What if it is your parent? Your spouse? Your child? Imagine supporting a loved one through a journey of serious illness. You go to all the appointments, know all the medications, almost feel the aches and pains as if they were our own. You repeat the same thing over and over again to one doctor after another making sure nothing slips through the cracks. Did somebody write this down? Isn’t this ...

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If one more person tells me to be sure to take care of myself, I'm going to bury my face in a pillow and scream. "Go for a walk, take a vacation," they advise. I know they're trying to help, but really? Giving me one more thing to do? Oh well, they're just doing the best they can. I moved my folks across the country, from Florida to Washington State, and into ...

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I remember reciting a phrase during my childhood that goes something like this, "Step on a crack, break your mother's back." So as I would walk back and forth to school, I would make a conscious effort to avoid any and all cracks in the sidewalks for fear of bringing unwarranted harm to my mother. This was a pretty difficult task to accomplish since in my small hometown, cracks in ...

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Generally speaking, patients and physicians are working towards good health. While many patient expectations can be unreasonable, others are practical; this article amalgamates them. Can you identify the absurd demands? But multiply half of the listed expectations by hundreds or thousands of patients, and we begin to understand why there is such a high rate of physician burnout. Bilateral empathy lowers expectations. Bedside manner. Don’t accept a walk-in patient and leave us waiting ...

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To complement Aaron Lacy’s post on treating colleagues with respect, I’d like to expand that concept to include treating patients with respect too. That means if a patient says she’s freezing, and adding insult to injury, has been sick as well,  adjust the thermostat a little, please, even if you as the doctor isn’t cold. When a stray cat came to our door in the dead of winter, ...

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I agree wholeheartedly with a post by Annahieta Kalantari expressing the idea that finding a new physician job is like dating. A patient looking for a new MD can be just as uncertain, unnerving, intimidating and stressful. First, you hear the dreaded words from a receptionist, often sorrowfully saying, “I’m sorry, we’re not in your network this year.” Then, the nerves begin. Maybe a friend recommends a doctor ...

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Announce to friends that you have cancer, and they will probably react with sympathy and compassion. Tell them that you've broken your leg, and they'll offer to get your groceries and drive you to medical appointments. Share that you suffer from depression -- and the sound of silence will fill your head. Depression has been my companion for as long as I can remember. My maternal grandmother, who immigrated to this country ...

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Why do we say “curiosity killed the cat?” Isn’t curiosity what drives people to ask insightful questions? To keep an open mind? And to continue learning at age 6 or 60, alike? Curiosity is what sets apart people who are fixed in their opinions and beliefs and those who adjust in light of new information. Recently, I read an article in The New Yorker that suggested that Donald Trump doesn’t read books ...

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Many months have passed since the spring day when I was hit with the news from my yearly mammogram, but those typewritten words are forever etched in my memory: "The density appears greater in left breast." My doctor comforted me with statistics showing that mammograms aren't 100 percent accurate — but she also lost no time in sending me to a surgeon named Dr. Prewitt. Upon meeting him, I immediately felt ...

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In mid-February, thousands flocked to the opening of Black Panther, a highly anticipated film for a multitude of reasons. The most salient of these is its depiction of an African king as Marvel’s and cinematic screen’s first culturally-affirming black superhero. In fact, Black Panther’s success is due to its emergence as a counter-narrative to painful and dysfunctional representations of black life. By normalizing the presence of black royals, diplomats, and ...

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