Do you remember what you dreamed of becoming as an adult? I do, and I recall my father telling me I could be anything I wanted to be. My dreams were shattered as soon as I stepped into a prison and I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my self-worth. “Wait, you’re a doctor?” “Nah, man he ain’t a doctor; he looks too much like us.” I am ...

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For a bunch of folks striving to stomp out malignant processes in our patients, we sure tolerate a fair amount of destructive behavior among training programs.

I’ll be the first to say I’m not the most delicate flower in the garden. Before pursuing medicine, I was a college athlete. I’m no stranger to long hours, harsh coaches, or repeated failures.

Medical students get their first bitter taste of malignant ...

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During a typically busy Saturday evening shift in the emergency department (ED), I am summoned to the trauma room for a “tie-down,” an agitated patient needing restraints. I find the entrance choked with police officers and push my way through to see the patient.  Once there, I see a large, young appearing Black man lying on his back, his hands cuffed tightly together on his stomach, a netted hood over ...

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“Hope things go back to normal soon.” That was the text I received from a friend yesterday. It struck me in reading those words that I have stopped thinking or worrying about the end of the pandemic. In those first months, absolutely. Daily thoughts of getting back to normal life. Now, out of self-preservation and a renewed sense of life’s sacredness and fragileness, I have turned to making the most of each ...

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He was in his 30s, strikingly handsome with the short-cropped hair of a soldier. This was Ukraine, and it was at war with Russia. He was now part of that war, a war the rest of the world has forgotten or no longer cares about, even as its’ young men continued to fight and die in the horror that is the front-line. His unit’s chaplain asked me to see him ...

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To be seen.

To be heard.

To be understood.

To be acknowledged.

To be appreciated.

To be accepted.

To be welcomed.

To be engaged.

To be involved.

To be worthy.

To be helped.

Common desires of patients.

Common desires of physicians.

We are all interrelated.

This is the foundational basis of osteopathic medicine. Whether ...

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It took me 47 years to hear those two devastating words, “You’re fired.” It’s not like I didn’t have a slew of jobs before becoming a physician.  I cut lawns and raked leaves as an early teen; I worked in a fast-food restaurant when I was 14 using my older brother’s ID, I worked in a carwash one summer, I even worked for a national department store. I was always polite, ...

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In the KevinMD article, "Assisted suicide: a change of heart," the author contends that there is salvation in suffering, but not everyone believes that is true. While I support the author's ability to decide how she wants to die, I do not believe that her personal beliefs should dictate how I die. I retired as an internist a few years ago because of declining health. I ...

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I recently published an essay on physician suicide: "Doctors are killing themselves, and who is taking notice?"  My intent was to bring awareness to this issue and honor a fallen colleague.  I want to continue the discussion. I realized that year after year, I fill out the medical licensure recertification without much thought. I live in Kentucky and have since I was initially licensure and the recertification ...

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I have a lot of energy. I have been going and going and going for so long. And today, it hit me. I’m tired. I began this pursuit of medicine in 1983 when I decided to be a zoology major. I worked and went to medical school. And I went to medical school and worked. Then I worked and went to three years of emergency medicine residency and worked hard for those three ...

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