He was approximately 75 pounds and appeared to be wasting away. Although he was only 43 years old, he had end-stage AIDS. Even in this cachectic state, he continued to refuse to eat the hospital food because he didn’t like it. After speaking at length with him, he said that he only wanted porridge with meat or “fat cakes,” both of which we did not serve in the hospital. He ...

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We as women have to stop saying "I’m sorry" for things out of our control. When we apologize for things we are not responsible for, we take a step backwards in the advancement of women in the workplace. I am a cardiac anesthesiologist, which means I care for patients who are undergoing open-heart surgery. I work in an academic medical center and train doctors to become anesthesiologists. The operating room (OR) can ...

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After three months of using hot compresses to shrink the stye on my daughter’s eyelid, it wasn’t getting any smaller. My daughter is prone to this sort of growth, called a chalazion. This one would have to be removed surgically, like the one she had removed from the same eyelid two years earlier. But there was one ...

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Something very interesting happened to my patient visits when I changed my office attire. My clean long cotton lab coats, hanging on the back of my office door, suddenly all seemed dingy when I set out to change lab coat about a week ago. I decided to pretend it was Saturday. On Saturdays, I usually wear a pocketed button-down shirt instead of one of my usual Jermyn Street ones. I skip the ...

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The invitation was unexpected. Although I would attend the conference as a relatively new member of the community, I knew I was making inroads, so I accepted without hesitation. The prospect of meeting well-established players in the field at dinner with the planning committee was exciting. And, I was equally looking forward to spending more time with a fellow newbie who had already been tapped as a rising star the ...

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This year, I stood on the curb at the 2017 Halifax Pride Parade and watched high-energy floats pass by. Leading the parade was the indigenous float. The vibrant trans youth float warmed my heart. The prime minister waved and called out “Happy Pride!” to the spectators. It was a stream of enthusiastic faces, song, dance, and brightly colored banners. I love pride. It’s is a special time for a lot of ...

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Saturday nights on my couch are usually late and peaceful. But my old friend, civil unrest, crept into my reprieve. Do I do one more "to-do task?" Or do I or continue my aimless net surfing? But it's not exactly aimless now. I'd just stumbled across an online article: "When You are the Friend of a Physician Suicide." The physician-author's narrative about his friend's death and the reader's posts, mostly from ...

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I am not the first physician blogger to write about the difficulties of prior authorizations, denials, and appeals, but recent occurrences in my own practice have been so convoluted that I feel they must be shared. The nonsensical denials would almost cause one to laugh, if not for the reality that each denial represents potential delay in care for the patient and redundant work for the physician. That's work that expands ...

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"The doctors who did this should be hanged." It's a statement the came at me with a bang. It stood out in its thread, in the accusatory way of old courtroom scenes of black and white movies, where the heroine dramatically screams out at the jury, seated wide-eyed in their box nearby. But it was merely a response to a Facebook post on the topic of the opioid epidemic, typed in nonchalantly, ...

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It’s 8:45 p.m. in rural Chiapas, Mexico. A cool blanket wraps around the previously warm day in the small farming town of Honduras. With a syringe of medicine in his front pocket pasante, Dr. Ivan Martinez does a steady jog up a steep hill to see about a patient’s chronic pain. Nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains, there are few flat places. At the door, he’s immediately and warmly greeted by multiple ...

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