So it’s a Wednesday night, and I just got home after completing a shift. I’m beat. My beautiful sofa beckons to me, and my TV seduces me with brainless images and sound. I succumb to the temptation. I turn on Netflix. Too many movies, too many decisions. Screw this; I didn’t just finish up a shift to have to sit and make more decisions. I go to the suggested for ...

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The next time your patient walks into the exam room try starting off your visit a little differently. Instead of asking them how their weekend was, why not ask them, “Out of curiosity do you know any scientists?" No matter the answer, that visit is likely to be a standout memory in both of your days. At a time when scientific debate, and rational thought, all too often falls silent to ...

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There is a shortage of rural physicians in the U.S.  My specialty, medical oncology, is but one of many specialties where the shortage is especially glaring. In oncology, I think there is perhaps a fear of practicing outside the walls of a large tertiary center and leaving behind the established framework and boundaries between the doctor and patient. I know it was a fear of ...

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I’ve known since I was very young that I just experienced life differently than did my extroverted family members and friends. During parties, they seemed to truly enjoy the loudness and chaos of get togethers and the seemingly endless small talk, while I would secretly yearn to return home so that I could read my latest novel in peace. An older family member once told me that I would eventually ...

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There's a saying: "Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional." However, some people thrive by complaining. These people, when presented with potential solutions to the problem, argue and invalidate all possibilities presented. Sounds familiar? Being a physician advocate in the battle to lower physician burnout and prevent suicide in doctors, I am disheartened to see this phenomenon in our community. While there are frontline physicians — even physician leaders — ...

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I started my career in the late 1980s and retired just recently. I am very grateful that I caught at least a few years of the "golden age" of medicine because those years made all the difference. Over my career, I witnessed many different efforts at health care reform proposed, attempted and failed. DRGs, Hillarycare, private insurance capitation, "To Err is Human,” Medicare fraud crackdowns, Global and Bundled payments, general reimbursement ...

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When I entered college, I took a course in introductory economics. Human wants are unlimited, I learned, but resources are limited. Therefore, we have to make choices about what we spend money on. That, I was told, was what economics was all about -- how we make choices and allocate resources. My economics textbook illustrated the point by quoting from Nazi Germany's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels who said: "We can do ...

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"There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism." - Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History It is 1940, and the Nazi horror is bearing down on Europe.  France has fallen, and refugees are streaming out, fleeing to safety through neutral states and America.  Walter Benjamin, a Jew, and a German philosopher, joins a small group being guided through southern Spain with ...

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Physicians are trained to assess and care for patients who walk through their hospital or clinic doors. Few of us are prepared to watch for signs that one of our colleagues may need help. That changed for me with one trauma case. I came into the emergency department as the patient arrived -- a 33-year-old female with multiple, self-inflicted stab wounds. I walked around the corner to the trauma bay and ...

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Eating meat has been linked to cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia and many other diseases. Nearly every modern lifestyle disease has been associated with meat. With so much emerging evidence against meat, it begs the question: Did we really evolved to eat it in the ...

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