Working the night shift as a resident physician You’ve changed. No longer do we see you sluggishly walking en route to work every morning with refillable coffee thermos in one hand, robotically scanning some kind of social media feed with the other. We are concerned that the regular and cyclic day time group texts received from you are now occurring at odd hours of the night.  Your persistence to move ...

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As a resident of San Francisco (and with Los Angeles just a drive away), I cannot escape the food hate.  Whether it be a campaign against cooked provisions, farmed products or anything of solid consistency, I cannot help but wonder if any possible benefit of these diets outweigh the risk of missing out on amazing grub. But what about gluten-free diets? Gluten sensitivity Gluten, a protein found in foodstuffs such as wheat, barley ...

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As our nation struggles with the mind-boggling algebraic-like task of reigning in on health care expenditures while increasing provider access and high-quality medical care, provider payment structures are in flux between traditional payment methods and relatively new financial structures. While I am no means an expert of health policy nor medical business and financing, I think it's important for medical trainees and enthusiasts alike to understand the very general basics of ...

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Picture this. You walk into your doctor’s office for an urgent visit for new distressing symptoms.  He (or she) takes your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate.  All within normal limits.  He asks you several questions pertaining to your symptoms, does a thorough exam and perhaps orders a quick in-office lab or two.  You ask him what he thinks is going on. The quandary If it’s a slam dunk diagnosis, the branch point in ...

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Recently, I had the fortune of hearing the tale of Bob and his bum knee.

It all started when Bob picked me up at the end of a busy clinic day in his neon orange Subaru.  Given that this particular shared car service promotes friendly conversation, Bob started up the gab by asking me what position I held in the medical center.  After describing my work as a ...

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If you haven’t already, you will someday see a primary care physician (PCP). It’s practically unavoidable. The reason for this self-declared truth is that PCPs are the shape shifters of medicine, assuming various roles at different stages of an adult’s life and wellbeing. These responsibilities range from treating various health conditions, ushering patients in and out of hospitals, coordinating long-term medical decisions, and consulting with other specialists to better optimize patient care. Given that ...

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I get it.  It’s not rocket science.  But sometimes everyone in the field of medicine needs a bit of a refresher when it comes to keeping our patients happy. After all, it’s a two-way street with medical providers and patients: we provide and support ways to improve and maintain the personal health of our patients while our patients provide and support the health of our careers and livelihood.  We depend on ...

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Since the beginning of it all, since that exact moment where I shot up from my friend’s dorm room cot with a revelation to pursue my ancestral calling in medicine, I have been continually questioned by family and friends on exactly where I sit in the totem pole of physicianhood.  And I get it. With terms like sub-intern, intern, senior resident and attending, it must be confusing to ...

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Ms. A was a sweet older lady with a bad heart who was transferred all the way from Montana in order to get expedited workup for cardiac (heart-related) surgery. Her story of her symptoms and disease course was the story told by hundreds of patients seen at any given hospital every year.  It started with a few weeks of chest discomfort while walking, followed by a day of chest pain, nausea, ...

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Last month marked the first anniversary of two very important milestones in my career in medicine: I began training as a physician and started writing about medicine.  Although perhaps not equally as demanding, both of these new activities in my life required overcoming steep learning curves and involved constant self-reflection and personal change. Writing medical humanities pieces for different media outlets has been and continues to be a source of personal ...

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