I was somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, heading to Ukraine “to make a difference,” or so I hoped. I was leading a medical mission to this beautiful yet poor and war-torn country. I was watching the movie First Man about the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon that epic day in July 1969. I was not quite 14 years of age at that time, but I vividly remember the ...

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"When it comes to using telehealth to treat patients out of state, most physicians are mindful about licensure issues. But some are not aware that if you don’t have a license to practice medicine in a given state, it isn’t just malpractice: It’s a criminal offense. Licensing restrictions have been eased to facilitate ...

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The “model minority” is a term that denotes Asians in the U.S.  East Asians, in particular, have been the target of xenophobic hate crimes and microaggressions since the outset of COVID-19. When a former presidential administration used hate and fear to garner power, it does not surprise me, that Sinophobia runs rampant during these times. The NYPD reported a 1,900 percent increase in Asian-American hate crimes in 2020. As an ...

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“Last question,” the woman from the insurance company said. Good, I thought; I was eager to get back to seeing patients. “How long have you been taking care of Sarah?” “I’m not sure,” I replied, “How old is she?” “She’s 34.” “Then I have been taking care of her for 35 years.” “Doctor, I’m not sure you heard me correctly; she is only 34.” “I heard you perfectly,” I retorted, “She has been my patient for 35 ...

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In her hospital bed, she sat there confused as to what was buzzing around her. Rita was 96 years old and in the throes of dementia and agitation. As her physician assigned to her that week, I remember walking into her room and noticed her elderly husband brushing her hair w an unsteady hand and feeding her chocolates. “My sweetie loves chocolates,” he states. Rita, agitated, grabs his arm and throws it ...

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Quick, think of someone unrelated to you who has had a major impact on your life. I’d wager the vast majority of us pictured a face or two, and that nearly all (I hope) represented a positive influence. In my thirty-plus-year career in medicine, I’ve been blessed with several, and their impact on my life and career is truly inestimable. As a smart kid who went to medical school because it’s ...

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As I finished the endless clicking, the clinic day came to a close. Clicking to begin and end phone visits. Clicking to get on and off Zoom visits. The endless video game clicking that is life as a physician documenting electronic health records. Too bad I have never been a gamer; maybe some who are can imagine amidst all of this they are in a scene from a Nintendo or Playstation classic. Clicking boxes ...

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Every physician has had the experience.  The moment you ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” It could be when you look into the waiting room where there are more patients to be seen and know if you take a break, it will set you back even further. It could be on the final stretch of the 24-hour shift that redefined the meaning of the word "nonstop." It could be the third time ...

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Coronavirus vaccines are crucial to taming the pandemic. Everyone should get one. Please, please, get vaccinated. Now, that’s out of the way—I’m no anti-vaxxer. I am a huge supporter of vaccines and believe vaccination will help bring an early end to the worst global health disaster in modern history. But there is something strange happening. Media and scientific articles on vaccine effectiveness are increasingly unhinged. Reports are drifting away from science on ...

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I’ve been looking for anything to take my mind off of 2020. During these tumultuous times of COVID-19, racial injustice, social unrest, and outright political upheaval, I’ve found myself turning back the clock to one of my favorite pastimes: reading. As I settled down into my favorite comfy chair on that rainy, quarantine-filled April day, I was reminded of some unsettling themes I’d discovered back in 2012. At that time, I ...

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