About a year ago, I wrote a piece on my blog called “How to Welcome Incoming Residents.” It was about my struggle with getting the right messaging, messaging about the reality of stress during residency and the necessity of incorporating self-care and outreach to others. This year at orientation, in addition to adding the great suggestions posted by readers of the article, I took a different tack. It ...

Read more...

This article was originally written on August 11, 2015. My psychotherapy supervisor taught me a tip during residency: to pay close attention to the very first thing a patient says, and more importantly, the last topic they bring up towards the end of session. (Because it’s likely that the subject weighing most heavily on their mind is too uncomfortable to discuss at the very beginning.) I struggled to come up with a topic to ...

Read more...

For two years, I served as a representative to my medical school's student affairs committee.  My job was to convey medical student concerns and problems.  As part of that role, I had a lot of time to think about how and why many medical students experience depression and stress. Two recent articles have led me to write about the issue now: "10 simple solutions to stop medical student suicide," ...

Read more...

Kevin-Dietl-crop-2 Medical school graduation: Time to celebrate our brand new doctors! Except for the families who can’t celebrate their child’s graduation. Or their child’s marriage. Or their child’s birthday -- ever again. Like Michele and John Dietl. They lost their son, Kevin (pictured above), just weeks before graduation. Now they cling to online condolences and family photos. And to the never-ending question: Why? I’ve become a sideline specialist ...

Read more...

INSIDE-OUT-8-1940x1092 This summer's Disney-Pixar movie Inside Out makes us think about our thinking. But, I wonder, first of all, "Can we even think about our thoughts?" In fact, over the summer with campers at Lausanne Collegiate School, beginning with junior kindergarten to grade 7, I was teaching them how to observe their thoughts: a course in mindfulness and meditation for children. We begin by sitting ...

Read more...

shutterstock_171708149 I attend pharmaceutical dinners every once in awhile because: 1) I like to stay up to date with all the new drugs (or just a slightly modified version of the generic, but with a much fancier name and packaging); 2) Though I’m several years out of medical school/residency, one thing I have maintained from those formative years is the mentality where I’d never pass ...

Read more...

Well, decision time was here and it looked as if Bill would choose surgery, and why not, with the doctors liberally throwing around the word "cure.'" The various tests Bill endured, breathing tests, echocardiogram and MRI of the brain, were all within tolerable ranges, we were told.  The oncologist noted some marks in the brain that suggested mini-strokes, but Bill didn't hear this or it didn't register with him, or ...

Read more...

shutterstock_223663249 Chronic insomnia affects 5 percent to 15 percent of Americans. It is far from only a nighttime problem. As all of us know from occasional sleepless nights, the following day is unproductive and sometimes dangerous. Sleep deprived people are more prone to accidents, and are more likely to have depression, anxiety, diabetes and high blood pressure. It is no surprise then that ...

Read more...

shutterstock_213079855 I noticed that my writing and conversations with others convey far less emotion than usual.  My reserve for tolerating stress had reached maximum capacity, which I realized upon my first day back at work from vacation three weeks ago as exhaustion immediately erased any sense of relaxation from my trip.  Perhaps I should have requested two weeks off instead of one?  Either way, ...

Read more...

shutterstock_161647064 Being related to a famous person is somewhere between a cruel joke and a minor distraction. My father was immensely talented and worked very hard at his writing, but the degree of his success was a fantastically unlikely bit of luck. There are lots of talented, hard-working artists who don’t make it. The important thing in overcoming mental illness, whether or not ...

Read more...

31 Pages

Most Popular