I sat in a crowded auditorium listening to an attending at a renowned medical institution give a lecture. I didn’t know the answers, and shrouded in imposter syndrome, I avoided eye contact. The visiting medical student from Mexico answered the question, and the attending moved on. Another question came. Again, the medical student from Mexico answered. The attending chuckled and said, “OK, Cinco de Mayo,” an exaggerated emphasis on the ...

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Providing primary care to patients with mental illness is a challenging task that requires highly skilled and experienced practitioners comfortable with the full array of biopsychosocial problems with which these patients present. For example, understanding the side-effect profiles of psychiatric medications and their impact on problems such as diabetes and other complex endocrinopathies requires highly evolved clinical skills. Optimally, the successful care of these patients is best provided in close collaboration ...

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Over the past few months, we’ve celebrated the vaccination of over 100 million Americans against COVID-19. At the same time, we’ve seen worrying indications that young adults like ourselves are letting down our guard too early. In fact, the latest surge in COVID-19 cases is being driven largely by younger people; concerningly, hospital wards in states like Pennsylvania and Florida are starting to ...

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"Most residents are young, often in their mid to late 20s, having spent years ensconced in libraries, research labs, and classrooms learning pathophysiology and pharmacology. Upon graduation from medical school, they are now drafted to the front lines of a generational pandemic, working long hours, often in cities where they are ...

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For many years, I have treated individuals with substance use disorders. I have found this work to be both gratifying and frustrating. Part of the frustration stems from interactions with governmental agencies and families. The families are, of course, fearful and frustrated. They are watching their loved ones "die" before their eyes and want someone to fix it. It is difficult to understand that their loved one's brain has changed, that ...

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VIPIT is the medical term given to the phenomenon of developing clots in various parts of the body after certain (not all) COVID-19 vaccines. VIPIT stands for vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia, a complicated term explained simply as clotting of the thrombocytes or platelet cells in the blood vessels after receiving the COVID vaccine. Clearly, understanding this newly evolving condition is very limited, but what we know so far is extremely concerning. ...

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Recently, I was talking on the phone to a physician client of mine about the COVID-19 vaccine and how thrilled I was that everyone over the age of 30 is now eligible in New York, which meant I could now schedule my own appointment. We discussed the current market, and just when I was about to end the call by wishing him a happy National Doctor’s Day, his younger son, who ...

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Dear future medical students: You applied to medical school in record numbers this year. Whatever your reasons, we (three graduating medical students) applaud you. You come to medicine at an exciting time: a time of both celebration and moral reckoning. The rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccine has wowed the scientific community. However, COVID-19 has also highlighted the hidden pandemics of structural racism, inequitable access to care, ...

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"Keep it Simple is a bumper sticker slogan. Life during a pandemic has been anything but simple, and the holiday season presents (not the gift kind) its own special challenges. So does living alone and trying to stay humanized. In his book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a ...

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Indian parents are perfectionists. This is what I had come to understand and believe, even before I had the vocabulary to define it. Perfection was the expectation. Not excellent, not superb, but perfection, and only perfection. After years of reflection, I don’t take issue with the expectation of perfection, but, rather, how I perceived it to be defined for me — a well-behaved, beautiful and academically successful girl who does ...

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Sometimes, I'm warned. There might be a heaviness over the right quadrant of my head, accompanied by spotting in my vision, little flecks of light that distract my attention and signal the pain to come. Other times, there is no premonition. Out of nowhere, I am struck by pounding inside my skull and unrelenting nausea. Even in those times, my partner will say he knew it was coming. He has ...

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Recently, a former NFL football player, Phillip Adams, murdered Dr. Robert Lesslie, his wife, his two grandchildren ages 5 and 9, an air conditioning appliance man, and critically injured a second man. The NFL player had gunned down these innocent people. And then, he left and went to his parent's house (who lived on the same road), and after hours of the SWAT team begging this man to surrender, he ...

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In my medical school admissions essay, I wrote about helping at-risk kids like myself. I wanted to be a child and adolescent psychiatrist, but that wasn't the main reason for applying. The real reason I applied was for my own personal survival. I needed to learn how to talk to doctors about my symptoms and get an appropriate level of care. For years, my doctors told me that my illnesses and ...

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"Lights, camera, action! You get a call from your hospital’s public relations office asking you to speak to the local news. Even though this isn’t your first time, your heart is pounding, with a mix of nerves and excitement. You start doubting whether you have anything valuable to say about the topic, ...

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What is stress? Stress is a bodily response to external pressures. It's an emotional state that we go through when dealing with difficult situations, and it can have a major impact on our health. When faced with work deadlines, family problems, and other daily stresses, our bodies release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream. These chemicals can lead to high blood pressure or weaken the immune system ...

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An excerpt from Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes. Eating well is about food and health, but equally also celebration and community. There is a world of flavor, and the passport is spices. I connected my lifelong love of food and cooking to my work as a physician eight years ago, when I ...

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Canadians with serious or progressive chronic illness are feeling especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has underscored how quickly circumstances can change.

Talking about a serious illness diagnosis and the impact on life expectancy is difficult.

Many Canadians are uncomfortable having these conversations, even though they know it is important.

Surveys have uncovered this paradox: while 93 percent of ...

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"Ultimately, patient care is at the center of medicine and is the main reason many physicians chose to go into the field. A good understanding of the business side of medicine and personal finance can help future physicians focus on just that. There are plenty of options when it comes to how ...

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As I embark on my chief year in general surgery, I look forward to most is taking junior residents through operations. I am grateful to have had excellent teachers over the past five years, and I appreciate the opportunity to pay forward this mentorship. But taking what you have learned and teaching someone else turns out to be a very different challenge than learning itself! Suddenly, you realize your attendings ...

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It’s easy to get distracted by the demands of the journey in medicine. Today physicians now see patients in person and virtually.  Technology allows docs to bring work home and complete documentation remotely, which can blur the lines between work and home life. It’s completely natural that physicians experience more stress and less success, as the demands seem never-ending. Success is right where you are in this very moment.  But success becomes ...

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