a patient says, and more importantly, the last topic they bring up towards the end of session. (Because it’s likely that the subject weighing most heavily on their mind is too uncomfortable to discuss at the very beginning.) I struggled to come up with a topic to ...

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shutterstock_104930039 There was once a little boy who loved to draw.  He would wake up every morning, pull out his box of colored pencils, and let his hands explore the promise of a pristine sheet of blank paper.  For him, the canvas was anything but empty,  images and ideas exploded out of his mind and magically appeared on the pages in front of ...

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