As physicians, we are conditioned to put ourselves last. This long-standing tendency likely began way before we hit medical school. But certainly, our training reinforces it. Think about it: the personality type that goes into medicine is typically a caretaker. And while medical school reinforces this personality pitfall, It doesn’t end there. Residency brings a whole other dimension of self-neglect. We think, “If I can just get out of residency ...

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I bleed blue and gold. No, I am not talking about Michigan, West Virginia or Notre Dame. I am definitely not talking about UCLA Bruins (by the way, UCLA fans, a bruin is a brown bear). That’s right — I am a die-hard Cal Bears fan. Thanks to Cal football, and particularly to legendary Marshawn Lynch, my college days were filled with excitement. (I am counting on you, Coach Wilcox.) Marshawn, ...

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Medicine is a calling. And almost all of us went into this profession for altruistic reasons. Unfortunately, it's no secret that the health care landscape has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades, and practicing medicine is undoubtedly getting more difficult for most doctors. Fortunately, I've found myself in a better place than most. But after hearing feedback from physicians at various stages of their career, there are a number ...

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“There was porn in the call room the first night I slept there.” The call room is the room where doctors sleep -- if they have minutes to catch some sleep -- when they are on call. When you’re the first female doctor to ever be on the service, apparently you might find porn in that room. “I told the partners they could keep the porn if they’d let me paint the ...

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“Do not get caught” seems to be the real rule of the law in South Florida, where I live. I was trained to limit the use of controlled substances, narcotics, hypnotics and sedatives. Their use can affect consciousness, ability to drive a car and work.  More severe consequences include respiratory depression and overdose from too high of a dosage or mixing too many medications and over the counter items. The Joint Commission, ...

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I remember the exact moment I realized the amazing power of women; that together, women can accomplish anything they put their minds to. I grew up in a household of women. I had no brothers to compete with, and my parents always encouraged us to learn and develop leadership skills. However, even growing up in an encouraging environment, I still developed an unconscious bias. In school and in college, I often ...

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A father and a son are in a car accident.  The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital.  The doctor comes in and exclaims, “I can’t operate on this boy!” “Why not?” the nurse asks. “Because he is my son,” the doctor responds. How is this possible? *** I first saw this riddle in a Washington Post article in October 2016. I was four years out of residency, and for the ...

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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Will Durrant, historian For better or worse, all of my high school English teachers were memorable. Each held a precise but non-overlapping image of the perfectly crafted essay; therefore, every September I found myself adopting a brand new writing style. A paper that would have garnered an “A” at the end of one school year routinely received ...

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Recently, I was asked an intriguing question by an interviewer: “If you had a magic wand and could have one wish for improving the well-being of clinicians and addressing burnout, what would it be?” My response? Respect. Respect for the humanity of everyone who touches the health care system -- patients, family members, administrative staff, organizational leaders, clinical staff, clinicians, cleaning staff, parking valets, pharmacists, lab technicians, front desk staff, and ...

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Las Vegas: 59 dead, 500+ injured. I worry about our medical colleagues who will suffer tremendously while treating the injured; they will be wracked with guilt for the patients they could not help and false back to the horror of that night and the ensuing days and weeks caring for the living. We must find ways to support each other help them cope as well as looking for sensible solutions. My ...

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