“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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Investment and retirement strategist.
Facility safety coordinator.
Cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon.
Are we hiding behind out words? Worse yet, are we afraid to be who we really are?
Knowledgeable and experienced friend.
I see it every day. Someone comes to me for a run-of-the-mill mental health problem, absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and asks for help. For whatever reason, when we get to the social history ...
She looked like a whipped puppy that had had a garden hose turned on it and slunk off to a far corner of the yard to dry out in the sun.
She sat there, wizened but hard, thin and wiry, dressed in standard issue blue emergency room scrubs, thin tanned face, long stringy, wet prematurely gray hair falling limply around her shoulders. She looked down at the floor, but when her ...
One good thing about doing anything for three decades or longer is that you get to see cycles and repeated events, things that fail and things that work. I hope that over the last thirty years of learning about psychiatry and mental health (and yes, I am still learning and hope to acquire that one last little piece of knowledge on my deathbed) that I have paid attention to the ...
As a psychiatrist, I was trained to begin the mental status examination and overall assessment of my patient as soon as I greeted them in the waiting room. Even now, three decades after finishing medical school, I follow almost the same sequence of actions in my day-to-day interactions with my patients that I did as a resident in training. Granted, there are now electronic medical records and I rarely come ...
We’re all waiting for something.
As kids, we waited for the time that we could do it ourselves, go it alone, tie our own shoelaces, order our own food off the menu, take our baths by ourselves, and walk up and down the street or around the mall without parental supervision. We were kids. We didn’t yet have enough life experience or enough insight to realize that the time we occupied, ...
I had had a long day yesterday, starting with a trip up the interstate to Columbia to meet with other medical chiefs from around the state of South Carolina to discuss the issues that affect the practice of psychiatry in the mental health system today.
We had struggled with the electronic medical record, Medicare paybacks, e-prescribing, CPT coding, content of notes, billing time, and motivating our medical staffs to accept the ...