She is tall, thin and wears torn jeans like a mannequin. A silky top flows around her, masking the thin torso, the exposed ribs. Her hair is long, fine and the ends are perfect. Her face is smooth, drawn, a bit careworn, but that is why she is here. She carries herself with an aristocratic bearing that is not learned but genetically endowed over generations. She is rich, entitled and ...

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My father worked as a middle manager in the textile industry for many years after he graduated with a degree in textile engineering from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. As far as I know, he was the first to graduate from college in his family. I can only imagine how exciting it was for him to leave the little town of Cochran, travel to the big city of Atlanta, work to ...

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I went into medicine because I wanted to learn about the craft, become proficient at healing disease and easing suffering, and because I genuinely liked getting to know more about my patients and hearing their stories. These reasons for going into medicine as a career and staying in medicine as a vocation have not changed significantly through the last three decades. The problem we are faced with pretty often nowadays is ...

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You’ve all heard it. Those ads about that wonderful product that will change your life. The new kind of mattress that will finally give you a good night’s sleep every night. The new electric car. The superfood. They go on about them for thirty seconds or a minute, you are enthralled, and you dream of going right out and purchasing. Ah, marketing, how powerful you are. How much we want ...

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One of the episodes of the Walking Dead was titled “JSS.” In this brutal episode, one learned by the end of the show that one of the characters, then others after her, had learned that all they could expect to do for the moment was JSS, or just survive somehow. I met a patient recently who embodied that mantra. Small, petite, with stringy hair and sun-browned skin, she did not look the ...

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Popular shows like Gray’s Anatomy, ER, and House, MD have given the television watching public a good eyeful when it comes to the inner workings of medicine, hospitals, and emergency rooms. They have also shown us how the personalities of those who take up the stethoscope and reflex hammer run the gamut from the sweet, demure, tentative types to the sons of bitches who cut first and ask questions later. I ...

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“How far did you go in school?” This is a question that I ask every new patient as a matter of course. Granted, I have gotten some very odd answers, including hearing from a very successful businessman who only finished the seventh grade, or a very psychotic person who has a double master’s degree. Not implausible, but certainly not expected or the mainstream answer from the majority of my patients. Now, leaving the ...

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I’ve been intrigued by the recent presidential debates and interviews and analyses and pundit commentary. One of the issues that has come up has been how the candidates handle adversity, even at this very early time in the 2016 race. They say that Donald Trump is in it for the thrill and the fun and sheer ego-boosting ride that is pre-caucus and pre-primary politics, when the love of the American people can ...

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shutterstock_82606081 A disclaimer before I even get started on this post. Some of you who know me or work with me will think that by writing this post I am talking about you or even attacking you. I am not. If you’re especially sensitive, don’t read any further. I am simply writing something that has been kicking around in my head for a long ...

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Dr. Kenneth Azar, a mentor of mine at the old Georgia Regional Psychiatric Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, told me something once that has always stuck with me. He told me that in the early years of his practice, when he was living and working out in Idaho, that he was one of a very small handful of psychiatrists who served the whole state. If an adult with psychosis needed to be ...

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