The storage capacity of the human mind is amazing. One estimate of the size of the brain’s “RAM” is as high as  2.5 petabytes (a million gigabytes). The number is based on the total number of neurons in the brain and the total number of possible connections per neuron. I suspect it is an overestimate, given the vagaries and innate inefficiency of biological systems. Nevertheless, the true figure is ...

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The United States has been a slow brewing cauldron of gender bias for years. With increasing tensions and an unspoken, formidable energy in most workplaces and educational institutions, women have grown restless. The culmination has and is resulting into an empowering movement for gender equality (#womensrights). And the medical profession is not immune. I wasn’t surprised to see that a recent CompHealth survey focusing on women in medicine ...

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In my urban primary care clinic, creativity and advocacy are some of our most basic tools. Recently, one of our residents brought up a homeless patient’s social barriers to colorectal cancer screening: no companion to escort her home from a colonoscopy, no address to send a mail-in test, no reliable commode location to collect a stool sample. This resident created a new workflow to have mail-in screening tests shipped to ...

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An excerpt from Mercy. I love kids. Pretty kids. Nice kids. Normal kids. Not this. This is not a kid. This is thirty pounds of human flesh kept alive by devices. Peg tube, tracheostomy, ventilator. He’s got contractures everywhere. He’s so folded he’d fit in my carry on. Not that I’d want to ...

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An excerpt from Dottoressa: An American Doctor in Rome. When I migrated from the banks of the East River to the Tiber shores the path was strewn with bureaucratic boulders, land-mines, and pitfalls. I offer the tale of my odyssey as an object lesson to would-be fellow cosmopolites in that ...

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As a pharmacy technician, I watched countless individuals speak with a pharmacist about how different drug therapies work, and what they should know before taking any pharmaceuticals. But I also have a hearing loss, and as a patient myself, I am struck by how confusing it is for consumers to find the right treatment. Hearing loss is a medical condition that affects nearly one-third of adults between 65 and 75, and half ...

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A recent uproar in Twitterverse regarding the publication of certain images has sparked further debate after the response from publishers. The images represent scantily clad women with socially "ideal" body-types, seductively eyeing the camera and would, unfortunately, be commonplace in glossy magazines meant to sell products using these women's sexual appeal. Body positive activists in society, for some time now, have been campaigning industry to stop this damaging and exploitative ...

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After my second child was born, I realized a harsh truth: I could not be everything to everyone. It took me almost 30 years to understand this. I was working as a full-time physician with unpredictable hours. I was trying desperately to make it all work; juggling hospital burdens with the ever-demanding job of being a mother. I grew up with a mom who was everyone’s mother. As one of the few ...

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Lucas McClain started smoking cigarettes in high school but switched to vaping after he heard e-cigarettes were a safer alternative. His vape of choice became the Juul, the king of electronic cigarettes — which comes with a king-size nicotine hit. Now 21, McClain wants to quit so badly that he’s turning back to the problem he fled in the first place: good old-fashioned cigarettes. “Juul made my nicotine addiction a lot worse,” the ...

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Dear Alex, As you realize your destiny, I want to share the lessons I have learned in my 45 years on the front lines of health care. I am hoping they will serve you well on your journey. First and foremost, love what you do. Have fun with the people who surround you. Know that in medicine, as in life, you will have the chance to make a difference in others’ lives, ...

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I'm really excited to introduce Mark McLaughlin, MD, the newest speaker at Physician Speaking by KevinMD.

Mark is a practicing board-certified neurosurgeon, a national media commentator, author of the book Cognitive Dominance: A Brain Surgeon’s Quest to Outthink Fear, and acclaimed keynote speaker.

He is the founder of Princeton Brain and Spine Care where he practices ...

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I was on my honeymoon in the Bahamas when I first heard the news: Hahnemann hospital was closing, and so was my child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program — along with every other fellowship and residency program in the hospital. I was actually running outside enjoying the beautiful weather of the tropics and getting ready to go on a “swimming with the sharks” expedition when I got the email that ...

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"I don't understand, and no one will explain why it happened." Jake, my adolescent patient, lamented his experience to me during his well-child visit. "Those boys say that people like me are the devil. They don't even know me. I'm a good person." Hours before seeing me in clinic that day, a group of minority teens had confronted Jake while at a local youth community center because he was "the ...

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I am an experienced OB/GYN, well-versed in obstetrics, infertility, gynecology, surgery and — yes — menopause, or so I thought. So why was I so blindsided by my own menopause transition? I thought I was going through burnout, with anxiety, anger, mood swings, irritability, and depression. I was at a point in my career as an OB/GYN of 20-plus years that patients flocked to me because of my reputation and expected ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 52-year-old woman is evaluated for a 6-week history of chest pressure. The symptom occurs when she walks up an incline on her daily 2-mile walk and is relieved with rest. She also had chest pressure during a stressful meeting at work last week. She reports no associated symptoms. ...

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Take a stroll through any emergency department or hospital break room, and what do you see? Chips, pop, candy bars, and different flavors of junk food. Working in the trenches of medicine requires stamina and mental fortitude. Fueling the body and mind is critical for optimal performance and patient care. Unfortunately, many health care professionals are killing themselves by what they put into their mouths. A few years ago, I began to ...

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A month ago, during a visit to her doctor’s office in Sequim, Wash., Sue Christensen fell to her knees in the bathroom when her legs suddenly gave out. The 74-year-old was in an accessible stall with her walker, an older model that doesn’t have brakes. On her left side was a grab bar; there was nothing to hold onto on the right. Christensen tried to pull herself up but couldn’t. With difficulty, ...

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It’s an odd thing doing what I do sometimes.  Dichotomies of highs and lows, life and death, joy and sorrow.  In the past 15 years that I have been in health care -- a nurse’s assistant, to registered nurse, to now pediatric nurse practitioner -- I have had the strange experience of all this emotion.  It wasn’t until recently, maybe because I have a family of my own now, that ...

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So you've done your research and you are sold on the idea of investing as a limited partner in real estate syndications such as apartments, mobile home parks, or self-storage facilities. "But," you lament, "that means I need to have at least $25,000 just lying around!" Once you have decided to start investing in real estate,  it may take some time to save 25 to 50 grand. But you may already have money to invest ...

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They received a call that their 19-year-old son had been transported to the local hospital, extremely agitated and intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level of .245. What they learned over the next few days was that this wasn’t the first time their son had been drinking heavily on a weeknight. He confessed that the pressure of keeping up with his classes, sports commitments, and making new friends often left him ...

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