I am writing this from the perspective of a woman physician in academic medicine. I am a mid-career cardiac anesthesiologist who works in several national organizations and serve on various committees and boards. I have learned a lot from serving in national medical societies, made great friends this way, and been able to feel a sense of accomplishment in being a part of change within my specialty. That is why I ...

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We all know that there’s a remarkable shortage of physicians in America and that it’s growing worse.  This is especially true in primary care but it’s present across all specialties.  This shortage alone is a significant stress on practicing physicians.  But when it is coupled with corporatization, the increasing complexity of medical care, unrelenting electronic charting requirements and the explosion of administrative tasks, physicians barely keep up each day. This is one of the ...

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If you can’t beat ’em, join them (and make it better).  Am I right?  This was some of the sentiment I felt as I registered with FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) to take the Series 65 exam.  Passing this exam will allow me to register in my state as an Independent Advisory Representative (IAR) and function as a financial advisor.   This begs the question: Why should I become a financial ...

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College students work hard, and many are looking for ways to improve their studying and learn more effectively. Getting more sleep and more exercise would probably help, but up to a third are trying ADHD medications to see if pills can give them that extra boost. A small, recent study shows that they’re not getting the effect they’re looking for. We’re not talking, here, about teens who have ADHD. There’s ...

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The New York University School of Medicine stunned the nation by announcing tuition for all current and future medical students will be free, irrespective of merit or financial need. Dr. Robert Grossman, dean at NYU, commented: “This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians.” NYU says their scholarship -- which begins in the ...

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Several years ago, a group of us concerned about health care costs and outcomes met with some local HR benefit managers. One was the head HR person of a city. In part of the conversation, she raved about a local chain of urgent care centers. She loved the fact that she could go to one after work to get her steroid shot for her colds. I had enough experience dealing ...

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It’s Sunday, and the clock is approaching 8 p.m. Every computer in our team room is still on, and the sound of typing is filling the small space. A spread of snacks, interspersed between stethoscopes and stacks of faxed records, is ignored for the time being. This scene was a familiar one on inpatient medicine, where call days can stretch long into the evening. Although those days were challenging and draining, ...

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I like work.  I really do.  Although I have been talking up my half retirement, there is a reason I am not going the full monty.  I derive pleasure from being a physician.  The ability to reach out and help other human beings, and get paid for it is amazing.  Not only the work itself, but the human interaction is also quite gratifying.  I look forward ...

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The grass is always greener on the other side.  Humans are like that. For reasons that we can never consistently define, any situation other than the one that we are in has potential to be better.  I guess we just like to compare ourselves to others and assume that there is a better life over the horizon.  That doctors wish to get themselves in a better situation is nothing new. ...

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I didn’t know that he and I were on the same train. At the Othello stop, I got out of the last car and walked towards the front of the train. The morning chill seeped through my coat and I slid my hands into my pockets. “Dr. Yang!” The doors of the train were still open, and there he was: A baggy black hoodie was pulled up over his head, but it ...

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