Recently, a Leonardo Da Vinci painting, Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World), was sold for $450 million, making it the largest fee for a painting ever sold.  Was it a good investment?  The painting was sold by Leonardo’s heir to King Francis I of France for 4000 gold ducats in 1519, which according to the American Numismatic Society would be equivalent to $575,000 at today’s price of gold at $1277 ...

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I keep a spare set of scrubs in my car. It’s an act of preparedness, informed by experience. A couple of months ago, I came out of an ED room after performing a particularly unsavory procedure and noticed that my left knee was wet. Disgusted, I shared my misfortune with my coworkers, and all of them had the same sympathetic response; they mirrored my grimace and cautiously offered hope: “Maybe ...

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In these tumultuous political and cultural times, it’s easy to presume the future is bleak. However, after attending a conference centered around medicine, public health, and medical science innovation, replete with remarkable stories of human perseverance, resilience, and courage, I felt humbled, inspired, and hopeful. In that order. Who cannot be awed listening to the one physician who kept treating desperately ill patients when the entire rest of the medical staff ...

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The present state of our nation can be traced back over the past five decades to the concerted efforts of specific entities, their goals based on profit and power, who set specific plans in place to maximize their control of same. Over the past 40 years, two such plans were woven together as they brought us to our present war on physicians and patients. One plan was created by increasing private ...

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Despite the fact that most people will have had the misfortune of visiting the emergency department (ED) at some point in their life, I find that many folks do not really understand what happens in the ED. 1. Emergency medicine is a specialty. Yes, we actually did residency training to learn how to work in the ED. This training lasted three to four years after medical school and is sometimes followed ...

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When is the right time to have a baby? This question plagues professional women across industries. It takes on more significant importance for women training as physicians. Medical training is long and coincides with a woman's late 20s, often stretching into her 30s. Waiting to have children until completing training is not always biologically feasible. Medical schools and residency training programs still lag behind in developing formal parental leave policies. Outside ...

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“Breathe in slowly, deeply, giving fresh energy to your body. Breathe out, releasing any tension from your day. In … 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … Out … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …” I try to follow the yoga instructor, but in my post-call fog, I struggle to let go of the last 24 hours. We begin by sitting poses to stretch our necks. But my neck is so ...

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Mine was an unusually long hiatus from residency for research training. And in the rough readjustment to clinical environments and work processes, one forgotten element seemed glaringly problematic: “Have a plan,” said one attending, “If you don’t know, just guess.” And another, in a teaching session, “Just guess, even if you’re wrong.” From a chief resident during an awkward pause when a junior was put on the spot: “Just guess; it’s OK.” When ...

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Back in the grueling training days of my residency, I was the first-hand victim of theft. Not the kind you see on the big screen, where you're held up at gunpoint, or the kind where your belongings get ransacked. It was worse, at least in the way that it made me feel. I had my handbag stolen from me, right from its usual resting place on the shelf near my ...

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As a surgical resident nearing my final year of training, I loved to operate. Whenever I was on call in the trauma unit at our large urban teaching hospital in Washington, DC, I'd yearn for my pager to go off. I was always tired, too — but for a surgical resident, fatigue is a given. Sleep and eat when you can, get your work done and operate like a madwoman: That ...

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