An excerpt from Why We Revolt: A Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care. It was late at the premier teaching hospital in the country, and we were overworked and overwhelmed. Those patients in most trouble had made it in, but many waited outside, a domino line ...

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There’s nothing like the holidays and a new year around the corner to remind us that 2020 is almost over. This year let’s try to take nothing for granted. Especially since millions of Americans will soon sit down to a holiday meal with one or more loved ones missing. Those empty chairs are a reminder of what we have endured this year. Whether it be loved ones who are sick, ...

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For most of us, medical training through all the pains of medical school and residency is often bearable when we fantasize about life on the other side of all of this. Life as an attending physician, when the sky suddenly turns all rainbow, when the money starts to fall from those skies -- we're finally our own bosses, and then we're supposed to live happily ever after. The reality, however, ...

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It was early February when I first felt the tides changing. I remember it well. I was having lunch with a friend – another doctor – and the situation in China was bleak. We agreed it was only a matter of time before the novel coronavirus would erupt in the United States. As medical professionals, we knew that contagious diseases don’t just stay in a box, no matter how much ...

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An excerpt from The Healer's Burden: Stories and Poems of Professional Grief.

Leaning on the door of Trauma Bay 1, I survey the remains of my latest failure. The story is told in the bloody and jumbled instrument trays, monitors now silent and dark. In ...

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After three months as a newly minted doctor, I knew that any plan that I made for my first vacation week would be futile in the context of COVID-19, so I attempted an escape into the headspace of others. During my first day on vacation, I asked my Twitter community to share the following post widely:

“I'm on my vacation week w/ nothing to do, so I want to ...

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The first thing my husband said when I told him about MBA school was, “the NBA has a school?”  It didn’t help that we first had our conversation about MBA school during the NBA playoffs but really – NBA school?  I quickly overcame this moronic start to the conversation by saying “M” as in Michael Jordan – MBA school.  He got it from there and every day since. And every ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone, especially those of us in health care.  Our way of practicing medicine has been changed; some would say forever. We find ourselves affected not only clinically but also emotionally.  As a result, clinicians are experiencing more stress and anxiety than ever before. These feelings are not new but have been heightened in the face of the pandemic. Physicians are perceived as self-reliant, emotionally stoic, and ...

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Recently I had the opportunity to work as a locums tenens physician in a small town in Maine, and it helped me gain a new perspective on community, health care, and living.  While providing a service to the area, I received valuable lessons in return.  The folks in Maine can teach the rest of the country a few lessons also.   While Maine has the highest median age ...

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I asked nurses, technicians and secretaries where it was: the iPad for patients who wanted to speak to their loved ones. COVID didn’t allow visitors. A few days into our peak, it was likely this patient had COVID. They were gasping for air, but could still speak, somewhat. I was hoping to save them an intubation. I told them I may need to put them on a ventilator but assured ...

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