At first, I thought the light was reflecting off the mirror. But no. There It was - my first gray hair. I did not expect to live to see the day. I was ecstatic! At six months old, I was diagnosed with a severe illness called thalassemia major and was incorrectly expecting to have passed by now. (Google told me so!) Yet, this year, I complete ten years beyond my ...

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Dear lawyers: You got it right. Your operations make sense. I know this is wrong for me to say -- doctors and lawyers are often at odds with one another -- but I have to tip my cap here. I have this unsettling feeling that -- from a professional standpoint -- your billing practices make sense. And the way you do your documentation also makes sense. Your delegation and hierarchy make ...

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As physicians, we are constantly faced with a daily barrage of meeting minimum RVUs, while keeping up with EMRs as part of the necessary components to successfully practice medicine. This has resulted in a decrease in personal interactions with patients, which has caused an increase in physician burnout and suicides. Attempts to reverse these negative impacts have resulted in instituting wellness and meditation clinics and debriefing after traumatic clinical events ...

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One of my favorite scenes in the recent Apollo 11 IMAX film was a dramatic panning shot of mission control moments before lift-off. Row after row of mission specialists, engineers, astronauts, communications technicians — all looking ahead in silent, unbreakable focus. All 100 percent dedicated to the three men about to lift-off into history. It was a truly mesmerizing portrait of teamwork. While astronaut safety is the focus of every individual ...

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Self-compassion. Perhaps this sounds like a contradiction in terms. Compassion is expressed for others, not oneself. Compassion, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress with a desire to alleviate it.” Compassion is about allowing oneself to be with the emotional discomfort of someone else’s suffering with the hope of lessening it. Health care personnel do this every day. It is part of being human to have ...

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Head and neck cancer surgeons know when “the questions” are coming. A casual conversation eventually turns to, “What do you do for a career?” The pleasant exchange is replaced with talk of disfigurement and life-threatening illness. The person’s brow furrows. “How can you deal with that day after day? Isn’t it depressing? Why didn’t you pick something happier for a career?” These are legitimate questions. As a medical student many years ...

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I always knew there were disparities regarding men and women in the field of medicine. However, at the beginning of my training, these inequalities seemed so fictional to me, I could only compare them to dragons and unicorns. The fact that this topic was only occasionally mentioned seemed to solidify my belief that inequalities between female and male physicians were rare. My mind was solely focused on the various aspects ...

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Residents and fellows around the country have bought into the "medical training myth." The myth states: "Life will get so much better when I finish residency/fellowship." Sadly, too many house staff buy into this false belief and experience tremendous letdown when they graduate. Residents often see their attending stroll into the team room with a cup of coffee at 8 a.m., ready to round. Meanwhile, they think, “I’ve been ...

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“Black life remains unexpected.” I have been mulling over these words written by Ibram X. Kendi, in The Atlantic. This followed his piece exploring the “anniversary” of slavery in 2019. He experiences this 400-year marker both with hope and concern given the persistence of a split America: “Black death matters to racist America. Black life matters to African America.” He writes, “there may be no more consequential white ...

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Do you ever see other people in their careers and think to yourself, "Maybe I could do that?" I am a board-certified pediatric physician with over 25 years of experience in private practice, and I recently decided to try my hand at acting. Much to my surprise, I was awful.  It was almost as if there were basic premises of the craft that I did not understand at all. But I suppose that ...

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