I was on my honeymoon in the Bahamas when I first heard the news: Hahnemann hospital was closing, and so was my child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship program — along with every other fellowship and residency program in the hospital. I was actually running outside enjoying the beautiful weather of the tropics and getting ready to go on a “swimming with the sharks” expedition when I got the email that ...

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"I don't understand, and no one will explain why it happened." Jake, my adolescent patient, lamented his experience to me during his well-child visit. "Those boys say that people like me are the devil. They don't even know me. I'm a good person." Hours before seeing me in clinic that day, a group of minority teens had confronted Jake while at a local youth community center because he was "the ...

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Take a stroll through any emergency department or hospital break room, and what do you see? Chips, pop, candy bars, and different flavors of junk food. Working in the trenches of medicine requires stamina and mental fortitude. Fueling the body and mind is critical for optimal performance and patient care. Unfortunately, many health care professionals are killing themselves by what they put into their mouths. A few years ago, I began to ...

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After practicing psychiatry and behavioral health for nearly 25 years, I’m done. I feel sick, and especially sicker from my occupation. Not merely burned out, but ill. Primarily mentally. I’ve always had complex post-traumatic stress disorder. And depression and generalized anxiety, and many other diagnoses from the DSM. But, I’ve covered my illnesses so I could go to work and help so many people. Least of all myself. My mother had chronic ...

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When it comes to locum tenens, doctors have a lot of questions. Maybe you even have some of your own. But first, let me ask you a few: Did you know that there are more than 50,000 doctors working locum tenens in the U.S.? Or that 90% of health care facilities use locum tenens each year? Or that 21% of residents choose to work locum tenens right out of college? Despite its ...

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The sky was overcast as my girlfriend dropped me off at the airport on a June day several years back. I was headed to Chicago to take the last meaningful high stakes exam of my medical training, a mandatory board exam available only at two sites, a test that 1 in 6 residents now fail. One might think of such an event as something to look forward to, ...

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"The death of a child is the single most traumatic event in medicine. To lose a child is to lose a piece of yourself." I walked into work yesterday morning, and it only took seconds to appreciate the immense sorrow and sadness that permeated the air. My beautiful work family was despondent and deflated. Shoulders were slumped, feet were shuffling, faces wore defeat. Something terrible had occurred during the night shift. Damn ...

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STAT_Logo If you’ve needed emergency care in the last few years, you probably encountered this situation: Soon after entering the emergency department, you were asked to go to a triage area in the waiting room where a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant asked you a few questions and ordered some diagnostic tests while you waited. That’s a ...

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I'd been told in my hospital sign-out that Melanie was transgender, but I stumbled on the first day and referred to her as "he" in front of my medical team. "She!" she said immediately. "Oh, man," I thought to myself. I was a hospitalist teaching medical students at one of the most liberal medical schools in the country — University of California, San Francisco. I should have known better. When I ...

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Patient confidentiality is an important principle that most physicians still respect. Patients trust physicians not to reveal their private, medical information to others. They expect that physicians will adhere to the Hippocratic ethic followed for thousands of years that states: "What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men … I will keep to ...

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