I was really anxious.  My father's legs were getting weaker and his pain was worsening.  He had been having pain for quite a while, and that pain was often disabling in its severity, but the weakness was alarming. Dad went to the neurosurgeon, who was also alarmed at the weakness, but didn't feel that the problem was surgical in nature.  When I heard this I broke one of my most tightly-held ...

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Shhh. I think this is supposed to be a secret, but this Wednesday at the super-elite AMA House of Delegates meeting in Chicago, where only the mostly highly connected and AMA devoted doctors get to attend, they actually stood up for us.  It is now AMA policy that the AMA opposes mandatory ABMS recertification exams. Crazy, right?  News of this random act of fortitude trickled out to us on Twitter by the small ...

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The street was glistening with Christmas lights, and tiny flurries were falling onto our hats as we walked down a picturesque Philadelphia street. It was the end of one of the first “real” dates that I have ever had in my young thirty years of life. We started the night with dinner at a fancy restaurant followed by attending the musical White Christmas. As we walked down the street, my date ...

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Every day on my way to work, I walk through one of the most famous and historic LGBT-friendly neighborhoods in the U.S.  This past Saturday, my walk back home from the hospital was a particularly entertaining one.  It was Pride weekend.  People were celebrating, the sun was shining, the rainbows painted on the street seemed brighter.  Even though I had worked a long day, my walk back home left me ...

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As many who are pediatricians or know pediatricians are aware, the quest to end gun violence is a passion for our profession and an advocacy issue of utmost importance for our professional organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Having practiced in areas with a high incidence of gun violence for most of my career until recently moving to California, I have seen first-hand how this tragic issue affects the ...

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“I should be home well before nine o’clock,” I said to my wife on the phone as I steered my eight-cylinder SUV quietly down the highway at 75 mph with more than 100 miles left to go. “More like eight fifty-five,” I added. “That’s well before nine?” She sounded both weary and incredulous. I knew what she meant. I am not as obsessive about time as I used to be, but even ...

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At our last visit, she asked me "not to forget us" and gave me a photograph of her family. She included a picture of her daughter, whom I had never met. I had missed her by four years almost to the day because she was shot and killed driving through her neighborhood in the middle of the afternoon. I first met Mrs. P early in my training as a physician in ...

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I like to read. I always have, and I’m sure I always will. I read almost everything that I come across. I often find myself reading the articles on this site. Some I agree with and some I don’t, but I like that part of the site too. I read, and I learn and I’m informed, and I gain knowledge, but then something always seems to happen. I always wind ...

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Recently I attended the funeral of a prominent gastroenterologist in my community whom I knew socially as the father of my son’s friend. It was an untimely and rapid death due to pancreatic cancer. He left behind a young wife and four children, two of whom are in college. I would see him periodically at school functions; he would sneak into an event at the last minute and often struggle ...

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Dad had taken a turn for the worse, but my family was not ready to give up on him and consider end-of-life care. Nevertheless, choices had to be made. Would Dad be allowed to pass while in assisted living or have his life prolonged in a skilled-nursing facility? What kind of a doctor am I? When perceiving that a patient is dying, what type of physician neglects to intervene and ...

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