“When you start seeing your worth, you will find it harder to stay around people who don’t.” - Unknown After graduating from my residency a few years ago, I accepted a job within my organization as a staff psychiatrist and a medical director. The idea of familiarity was a big driver in my ambivalence towards pursuing alternate opportunities, even when they came knocking on my door. As the job started and progressed through ...

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Working in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, I have to frequently recommend my patients follow-up as soon as possible with their primary care doctors. I work in a couple of different locations, urban and rural, and I must say I have noticed a rather disturbing trend over the last few years. When I ask my patients who their primary care doctor is, I often get the reply: “My primary care ...

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Is your patient having trouble breathing? I can ask respiratory to give him a nebulizer. I'm looking at his chest X-ray now — why don't we bump up that Lasix, too? I wish the ER would have grabbed an ultrasound of that swollen leg. Does he need more oxygen? If something is missing from this picture, it isn't the clinical people who are at fault. Clinicians solve problems with the tools they're ...

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Tuesday, getting ready for work. Standing in the shower, it hit me. I couldn't remember the last time I wanted a drink. I almost got a blob of conditioner in my mouth as I snorted out loud. “Mom, you OK?” "Yeah, baby, I'm great." Incredible, actually. Like so many, my habit of using external things to feel better was well ingrained. As a kid, I'd sneak ziplock bags of homemade cookies. In residency, stress eating ...

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When Ashley Pintos went to the emergency room of St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., in 2016, with a sharp pain in her abdomen and no insurance, a representative demanded a $500 deposit before treating her. “She said, ‘Do you have $200?’ I said no,” recalled Pintos, who then earned less than $30,000 at a company that made holsters for police. “She said, ‘Do you have $100?’ They were not ...

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Victor Frankl is an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, who survived three years in the concentration camps of Dachau and Auschwitz. He once told a story about a woman, his patient, who called him in the middle of the night saying that she wants to commit suicide. Viktor Frankl kept her on the phone, giving her many reasons to keep on living, until she promised not to take her life. ...

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As I lay there awaiting my shock, the doctors milled in and out of my room over the course of several hours. It was a normal but hectic morning in the emergency department with ambulances and code blues pulling my doctor away. Before pushing the Propofol and completing my cardioversion, the doctor flatly stated something I'd heard many times before. With a certain look in her eyes, she shared a personal ...

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Smoking was cool. And he started smoking at the age of 15. Two packs a day — every day. When he was 32 years old, we had our first-born son. And he decided to quit cold turkey. But the damage was done. Somehow, someway, it would catch up with him in devastating ways. By the time my husband was 66 years old, he developed shortness of breath and chest pain. With exertion and without ...

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It may seem odd that a gastroenterologist patronizes fast food establishments several times each week. I’m in one right now as I write this. I eschew the food items –though French fries will forever tempt me – and opt for a large-sized beverage. In truth, I am not primarily there for a thirst-quenching experience, but more to ‘rent a table’ so I can bury myself in some reading. Indeed, many ...

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I'm fascinated by the human body — the intricacies of it, the poetry of it. I am intrigued that a cell can come together with other cells to form tissues, those tissues, organs, and systems. The body is a powerful metaphor for unity: what happens when the one becomes the many, and the many, even more. It is a lesson in both individuality and community; how one sets out to create ...

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Vapers across the country are swarming Twitter, the White House comment line and statehouse steps with the message “We Vape, We Vote.” They’re speaking out after a slew of attacks on their way of life. President Donald Trump announced his support for a vaping flavor ban in September. Some states temporarily banned the sales of vaping tools or flavors. And the Centers for Disease ...

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It was flu season. I was meeting the usual frustrations of trying to convince my patients to get the flu shot. The flu vaccine has such potential to save lives, yet its reputation is marred by misinformation, leading people to decline this simple, inexpensive, and effective way to limit disease and death. Day in and day out, I felt like I was beating my head against a wall. This particular day, I ...

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On Twitter recently, I saw a tweet that commented on the fact that there were too few black men who became doctors. I readily confess that I don’t know the reason why. I asked whether it is due to implicit bias or outright racism. Another doctor answered that both play a role. Although I have witnessed acts of racism and bias in the past, I can’t say I understand it ...

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Dean Ernest had been living in a nursing home about a year when his son, John, got a call last winter asking if his father was experiencing back pain and would like a free orthotic brace. The caller said he was with Medicare. John Ernest didn’t believe him, said “no” to the brace and hung up. He didn’t give out his father’s Medicare number. And yet, not just one, but 13 braces ...

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At a certain point, we've all got to go home. Whether it's the end of the shift when the factory whistle blows and the assembly line stops rolling for a brief period while new people take our place, or late in the day after the last patient has been seen and our notes are all written and our portal messages have ...

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An excerpt from The Doctors Guide to Real Estate Investing for Busy Professionals. I left my 20-year general surgical practice at age 51, only 12 years after buying my first apartment complex. By then, my real estate investments were producing more passive income than I was spending. I no longer ...

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There was a time when drug reps fed us lunch and gave us an endless supply of pens, pads, and even umbrellas all emblazoned with their newest drugs. They explained why their drug was better than their competitors’ and what it would offer to our patients. I still have my Zantac umbrella in the trunk of my car for rain emergencies. Although it was somewhat annoying, it did keep us somewhat ...

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I am going to make a prediction here. No matter who we elect in 2020, Bernie or Trump or anything in between, Medicare for all is not going to happen in America. One can run an electrifying campaign on the promise of Medicare for all, or indignantly against it, but this is pure theater on both sides. I don’t know if God can make a rock so big and heavy ...

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STAT_LogoHere’s some good news for a change about cancer: Cancer mortality — the rate of death from cancer — has fallen substantially over the last four decades. There is also, however, some not-so-good news: Cancer incidence — the rate of cancer diagnoses — has been rising. This doesn’t reflect increasing dangers in our environment, but a danger in ...

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This past August, I attended the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) District VI meeting in Wisconsin. The theme of this year's meeting was "Bringing it Back Home," with a keynote presentation focused on developing the emotional habits to influence others and "embody the inner attitude of a leader." After a day of much self-reflection, I decided to stop by the poster presentations during a break between the major talks. ...

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