Indian parents are perfectionists. This is what I had come to understand and believe, even before I had the vocabulary to define it. Perfection was the expectation. Not excellent, not superb, but perfection, and only perfection. After years of reflection, I don’t take issue with the expectation of perfection, but, rather, how I perceived it to be defined for me — a well-behaved, beautiful and academically successful girl who does ...

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An excerpt from Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes. Eating well is about food and health, but equally also celebration and community. There is a world of flavor, and the passport is spices. I connected my lifelong love of food and cooking to my work as a physician eight years ago, when I ...

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It’s easy to get distracted by the demands of the journey in medicine. Today physicians now see patients in person and virtually.  Technology allows docs to bring work home and complete documentation remotely, which can blur the lines between work and home life. It’s completely natural that physicians experience more stress and less success, as the demands seem never-ending. Success is right where you are in this very moment.  But success becomes ...

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There are endless life lessons to learn from people around us. Our friends’ opinions on what they think about a product, a certain cuisine, or how they view life not only gives us a glimpse of who they are, but also can impact our own views. As a doctor, it is always fascinating to me how two patients with the same oncologic diagnosis can have such different views of life: ...

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I will speak for myself to say that I completely identified with, and fully agree with, all the sentiments shared by Dr. Klingberg in “A breakup with primary care.” Still, from my own life experiences, and a 30-year career in primary care solo practice, I have been forced to believe that these sentiments are ultimately narcissistic and self-destructive. Yes, primary care medicine has become thankless, oppressive, cruel, ...

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I have been a physician for 26 years. I have been a fierce patient advocate throughout my entire career. It never occurred to me that physicians do not have the same rights of citizenship that the very patients I fight for do. I always thought I lived in a democracy. Medicine is not what it used to be. Articles relentlessly speak of physician burnout as though we are responsible for ...

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As a physician who helps administer and analyze our medical staff's wellness data, I have been puzzled by one consistent finding from our semi-annual physician wellness survey - the group of physicians with the highest level of distress are the mid-career physicians, those who, like me, graduated from medical school 15 to 24 years ago. Our hospital, a community-based, semi-academic hospital, utilizes a nine-question survey to track physician's well-being.  Some of ...

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You should like your doctor. Whether or not you like your doctor matters.  It matters because if you don't like your doctor, you're not going to be honest and forthcoming.  Your doctor needs you to be honest and forthcoming to take good care of you.  And you want good care. But, realistically, you may not like your doctor.  You figured that was OK.  You probably don't see your doctor that often and ...

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As a physician and businessperson who has dedicated his career to improving health equity, I consider news about vaccines going into arms bittersweet. An uncomfortable question remains: Whose arms are they going into? Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points to an inequitable rollout. White, non-Hispanic Americans are receiving more than their equitable portion of vaccines, while Black and Hispanic/Latinx Americans are receiving ...

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My patient is a brilliant, 30-something-year-old highly educated woman with type 1 diabetes. I’ve known her for many years, since she was a teenager.  She is sweet and fun, even though she can be fierce and fiery at times. She has type 1 diabetes. She has been living with this life-altering, life-threatening disease for many years. Even as a child, she always took charge of her life and consistently maintained her ...

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