I remember it was raining outside when I told Ester she had metastatic stomach cancer.  She cried, as her son sat silently holding one thin hand in two of his.  After a while, she asked, how long did she have to live?  I explained it depended on how well the chemotherapy worked.  She smiled gently, as one humoring a silly child, and said that there would be no treatment. After ...

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Successful and happy physician. But why stop there? What about successful businessman as well? This is my story. And I’d love to share it. Maybe it’ll inspire someone else who works in health care. I am very blessed. I am actually living out my childhood dream. When I was 15, and starting high school, I wrote down something for our class time capsule that was to be opened at our 10-year high ...

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An excerpt from Playing God: The Evolution of a Modern Surgeon. A woman, call her Betsy, comes to see me. Betsy is in her early sixties and horribly unhealthy. She walks with a cane, each step she takes slow and painful. It hurts to watch her walk. Betsy has undergone ...

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Several weeks ago, I began my studies for a master’s degree in journalism. I’m continuing to work as a physician, but for the next two years, I’ll also be gaining knowledge in an important field: health communication. I recall being a medical student and observing the different ways in which my supervising doctors spoke with their patients. Some doctors communicated clearly and were easily understood. Others used words that I had ...

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Some may think that being a dermatologist means taking care of the “superficial.” I beg to defer. We spend a great deal of time performing procedures and talking to patients. During our visits, patients share their truth, and open up their hearts to us in meaningful and vulnerable ways.  We hear about their relationships, their work, their fears, and their struggles. We become a part of their inner circle of ...

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Imagine your typical yearly physical. It’s probably booked for 20 to 40 minutes. Since you, like many of us, may see your physician only once a year, it is important for you to have your physician’s complete attention and to have all of your concerns addressed. Some of these concerns may be of a sensitive - even embarrassing - nature. Your physician may likewise ask you some probing questions about ...

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ama_logoA guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Each September, the American Medical Association (AMA) is proud to recognize and honor the immense contributions women make to the House of Medicine. Such recognition is particularly appropriate this year. I count myself lucky to be joined by two exceptional women physicians in holding the offices of president, president-elect, and immediate past ...

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The receptionist interrupted me in the middle of my dictation. “There’s a woman and her husband at the front desk. She’s already been seen by Dr. Kim for chest pain, but refuses to leave, and her husband seems really agitated. They’re demanding to speak with you.” I didn’t take the time to look up the woman’s chart. This could be a medical emergency, I figured. Something may have developed in just the ...

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I was recently working in clinic on a Friday afternoon. I was on my last patient of the day, and it had been a particularly long clinic. I had big plans for the weekend and should have already finished. The gentleman entered the room, sat down, and we began the consultation. Because I was so behind, I went through everything a little quicker than I usually would, but still covering ...

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I love my husband. Not in a common way. This love is an earth-shattering, jigsaw puzzle fit, Hallelujah chorus kind of love. I look at him and just reel with the awe of our having found each other. We complement each other. We are best friends and confidantes. We have a mutual respect that sees us through conflict and a collective sense of humor that keeps us laughing. And yet, ...

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