Most third medical students look forward to their psychiatry block. After twelve plus hour days and six day weeks on internal medicine, OB/GYN and surgery, the reasonable hours on psychiatry seems like a dream. While my classmates viewed psychiatry as a break, I dreaded it. This was not my first time on an inpatient psychiatry ward. My world and fate forever changed when I was twelve years old. Sometimes depression is ...

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I was incredibly nervous going into my first day in the inpatient child/adolescent psychiatry unit. “Was this where the truly psychotic kids are? Am I going to be safe here?” I wondered as I casually introduced myself to the staff on the floor. After a morning of sitting in on group therapy led by psychologists and occupational therapists, I calmed down. Against the backdrop of the soothing soft pastel colors, ...

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The Affordable Care Act is perhaps the biggest overhaul of the U.S. health care system in many decades. Enacted by President Barack Obama in 2010, it made health care attainable and affordable to millions of Americans. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions cannot be denied health care coverage; insurance companies have to cover essential health care needs including mental health and preventive services, children can be covered under their parents’ plans ...

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Dear patient, I may never get to meet you, which is a real shame. I think I would have enjoyed getting to know you and working together with you to overcome whatever particular medical issue with which you had come to meet me. We might have learned about each other. We might have learned about our community. We might even have made some kind of change together. I myself am a patient, ...

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It’s 4:17 a.m. as I begin this entry. I’m scheduled to be at the hospital in 43 minutes for one of my last days on surgical rotation, and I’ve been working on the following text message since 3 a.m.: “Hi, team. Im afraid that im burned out and anxious. I will be taking today off. Sorry to be blunt but i felt it better than to make up an excuse. Thanks ...

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As a medical student, I have encountered more emotional and psychological pain as a direct result of my training than I could have previously anticipated. My pain may not be physical (though sometimes it is secondary to sleep deprivation), but it is real. I look around me and am reminded of who I do not want to be, and the kind of person I would dread becoming. At first, I ...

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I am forced to write anonymously because of gross neglect by my residency program regarding standard ACGME duty-hour rules. If my name were published, it would identify my program. As a PGY-2, I worked 100+ hours per week on average last year while taking primary call for my urology department. (Admittedly, the PGY-2 is the historic “worst year” for any urology resident.) On a quarterly basis (depending on manpower), we take ...

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When you hear people say, “I don’t want to vaccinate my kid. Why would I give them autism?” It’s hard not to get upset and meet your patients with some judgment. John and Carly were middle-class Americans that had a lot of misconceptions about vaccines — mostly from the media. They loved their two-year-old daughter Leslie and wanted the best for her. They didn’t understand that we wanted the same thing. ...

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There is a strange feeling that every kid has experienced: the flip-flop sensation of your stomach dropping while you careen down the descent of an enormous roller coaster; the sinking swoop of a high-speed elevator dropping to the ground floor. My children find it hiding along a rolling country road, driving to the lake in our jeep. With the top down and the sun shining, they shriek and beg for ...

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When I was heading to a retreat held by the physician who started the ideal medical care movement, Dr. Pamela Wible, I expected an orderly and structured program on how to improve the current culture of medicine. I knew, with about 40 physicians and 10 other medical students, there would be a lot of Type A personalities since that’s typically the sort of people that go into medicine. While I ...

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