Saturday nights on my couch are usually late and peaceful. But my old friend, civil unrest, crept into my reprieve. Do I do one more "to-do task?" Or do I or continue my aimless net surfing? But it's not exactly aimless now. I'd just stumbled across an online article: "When You are the Friend of a Physician Suicide." The physician-author's narrative about his friend's death and the reader's posts, mostly from ...

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One way to fight burnout is to have a passion outside of medicine, or another passion within medicine.  The work I do with KevinMD is what is preventing me from becoming a burned out, physician statistic.

"The doctors who did this should be hanged." It's a statement the came at me with a bang. It stood out in its thread, in the accusatory way of old courtroom scenes of black and white movies, where the heroine dramatically screams out at the jury, seated wide-eyed in their box nearby. But it was merely a response to a Facebook post on the topic of the opioid epidemic, typed in nonchalantly, ...

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It’s 8:45 p.m. in rural Chiapas, Mexico. A cool blanket wraps around the previously warm day in the small farming town of Honduras. With a syringe of medicine in his front pocket pasante, Dr. Ivan Martinez does a steady jog up a steep hill to see about a patient’s chronic pain. Nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains, there are few flat places. At the door, he’s immediately and warmly greeted by multiple ...

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My intern gazed blankly at her notes from the day. “You OK?” I asked. Her face was quivering with restrained tears as she turned to me, “I don’t think I helped anyone today.” This was not the first time, nor would it be the last time, that I had heard those words from a resident physician. Medical training is no joy ride. How could it be? First, there is the intellectual challenge of ...

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I was inspired a couple of weeks ago. Sitting at the WeWork facility in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. I looked at the group of entrepreneurs, creatives and innovative thinkers sitting in front of me. What were we doing you might ask? Collaborating to help one another build our dreams. This is the epitome of the human experience. One of the topics that came up in conversation was the difference between a man ...

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“You’re a doctor; focus on being a doctor.” This piece of advice was recently given to me by my own father, in regards to my multiple ambitions outside of the medical field. He himself only recently retired from a long career as a surgeon, so his opinion is the result of years of experience. His advice got me thinking. What makes for career longevity in our field? Statistics show that more than half ...

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On our first night in Dublin, my mother and I head straight to a pub. We sit at a table across the room from a cheerful woman who looks to be in her eighties. It doesn’t take her long to walk across the room and join us. She grasps her pint of beer and takes a long gulp. We learn that her name is Mary and she welcomes us with ...

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Doctors see firsthand the toll that today’s increasingly stressful society takes on patients: Engineers, office managers, teachers, you name it. Work demands have increased, as has multitasking. Pressures outside the workplace add additional stress. Often, parents chauffeuring children to multiple activities must also care for aging parents with increasing needs. Electronic devices, always in hand or close by, command our attention (due to work or personal needs, sometimes simultaneously). Finding a ...

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My first year after completing surgical residency was an exhilarating and exhausting experience that most physicians will recall as part of their training.  The American medical culture has imagined that the nation’s doctors -- no matter their workload -- simply don’t reach physical or emotional exhaustion in their work. But they do, and as we debate the future of healthcare in our country, we need to address this problem and quickly get to solutions, ...

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