Wellness. It’s all the rage these days as we try to manage our crazy work schedules while still maintaining balance in life. We have wellness committees, wellness workshops, wellness coaches, and wellness apps for our smartphones. So, then, what does it mean to be well? To the average person, and to the dictionary, to be well is to be “in good health” or “in a good or satisfactory way.” However, to those suffering ...

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So, how do you do it all? It’s a Monday morning.  After a flurry of activities, I am walking into the office at 8:00 a.m.  I think back to the past 2  to 3 hours.  I was up at 5:30 a.m., and in my workout clothes soon after.  I managed to squeeze in a 20-minute workout, thanks to a video on YouTube.  I then reviewed my schedule and patient charts for ...

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I knew the moment when my career in pediatrics was over.  I was in the fourth year of my med-peds residency, taking overnight call in the pediatric ICU.  Nights were busy, stressful and I was alone.  A young boy came in as an unrestrained MVA after his father hit another car. Dad was OK (although severely distraught), but the five-year-old towhead boy in front of me was not, with his head immobilized in ...

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"Too many times I feel We are losing time once shared And only when you're in ecstasy You seem to really care" I recognize the song immediately — Chuckii Booker's "Turned Away." Not the regular version, but the extended one. As the words rush over me, caressing my nostalgia, a memory, a moment comes back. I was standing behind the counter at Homer's Ice Cream on a brilliant summer morning before the doors opened. We ...

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How do you describe the feeling when you are at a restaurant, and the waiter sees your coffee cup at less than half full (never half empty) and without asking they refill the cup or better yet, bring you a fresh cup of coffee?  If you are like most customers, you have a nice feeling about the restaurant and the waiter as they have anticipated your needs.  Usually, this anticipatory ...

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Recently, one of the biggest mistakes ever observed on live television occurred when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, presenters of the award, announced the wrong film as winner of the Academy Award for best picture.  Not since Janet Jackson's costume malfunction has, live television caused such uproar. How could this have happened?  How could it have been prevented?  Moreover, what can this error teach us about how we care for patients? A ...

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Sometimes it feels like the great unspoken secret between doctors and nurses. The words that we dare not utter to patients and families. Perhaps it is our hope that we're wrong. Perhaps, we dread providing unwanted news. Perhaps, we don't want to face reality or extinguish our patients' hope. As a daughter, I felt that sense of sadness and dread, waiting to hear the news that would not be told. It was September ...

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Here’s a quote that readers will not readily recognize: "It is a pity that a doctor is precluded by his profession from being able sometimes to say what he really thinks." I’ll share the origin of the quote at the post’s conclusion. How’s that for a teaser? I'll give you a hint below. Physicians, by training and experience, are guarded with our words. To begin, we are never entirely sure of anything, ...

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The surgeon told me: "No offense, but girls really aren’t cut out for this work. They’re too fragile. They get too emotional. It’s not your fault; it’s biological." Yes -- health care is sexist. And it is racist. And just like our country, it is divided. Brilliant people face an uphill battle against prejudice as they work to become healers. Abuse within the system is rarely punished or even noticed. This has to ...

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Anyone watching daytime or late-night cable TV has to notice that every third commercial is for a toxic tort. As my wife had breast cancer, one, in particular, caught my eye. In it, the claim was made that: "If you suffered from permanent hair loss due to chemotherapy, you might have a claim because less toxic treatment was available." This struck a chord with me because my wife was in ...

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