I consult on many patients because they are suffering from pain. In fact, their pain is so severe that they are considering spinal surgery. More than 100,000 Americans decide to undergo surgery, and millions more have invasive procedures for low back pain or sciatica every year. You almost certainly know someone who has struggled with such a decision based on their subjective perception of their own pain. Why do some ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic represents the single most disruptive health crisis of the past 100 years. It has disrupted basic, taken-for-granted societal routines, which subsequently has prompted dynamic changes in our behavior. The ramifications of these disruptions have yet to be fully quantified. But, suffice to say, a lot of people died in 2020 because of the pandemic—and not all of them had COVID-19. In 2020, and now moving deeper into 2021, ...

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At an early age, Tasha remembered looking up to her mama dressed in a crisp white uniform and a nursing cap placed perfectly upon her head — one bobby pin at a time. Tasha learned what sacrifice, responsibility, and dedication were all about. She also knew her mama's love for the nursing profession. When Tasha was four years old, she used to say: "One day, I will be a nurse just like ...

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On the nights he is home for dinner, the boys sit next to him (if it's an even day of the month), and on odd days, it's the girls' turn. I sit far away. Happily. Because I had over 15 years with him before we had these children. And my heart is so happy he gets to be a dad. I've loved him since I was 16. And Lord-willing, I'll love him for much longer. I'll wait. We've ...

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Health care workers pride themselves on their ability to be empathetic but professional. Many of us calmly deliver news of adverse outcomes and prognoses to patients and family members every day, then go home to a family or personal life, and try to compartmentalize thoughts of our patients’ diseases, injuries, or deaths. At least that’s how it may appear to others, even fellow health care professionals. But having worked in pediatric ...

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As the anniversary for March 11 anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic has come and gone, nurses across Canada are at their breaking point. We are exhausted, burned out – and angry.

Nurses are on the frontlines of the pandemic and our health-care system every day. We see its problems in brutal detail, and we have the experience to know what’s needed to ...

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Every week, I see a teen with depression and/or anxiety. Sometimes that teen is mine. And while I can certainly opine over the lack of mental health resources for our children and teens — you have to be a certain age, you have to have certain insurances, if you’re uninsured or underinsured, you can see a community health professional but only for eight sessions — what I really get frustrated with ...

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One year ago, on March 14, I worked my first of many COVID shifts as a hospitalist at a large academic teaching institution in Chicago.  In the beginning, I think most of us on the front lines felt a strange combination of duty, fear, and exhilaration. There was this novel virus, the world was shutting down because of it, and while the rest of society was stocking up on toilet ...

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“Come to triage right now, and wear your N95. A patient going straight to OR and she’s having fever and chills.” I was summoned to the triage area of labor and delivery for a patient brought in from the ultrasound clinic and found to have absent fetal heart tones. One of my colleagues started an IV, and I ran to the OR to set up for emergency general anesthesia. The patient ...

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In the past 12 months, as the coronavirus swept from coast to coast and back again, scientific knowledge and inquiry have been thrust to the forefront of American political consciousness. With science’s newfound centrality to our public life has come increased respect and admiration for health care professionals and medical researchers. But as science has risen in national importance, so too have its detractors. As we round the ...

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