You will probably never meet me in person. Your name will be on the bill my insurance receives from the hospital. Your signature will be on the line after the end of the report as you mumble report after report into the system. You will never know my story. I am my organs to you; organs will anomalies that you have to squint and sometimes lean back to look for.  You ...

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asco-logo Ten years ago, I first met this patient, newly diagnosed with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. As I walked into the examination room, I was struck by the juxtaposition of his wife, crumpled in a chair and weeping silently, with the patient himself, pacing the 12'-by-4' room with a look of either anger or frustration. This difference in response between the man and ...

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I remembered staring at the computer screen with the radiologist hoping that by staring at the images, they would change in some way. It did not seem fair that a nice lady that I was evaluating in the emergency room would be consigned to such tragic images. I was rotating through the emergency room during my second year of residency, and one of the patients had come in just for ...

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As a physician and mom, I hate the work culture that generates the glass ceiling for women. Like many professional environments, Medicine is a hierarchical culture dominated by men. The leadership positions are mostly filled by men- including the hospital CEOs, department chairpersons, and medical school deans. This reality begs the question: if nearly half of medical school graduates are women, why don’t we see more female ...

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This morning, I diagnosed a 49-year-old female with stage 4 colon cancer. She will probably not be alive in 5 years. She could have possibly prevented this diagnosis if she had known her family history. Many people don't know the health history of their family. This holiday season is a perfect time and opportunity to delve into this history and prevent more senseless deaths. The apple really doesn’t fall too far ...

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asco-logo I was sitting in a meeting, listening and participating, but at the same time keeping an eye on my email. I always do this, sometimes to my peril. Email is distracting, and more than once I have been called on to say something and I have no clue where the discussion had gone as I glanced at my inbox. At this ...

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asco-logo We’ve come a long way from the 1940s and 1950s when men didn’t cry — not when they stubbed a toe or came back from the war and certainly not in front of strangers. In the last 20-plus years, we have seen a loosening up of the "stiff upper lip," and we now see men crying in all sorts of places. ...

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asco-logo Sometimes, I think that many folks see oncology as an acute care specialty: patients get cancer, get sick, and then they die. There’s an impression that we meet patients only for a moment in time before they are gone forever. But speak to any oncology specialist, and you will see nothing is farther from the truth. While ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 57-year-old man is evaluated in follow-up for a right-sided pleural effusion. He initially presented with increasing dyspnea and a constant dull ache on his right side. He also has lost 9.1 kg (20.0 lb) over the last 6 months. Medical history is otherwise unremarkable, and he takes no medications. He ...

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A letter from a physician to her former employer. This may seem to come out of the blue for you, but for me, it is something I have thought about often. You will likely not remember the details like I do, so let me spark your memory. It was a Thursday, and my husband, who I have known since I was 19 -- not unlike you and your wife -- was diagnosed ...

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