Lena Dunham is under fire because of comments she made on her Podcast Women of the Hour. The episode, entitled Choice, begins with a thoughtful discussion of choice and how pro-life is a misnomer because those who self-identify that way are just anti-choice. You can listen to the episode here. The comment that has some up in arms is around the 14:40 mark. Dunham discusses how she was approached ...

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As an intern, I once cared for an elderly gentleman who came in with heart failure. In no time, we grew fond of each other. It was almost like he looked forward to my visits. He sometimes called me “sunshine.” I am not sure if he meant it in a way that meant that I woke him up every morning.  He was almost ready to go back home when he ...

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As a pediatrician who has been practicing for fifteen years, the most frequent non-medical question that patients' parents ask me is, "Doctor, do you have children of your own?" Their questions show that although they value my medical education and expertise, they want to know if I've had first-hand experience with the worries and difficulties of having a sick child, making decisions regarding vaccinations, and raising children in general.  I answer ...

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Anyone with a computer or smartphone is well aware of the incessant alerts that flash across the screen, often accompanied by a beep or exclamation point. The alert may be for an upcoming appointment, a reminder of an acquaintance’s birthday -- or a just-announced sale at your favorite online retailer. How many of these alerts are really important? It’s easy to ignore a media news flash -- but what if you ...

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I first met her in the urgent care at the cancer center when I was on call one night. She was beautiful: 53 years old, four adult sons, and in incredible pain. She had stage 4 breast cancer, and unbeknownst to her, she had a metastatic lesion in her femoral neck, which she had fractured about four weeks ago. But she'd just had a spine operation for mets in her ...

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I bought my first house a few days before starting my second year of residency in St Louis. It was a townhome: two bedrooms, one and a half baths, hardwood floors and lots of wall space. So much wall space, in fact, that I immediately began to look for ways to adorn all those barren surfaces. After visiting some local art galleries, I came to two conclusions. I knew exactly what ...

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My wife who is eight months pregnant went to a routine prenatal appointment last week. She told the OB doctor that she was concerned she had pink eye. OB providers, along with pediatrics, family medicine, and internal medicine all constitute primary care providers (PCP) and pink eye is a common primary care condition. Surprisingly, the OB physician referred her to the nearest acute care facility. Attributing this provider's recommendation as rare ...

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Empathy is the cornerstone of quality patient care. It is no surprise that the fundamental moral code that has facilitated human kindness for thousands of years is what drives physicians to commit to their oath today: Treat others as you would have yourself treated. When it comes to the disease that is obesity, I can empathize. I’ve struggled with obesity for as long a time as I can remember. There are ...

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It's October, and I'm a second-year medical student. My best friend Carly and I have just finished a backpacking trip through South America. We fly out tomorrow from Lima, Peru, and we have just one thing left to do: eat shrimp ceviche, the classic South American dish of raw seafood marinated in lime or lemon juice, oil and spices. We wander along the busy streets until we find the restaurant our ...

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Being sick is a horrible enough time without having to worry about how much it’s going to cost you. Unfortunately, the United States is unique among developed nations in not ensuring that the populace has a safety net that will protect them against exorbitant personal health care expenses. It’s a terrible thing to have to deal with as a physician. I went to medical school to learn how to take ...

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