Physicians are not robots. The health care system (and the corporate world in general) turns idealistic students into jaded and cynical professionals. They become small pieces in a profit-obsessed machine. They count down the days until retirement. We have to beat this system. And to do that, we must protect at all costs our humanity and creativity. We have to challenge the notion of how a doctor “should” be by embracing ...

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Jamie Katuna continues her mission of debunking health myths.

In what has been called the “opioid epidemic,” we talk a lot about two groups of people: 1. Patients who try to con their physician to get an opioid prescription, and 2. Physicians who capitalize on these patients by creating “pill-mill” clinics (that dispense opioids generously). This narrative results in top-down regulations that restrict the relationship between physicians and patients everywhere. Doctors are often blamed for the problem, so new guidelines target them. ...

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Going outside in cold weather gives you a cold? Eating turkey makes you sleepy? Gum stays in your stomach for seven years? Separate these myths and more from truths. Jamie Katuna is a medical student.  She can be reached on Facebook.

Imagine training for ten years in an environment that is abusive, isolating, and stressful. Imagine going $250,000 into debt for that training. And imagine that at the end of all this, you have a 50 percent chance of being unsatisfied with your job. This is the path for physicians in this country. But why should it matter to everybody else? First, the short term: Quality of care will decrease. When the person in ...

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I will not argue that drugs are “bad” and holistic care is “good.” I have seen the way medications can transform a person’s life for the better, and I could never invalidate the experience of someone living with mental illness. But I will argue vehemently that holistic, preventive, and integrative health measures should come first, and medication should be used as a secondary option. The current structure of psychiatry -- ...

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If we, as a country, focused on and invested in prevention as the basis for health care, the system in the United States would be transformed. However, the physicians who provide primary care services tend to have the least status and are paid lower than other specialties. They are often mandated to do tasks and paperwork that are burdensome, time-consuming, and unrelated to their skills as a physician or their ...

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The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) released a proposal last month that will affect physicians in their first year of training after medical school. Currently, there are regulations to prevent these doctors from working more than 16 hours at a time. The new proposal wants to remove these limits, extending the maximum shift to 28 consecutive hours. There is an outpouring of public discourse on the issue with ...

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Guns and gun control are divisive topics. Talking about them often ends in frustration and both parties walk away feeling unheard. A not-so-debatable point, however, is that there are over 30,000 gun deaths per year in the United States. About 80,000 people are non-fatally injured. Gun violence in this country is a public health crisis. This public health issue is caught up in political fervor, often being controlled by politicians ...

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In general, I would predict that the audience reading this blog knows about medicine’s suicide epidemic: Roughly 400 physicians and 150 medical students kill themselves each year in the United States. This means that every year, about a million Americans lose their doctors to suicide. This crisis is a public health issue. The puzzling question is: Why isn’t it publicly known? If one million Americans were affected each year by ...

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