After a stressful morning, a physician colleague receives a note from her 4 year old that read, “MOMYOUFORGOTTOGIVEMEAKISSTODAY” in classic large, space less toddler scrawl. She shared it knowing that other physician mommies can relate. We’ve all been there. The heartbreak that is a part of life as a physician mommy takes many forms. Whether a pout, a stare, a cry, a comment, a scowl or a note, no one can ...

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2015 was a year to regroup and reassess my professional goals.  Immediately after residency, I did as most physicians do -- apply and hope to get a job that pays well and is in a good location.  Similar to the personalities of most physicians, I am a workaholic and overachiever.  Therefore, since graduating residency, I strove to perform well at my job, treated my patients to the best of my ability, passed my ...

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"What is your personal experience with human suffering?" he asked. Fellowship interview season. Interviewing for pulmonary and critical care, one may expect such a question. I thought I was ready for it. But the simple truth is that I didn't really have the right answer; I probably never will. During the morning rounds, my attending physician heaved a weary sigh: "150,000 people die every day!" Out of the blue. I quizzingly ...

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The workplace environment can be full of many obstacles, especially in the medical field. These obstacles range from difficult patients, to navigating insurances, to burnout, and so on.  One problem, however, appears to be worsening over time and seems to go without discussion. As life has progressed and I have transitioned from a medical student to attending physician, I have noticed an increase in workplace confrontation between employees. Is this ...

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I have the privilege to work in a profession where astonishment and revelation awaits me behind each exam room door. In a typical clinic day, I open that door up to thirty plus times, close it behind me and settle in for the ten or fifteen minutes I’m allocated per patient.  I need to peel through the layers of each person quickly to find the core of truth about who they ...

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Healing others shouldn't be killing you. This warning in a physician recruitment ad pulled me in, while an image of a choking stethoscope triggered flashbacks of my years in medicine. Many physicians feel like they’re choking. Squeezed in from every angle. Stretched to the max. Spent. And they feel this way right as they open the door to greet their next patient. I know of a prominent office that lost three superb ...

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If you have been thinking about becoming a vegetarian, there’s no better time to make the switch than the beginning of a New Year. For those of you have been on the fence, 2015 provided us with a few more reasons -- like saving money and losing weight -- to make the dietary transformation. Reason #1: Vegetarian diets increase metabolism. Vegetarians have a lower body mass index compared to those ...

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Part of a series. Among Medicare recipients, those discharged from the hospital incur about a 20 percent risk of an unplanned readmission within 30 days. The number is higher for some conditions such as heart failure. This is the result of a terribly dysfunctional health care delivery system. Of course some patients will need readmission; the number can never be pushed down to zero, but 20 percent is appalling. Why ...

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I am old enough to remember standing shirtless on a chilly afternoon in the school gym lined up with my fellow teammates while a volunteer doctor went down the row clearing us for school athletics in a medical assembly line.  This scene has been a familiar rite of passage for generations of student-athletes. However in this day of modern preventative medicine, is the sports physical the best we can do ...

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“As a mom and a doctor, what advice would you give a third-year medical student trying to choose a specialty?” the bright-eyed med student asked me. Her smile was ear to ear, and I didn’t want to burst her bubble. This is a complicated question to ask and the answers change as life changes. I chose OB/GYN because it was the only specialty I truly fell in love with. For me, ...

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