Hospitals are places of long-standing hierarchies where some people are made to feel important and others … not so much. A long time ago, I was told nurses used to stand when a white coat walked into a room. (Imagine that now. Laugh. Snort. Choke. Cough.) In those days, in the patient care setting, white coats were synonymous with importance. These days, non-clinical hospital administrators, various technicians, and Clinique make-up counter ...

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In honor of Black History Month, the folks at Diverse Medicine created a new documentary series, Black Men in White Coats.  In this installment, we meet Dr. Brian Williams, a trauma surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

I know we all bemoan the chief complaint of vaginal bleeding when it pops up on the board. Your heart sinks even more when it is followed by the dreaded home pregnancy test. No ED provider is going to love seeing patients with first trimester bleeding. More than anything, I loathe the drag it takes on my time and productivity. Labs, urine, moving them to the appropriate room for the ...

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In my practice of facilitating cancer support groups, all I do is listen to patients and their families. Consequently, I hear much about the nature of their care. They generally speak favorably about its technical aspects, and indeed these are often awesome. But when they complain, it's uniformly -- and I mean one hundred percent -- about communication. One man has been trying to get an appointment with a pulmonologist for ...

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I walk out of a room filled with emotion and despair.  A battle lost but the war rages on.  I’ve seen miracles, often only a daily basis.  Life is precious but peculiarly fragile while resilient and strong. Every emergency provider understands the feeling after a patient has passed.  It’s the unexplainable reverence and daunting silence as I put on the white coat.  It’s the echoing footsteps that never go away ...

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True confessions of an emergency physician. In this case, the UK's Michael Mosley, host of BBC's Trust Me, I'm a Doctor.   Part of the Guardian's video series, Confessions from A&E.

It’s amazing what you can learn from the stranger sitting next to you on a flight. As I wait for my neighbor to grab her seat next to me, I secretly hope she embodies the qualities I hope for in a fellow passenger -- keeping to herself and not requiring in-flight medical assistance. I make eye contact with a young woman who gives me the nod that she has the middle ...

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As a goal-oriented individual, I pack my days with appointments, deadlines, and to-do lists. Unfortunately, the time I spend getting from one task to the next gets lost in my focus on end results -- a common blindness of Westerners who measure success or achievement by results and not by how one “plays the game.” As parents, we teach our children it’s not whether you win or lose, but how ...

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Imposter syndrome (n.): Term coined in 1970 by psychologists and researchers to informally describe people who are unable to internalize their accomplishments despite external evidence of their competence. When I was in medical school, I remember walking outside the library and trying not to glance inside to see how many of my classmates appeared to be meticulously studying for final exams. I remember trying to ignore their off-hand, and occasionally self-congratulating, ...

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After a stressful morning, a physician colleague receives a note from her 4 year old that read, “MOMYOUFORGOTTOGIVEMEAKISSTODAY” in classic large, space less toddler scrawl. She shared it knowing that other physician mommies can relate. We’ve all been there. The heartbreak that is a part of life as a physician mommy takes many forms. Whether a pout, a stare, a cry, a comment, a scowl or a note, no one can ...

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