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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What do you do when you love your job, but it’s killing you? That’s an easy question if it’s asked by someone else.  It’s a hard question when you’re asking it of yourself.  As a physician, I give advice to people all the time -- other people.  If you have diabetes, control your diet.  If you are obese, then lose weight and exercise.  If you have COPD, then you better not ...

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I thought about you, the patient that I’m about to perform surgery on, all night last night and because I doubted myself, I took clonazepam to calm the anxiety so I could sleep.  Today I’ve taken 10 mg of propranolol and some Kava, a natural supplement known to decrease anxiety. As I start the surgery, the propranolol coursing through my veins blocking the sympathetic nervous system, I fear it will come.  ...

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Every time I walk through the automatic sliding doors, that strong smell of ammonia stings my nose. The lobby is clean -- too clean -- with a vast amount of open space leading to the front desk. The just-below-comfortable air brushes against my skin, raising the hair on my arms and legs. Almost cold enough to be a morgue -- but that’s later. The room is silent, except for the ...

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The human experience is an exercise in connection. Nothing is seen, heard, or felt in isolation. This is what can make womanhood in a large urban city so challenging. A catcall is not a single comment, heard on a single morning about the tightness of your jeans or the way your hair falls; but instead carries with it every unsolicited thing you’ve ever heard about your body, a shadow of ...

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"I quit residency." Three words that many physicians couldn’t ever imagine coming out of their mouth, but for me, I say it all the time, usually with a smile on my face. I was a year and a half into my family medicine residency and decided it was enough. My decision mostly revolved around the birth of my son. My husband (a resident in the same program) and I planned to ...

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I started medical school recently. Before it started, I told myself (and everybody else) that I would feel like a kid in a candy shop when I was here. I'd get to try different specialties and figure out which one I want to do out of everything that excited me. It really is kind of like that, don't get me wrong. But I'm also confused and disheartened. I had a different ...

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One word: gun. That is all it takes to spark a debate between two very different camps. One end of the spectrum feels guns are an evil haunting the nation by their mere existence, and they need to be dealt with by restricting (or even eliminating) everyone’s ability to possess them. The other end believes it is a core right to keep and use firearms for sport, personal defense, collecting, etc., and that no ...

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Netflix listens to doctors.  Google, Facebook, and Apple listen to doctors.  The United States Navy and Marine Corps listen. The above companies have updated their maternity leave policies -- lengthening them all past 12 weeks.  And all paid. But yet, health care doesn’t listen to doctors.  And let me tell you how. I am pregnant.  Which is a blessing in of itself.  In fact, this is my 4th pregnancy, but I only have one child living. ...

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“Doctor, I am ready to die.” I knew her from a few years back. This patient of mine. I am a hospitalist and the patients in my care come and go, making it difficult to really form relationships like the ones primary care physicians have with their panel of patients. But this patient was different.  I saw her once many years ago when she was gravely ill, and we managed to pull her ...

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