Mindfulness has gained a lot of awareness and attention over the last few years as the medical community has set out to find strategies for prevention of physicians burnout. What has been coined “mindfulness-based stress reduction” or “mindfulness” is a principle proven long before medical researchers decided to reduce it to treatment strategy to promote acceptance among the physician community. This very useful tool today is becoming widely used in ...

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“We don’t want them here.” President Trump could not have sent a clearer message to Muslim children around the world. In the eyes of our nation’s elected leader, these kids are not wanted in the United States. Trump’s immigration policies have been focused on keeping "radical Islamic terrorists" out of the United States, but research in child psychiatry suggests that ...

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"This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend, the end Of our elaborate plans, the end Of everything that stands, the end." - The Doors I am an obstetrician. My job, distilled to its essence is to be present and assist during the birthing of a new life. Labor has its inherent risks, but with credit to those who came before me, delivering a child has never been safer for ...

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Not once during my eight years of medical school and residency training was I ever asked the converse of the titular question, what was my wife’s opinion of my career choice. Not while scrubbed into a case on my surgery rotations, not in the middle of an overnight call in the neonatal intensive care unit and never once by an attending, fellow or co-resident. Even those who knew me best and ...

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“Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered,” the saying goes. And so may it prove to be true for the pharmaceutical industry. Three articles, all published May 3, illustrate the greed and egregious pricing by certain drug companies that are gaining public recognition and scrutiny. As an example, Marathon invested $370,000 to obtain the license for the data on “deflazacort,” a steroid available for about $1,200 a year in the United Kingdom. ...

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I received these emails recently. The writer gave me permission to publish them. They have been edited for length, and some details have been changed to protect his anonymity.

I'm a third-year medical student at an allopathic state medical school. I've always wanted to do surgery. My problem is I failed USMLE Step 1 the first time and got a 207 on my second attempt. I hadn't failed anything else throughout first ...

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STAT_Logo The cadaver lab is a rite of passage in medical school — those few months early on when we dissect a human body to better understand our anatomy. It’s grotesque: peeling back skin, separating muscle sinews, and sawing through bone. It’s so emotionally jarring that young doctors in training often compartmentalize the experience, and this person before us ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 36-year-old woman is evaluated for a 1-week history of recurrent episodes of facial pain that are 1 to 3 seconds in duration and occur spontaneously dozens of times throughout the day. The pain is sharp, severe, and located in the right infraorbital area. During this same ...

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Two sisters (religious order, not biological relation, as far as I know) live in one of the condos across from us. They are very nice, older ladies, warm and pleasant, always ready with a kind word and a smile as they see others in the complex come and go. They seem, at least on casual observation, to lead very busy lives. They rise early, heading out to do whatever it ...

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When I am facing an alcoholic in the office, I do not advise him to stop drinking. Other physicians may advocate a different approach.  We live in a free society and individuals are free to make their own choices.  I have decided, for example, not to own a firearm, ride a motorcycle or bungee jump as these activities are not only beyond my risk tolerance threshold, but are also activities that ...

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Opioids have become so closely associated with chronic pain that it is nearly impossible to talk about one without the other. When we look back just five years ago, when we were still in residency, news stories about chronic pain and opioid overdoses were not commonplace. Now, we find ourselves almost desensitized to each new opioid headline. We are general internists, primary care providers and junior faculty. We practice at ...

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A physician friend commented recently that practicing doctors and nurses, the highly trained professionals who understand health care better than anyone else, are always too busy working to be involved in health care administration and reform. It is one of the most basic and profound problems affecting our health care system -- one of the reasons that health care in America does not get better. And it got me thinking. Once ...

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When it comes to the review of systems, I've been a natural, a savant — a prodigy you might say. During my first few weeks of medical school, I remember doing mock interviews with fake patients. This was long before I learned anything about "HPI," "ROS," physical exams, billing or anything medically relevant for that matter. As other students stuttered, trying to figure out what to ask a lady pretending to ...

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During medical school, my head was buried in the books while I was studying pharmacology and pathophysiology. In residency, my body remained in the hospital for most of my waking hours while I was caring for patients. And, during fellowship, my hands were busy learning how to perform endoscopic procedures. All the while, my friends working in other industries were tapping into a different kind of skill set. They learned how ...

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“OK, it is time to move on,” my professor claps his hands together and yells above the chatter.  We all look up from our Netter’s anatomy books and our cadavers.  The smell of formaldehyde burns my nose as the fluorescent lights flicker above. “We have explored the chest cavity and the abdominal cavity.  It is now time to move onto the extremities, starting with the arms.  I want you to unwrap ...

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"I like good strong words that mean something." - Louisa May Alcott My resident and I are removing a large, recurrent cancer from the neck. Dense scar tissue is everywhere from prior surgery and radiation therapy. The going is slow. Each move is arduous, and bleeding obscures the view of the anatomy. “Watch out,” I tell her. “The jugular vein is nearby, probably buried in that scar.” “Yeah,” she responds. “Look at this nerve! ...

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Hardly a week goes by without hearing about another case of police brutality. Many times, seemingly unnecessarily lethal force has been used, and these incidents have sparked protests across America. Each case is unique with differentiating circumstances, but the result is all too often — death. Many people have grouped these incidents together concluding that white officers have unnecessarily killed black men. This has initiated and reinforced mistrust of the ...

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You haven’t showered in a few days, and you haven’t brushed your teeth yet this morning. The Conversation But, your baby is one month old today! You picked out the perfect outfit and made sure the lighting was just right for the perfect photo. You posted the best one on Facebook this morning, and you keep checking to see if anyone has “liked” the picture. But, after ...

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sonder - noun. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” – from the "Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows," a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. I followed the chaplain into the patient briefing room, not quite sure what to expect. The room was dimly lit. The overhead lights were off, and only one small lamp gave off a weak glow, with ...

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I recently took a three hour online course on something I learned to do when I was a medical student. And I thought it was something I had been doing fairly well for the past 20 years.

New regulations have come down requiring all practitioners to take a CME-certified course on safe and effective management of opiates for acute and chronic pain. This has clearly ...

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