I grew up studying my physician parents. My dad, a pathologist, was a hard-working hospital employee with multiple odd jobs on the side. He always worried about whether he’d have enough for retirement, though he never really wanted to retire. My mom, a psychiatrist, is more of an entrepreneurial businesswoman. She had her own private practice (even though all the other employed doctors warned she’d never make it ...

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shamingwordsimage In medicine, our motto is first do no harm. Words matter. Choose them wisely. Here are 7 words that shame, blame, and injure people who need our help. 1. Don’t say COMMITTED suicide. Committed implies a crime. Committed rape, burglary, murder. Suicide is not a crime; it’s a medical condition that has been taboo for too long. Let’s come out of the dark ...

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We go to the doctor when we are sick. But what happens when doctors get sick? Who cares for them? All too often, physicians are threatened, harassed, even terminated for being ill. After reporting on a psychiatrist fired for having cancer and a pediatrician bullied for her brain tumor, I’ve heard from many more physicians who are now courageously stepping forward to tell the truth — ...

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Man collapses at 30,000 feet. Quick, who’s in charge? Hint: It’s not the doctor. Last month, Dr. Tamika Cross was told to sit down when she tried to help an unresponsive man. Why? Apparently, the flight attendant was looking for an “actual” medical doctor, not a black woman. Turns out she’s not the only doc making headlines for being turned down in a medical crisis. What ...

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seanpetrosuicide-900x600 Cheryl lost her son Sean to suicide in medical school. Just a few months ago. Her only child. Cheryl didn’t know that medical students were at high risk of suicide -- until her son was dead. Nobody warned her. Rhonda lost her daughter Kaitlyn to suicide in medical school. Unable to recuperate from the pain of her daughter’s suicide, Rhonda died by suicide ...

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It’s true. Man nearly dies on plane because crew didn’t believe black woman was doctor. The medical fiasco on Delta Airlines has now gone viral after a Facebook post by Tamika Cross, MD, the physician who was turned away as a fellow passenger was unresponsive. Tamika joins a long list of female physicians who have experienced the same discrimination. Meet a few of these doctors below.
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I recently learned of yet another medical student suicide. Ari Frosch, a second-year student at Penn, died by suicide by walking onto the northbound tracks as a Boston-bound Amtrak train passed through Mansfield station. Amtrak trains do not stop at Mansfield station. Police have surveillance tape of the victim trespassing and walking right onto the tracks. There’s no mystery surrounding this medical student’s very public suicide. Yet his ...

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an-ingrown-toenail-is-not-a-lung-transplant Illustration by Jorge Muniz, PA-C. Here’s a quick review of health care delivery basics: Primary care. Stuff you can get handled with your primary care doctor in your neighborhood. Example: ingrown toenail. Secondary care. Stuff your primary care doctor refers to a secondary specialist down the road. Example: colonoscopy. Tertiary care. Complex stuff you need to deal with at a big-city hospital. Example: lung transplant. Simple. Right? Here’s the problem: ...

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Dear Pamela, Let me start off by telling you that I am a warrior, a protector, and a healer. I am an Army veteran. I’ve worked as an EMT, completed a bachelor's degree and two years of medical school, plus I’m raising a family. I’ve achieved amazing things, but I have never been defeated like I’ve been over these past few years. Honestly, I was less stressed in Afghanistan. Medical school is ...

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burnout2 Illustration by Jorge Muniz, PA-C. We enter medicine with our hearts and souls on fire ready to serve humanity. By the time we complete medical training many of us have anxiety, PTSD, depression -- even suicidal thoughts. Why? Medicine is stressful. Many of us work 100-hour weeks surrounded by suffering and death. We may deliver a stillborn, try to save a teenager with a ...

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