Not far from the busy pedestrian streets in the center of Vienna, down a quiet narrow street, lies a small cobblestoned city square. Before World War II, this city neighborhood was the bustling, vibrant heart of Vienna's Jewish Quarter, but today it is has a quiet, almost subdued feeling. Vienna's current Jewish population is only a small fraction of what it was before the war, and the quiet feel of ...

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Do you ever have one of those days, when it seems like every patient is coming in for the same thing?  And that you’ll never remember the differences, when it comes to doing your dictations at the end of the day? A few weeks ago, six of my appointments had as their chief concern “ear pain.”  But of course, in the end, no two ears were at all alike.  I love ...

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Not long ago, one of my elderly patients (who gave me permission to tell this story) began requiring blood transfusions for a condition known as ischemic colitis. Usually, it occurs because there are blockages present in the arteries that supply blood to the colon and, starved of blood, the inner lining of the colon becomes inflamed. But her arteries, it turns out, are normal. So we term her ischemic colitis ...

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Our two presidential candidates are irksome and infuriating to everyone. We are disgruntled with them. The psychiatrist in me asks the question, why are we so angry and upset with them? The majority of us voted for these two as our nominees. What does all of this say about us? Why have we put up nominees that anger and disgust us? We had sixteen other Republican candidates to choose from and ...

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Physicians are known to be masters of self-sacrifice, and self-control. They undergo years of training and make substantial emotional and financial sacrifices until they complete their training. The reward at the end of the road is a fulfilling job where he or she can treat people who are in need and enjoy the emotional, personal, and financial fruits of their labor. But is this the reality? At a time when the ...

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One thing I’ve learned is that physicians who have gone into direct primary care (DPC) practices are passionate about their decision: they not only believe that DPC is better for their patients and their own professional and career satisfaction, many assert it is the answer to just about everything ailing primary care. There is an evangelical fervor among some DPC advocates to spread the word and convert other ...

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Is it possible to break down a complex phenomenon like professional burnout into a simple triad? We do it for exotic diseases all the time, so why not? I still remember my salad days in med school vividly. Bouncing between the cockiness of amassing an entirely new body of knowledge and the awkwardness of having nary a clue how to use it, it was excitement I hadn't felt before or since. ...

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My father worked as a middle manager in the textile industry for many years after he graduated with a degree in textile engineering from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. As far as I know, he was the first to graduate from college in his family. I can only imagine how exciting it was for him to leave the little town of Cochran, travel to the big city of Atlanta, work to ...

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Someone told me that the reason certain others don’t respect my advocacy on behalf of physicians more is simply that I am a woman. I am seeing this the more I speak up on issues facing doctors these days. It is now the 21st century, and there are a large number of women practicing medicine. In fact, the number of men and women entering medical school these days is nearly ...

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If you attended medical school, you learned in week one that American health care started becoming scientific in 1910, with the publication of the Flexner Report. Before then, only some medical schools were authentic while many others were anything from carnival booths to outright frauds. Abraham Flexner, a respected educator, had been hired by industrial barons John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, who were determined to bring health care out of ...

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