We physicians often feel as though we are running up Heartbreak Hill. For many of us, the spring in our step just ain’t what it used to be. Pictured above is Ethiopian runner Worknesh Negefa, the fourth-fastest female marathoner in history and the winner of the 2019 Boston Marathon.  We all understand why Boston 2020 was canceled and Boston 2021 is delayed until ...

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"As if COVID-19 weren’t bad enough during the pandemic, another public health crisis – substance use disorder (SUD) – has gone from bad to worse, while access to behavioral health services is shrinking. As of September, more than half (52%) of community behavioral health organizations have seen an increase in demand for services, and half of those that offer SUD services saw their demand jump in ...

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An excerpt from About Natalie: A Daughter's Addiction. A Mother's Love. Finding Their Way Back to Each Other. I look around at the pale walls of the emergency room. Yes, we are back here. Not for an overdose, but this time for an abscess so severe from injecting needles into her arms that it will probably need an operation. I ...

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To be the best healers possible for others, we have to show compassion for and take care of ourselves. I wrote a previous article published in KevinMD titled, "Self-care is not selfish: It's imperative to save the practice of medicine." Self-care includes doing no harm to yourself. During our medical training, many habits and thought patterns were deeply ingrained. These thought patterns, while they may have been helpful in ...

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I have dedicated 35 years of my life as a nurse: in the ICU for 33 years and behavioral health/intensive management for the last two. I thought it would be time to take a break from ICU nursing. Surely behavioral health would be a lot easier — kind of a slide into my near-future retirement. I entered into the land of psychotics and schizophrenics, bipolar, homeless, dangerous patients from prison, like those ...

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An excerpt from Exhale: Hope, Healing, and a Life in Transplant. Late one Wednesday night in the spring of 2013, I sat in the ICU at Tina’s (aka Doctor D’s) bedside. She’d begun to deteriorate from chronic rejection of her lungs, and I had put her back on the waiting list for a second transplant. My feet were propped up ...

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"With my natural affinity for numbers, I analyzed the reviews’ precise impact after a few years, and the results were astounding.  The system generated over $225,000 during a 3-year period.  My practice acquired 162 new 5-star reviews on Google, and my partner and I generated over 200 5-star reviews on Yelp.  I ...

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"My whole world has changed, but my workplace's expectations haven't. I am paying twice as much for childcare and caring for my children's mental health needs on top of my normal job. This has been going on for a year, but expectations for my performance in the workplace haven't changed.". "I was watching an old home movie of my son's baptism with my seven-year-old when he turned to me in horror, ...

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When I was in college three decades ago, someone close to me was diagnosed with HIV. He was in his early 20s. The only drug available was the controversial AZT, an expensive drug originally designed to treat cancer. I thought my friend would die. Since then, we have made tremendous strides, but HIV remains an issue, and COVID-19 only complicates matters. In the ...

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I am sure that I have post-litigation stress disorder. It does not actually exist yet as a recognized disorder, but I definitely have it. You know what else? Countless other physicians have it too. We don't talk about it. Besides the fact that lawyers forbid you to speak of ongoing litigation to anyone, especially colleagues, there is such a culture of shame surrounding this subject. Although we now live in a world ...

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"You’re a clinician. You had a patient die under your care, and now your hospital is being sued. You are not named in the lawsuit, but you are being asked to give a deposition. How much of your time is this going to take? If some lawyer sends you thousands of ...

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As an epidemiologist and former public health official, I’ve noticed a lot of coverage in the news about  COVID vaccine hesitancy issues in BIPOC communities, and I, like many other clinicians, am working hard to address those issues.  But there is one demographic that I’ve seen very little discussion on -  men.  And with the news that vaccination rates are slowing in the U.S., and that, ...

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In 2019, we (authors SM, LC) initiated a research study on the experience of care partners of people with Parkinson's disease psychosis (PDP). Among other activities, participants wrote a letter to their care recipient's doctor to the prompt: "Understanding that you know the most about this person, specifically their PD psychosis because you likely spend the most time with them (certainly more time than the doctor gets to spend with ...

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Kisses, hugs, cuddles, breakfast in bed/beautiful brunch outdoors is how I remember celebrating Mother’s Day with my kids in the past, but 2020 was a bit different. As a physician caring for children with COVID-19, along with being a mother of 2 young children, the celebration during this pandemic had been an unusual experience. I vividly remember Mother’s Day, May 10, 2020 The first surge of cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children ...

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"My grandchildren are appalled." So said the elderly patient I saw yesterday. This lovely woman came to our practice for the treatment of extreme pain. At 99-years of age, she has survived multiple cancers and their associated treatments. She is now suffering from debilitating, degenerative joint pain. She has tried over-the-counter medications and opioids and is simply desperate for relief. Yet her major concern is what her grandchildren will think. As ...

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"If you are happy with where you are in the current system – that is wonderful, continue what you are doing. However, if you are feeling trapped, frustrated, or like the work you are doing is no longer meaningful, then there are plenty of opportunities for you to get out of the ...

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An excerpt from The Working Mom Blueprint: Winning at Parenting Without Losing Yourself. My husband and I ordered a special celebratory dinner the night my first book was published. It was an important professional milestone for me, and I was proud of all the hard work it took to get to that moment. “Come on, guys,” he called up to ...

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1. Setting up automatic investments. The vast majority of young millionaires achieved their financial status by investing money. Unless they are a celebrity or were born into a wealthy family, they had to be diligent about investing money either in the stock market, a business venture, or real estate. You must do the same. One way to do this is by making your investments automatic. Have a certain amount of ...

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In my junior year of high school, I applied for and went on an educational mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Being the son of Uruguayan immigrants, I felt at home in the rural setting while my many classmates marveled at their first view of a culture different from theirs. On that trip, my ability to fluently speak two languages formed a common ground on which I could build relationships. ...

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"When faced with an existential crisis, any organization, as large as a nation or as small as a marriage, will go one of two ways. Either it will bond together, coalesced in a common purpose, or it will collapse in a spasm of blame and shame. While our health care institutions displayed the inestimable value of coalescence, our political leaders demonstrated the catastrophic impact of divisiveness. And our ...

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